Foreign Legion events: September 11 – 20

Explore the most important events of the French Foreign Legion’s history. Significant campaigns, battles, deployments, operations, the establishments or dissolutions of units… Today, we will present the historical events which occurred between September 11 and September 20.

 

French Foreign Legion: September 11

1844, an issued royal order stated that the 2nd Foreign Legion Regiment (now 2e REI), established in 1841, will obtain a regimental color for its well-conducted operations at Biskra and in the Aures mountains of Algeria

1917, in the Taza region of Morocco, 1st Mounted Company, 1er RE (Foreign Regiment) got involved in fierce fighting with local rebels near Camp of Tizimi
– the enemy was fought off

1944, Liberation of Dijon, France
– legionnaires from 13e DBLE (Half Brigade) took part in

1946, two companies (CA + 8th) from 2nd Battalion, 3e REI got involved in fights with the Viet Minh during an operation in the Phong My region of Laos, then French Indochina
– at least 30 Viet Minh rebels were killed
– 3e REI lost Second Lieutenant Bernard Gioan, killed in action

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

– on the photo, 13e DBLE legionnaires parading in Dijon, France in September 1944

13e DBLE - 13 DBLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Foreign Infantry Regiment - 1944 - Dijon

 

French Foreign Legion: September 12

1863, a military operation near Passo del Macho in the Veracruz region, Mexico for legionnaires led by Captain Saussier

1953, 3rd Battalion, 3e REI was involved in Operation Flandres
– the operation took place near Tien Lang in the Tonkin Delta of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, until September 19
– 3rd Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) had already participated in the operation

1973, 3e REI landed in French Guiana (South America), having left Madagascar (Indian Ocean) after 11 years

– on the picture, 3e REI legionnaires deep in the jungle of French Guiana, in the 1970s…

3e REI - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1977 - Guiana

 

French Foreign Legion: September 13

1915, during WWI, 2e RM (Regimental Combat Team) of 1er RE, the unit composed of legionnaires and non-Legion foreign volunteers enlisted in the French Army for the war period, obtained its regimental color and was awarded with the War Cross
– in November 1915, the team consolidated with the 2nd Team of the 2e RE to form a new unit, RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team, future 3e REI)
– RMLE, comprising over 3,300 men, received the flag of the 2e RM, 1er RE
– during 1919, it became one of the two most decorated units 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
– Corporal Tomaszewski was killed + 7 legionnaires were wounded

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

– on the picture, 5e REI legionnaires in Algeria, 1957

5e REI - 5 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Foreign Infantry Regiment - Algeria 1957

 

French Foreign Legion: September 14

1837, 2nd Battalion of the “New” Foreign Legion (the Old one was handed over to Spain in 1835) was established
– it was composed of 8 companies

1918, on the Western Front during WWI, after several attacks launched by RMLE 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 is commemorated annually by the 3e REI
– this regimental holiday is called Fourragere Day

1946, the road between My An Hung and Hoi An in the Sadec region of the Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina, was blocked by the Viet Minh
– 3 bridges were destroyed and over 300 trees were cut down to block the road
– legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 3e REI had to make the road passable again

– on the picture, the 3e REI celebrates 2015 Fourragere Day in French Guiana

3e REI - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Foreign Infantry Regiment - Guiana 2015

 

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
– the Old Legion was handed over to Spain in 1835, where it was disbanded in December 1838
– today’s Foreign Legion was established in 1836

1917, in the Taza region of Morocco, 1st Mounted Company, 1er RE got involved in fighting with local rebels, while helping successfully to seize Dar El Beida
– legionnaire Crohel 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

1990, as a whole, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) joined the Gulf War (Operation Daguet in France)
– it fought in the war until 1991
– 2e REI (Infantry Regiment), 6e REG (Engineer Regiment; 1er REG now) and commandos from 2e REP (Parachute Regiment) also took part in

– on the photo, 1er REC ready to deploy to Iraq, September 1990

1er REC - 1 REC - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Operation Daguet - Gulf War 1990

 

French Foreign Legion: September 16

1916, after an hour of fighting, 2nd Mounted Company, 1er RE seized El Maadi near Zizin the Taza region of Morocco
– Corporal Leins was wounded

1946, in Morocco, 4e REI (Infantry Regiment, est. in May 1946) became 4e DBLEM (Moroccan Half-Brigade of the Foreign Legion) with its HQ based at Meknes
– 4e DBLEM was composed of two battalions (Meknes, Fez) + Mounted Company
– two years later, it became 4e REI again
– the regiment moved to Algeria in 1957 to take part in the war
– 4e REI was disbanded in 1964

1950, Battle of Dong Khe started
– in the Cao Bang region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, the outposts and the citadel of Dong Khe, occupied by HQ + 5th + 6th Company (Captains Allioux + Vollaire + Jaugeon), 2nd Battalion, 3e REI 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, 2e REP was stationed at Bou Sfer, northern Algeria
– Bou Sfer was the main military joint base of France in Algeria
– 1er REC was also based there

– on the image, HQ of 2nd Battalion, 4e REI in Fez, Morocco, early 1950s…

4e REI - 4 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Foreign Infantry Regiment - Caserne Fontanel - Fez - 1954

 

French Foreign Legion: September 17

1925, Battle of al-Musayfirah (Messifré in French)
– a 10-hour-long battle in the early stage of the Great Syrian Revolt
– it took place at al-Musayfirah, a village in southern Syria
– 5th Battalion of 4e REI + 4th Squadron of 1er REC got involved in
– they fought against 3,000 Druze rebels
– legionnaires won the battle

1944, a campaign in the Vosges Mountains in eastern France started for legionnaires from 13e DBLE (Half Brigade)
– the campaign was part of Liberation of France of WWII

1949, Battle of Ban Nam
– at Ban Nam in the That Khe region, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, 2nd Company, 3e REI got involved in a fierce battle with three Viet Minh battalions
– after several hours of fighting, the company had to withdraw
– during the battle, 3e REI lost 16 legionnaires + 3 legionnaires were wounded

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

– on the picture, a 13e DBLE legionnaire in 1944, wearing a khaki beret from the 1940 Norwegian Campaign

13e DBLE - 13 DBLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Dijon - 1944

 

French Foreign Legion: September 18

1881, a week-long military operation started for 400 legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, Foreign Legion in the Oran region, Algeria
– the operation was aimed against the Bou Alem (a rebel tribe)

1950, Battle of Dong Khe ended
– in the Cao Bang region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, the outposts and the citadel of Dong Khe, occupied by HQ + 5th + 6th Company (Captains Allioux + Vollaire + Jaugeon), 2nd Battalion, 3e REI were attacked on September 16 by two Viet Minh regiments with strong artillery support
– after two days of fierce fighting, the 3e REI companies 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

1955, clashes with rebels in the Khenchela region, Algeria for 3e REP (Parachute Regiment)

1958, a military operation for at Djebel Maouna in the Guelma region of north-eastern 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 in the Setif region of north-eastern Algeria
– during the operation, at least 12 rebels were killed

– on the photo, damaged 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 2e RE (Regiment Etranger, 2e REI now) companies were involved in
– over 100 rebels were killed inside the camp
– Major Faurax (who commanded the Legion companies) + 2 legionnaires were also killed

1953, Operation Flandres
– 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

– on the picture, 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, Crimean War started
– both regiments of the Legion (more than 4,000 men) took part in
– the legionnaires formed the 3rd Brigade of the 5th Division of France’s Orient Army
– first fighting with Russian soldiers took place near Alma on September 20: Battle of Alma
– an Elite Battalion (800 men) of the Legion participated in the battle
– 50 legionnaires of the battalion were killed or wounded

1920, in Morocco, RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team), the famous unit established in 1915 to become the most awarded unit of the French Army in 1919, was redesignated
– it became 3e RE and later in 1922, the 3e REI

1944, first legionnaires from RMLE (est. July 1943) and 1er REC landed at Marseille to take part in 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 – its Intervention Platoon) participated in
– it was the first battle for 4e CSPL, the unit established in August 1955
– its Lieutenant Jean Cailleux (2nd Platoon’s leader) was killed

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

– on the photo, Lieutenant Jean Cailleux (left, white kepi), the 2nd Platoon’s leader of the 4e CSPL, killed on September 20, 1956

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