Foreign Legion events: October 21 – 31

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 October 21 and October 31.

 

French Foreign Legion: October 21

1833, two Legion elite companies participated in a military operation commanded by Colonel Bernelle, then Legion’s commander, at Coleah, Algeria
– several attacks conducted by local rebels were fought off

1952, during a patrol in the Nam Dinh region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, a group of legionnaires from 5th Company, 2nd Battalion, 5e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh
– Lieutenant Marielle-Trehouart was killed

1958, Operation Brumaire I ended for legionnaires from 13e DBLE (Half Brigade)
– it took place the M’Sila region of north-eastern Algeria

– in the photo, 5e REI legionnaires parading in Northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, early 1950’s

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

 

French Foreign Legion: October 22

1915, during the Balkans Campaign of WWI, the 11th Company (led by Captain Chavanne) from Battalion Legion, 1er RMA (African Regimental Combat Team) successfully defended its position near Kalkovo, then Serbia against Bulgarians attackers

1920, at the plateau of Toulzamer, Tadla region of central Morocco, the 1st Battalion, 1er RE got involved in clashes with Moroccan rebels
– the enemy was successfully fought off

1953, during Operation Mouette, legionnaires from 10th Company, 3rd Battalion, 3e REI launched a counter-attack against the Viet Minh near Cau Dai, in the Thanh Hoa region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– Viet Minh had 28 men killed
– 3e REI had 3 legionnaires killed

1955, 21e CPLE (Motorized Company), an autonomous unit of the Foreign Legion (later part of Foreign Legion Algerian Motorized Group, GPLEA), got involved in fighting with a rebel group in the Negrine region of north-eastern Algeria
– 25 rebels were killed

– in the picture, an AMM8 (M8 Greyhound) armored car of the 21e CPLE with rebel weapons captured by 21e CPLE legionnaires during the fighting in the Negrine region of Algeria on October 22, 1955

21e CPLE - 21 CPLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1955 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: October 23

1942, Second Battle of El Alamein started
– the battle took place in Egypt
– legionnaires from 13e DBLE (Half Brigade) of the Free French Forces were involved in
– next day, on October 24, Lt Col Dimitri Amilakvari, the commanding officer of the 13e DBLE, was killed

1953, during Operation Mouette, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 5e REI were attacked by the Viet Minh near Chi Phuong, in the Ninh Binh region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
5e REI had 5 legionnaires killed + 25 wounded

1960, Operation Promethee IV started for legionnaires from 2e REI
– it took place at Djebel Bou Lehrfad in the Ain Sefra region of western Algeria

– in the image, General de Gaulle awarding General Koenig and Lt Col Dimitri Amilakvari (extreme right) in Egypt, 1942

13e DBLE - 13 DBLE - Dimitri Amilakvari - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1942 - Egypt

 

French Foreign Legion: October 24

1856, two battalions of the 2e RE (Regiment Etranger, 2e REI now) returned to Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria
– they were involved in a successful three-week long operation in the Kabylie region of eastern Algeria
– during the operation, 3 officers + 4 legionnaires were killed

1947, in the Hai Duong region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, the Ke Sat outpost occupied by 9th Company, 3e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh
– heavily outnumbered, the legionnaires defended the outpost for 14 hours, before the enemy retreated
– 62 Viet Minh attackers were killed

1948, 27 officers and 770 legionnaires of 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 1er REP) left Mers El Kebir, Algeria for French Indochina
– established in July 1948, the unit will be two times annihilated during the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– during the battle of October 1950, the 1er BEP become the first French parachute battalion ever lost in combat

1956, a military operation for legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 5e REI in the Tlemcen region of north-western Algeria
– during the operation, at least 8 rebels were killed

– in the picture, 1er BEP legionnaires during an operation in French Indochina

1er BEP - 1 BEP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1953 - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: October 25

1849, fighting against local rebels at Oued Kalby, Algeria
– 200 legionnaires from 2nd Foreign Legion Regiment (now 2e REI) took part in

1854, during the Crimean War, near Balaklava, legionnaires helped to fight off the attacking soldiers of the Russian Empire

1961, a military operation started for motorized companies from 4e REI at Djebel Mahouna in the Guelma region of north-eastern Algeria

1962, last elements of the Foreign Legion left officially Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria
– the Legion had have its HQ in this town since the 1860s
– the new HQ was placed at Aubagne, close to Marseille, southern France

– in the photo, the last official ceremony at Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria, 1962

1er RE - 1 RE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1962 - Sidi Bel Abbes

 

French Foreign Legion: October 26

1952, at Ban Pe Trong near Ta Khoa in the Na San region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, 10th Company (Lieutenant De Tholozany), 3e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh
– at least 14 legionnaires were killed

1958, the three phases of Operation Scene ended for legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment, ex-1er BEP)
– the operations took place near Tircine in the region of Saida, north-western Algeria

1962, Colonel Vaillant, the commanding officer of the 1er RE arrived with the regimental color in Marseille, France
– having left Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria, they will move to Aubagne, the new HQ of the Legion and the new base for the 1er RE

– in the image, having left Algeria, the color guard of the 1st Foreign Regiment landed in Marseille, France, October 26, 1962

1er RE - 1 RE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1962 - Mers El Kebir

 

French Foreign Legion: October 27

1919, RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team), the famous unit of World War I and one of the two most decorated unit of the then French Army, arrived in Oujda, Morocco
– next year, the RMLE would become 3e RE (3e REI in 1922)
– the regiment took part in the Pacification of Morocco (1907-34)

1951, in the Bac Ninh region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 3e REI got involved in fighting with the Viet Minh
– several legionnaires were killed

1959, a military operation for legionnaires from 4th Squadron, 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment) at Djebel Achour in the Djelfa region of northern Algeria
– during the operation, 13 rebels were killed

– in the picture, 2e REC legionnaires rendering homage to their fallen comrades, Algeria, 1959

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

 

French Foreign Legion: October 28

1913, a battle with Moroccan rebels near the M’Coun valley, Tamnaseft region, Morocco for legionnaires from 7th Company, 2nd Battalion, 1er RE
– the rebels were successfully fought off

1958, Operation Sauterelle started for legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment) near El Hassasna in the region of Saida, north-western Algeria

1960, a three-week-long military operation ended for legionnaires from 3e REI
– it took place near T’Kout in the Batna region of north-eastern Algeria
– during the operation, at least 129 rebels were killed

– in the old postcard, 1er RE legionnaires in front of an outpost near the M’Coun valley, Morocco, before WWI

1er RE - 1 RE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - M'Coun - Morocco

 

French Foreign Legion: October 29

1881, a decree was issued to allow the French to join the Foreign Legion again
– the ministry had forbidden the French to join the Legion since 1871

1957, a military operation started for legionnaires from 2e REP (Parachute Regiment) at Djebel Rhifouf in the Negrine region of north-eastern Algeria
– during the operation, 26 rebels were killed

1958, Operation Brumaire II + III ended for legionnaires from 13e DBLE
– it took place the Batna region of north-eastern Algeria

– in the image, 2e REP legionnaires during an operation in northeastern Algeria, 1957

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

 

French Foreign Legion: October 30

1914, during WWI, 2nd Regimental Combat Team of the 1st Foreign Regiment launched an attack on German positions near Prunay of the Champagne region, northeastern France

1947, a French supply convoy was attacked by the Viet Minh in the That Khe region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– the convoy was guarded by legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 3e REI
– 20 legionnaires were killed, including Senior Corporal Christian Simenon, a former Walloon volunteer fighting on the Eastern Front during WWII and a brother of Georges Simenon, the Belgian writer best known as the creator of the fictional detective Jules Maigret

1952, near the city of Ninh Binh, northern Vietnam, two outposts occupied by 7th Company, 13e DBLE were attacked by the Viet Minh
– 18 legionnaires + 30 Viet Minh attackers were killed

– in the photo, 13e DBLE legionnaires during a patrol in French Indochina, the early 1950’s

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

 

French Foreign Legion: October 31

1939, Sappers-Pioneers Company of 4e REI was disbanded
– formed in August 1926, its main task was to carry out military and public infrastructure projects in southern Morocco, in the Tadla and Agadir regions
– it participate in fights near Togha in 1931
– it became a road building company in 1937

1955, CPLE (Foreign Legion Transit Company) was disbanded
– the unit, created in May 1947 to be based in Hanoi (southern Vietnam), was a gate to French Indochina
– CPLE served as a transit unit for legionnaires to enter or leave French Indochina
– for example, in 1950, over 21,300 legionnaires passed through the company
– legionnaires stayed there several days to take rest and to get determination of their future unit assignment

1956, GPLEA (Algerian Motorized Group) was officially disbanded
– a short-lived motorized unit of the Foreign Legion
– it grouped 21e CPLE, 22e CPLE, 23e CPLE (Motorized Companies)
– GPLEA participated in the Algerian War
– on November 1, the companies consolidated with 2e REI

1959, a military operation for legionnaires from 2e CSPL (Saharan Motorized Company) near El Azreg, in the region of Mascara, northern Algeria
– 20 rebels were killed

– a Kepi blanc magazine cover shows Captain Le Berre (right, black kepi) and the fanion guard of his 2e CSPL in Algeria, 1959

2e CSPL - 2 CSPL - Saharan Company - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1959 - Algeria

 

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