Foreign Legion events: October 01 – 10

On this day. Explore the Legion’s interesting historical events which occurred between October 01 and October 10. Learn about famous operations, campaigns, battles, activations or dissolutions of units and other important Foreign Legion historical events which happened from 1831 to these days. Every day is supplemented with an image.

To see all historical events, go back to: French Foreign Legion – Historical Events

 

French Foreign Legion: October 01

1922, 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment
– in Tunisia, 1er REC was officially established
– following the decree released in June 1922
– to form a Foreign Legion cavalry regiment
– 1er REC was organized at Sousse, Tunisia
– nicknamed Royal-Foreign
– its squadrons participated in many campaigns and conflicts
– in Syria, Morocco, France, Germany, Indochina, Algeria
– also in Tchad, Lebanon, Iraq, ex-Yugoslavia or Afghanistan
– currently the only cavalry unit of the Foreign Legion
– based at Camp Carpiagne near Marseille, France

1939, 6th Foreign Infantry Regiment
– in Syria and Lebanon, 6e REI was established
– the only regiment of the Legion formed in the Middle East
– nicknamed as Regiment of Levant
– it participated in the 1941 Syria-Lebanon Campaign
– deactivated in December 1941
– 6e REI was reactivated in Tunisia in 1949
– the only Legion unit based there during the ongoing First Indochina War (1946-54)
– however, one of its battalions also took part in operations in Indochina
– in 1955, the reduced 6e REI was dissolved
– the next day, its men formed 3rd Battalion, 2e REI
– in 1984, a new Foreign Legion unit was created
– 6e REG (Engineer Regiment, 1er REG now)
– the very first engineering regiment of the Legion
– it took over the number, traditions and history of the 6e REI

1945, 40th Dump Truck Company
– close to Nimes in France, 40e CCB was established
– the very first engineer unit of the Foreign Legion constituted after WWII
– composed of German POWs (war prisoners) in the majority
– 40e CCB would support military operations in then French Indochina
– during the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– the unit landed in Indochina in February 1946
– to carry out transportation of building materials and supplies by truck
– 40e CCB was dissolved in 1955

1948, 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion
– in Algeria, 2e BEP was established
– the Legion’s second airborne unit formed in Africa
– it would participate in the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– the unit landed in Indochina in February 1949
– 2e BEP became the most decorated French battalion during the war
– it returned to North Africa in 1955 and consolidated with 3e REP
2e REP (Regiment) would be constituted in December 1955
– since May 1961, the only airborne unit of the Foreign Legion
– it has been stationed at Calvi, Corsica since 1967

1963, 5th Mixed Pacific Regiment
– in Tahiti (French Polynesia), 5e RMP was established
– a French engineering composite unit
– ex-5e REI legionnaires + French Army engineers
– the unit took over the number, traditions and history of the 5e REI
– the original 5e REI would be officially dissolved two months later
– based in Algeria at the time and considerably reduced
– 5e RMP would build and protect a new French nuclear test site
– it would also carry out civil & military infrastructure projects in French Polynesia
– in 1984, 5e RMP would become 5th Foreign Regiment again
– an all Legion unit
– the regiment was disbanded in Tahiti in July 2000

– in the photo, legionnaires from 2e BEP during a patrol in French Indochina, in the 1950s

2e BEP - 2 BEP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1950s - French Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: October 02

1863, in Mexico, a rebel attack
– an action during French intervention in Mexico (1861-67)
– the attack was aimed at a Legion detachment
– Major Ligier + legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, Foreign Regiment
– the legionnaires were protecting a supply train
– moving on the railroad between Veracruz and Tajeria, Mexico
– the attackers were fought off
– nonetheless, Major Ligier and several legionnaires were killed

1955, in Morocco, a skirmish with local rebels
– the skirmish occurred at Imouzzer des Marmoucha
– in the Fez region
– legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 2e REI were involved
– several rebels were killed

1959, Operation Dalhia ended
– an operation during the Algerian War (1954-62)
– in the Kabylie region of northern Algeria
– legionnaires from 3e REI participated
– during the operation, 21 rebels were killed

– in the image, the color guard of 3e REI parading at El Milia, Algeria, 1959

3e REI - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1959 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: October 03

1950, Withdrawal from Cao Bang started
– codenamed as Operation Orage
– an action during the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– part of the Battle of Route Coloniale 4 (also the Battle of RC4)
– a series of battles along Colonial Road 4 (RC4)
– it took place in Northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– in the Cao Bang region, close to the border with China
– the withdrawal lasted ten days
– 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 1er REP) + 3rd Battalion, 3e REI were involved
– they faced over 10,000 Viet Minh troops
– both battalions ceased to exist during the operation
– 1er BEP became the first French airborne battalion lost in combat
– only 23 men of the 1er BEP reached French positions
– over 480 men of the battalion were killed or missed
– 3rd Battalion, 3e REI suffered also heavy casualties
– only 32 men of the battalion returned from the battle
– France lost at least 3,500 men during the withdrawal
– legionnaires + regular French troops + local auxiliaries

– also in 1950, in then French Indochina, Viet Minh attacks
– carried out simultaneously with the Battle of RC4
– in the region of That Khe, Northern Vietnam
– neighbouring with the Cao Bang region
– 1st Battalion, 3e REI outposts were attacked
– during the next two days, tens of legionnaires were killed or imprisoned
– an order to leave all outposts in the That Khe region was issued

1958, in northern Algeria, a military operation started
– carried out by legionnaires from 3e REI
– at Oued Soudan, in the Philippeville region
– 23 rebels were killed

1960, also in northern Algeria, a battle with local rebels
2e REC (Cavalry Regiment) took part
– the battle occurred near Ain Errich, in the M’Sila region
– 21 rebels were killed
– nevertheless, 6 legionnaires were also killed
– 13 legionnaires were wounded

1995, Operation Azalee started
– an operation on the Comoro Islands
– to remove the provisional government
– appointed by the well-known French mercenary Bob Denard
– the Comoros are situated close to Madagascar, Indian Ocean
DLEM legionnaires took part in the operation
– it was successfully over three days later

– in the photo, Cao Bang in late 1950

Battle of RC4 - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1950 - Cao Bang - Vietnam - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: October 04

1856, in eastern Algeria, a military operation
– to seize the important village of Djemma
– a village in the Kabylie region
– the operation was carried out by elite companies
– led by Captain Mariotti
– the companies belonged to the 2e RE (2e REI now)
– the village of Djemma was successfully seized

1863, Camerone’s battle honor
– that day, a decree was issued
– it ordered to emblazon the name of Camerone on the regimental standard of the Foreign Regiment (then title for the Legion)
– the famous Battle of Camerone occurred in Mexico
– in late April 1863, a Foreign Legion company was annihilated there
– 3rd Company, 1st Battalion, Foreign Regiment
– Captain Danjou + two officers + 62 legionnaires
– the battle became the most important event in the history of the Foreign Legion
– commemorated annually by all legionnaires
– since that day, all regimental flags within the Legion would be emblazoned with the Camerone 1863 battle honor

1892, Battle of Poguessa
– part of the Second Franco-Dahomean War (1892-94)
– in today’s Benin (West Africa), near the Gulf of Guinea
– that day, a fierce rebel attack
– conducted by hundreds of local rebels
– aimed at French troops, including legionnaires
– two companies from 2e RE (2e REI now) were present
– the attack occurred along the river of Poguessa, near Dgebe
– the following battle lasted two hours
– some 150 rebels were killed
– 2 legionnaires were also killed

1951, Battle of Nghia Lo started for 2e BEP
– a week battle with the Viet Minh
– it took place in then French Indochina
– during the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– the battle occurred near Nghia Lo
– located in the Yen Bai region and attacked by the Viet Minh
– that day, 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 2e REP) took part
– led by Major Raffalli, the unit was dropped over the valley of Gia Hoi
– to support attacked French outposts around Nghia Lo
– after five days of fighting, three Viet Minh regiments would retreat
– the French outposts were defended
– at least 53 Viet Minh rebels were killed by the battalion
– Lieutenant Jacques Lecoeur + 7 legionnaires were also killed

1952, in then French Indochina, a Viet Minh attack
– at Xuan Nguyen, in the Ke Sat region of Northern Vietnam
– the attack was aimed at 1st Battalion, 2e REI
– 7 legionnaires were killed
– 15 legionnaires were wounded
– however, 112 Viet Minh rebels were also killed

1957, in southeastern Algeria, clashes with Saharan rebels
– close to Tin Alkoum, in the Djanet region
– on the Algeria-Libya border
1re CSPL (Saharan Motorized Company) were involved
– a detachment led by Lieutenant Leproust
– a rebel was killed, several rebels were wounded

– in the rare image, 1re CSPL legionnaires parading in their traditional Saharan uniform at Djanet, Algeria, October 1957

1re CSPL - 1 CSPL - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1957 - Djanet - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: October 05

1951, in then French Indochina, a Viet Minh attack
– during Operation Mandarine
– part of the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– the attack occurred in the Hung Yen region, Northern Vietnam
– in the village of Noi Thon
– it was aimed at 3rd Battalion, 5e REI
– tens legionnaires were killed, wounded or missed

1960, in northeastern Algeria, Operation Ariege started
– the first phase of Operation Trident
– part of the Algerian War (1954-62)
– legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment) were involved
– the operation took place near Ampere (Ain Azel now)
– in the Setif region
– during the next two weeks, 33 rebels would be killed

– in the picture, the fanion of the 3rd Battalion, 5e REI decorated in French Indochina, 1951

5e REI - 5 REI- Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1951 - French Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: October 06

1884, Battle of Lam
– an action during the Kep Campaign (Oct 1884)
– an important part of the Tonkin Campaign (1883-86)
– clashes between French and Chinese forces in Tonkin
– then title for Northern Vietnam, Southeast Asia
– that day, a severe battle occurred at Lam
– the village of Lam, northern Tonkin
– the French against Chinese troops (about 4,000 men)
– 2nd Battalion, Foreign Legion were involved, led by Major Diguet
– two companies (Captain Beynet + Captain Bolgert)
– the battle took twelve hours
– the legionnaires won the battle
– at least 300 Chinese troops are estimated to be killed
– however, Captain François Beynet was killed
– at least 10 legionnaires were also killed

1892, Battle of Adegon
– the most important battle of the Second Franco-Dahomean War (1892-94)
– in today’s Benin (West Africa), near the Gulf of Guinea
– that day, a fierce battle with thousands of local rebels
– it took place at Adegon, the village located in then Dahomey
– two companies from 2e RE (2e REI now) were involved
– both units were led by Captain Battreau
– over 500 rebels were killed
– the French suffered 6 men killed

1916, in then Macedonia, clashes with Bulgarians
– part of the Monastir Offensive on the Macedonian Front
– a campaign during the Balkans Campaign of WWI
– it took place in then Macedonia (today’s northern Greece)
– near Negocani (now Niki), on the Greece-Makedonia border
– Battalion Legion, 1er RMA (African Regimental Combat Team) were involved
– the legionnaires faced Bulgarian troops
– Bulgarians were part of Central Powers
– alongside Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire
– Battalion Legion fought fiercely
– that day, Lieutenant Leo Denizon + 13 legionnaires were killed

1946, in then French Indochina, clashes with the Viet Minh
– in the Sadec region of Southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 10th Company, 3rd Battalion, 3e REI were involved
– led by Captain Masselot
– over 30 Viet Minh rebels were killed

1955, in Morocco, five-day clashes with local rebels ended
– they took place near Aknoul
– in the Taza region of northern Morocco
– two companies from 2nd Battalion, 4e REI got involved in
– 10 legionnaires were killed
– about 30 legionnaires were wounded

1995, Operation Azalee ended
– a three-day operation on the Comoro Islands
– to remove the provisional government
– installed during the coup in late Septemeber
– by the well-known French mercenary Bob Denard
– the Comoros are situated close to Madagascar, Indian Ocean
– DLEM legionnaires took part in the operation
– led by Captain Dupré
– it was successfully over three days later
– in the successful operation, Bob Denard was arrested

– in the photo, DLEM legionnaires ready to take part in Operation Azalee, early October 1995

DLEM - Mayotte - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1995 - Operation Azalee

 

French Foreign Legion: October 07

1837, in northern Algeria, a local rebel attack
– the attack took place near Mansoura, in the Kabylie region
– it was aimed at a Foreign Legion task force
– some 500 legionnaires led by Major Bedeau
– attacked by at least 1,200 local rebels
– the enemy was successfully fought off

1849, in northeastern Algeria, heavy fighting with local rebels
– the fighting occurred near Zaatcha, in the Biskra region
– a French task force were involved
– including 600 legionnaires from 2e RLE
– 2nd Foreign Legion Regiment (now 2e REI)
– 27 officers and legionnaires were killed or wounded

1856, in northern Algeria, clashes with local rebels
– they occurred near Tizi Ouzou, in the Kabylie region
– 3rd Battalion, 2e RE (2e REI now) were involved
– that day, many rebels were killed or wounded
– however, Captain Louis Crignier was also killed
– 8 legionnaires were wounded

1925, Battle of Rsas
– a battle with Druze rebels in Syria
– part of the Great Syrian Revolt (1925-26)
– the fierce battle occurred near Rsas
– south of Sweida, southern Syria
– 5th Battalion, 4e REI were involved
– by the way, 18th Company had to use bayonets
– 55 officers and legionnaires were killed or wounded

1950, Attack on Hill 477
– an action in Northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– during the Battle of Route Coloniale 4 (also the Battle of RC4)
– part of the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– that day, a frontal assault to capture Hill 477
– in the Cao Bang region, close to the border with China
– the attack was launched by 3rd Battalion, 3e REI
– after heavy fighting, Hill 477 was successfully captured
– however, Major Michel Forget was killed
– 3rd Battalion’s commander
– the battalion captured the hill to help a French column
– they would pass safely through the dangerous valley
– during their withdrawal from Cao Bang

– also in 1950, Battle of Coc Xa
– another action during the Battle of Route Coloniale 4
– 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 1er REP) were involved
– the battalion faced severe Viet Minh attacks
– because of that, the unit was reduced to about 140 men

– in the picture, Route Coloniale 4 (close to Dong Khe) + Major Michel Forget
– Major Forget was killed along the RC4, between Cao Bang and Dong Khe, on October 7, 1950

3e REI - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1950 - Route Coloniale 4 - Michel Forget

 

French Foreign Legion: October 08

1870, Legionnaires left Algeria for Franco-Prussian War
– that day, two Foreign Legion battalions left Algeria
– 1st + 2nd Battalion, Foreign Regiment
– around 1,500 men in total
– they deployed to France
– to join the Franco-Prussian War (July 1870 – May 1871)
– German-speaking legionnaires remained in Algeria
– they were not allowed to participated in the war
– also Belgians (a wish of their neutral King)
– these legionnaires would maintain order in Algeria

1950, 1er BEP + 3rd Battalion, 3e REI ceased to exist
– that day, two Foreign Legion battalions were annihilated
– during the Battle of Route Coloniale 4 (also the Battle of RC4)
– part of the the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– a battle in Northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– in the Cao Bang region, close to the border with China
– 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 1er REP)
– 3rd Battalion, 3e REI
– they faced over 10,000 Viet Minh troops

– 1er BEP became the first French airborne battalion lost in combat
– only 23 men of the 1er BEP reached French positions
– over 480 men of the battalion were killed or missed
– between them, Major Pierre Segretain
– the fatally wounded battalion commander

– 3rd Battalion, 3e REI suffered also heavy casualties
– only 32 men of the battalion returned from the battle

– Battle of Route Coloniale 4 was a two-week battle
– two French columns (around 5,000 men) were involved
– they faced at least 15 Viet Minh battalions
– France lost both columns during the Battle of RC4
– legionnaires + regular French troops + local auxiliaries

1951, Battle of Nghia Lo ended
– a week battle with the Viet Minh
– it took place in then French Indochina
– during the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– the battle occurred near Nghia Lo
– located in the Yen Bai region and attacked by the Viet Minh
– 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 2e REP) took part
– led by Major Raffalli, the unit was dropped over the valley of Gia Hoi
– to support attacked French outposts around Nghia Lo
– after five days of fighting, three Viet Minh regiments would retreat
– the French outposts were defended
– at least 53 Viet Minh rebels were killed by the battalion
– Lieutenant Jacques Lecoeur + 7 legionnaires were also killed
– 27 officers and legionnaires were wounded

1954, in Tunisia, a skirmish with local rebels
– at Djebel Gadoum, close to Sidi Bou Zid
– 6e REI legionnaires took part
– 16 rebels were killed
– a rebel was imprisoned
– 2 legionnaires were wounded

1957, Ali La Pointe killed
– an action during the Algerian War (1954-62)
Ali Ammar, nicknamed Ali La Pointe
– the second most important rebel leader in Algiers
– the capital of Algeria
– responsible for many terrorist attacks
– killed by legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment)

1959, in northern Algeria, a military operation
– aimed at local rebel groups
– it took place near Azazga, in the Tizi Ouzou region
– legionnaires from 5e REI participated
– at least 36 rebels were killed

– in the photo, Major Pierre Segretain, the commander of 1er BEP killed on October 8, 1950
– he had served with the Legion as a French officer since 1938

Pierre Segretain - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Battle of Route Coloniale 4

 

French Foreign Legion: October 09

1856, in northern Algeria, a three-week operation ended
– to calm down rebellions in the Kabylie region
– two battalions from 2e RE (2e REI now) were involved
– during the operation, 3 officers + 4 legionnaires were killed

1960, in southern Algeria, Operation Hoggar ended
– also known as Operation Meniet
– an operation during the Algerian War (1954-62)
– aimed at a rebel group
– it occurred between In Salah and Tamanrasset
3e CSPL (Saharan Motorized Company) were involved
– several rebels were killed
– their group leader was captured

– in the picture, 3e CSPL legionnaires equipped with a Jeep + Dodge 4×4 during an operation in Algeria, around 1960

3e CSPL - 3 CSPL - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1960 - Algeria - Dodge

 

French Foreign Legion: October 10

1880, French combined arms maneuvers ended
– French two-week maneuvers in the Oran region of Algeria
– they took place every year in Algeria in October, between 1875-80
– six infantry battalions + four squadrons + two artillery batteries took part
– including two Foreign Legion battalions

1950, Evacuation of That Khe
– an action during the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– part of the Battle of Route Coloniale 4 (also the Battle of RC4)
– a series of battles along Colonial Road 4 (RC4)
– it took place in Northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– in the Cao Bang region, close to the border with China
– that day, a withdrawal of French units from That Khe started
– a town situated on Colonial Road 4 (RC4)
– 2nd Battalion, 3e REI (led by Captain Labaume) was stationed there
– That Khe served as an assembly point for survivors from the previous battles
– two Foreign Legion battalions were annihilated during them
– 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 1er REP)
– 3rd Battalion, 3e REI
– they faced over 10,000 Viet Minh troops

– the Evacuation of That Khe was covered by a French parachute battalion
– 3e GCCP (Colonial Commando Group, ex-3e BCCP)
– including an assigned Foreign Legion airborne company
– 130 men led by Lieutenant Daniel Loth
– the battalion was annihilated (only 14 men reached French positions)

– in the first photo, That Khe in French Indochina in October 1950
– in the second photo, a group of legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 3e REI at That Khe in the late 1940s

3e REI - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1950 - That Khe - French Indochina

3e REI - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1940s - That Khe - French Indochina

 

Related posts:
Foreign Legion events: September 21 – 30
Foreign Legion events: October 11 – 20
French Foreign Legion history