Foreign Legion events: September 01 – 10

See the interesting data of the French Foreign Legion. Significant operations, battles, campaigns, deployments, the establishments or dissolutions of units… Explore the most important historical events in Legion’s history which occurred between September 01 and September 10.


French Foreign Legion: September 01

1908, Attack on Bou Denib
– a rebel attack aimed at the Bou Denib outpost in Morocco
– the outpost was defended by Major Fesch and around 90 French troops
– Captain Maury and his 40 legionnaires from 24th Mounted Company, 1er RE were among them
– the outpost was attacked by around 15,000 local rebels
– during next 18 hours, attacks continued
– with a new French reinforcement, the outpost was managed to defend
– the enemy was fought off
– 7 legionnaires were wounded
– 168 rebels were killed, some 350 rebels were wounded

1930, 5th Foreign Infantry Regiment established
– in Tonkin (then title for Northern Vietnam), 5e REI was established
– nicknamed as Regiment of Tonkin
– it grouped all Legion battalions stationed in then French Indochina
– 5e REI legionnaires took part in the 1941 Franco-Thai War and in battles with the Japanese in 1945
– deactivated in 1945
– reactivated in 1949, 5e REI took part in the First Indochina War 1949-54 and the Algerian War 1956-62
– reorganized in 1963, it moved to Tahiti, French Polynesia to build and guard a new French nuclear testing site
– the regiment was disbanded in 2000

1953, 1st Heavy Mortar Foreign Parachute Company established
– in then French Indochina, 1re CEPML was established
– based at Hanoi, northern Vietnam
– the company was assigned to the 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 1er REP)
– it participated in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (1954) and was annihilated there
– the company was officially disbanded in May 1954

1972, 2nd Foreign Regiment reactivated
– at Bonifacio, Corsica, 2e RE (now 2e REI) was reactivated
– the longest-serving unit of the Foreign Legion
– deactivated in January 1968, after having left Algeria as the last Foreign Legion regiment
– in 1983, it left Corsica and moved to Nimes, southern France

1977, Foreign Legion Training Regiment was established
– at Castelnaudary, southern France, RILE was established
– the first ever training regiment of the Foreign Legion
– in 1980, it became 4e RE (Foreign Regiment)

– in the image, 5e RE legionnaires at Mururoa Atoll, in the mid-1980s

5e RE - 5 RE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Tahiti - Mururoa - 1980s


French Foreign Legion: September 02

1841, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 1er RLE (Foreign Legion Regiment, 1er RE now) were attacked in the Kabylie region of Algeria, during a military operation
– the enemy was fought off

1903, Battle of El Moungar
– a battle with local rebels near the Morocco-Algeria border
– it took place at El Moungar near Taghit, in the Bechar region of western Algeria
– Captain Vauchez and his 113 legionnaires from 22nd Mounted Company, 6th Battalion, 2e RE (currently 2e REI) got involved in
– they were attacked by around 3,000 Berbers
– the battle lasted 8 hours
– Captain Vauchez + Lieutenant Selchauhansen (a Danish officer) were killed
– 34 legionnaires were also killed + another 47 seriously wounded
– since then, the battle has been commemorated annually by the 2e REI during El Moungar Day, the regimental holiday

1916, at Ain Ageri, in the Taza region of Morocco, 2nd Mounted Company, 2e RE got involved in fighting with local rebels to support surrounded French colonial troops
– the enemy was fought off

1949, a fierce battle with the Viet Minh for legionnaires from 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 1er REP) near Cam Trach in the region of Hanoi, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– a Viet Minh company was destroyed

– in the photo, the 2e REI celebrates 2016 El Moungar Day

2e REI - 2 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - France - El Moungar - 2016


French Foreign Legion: September 03

1907, Major Provost killed
Major Jean Provost (also Provot) was a battalion commander with the Foreign Legion
– he was the first-ever French officer killed in action during the Pacification of Morocco (1907-34)
– he was killed during the battle with local rebels at Sidi Moumen near Casablanca, Morocco, while heading his legionnaires from 6th Battalion, 1er RE

1923, Battle of Ait Bazza
– a severe battle with Moroccan rebels during the Pacification of Morocco (1907-34)
– legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 2e REI got involved in
– the battle took place near Ait Bazza, in the Imouzzer Marmoucha region of Morocco
– 33 legionnaires were killed or wounded

1946, Moroccan Motorized Companies Group established
– in Morocco, GCPLEM was established
– an independent motorized unit of the Legion, ex-GCMP/3 (Mounted and Motorized Companies Group, 3e REI)
– its companies were, along with the CSPLE Saharan Company (redesignated to 1re CSPL in 1946), the only combat elements remaining in North Africa in 1944-45 to maintain order there, while the rest of the Foreign Legion fought in Europe
– another curiosity of the GCMP/3 is that it was administratively part of the 3e REI during 1943-45, even if the regiment had been disbanded since June 1943 and didn’t exist at that time
– the last French mounted company also served within GCMP/3 and, thereafter, GCPLEM
– GCPLEM became GPLEM (Foreign Legion Moroccan Motorized Group) in 1947
– it served in Morocco until 1956, the year it consolidated with 4e REI

1949, Attack of Loung Phai
– in the That Khe region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, a French supply convoy was attacked by the Viet Minh at the Loung Phai pass
– over 100 people were massacred, including several civilians and legionnaires from 3e REI, accompanying the convoy
– over 50 vehicles were completely destroyed, including those from CLT2/503 (Legionnaire Transportation Company)

– in the image, Dodge 6×6 + Jeep + AMM8 (M8 Greyhound) armored cars of the GPLEM (ex-GCPLEM) in southern Morocco, 1954

GPLEM - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Morocco - 1954


French Foreign Legion: September 04

1907, 1st Battalion, 2e RE (Foreign Regiment, 2e REI now) landed at Casablanca, Morocco
– it will form a Regimental Combat Team, 2e RE together with 6th Battalion, 2e RE
– 2e RE’s CombatTeam participated in the Pacification of Morocco until 1918

1914, 3rd Regimental Combat Team, 1er RE established
– in Paris, 3e RM, 1er RE was established
– consisting of more than 2,100 men
– mainly composed of foreign volunteers enlisted for the war period (Italians, Belgians and Russians in the majority)
– the unit will fight on the Western Front of World War I
– 3e RM, 1er RE was disbanded in July 1915

1918, in Tonkin (then title for Northern Vietnam) in then French Indochina, the Coc Pau outpost, located on the border with China, was attacked by Chinese rebels
– legionnaires from Autonomous Company, 1er RE fought off the attackers
– the company (composed of around 200 German and Austrian legionnaires in the vast majority) had been the only Legion unit stationed in Indochina since 1916
– its detachments occupied several isolated outposts in the troubled Tonkinese region bordering China

1949, Operation Cobra ended
– it took place between the Canal of Ong Kho and the Mekong River in the Hoc Mon region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– legionnaires from 1st + 3rd Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half Brigade) participated in

– in the old postcard, a vanguard composed of legionnaires marching near Casablanca, 1907-08

Legionnaires - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Morocco - 1907


French Foreign Legion: September 05

1833, a rescue mission in the Guerra region, Algeria
– a French detachment commanded by Colonel Bernelle, then Legion’s commander, was involved in
– two Legion companies made part of the detachment
– during the mission, the column was attacked by local rebels
– the attackers were successfully fought off

1864, Yanhuitlan seized by the Legion
– during French intervention in Mexico (1861-67), Lt Colonel Carteret-Trecourt and his two battalions of the Foreign Regiment (then title for the Legion) seized Yanhuitlan, a village in the Oaxaca region of southern Mexico
– Lt Colonel Carteret-Trecourt was then commander of the regiment

1914, in the Taza region of Morocco, 2nd Mounted Company, 2e RE (2e REI now) got involved in fighting with local rebels near Koudiat El Biad
– a Russian legionnaire was killed

1957, a military operation for 1st + 6th Motorized Company, 2e REI near Tadjrouna, in the Laghouat region of central Algeria
– during the operation, 20 rebels were captured

– in the photo, 2e REI legionnaires watching their Dodge 6×6 during an operation in Algeria in 1957

2e REI - 2 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Algeria - 1957


French Foreign Legion: September 06

1952, Operation Caiman ended
– a three-day large operation near Thanh Huong, in the Hue and Quang Tri regions of central Vietnam, then French Indochina
– legionnaires from 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment), 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) and 5e REI were involved in
– during three days, about 600 Viet Minh rebels were killed

1959, Operation Rubis started
– the first phase of Operation Pierres Precieuses (Sep 1959 – Sep 1960), a successful action in the Constantine region of northeastern Algeria
– aimed at rebel groups crossing the Algeria-Tunisia border
– legionnaires from 2e REP (Parachute Regiment) were involved in

– in the image, a Crab (M29 Weasel) tracked vehicle of 1er REC, during an operation in French Indochina in 1952

1er REC - 1 REC - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Indochina - 1952


French Foreign Legion: September 07

1896, Pacification of Madagascar started for the Legion
– after the Second Madagascar Expedition (1895), the island in the Indian Ocean was annexed by France
– in 1896, rebellions started on the island
– on September 7, first legionnaires landed at Tamatave, Madagascar
– Major Cussac and his detachment of two companies (Captain Flayelle + Captain Deleuze)
– the companies belonged to then 2e RE (2e REI now)
– in late September, Foreign Legion Madagascar Battalion was established to take part in following operations
– last legionnaires left Madagascar in July 1905

1908, Battle of Djorf
– a fierce five-hour battle at Djorf, close to Bou Denib, Morocco
– a French military column against local rebels
– the column was commanded by Colonel Alix, then commanding officer of the 2e RE (now 2e REI)
– two battalions of legionnaires from 2e RE and 1er RE also took part in
– the enemy was successfully fought off
– 25 French troops were wounded
– up to 300 rebels were killed

1917, near Dar El Beida in the Bou Denib region of Morocco, clashes with local rebels for Bou Denib Mixed Battalion
– the battalion was protecting a supply column going to Tighmart
– the rebels were fought off
– Bou Denib Mixed Battalion was a little-known unit, most likely a semi-penal unit composed of two Legion companies and two companies of the French semi-penal African Battalions

1953, during Operation Claude, legionnaires from 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 2e REP) were attacked by two Viet Minh companies
– the attack took place near Nam Du Thuong, in the Hanoi region, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 2e BEP had 8 men killed + 22 were wounded
– Viet Minh had 55 men killed + 5 men were imprisoned

– in the old postcard, a 2e RE machine gun platoon in the Bou Denib region, Morocco, around 1908

2e RE - 2 RE - Legionnaires - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Morocco - 1908


French Foreign Legion: September 08

1855, Battle of Malakoff
– a major battle between French-British forces and Russia during the Crimean War (1854-56)
– a part of the Siege of Sevastopol
– the French army under General MacMahon successfully stormed the Malakoff redoubt, part of the Russian fortifications of Sevastopol, located south of the Crimean capital
– Second Lieutenant Valliez and 100 legionnaires from 1er RE took part in the battle
– the battle resulted in fall of Sevastopol on the next day

1952, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 3e REI were attacked near Dong Hue, in the Hai Duong region of the Tonkin Delta, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– Lieutenant Mazars + several legionnaires were killed

1960, Operation Ariege started for legionnaires from 2e REP (Parachute Regiment)
– the operation took place in the Aures Mountains, northern Algeria
– during next weeks, 95 rebels were killed by the regiment
– 3e REI and 5e REI also participated in, having killed over 300 rebels together

– in the picture, The Attack on the Malakoff by William Simpson, published in October 1855

Crimea - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Attack on the Malakoff - 1855 - William Simpson


French Foreign Legion: September 09

1855, Siege of Sevastopol ended
Sevastopol was then capital of the Crimea, Russian Empire
– the siege occured between September 1854 – September 1855
– the fall of Sevastopol was a result of the successful Battle of Malakoff from the previous day, in which 100 legionnaires also took part in

1916, during the Balkans Campaign of WWI, the Battalion Legion, 1er RMA (African Regimental Combat Team) got involved in fighting with Bulgarian soldiers in today’s Macedonia
– Bulgarians were fought off and positions of Cor and Rakiti were seized

1932, a battle at Djebel Tazigzaout, in the Ouarzazate region of Morocco
– Mounted Company, 2e REI + 3rd Battalion, 2e REI got involved in
– several men were killed, including Lieutenant Alexandroff + Lieutenant Denux

1952, 19th Company, 5th Battalion, 3e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh near La Mat, in the Hai Duong region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– Sergeant Lemière + several local auxiliaries (who made the majority of the battalion) were killed

1983, 2e REI to leave Corsica for France
– first 2e REI legionnaires started to leave Corsica for France
– the unit had been based at Corte and Bonifacio, Corsica since its reactivation in 1972
– in late 1967, 2e REI was the last Legion regiment to leave North Africa
– in early November 1983, it was fully stationed at Nimes, southern France
– 2e REI has been based at Caserne de Chabrières

– in the photo, an anti-tank platoon (Jeeps equipped with MILAN sytems) of 2e REI inside the barracks at Bonifacio, Corsica, 1982

2e REI - 2 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Bonifacio - Corsica - 1982


French Foreign Legion: September 10

1833, elite companies from 1st + 2nd Battalion, Foreign Legion were assigned to a French column moving to the Blida region of northern Algeria to protect it against local rebels

1925, clashes with local rebels near Djebel en Nahir, in the Taza region of Morocco
– 2nd Battalion, 1er RE got involved in
– several men were killed, including Lieutenant Brias + Lieutenant Voisin

1952, Major Rémy Raffalli died
– the famous commander of 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, 2e REP now)
– very popular officer among his legionnaires
– member of the Legion since 1949, Major Raffalli served with 3e BEP (it became later 3e REP) in Algeria, North Africa before being shipped to Indochina
– he took the command of 2e BEP in late 1950
– on September 1, 1952, near Chuyen My Truong Ha, in the then Saigon region of southern Vietnam, he was shot during his last operation conducted in French Indochina, two days before his prescribed two-year-long stay in Indochina had to be terminated
– he died from his injuries in the military hospital of then Saigon, southern Vietnam
– Camp Raffalli, the current military base of the 2e REP in Corsica, is named after him

– in the image, for the last time, seriously wounded Major Raffalli is saluting his 2e BEP legionnaires, before being sent to the hospital in Saigon, where he died from his injuries in the early morning of September 10, 1952
– note the original designation of the 2e REP’s camp in the late 1960s – Raffali with one L

2e BEP - 2 BEP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Rémy Raffalli - 1952


Related posts:
Foreign Legion events: August 21 – 31
Foreign Legion events: August 11 – 20
Foreign Legion events: August 01 – 10
Foreign Legion events: July 21 – 31
French Foreign Legion history