Foreign Legion events: October 11 – 20

Get to know the most significant events in French Foreign Legion’ history. Important campaigns and battles, deployments and operations, the establishments or dissolutions of units… Explore the historical events of the Legion which occurred between October 11 and October 20.

 

French Foreign Legion: October 11

1854, 2e RE (Foreign Regiment, 2e REI now) took ship at Gallipoli, Turkey for Crimea, to take part in the Crimean War
– it landed in Crimea four days later

1870, two battalions (around 1,500 men in total) of the Foreign Regiment (then title for the Legion), having formed a provisional Regimental Combat Team, landed in Toulon, France to join the Franco-Prussian War (July 1870 – May 1871)

1952, fierce fighting with the Viet Minh for legionnaires from 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, 2e REP now) in the region of Hanoi, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– about 50 Viet Minh soldiers were killed, another 50 imprisoned
– 2e BEP had 4 killed legionnaires + 9 wounded

1959, a military operation started for legionnaires from 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment) at Ain Trifia in the Bou Saada region of northern Algeria
– during the operation, 16 rebels were killed

1976, training units of the French Foreign Legion left the island of Corsica, where they had been stationed since July 1962
– they moved to Castelnaudary, France
– four years later, in 1980, they became 4e RE (Foreign Regiment)

– on the photo, 4e RE legionnaires are leaving Caserne Lapasset, Castelnaudary during a parade in early 1980s
– in 1986, the regiment moved to the new barracks, Quartier Danjou

4e RE - 4 RE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1980 - Castelnaudary

 

French Foreign Legion: October 12

1859, two French divisions were formed to fight on the Algeria-Morocco border
– its task is to fight Beni Snassen tribe rebels, comprising some 10-15,000 men
– two battalions of the 2e RE (2e REI now) took part in
– the rebels refused to fight and surrendered
– it was the last military action in Africa for 2e RE legionnaires before they deployed to Mexico in February 1863

1953, Operation Brochet ended
– it took place in the Hung Yen region of the Red River Delta, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– legionnaires from 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 1er REP), 2e BEP (2e REP now), 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment, its 8th + 18th Squadron), 2e REI (1st Battalion), 5e REI (2nd + 3rd Battalion), 13e DBLE (Half Brigade, 2nd + 3rd Battalion) took part in
– the operation lasted three weeks
– two Viet Minh regiments were destroyed during the operation

– also in 1959, military operations started for legionnaires from 4e REI (Infantry Regiment) in the Guelma region of north-eastern Algeria
– during five days, at least 13 rebels were killed

1984, 6e REG (Engineer Regiment, future 1er REG), the Foreign Legion’s first engineering regiment established on July 1, received its regimental color at its HQ of Laudun, France

– on the picture, the regimental color of 6e REG in Laudun on October 12, 1984

6e REG - 6 REG - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1984 - Laudun

 

French Foreign Legion: October 13

1837, Siege of Constantine
– a large French column, incuding some 500 legionnaires, seized the town of Constantine, in the Kabylie region of Algeria
– the French seized the town after 7 days of fighting against more than 2,000 local rebels

1933, DCRE (Foreign Regiments Joint Depot) was created at Sidi Bel Abbes, then HQ of the Legion based in Algeria
– the mission of the DCRE was to take over conducting basic and advanced training for legionnaires and to serve as a transit unit

1951, Operation Mandarine ended
– 3rd Battalion, 5e REI and 3rd + 4th Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) were involved in
– the two-week-long operation took place in the Hung Yen region in the Tonkin Delta of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– during the operation, over 1,200 Viet Minh soldiers were killed

1959, a military operation started for legionnaires from 3e REI (Infantry Regiment) near Akbou in the Kabylie region of northern Algeria
– during the operation, 6 rebels were killed

– on the image, Siege of Constantine of 1837 by Horace Vernet

Siege of Constantine - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1837 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: October 14

1859, an imperial decree was issued
– it stopped the exclusivity of the 1er RE (Foreign Regiment) of the Legion as a unit composed of Swiss volunteers entirely
– this exclusivity started in January 1855, when the 2nd Foreign Legion (nicknamed Swiss Legion) was established
– the 2nd Legion was disbanded in 1856 and its Swiss legionnaires formed the new 1st Foreign Regiment, while the legionnaires from the original Foreign Legion (also disbanded in 1856) formed the 2nd Foreign Regiment (2e RE) of the new Foreign Legion
– the exclusive green uniform of the Swiss legionnaires of the 1er RE was also discontinued by the decree

1949, Operation Therese started
– over 300 legionnaires from 1er BEP (later 1er REP) were dropped over Lung Vai in the Lang Son region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– because of the rocky ground of the the drop zone, 14 men were seriously wounded, including Lieutenant Stien and Lieutenant Vion

1960, a military operation for legionnaires from 5e REI near Tizi Timselhadj in the Khenchela region of north-eastern Algeria
– during the operation, 18 rebels were killed

– on the photo, an officer and legionnaires from 5e REI during an operation in north-eastern Algeria, 1960

5e REI - 5 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1960 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: October 15

1866, during French intervention in Mexico (1861-67), legionnaires from 1st Battalion of the Foreign Regiment (then title for the Legion), commanded by Major Vilmette, got involved in fighting with Mexican rebels near Huichapan, central-eastern Mexico
– 30 rebels were killed

1917, at the plateau of Tizi, Khenifra region of Morocco, a machine gun platoon (led by Lieutenant Ricard) from 1st Battalion, 1er RE got involved in fierce fighting with Moroccan rebels
– after three violent attacks, the enemy was fought off

1957, a military operation started for legionnaires from 2e REP (Parachute Regiment) in the Tebessa region of north-eastern Algeria
– during the operation, 13 rebels were killed

– on the picture, the grave of a fallen 2e REP legionnaire in Algeria, 1957

5e RE - 5 RE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1988 - Mururoa - Polynesia

 

French Foreign Legion: October 16

1917, in the Taza region of Morocco, 1st Mounted Company, 1er RE got involved in fighting with local Ouled Zohra rebels near the village of Tizimi
– one legionnaire was wounded

1948, in Morocco, 4e DBLE (Half-Brigade of the Foreign Legion, est. in 1946) became 4e REI (Infantry Regiment, deactivated in 1940)
– in 1957, 4e REI moved to Algeria
– the regiment was disbanded in 1964

1957, a military operation for legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 5e REI at Djebel Dar Cheikh in the Tlemcen region of north-western Algeria
– during the operation, 30 rebels were killed

1958, Operation Moselle ended for legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment)
– the operation took place at Djebel Tafrent, near the regions of Mascara and Tiaret, north-western Algeria

– on the photo, 4e REI legionnaires restoring order in Casablanca, Morocco, 1955

4e REI - 4 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1955 - Casablanca - Morocco

 

French Foreign Legion: October 17

1854, 1er RE (Foreign Regiment) landed in the Crimea, Russian Empire to take part in the Crimean War
– 2e RE (2e REI now), it landed in the Crimea four days later

1915, since October 4, 2nd Regimental Combat Teams of the 1er RE and 2e RE had stopped successfully all counter-attacks launched by the enemy
– the battles took place in the Champagne region, northeastern France, on the Western Front of WWI

1949, during Operation Canigou, an outpost of the 10th Company, 3rd Battalion, 6e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh at Nam Thu Thuong, in the Phuc Yen region, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– Captain Minard, the company commander, was killed

1967, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment), having left the base of Mers El Kebir of Algeria, was stationed at Orange, France
– the regiment had been based there until 2014, when it moved to Marseille

– on the photo, the 1er REC commemorates 2013 Camerone Day at the Roman Theater of Orange, France

1er REC - 1 REC - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 2013 - Camerone Day - Orange

 

French Foreign Legion: October 18

1870, 3rd Battalion of the Foreign Regiment (then title for the Legion) had to left Saida to be moved to Geryville, Algeria
– Geryville (El Bayadh now), located in the Oran region, was abandoned by French troops participating in the Franco-Prussian War (July 1870 – May 1871) at that time
– only 3rd + 4th Battalion of the Foreign Regiment remained in the region to maintain order there
– 1st + 2nd Battalion, excluding German legionnaires, deployed to France to join the war

1914, two battalions (some 1,950 men) of the 2e RE (Foreign Regiment, 2e REI now) formed its 2nd Regimental Combat Team (2e RM, commanded by Colonel Passard) at Camp of Mailly in the Champagne province of France
– the Team will participate in WWI

1953, during Operation Mouette, legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) were attacked by the Viet Minh in the Thanh Hoa region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 13e DBLE had 15 men killed + 26 wounded
– however, much more Viet Minh attackers were killed

– on the picture, legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 13e DBLE during an operation in northern Vietnam in 1953

13e DBLE - 13 DBLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1953 - Vietnam - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: October 19

1854, Siege of Sevastopol started for the Foreign Legion
– a Foreign Legion brigade, formed by battalions of both regiments, took part in the siege of Sevastopol, the capital of Crimea, Russian Empire
– the siege lasted until September 1955

1958, legionnaires from 5e REI took part in a military operation near El Moualek in the Tenes region of northern Algeria
– during the operation, at least 16 rebels were killed

1959, a military operation for legionnaires from 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment) near Charef in the Djelfa region of northern Algeria
– during the operation, 5 rebels were killed

– the same day of 1959, a three-day-long Operation Saphir started for legionnaires from 2e REP (Parachute Regiment) in the region of Djidjelli of northern Algeria
– at least 12 rebels were killed

– on the picture, an officer + legionnaires from 2e REC, during an operation in Algeria in 1959

2e REC - 2 REC - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1959 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: October 20

1849, French forces, including legionnaires from 2nd Foreign Legion Regiment (now 2e REI), attacked a fortified village of Zaatcha in Algeria
– 17 legionnaires were killed, 40 were wounded

1947, during an operation in the Hai Duong region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 3e REI were attacked by the Viet Minh
– 6 legionnaires were killed + 17 wounded

1958, Operation Corse ended for legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment)
– the operation took place in the region of Mascara, north-western Algeria
– 2 rebels were killed, 4 rebels imprisoned

– on the image, 1er REP legionnaires during an operation in Algeria, 1958

1er REP - 1 REP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1958 - Algeria

 

Related posts:
Foreign Legion events: October 01 – 10
Foreign Legion events: September 21 – 30
Foreign Legion events: September 11 – 20
Foreign Legion events: September 01 – 10
French Foreign Legion history