Foreign Legion events: September 11 – 20

Find out some important data of the French Foreign Legion’s history. Remarkable campaigns, battles, deployments, operations, the establishments or dissolutions of units… Learn about the Legion’s significant events which occurred between September 11 and September 20.

 

French Foreign Legion: September 11

1917, in the Taza region of Morocco, 1st Mounted Company, 1er RE got involved in a fierce battle with local rebels
– the battle took place near Camp of Tizimi
– the enemy was successfully fought off

1932, a battle at Djebel Tazigzaout, in the Ouarzazate region of Morocco
– 3rd Battalion, 2e REI got involved in
– during the battle, Lieutenant Anthoine was killed

1946, during an operation in the Phong My region of Laos, then French Indochina, two companies from 2nd Battalion, 3e REI got involved in clashes with the Viet Minh
– at least 30 Viet Minh rebels were killed
– 3e REI had Second Lieutenant Bernard Gioan killed

1958, a military operation for legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 5e REI at Djebel El Asses, in the Tlemcen region of northwestern Algeria
– during the operation, at least 44 rebels were killed

1973, 3e REI landed in French Guiana
– that day, 3e REI landed in French Guiana, South America
– the regiment was sent to Guiana after 11 years spent in Madagascar (Indian Ocean)
– the legionnaires were sent to French Guiana to protect a new French space center
– they also conducted several local infrastructure construction missions and have operated the well-known jungle training center

– in the picture, the first-ever parade for 3e REI legionnaires in French Guiana
– it took place at Cayenne, September 12, 1973

3e REI - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - French Guiana - 1973

 

French Foreign Legion: September 12

1863, during the French Intervention in Mexico, a military operation for a company of legionnaires led by Captain Saussier
– the operation aimed at local rebels took place near Passo del Macho, in the Veracruz region of Mexico

1949, Operation Canigou ended
– a three-week operation north-west of Hanoi, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– the operation aimed at the Viet Minh groups in the region
– legionnaires from 6e REI, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) and 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 1er REP) participated in
– during the operation, 6e REI had one legionnaire killed, 1er BEP had 5 legionnaires killed

1955, 2e REI returned to Morocco
– that day, 2e REI returned to Morocco, after more than 12 years
– the regiment was among first French units to deploy to Morocco in 1907
– its battalions served there continuously 1907-20 and 1921-43
– then 2e RE left Algeria to be fully stationed in Morocco in 1921
– deactivated in 1943-45, it served in French Indochina 1946-55 and in Tunisia 1955
– 2e REI left Morocco for Algeria a year later, in 1956

– in the photo, 2e REI legionnaires in Morocco, 1956

2e REI - 2 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Morocco - 1956

 

French Foreign Legion: September 13

1915, the future standard of the RMLE obtained
– during WWI, 2e RM (Regimental Combat Team) of the 1st Foreign Regiment obtained its regimental flag
– the unit was composed of legionnaires and non-Legion foreign volunteers enlisted in the French Army for the war period
– two months later, in November 1915, the unit consolidated with the 2e RM of the 2nd Foreign Regiment (2e REI now) to form a new unit, RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team, future 3e REI)
– RMLE (over 3,300 men) received the flag of the 2e RM, 1er RE
– during WWI, the flag of RMLE became one of the two most decorated standards of the French Army

1948, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 3e REI were attacked by the Viet Minh in the Bac Kan region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– a corporal was killed + 7 legionnaires were wounded

1957, a military operation for legionnaires from 1st + 3rd Battalion, 5e REI in the Tlemcen region of northwestern Algeria
– during the operation, at least 42 rebels were killed

– in the picture, the standard of RMLE (ex-standard of the 2e RM, 1er RE) held by Lt Colonel Rollet, then commanding officer of RMLE and future “Father of the Legion”

RMLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - regimental flag - standard - Rollet - 1917

 

French Foreign Legion: September 14

1837, Battle of Arroniz
– a successful fierce battle against the Carlists in the Arroniz range near Estella, in the Navarre region of northeastern Spain
– legionnaires of the original Foreign Legion (“Old Legion” now, created March 1831 and disbanded in 1839) took part in, led by Colonel Lebeau
– the Carlists had many men killed or wounded
– Foreign Legion had 1 officer + 13 legionnaires killed
– 8 officers + 55 legionnaires were wounded

1918, on the Western Front during WWI, after several attacks launched by RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team, 3e REI now) in northeastern France between September 2-14, German troops had to retreat behind the Hindenburg Line, seized by the RMLE
– this operation helped to end the First World War
– RMLE captured over 500 prisoners
– the unit had 275 men killed (including 10 officers) + 1,158 men wounded
– since then, the 14th September has been commemorated annually by the 3e REI
– this regimental holiday is called Fourragere Day

1932, Turenne rail accident
the worst accident in the Foreign Legion history
– it occurred near Turenne (currently Sabra), in the Tlemcen region of northwestern Algeria
– a train going to Morocco and carrying a Legion battalion derailed
– it fell 66 feet (20 m) into a ravine
– 56 legionnaires were killed
– 2 officers + 215 legionnaires were wounded

1990, Operation Daguet started
– 2e REI + 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) + 6e REG (Engineer Regiment, currently 1er REG) were put on alert
– they will participate in Operation Daguet, part of the 1991 Gulf War
– the operation was aimed at Iraq in order to liberate Kuwait

– in the photo, the derailed train having fallen into a ravine near Turenne, Algeria on September 14, 1932

Turenne rail accident - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Turenne - Algeria - 1932

 

French Foreign Legion: September 15

1833, the original Foreign Legion (1831-39, now called “Old Legion”), commanded by Colonel Bernelle at that time, was attacked by local rebels in the Bone region of northern Algeria
– the rebels were successfully fought off
– Old Legion was handed over to Spain in 1835, where it was disbanded in December 1838
– the current Foreign Legion was established in 1836

1917, during an successful operation to seize Dar El Beida in the Taza region of Morocco, 1st Mounted Company, 1er RE got involved in fighting with local rebels
– a legionnaire was killed + 6 legionnaires wounded

1947, in the Nam Dinh region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, two outposts occupied by legionnaires from 1st Company, 1st Battalion, 2e REI were attacked by two Viet Minh companies
– the enemy was successfully fought off
– at least 27 Viet Minh rebels were killed

– in the rare image, 2e REI legionnaires arriving in French Indochina, 1946

2e REI - 2 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Indochina - 1946

 

French Foreign Legion: September 16

1922, legionnaires from 10th Company, 3rd Battalion, 4e REI were attacked by local rebels near Camp of Bou Yahia, close to Marrakesh, Morocco
– Lieutenant de Beauregard was killed
– the 4e REI legionnaires (two battalions) were part of a French composite task force sent to seize the town of Ouaouizert at that time

1946, 4th Moroccan Foreign Legion Half-Brigade
– in Morocco, 4e REI (reactivated in May) was redesignated
– it became 4e DBLEM, based at Meknes
– the unit was composed of two battalions (Meknes, Fez) + Mounted Company
– its legionnaires took part in military operation in Madagascar (1947-51), Indian Ocean
– the half-brigade became 4e REI again in 1948
– the regiment moved to Algeria in 1957 to take part in the Algerian War
– 4e REI was disbanded in 1964

1950, Battle of Dong Khe started
– a three-day battle with the Viet Minh
– it took place in the Dong Khe region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 3e REI got involved in
– the outposts and the citadel of Dong Khe (the places occupied by legionnaires) were attacked by two Viet Minh regiments with strong artillery support
– that day, several legionnaires were killed
– the battle continued for next two days

1962, 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment stationed at Bou Sfer
– that day, 2e REP was stationed at Bou Sfer, northern Algeria
– Bou Sfer was the main military joint base of France in Algeria
– 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) was also based there
– both regiments left Bou Sfer for Corsica and France in 1967

– in the image, 2e REP legionnaires rendering homage at Camp Segretain, Bou Sfer, Algeria, in the mid-1960s

2e REP - 2 REP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Bou Sfer - Algeria - 1960s

 

French Foreign Legion: September 17

1925, Battle of al-Musayfirah (Messifré in French)
– a ten-hour battle in the early stage of the Great Syrian Revolt
– also the first French victory during the revolt
– it took place at al-Musayfirah, a village in the Daraa region of southwestern Syria
– Major Kratzert and his 5th Battalion, 4e REI + Captain Landriau and his 4th Squadron, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) were involved in
– fortified inside the village, the legionnaires were attacked by 3,000 Druze rebels
– after 10 hours of fierce fighting (including hand-to-hand combat), French planes arrived to support the legionnaires and helped to defeat the enemy
– hundreds of rebels were killed or wounded
– the Legion had 47 men killed, including Lieutenant Dupetit (1er REC)
– another 83 officers and legionnaires were wounded
– both units were mentioned in the order of the Army
– the first French victory resulted in the important Capture of Suweida a week later

1949, Battle of Ban Nam
– a severe battle with the Viet Minh
– it took place at Ban Nam, in the That Khe region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 2nd Company, 3e REI was attacked by three Viet Minh battalions
– after several hours of fighting, the company had to withdraw
– during the battle, 3e REI had 16 legionnaires killed

1954, in Morocco, an important four-week operation to restore order in then French protectorate ended for Armored Task Force, 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment)
– led by Lieutenant Portet and formed by AMM8 (M8 Greyhound) armored cars, the unit deployed to Fez, Meknes, Marrakesh or Casablanca

1957, clashes with local rebels for 2nd Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) close to Babar, in the Khenchela region of northeastern Algeria
– 17 rebels were killed
– Lieutenant Prud’homme + 3 legionnaires were also killed

1958, a military operation for legionnaires from 4e REI in the Philippeville region of northeastern Algeria
– during the operation, 18 rebels were killed

– in the very rare photo, a cavalry legionnaire from 1er REC during the campaign in Syria and Lebanon, 1925

1er REC - 1 REC - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Syria - Lebanon - Levant - 1925

 

French Foreign Legion: September 18

1881, a week-long military operation started for 400 legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, Foreign Legion in the Geryville region, northwestern Algeria
– the operation was aimed against the Bou Alem rebel tribe
– during the operation, many rebels were captured

1950, Battle of Dong Khe ended
– a three-day battle with the Viet Minh
– it took place in the Dong Khe region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 3e REI got involved in
– the outposts and the citadel of Dong Khe (the places occupied by legionnaires) were attacked by two Viet Minh regiments with strong artillery support two days earlier
– after two days of fierce fighting, the HQ + 5th + 6th Company (Captains Allioux + Vollaire + Jaugeon), 2nd Battalion, 3e REI were devastated
– from 275 legionnaires, at least 85 were killed
– over 120 legionnaires were wounded
– amost all of the survived officers and legionnaires were imprisoned
– Captain Vollaire was freed in 1952, Captain Allioux in 1954
– only Captain Jaugeon + Lieutenant Monnet + a few legionnaires (some 13 men), forming small groups, passed the jungle and joined the 3e REI during next 10 days
– around 800 Viet Minh attackers are estimated to be killed

1958, a military operation for at Djebel Maouna in the Guelma region of northeastern Algeria
– legionnaires from 2e REP took part in
– during the operation, 16 rebels were killed

1959, a military operation started for legionnaires from 13e DBLE (Half Brigade) in the Bougie region of northeastern Algeria
– during the operation, at least 14 rebels were killed

– in the photo, ruined Dong Khe, September 1950

Dong Khe - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1950 - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: September 19

1892, Battle of Dogba
– a part of the Second Franco-Dahomean War
– it took place near the Gulf of Guinea, in today’s Benin (West Africa)
– hundreds of local rebels attacked the French camp at Dogba
– the battle lasted several hours
– two companies from 2e RE (2e REI now), led by Major Faurax, were involved in
– during the battle, over 100 rebels were killed inside the camp
– nevertheless, Major Faurax was killed
– 2 legionnaires were also killed

1953, Operation Flandres ended
– 3rd Battalion, 3e REI + 3rd Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) were involved in
– the week-long operation took place near Tien Lang and Van Dinh in the Tonkin Delta of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina

1959, during Operation Jumelles, clashes with local rebels for 1st + 2nd + 3rd Motorized Company, 3e REI
– the clashes took place in the Kabylie region, northern Algeria
– 13 rebels were killed or wounded

– in the image, Major Faurax during the 1892 Battle of Dogba

Battle of Dogba - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Major Faurax - 1892 - Second Franco-Dahomean War

 

French Foreign Legion: September 20

1854, Battle of Alma
– the battle started the Crimean campaign, a part of the Crimean War (1853-56)
– also the first battle of the Crimean War
– a military conflict between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey now), France, Britain and Sardinia
– both regiments of the Legion (more than 4,000 men) took part in
– that day, first clashes with Russian soldiers
– they took place near the river Alma, north of Sevastopol (then important Russian port and naval base)
– an elite battalion (800 men) of the Legion participated in the battle
– that day, 50 legionnaires were killed or wounded

1944, first legionnaires from RMLE (est. July 1943) and 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) landed at Marseille
– they will take part in the Liberation of France (1944-45)
– RMLE became 3e REI again in 1945

1956, clashes with rebels near Beni Ounif, Colomb-Béchar region, western Algeria
4e CSPL (Saharan Motorized Company) + CDRE (Disciplinary Company, led by Captain Rieux) participated in
– that day, several 4e CSPL men were killed or wounded
– between them, Lieutenant Jean Cailleux (2nd Platoon’s leader)

1958, a military operation for legionnaires from 2e REP (Parachute Regiment) in the Guelma region of northeastern Algeria
– during the operation, 26 rebels were killed

– in the photo, Lieutenant Jean Cailleux (left, light khaki-covered kepi), the 2nd Platoon’s leader of the 4e CSPL, speaking with a Legion NCO during an operation in Algeria, 1956
– Lieutenant Cailleux was killed later that year, on September 20

4e CSPL - 4 CSPL - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Lieutenant Jean Cailleux - 1956

 

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