Foreign Legion events: January 01 – 10

On this day. Discover the Legion’s interesting historical events which occurred between January 01 and January 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 a picture.

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


French Foreign Legion: January 01

1862, Foreign Regiment
– in Algeria, the Legion was reorganized
– it was reduced to a single regiment
– 2e RE was redesignated
– 2nd Foreign Regiment (currently 2e REI)
– the unit became Foreign Regiment simply
1er RE was dissolved by an imperial decree
– its legionnaires joined the Foreign Regiment
– the regiment would serve under that title until 1875
– its men fought in Mexico (1863-67) and France (1870-71)
– in 1875, the unit would be renamed to Foreign Legion

1885, 1st + 2nd Foreign Regiments again
– that day, a presidential decree came into force
– the division of the Foreign Legion took place
– a regiment-sized unit composed of six battalions to that date
– the former Foreign Regiment (1862-75)
– the unit was divided into two regiments again
– 1st + 2nd Foreign Regiments were re-established

1946, 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment re-established
– in Algeria, 2e REI was re-established
– by redesignation of RMLE-EO
– Far East Regimental Combat Team (est. August 1945)
– the original 2e REI was deactivated in early 1943
– ten days later, the new 2e REI left Algeria for Southeast Asia
– the first Foreign Legion regiment to be deployed there after WWII
– to take part in fresh military operations in then French Indochina

1951, Foreign Airdrop Company
– in then French Indochina, CERA was established
– a little-known short-living composite airborne unit
– consisting of para-legionnaires in the majority
– also French supply train elements + local Vietnamese auxiliaries
– the company was based at Hanoi, Northern Vietnam
– tasked with airdropping of supplies to French troops
– fighting in the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– legionnaires left the unit in August 1951
– then, the unit was redesignated

1961, 1st Foreign Legion Saharan Motorized Squadron
– in Algeria, 1er ESPL was established
– ex-1re CSPL (Saharan Motorized Company, est. 1940)
– one of the four Saharan motorized companies of the Legion
– it participated in the Algerian War (1954-62)
– in August 1962, its men became last victims of the Legion in Algeria
– five months after the war was over (March 1962)
– a group of 1er ESPL men was massacred
– Lieutenant Gelas +3 legionnaires
– 1er ESPL was dissolved in Algeria in 1963

1971, 61st Engineer Legion Mixed Battalion
– in France, 61e BMGL was established
– a lesser-known combined engineering unit
– consisting of legionnaires and French sappers
– its main task was to build up Camp Canjuers
– the largest military training area of Western Europe
– the battalion was disbanded in late 1982

– in the rare picture, 1er ESPL legionnaires with their traditional Saharan parade uniform during a ceremony in the desert of Algeria, 1962

Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1er ESPL - 1 ESPL - 1962 - Algeria


French Foreign Legion: January 02

1954, in then French Indochina, fighting with the Viet Minh
– it took place in the Thakhek region of Laos
– 9th Squadron, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) were involved
– during the fighting, 2 legionnaires were killed

1961, in northeastern Algeria, a military operation
– carried out by legionnaires from 5e REI
– it took place near Bir El Ater, in the Negrine region
– during the operation, 9 rebels were killed

1987, in the Pacific, an emergency mission started
– for 5e RE (ex-5e REI) legionnaires
– the mission took place on the Futuna Island
– part of the Wallis and Futuna Islands
– located between New Caledonia and Tahiti, South Pacific
– over 1,800 miles / 3,000 km west from Tahiti
– legionnaires-sappers had to help rebuild local infrastructure
– devastated by a tropical cyclone
– their mission finished four months later, in mid-May 1987

– in the image, 5e RE legionnaires during a rescue mission in the South Pacific, 1987

5e RE - 5 RE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1987 - Pacific


French Foreign Legion: January 03

1846, in northwestern Algeria, a military operation ended
– a two-day military operation aimed at local rebels
– it took place in the Sidi Bel Abbes region
– 1st Battalion, 1er RLE were involved
– 1st Foreign Legion Regiment (1er RE now)

1954, Operation Achille
– part of the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– an operation in then French Indochina
– in the Moung Khoua region of Laos
– the operation was aimed at the Viet Minh
– legionnaires from 6th Company, 3e REI took part

2012, Military Valor Cross for 2e REG
– that day, 2e REG was awarded
– 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment
– the youngest regiment of the Foreign Legion
– awarded with the Military Valor Cross
– for the unit’s actions during the War in Afghanistan
– between 2008-12, the 2e REG lost Captain Dupin + 4 legionnaires in Afghanistan

– in the photo, Defense Minister Gérard Longuet decorates the 2e REG’s standard with the Military Valor Cross on January 3, 2012

2e REG - 2 REG - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 2012 - Military Valor Cross


French Foreign Legion: January 04

1886, in Tonkin, a battle with local rebels
– an action during the Tonkin Campaign (1883-86)
– then title for Northern Vietnam, Southeast Asia
– the battle occurred at Hong Son Thai Du
– in the Thain Nguyen region
– close to the border with China
– to seize a fortress occupied by Vietnamese rebels
– 3rd Battalion, 2e RE (2e REI now) were involved
– the fortress was successfully seized
– the rebel group occupying the fortress was annihilated

1948, in then French Indochina, a battle with the Viet Minh
– in the Quang Nam region of Central Vietnam
– 2nd Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) were involved
– about 50 Viet Minh men were killed

1990, Operation Salam ended for 6e REG
– 6th Foreign Engineer Regiment (currently 1er REG)
– a little-known operation in Pakistan
– between Sep 1989 – Jan 1990
– the very first operation for the Legion in this region
– launched after the Soviet-Afghan War ended (Feb 1989)
– to provide demining instruction to Afghan refugees
– a detachment of 6e REG participated
– led by Captain Rittimann and Lieutenant Beaumet

– in the image, a sergeant from the 6e REG conducts a demining instruction during Operation Salam in Pakistan, late 1989
– note the legionnaire’s mustache, widely used in then 6e REG

6e REG - 6 REG - Foreign Legion Etrangere - Operation Salam - 1989 - Pakistan


French Foreign Legion: January 05

1831, Hohenlohe Regiment dissolution
– that day in France, a royal decree was issued
– it prescribed the dissolution of the Hohenlohe Regiment (1815-1831)
– a predecessor to the current Foreign Legion
– a regiment composed of foreign volunteers
– established in France in 1815 as Royal Foreign Legion
– later redesignated to Hohenlohe Legion
– commanded by Colonel Louis Aloysius
– Prince of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Bartenstein
– the unit would transform into the 21st Light Infantry Regiment in late February
– a regiment created by the same royal decree
– however, non-naturalized foreigners weren’t allowed to join the new unit
– they had to wait for a new Foreign Legion
– created several weeks later, in March 1831

1915, in France during WWI, heavy clashes with Germans
– at Lachalade and La Harazee, northeastern France
– 4th Regimental Combat Team, 1er RE were involved
– one of the four provisional Foreign Legion units
– formed to fight in France during WWI
– 4e RM, 1er RE consisted of more than 2,100 men
– Italian volunteers in the vast majority
– the unit was nicknamed Garibaldi Legion
– that day during the clashes, the unit suffered heavy casualties
– however, 114 Germans were imprisoned

1956, 2e REP’s first killed legionnaire
– in northeastern Algeria, clashes with local rebels
– at Djebel El Fedjouj, east of Batna
2e REP (Parachute Regiment) were involved
– 22 rebels were killed
– however, Sergeant Kuntz was also killed
– the very first killed legionnaire of the 2e REP
– the regiment was constituted five weeks earlier

1959, in northwestern Algeria, a skirmish with local rebels
– it took place at Djebel Alouat, in the Géryville region
– 1st Motorized Company, 2e REI were involved
– led by Captain Corbel
– 10 rebels were killed

– in the picture, 2e REP legionnaires lined up to a review inside their barracks in Philipeville, Algeria, 1956

2e REP - 2 REP - 1956 - Philipeville - Algeria


French Foreign Legion: January 06

1947, in then French Indochina, clashes with the Viet Minh
– during the Siege of Nam Dinh (Dec 1946 – Mar 1947)
– part of the First Indochina War (1946-54)
Nam Dinh was a city in the Red River Delta, Northern Vietnam
– besieged and attacked by thousands of Viet Minh rebels
– French troops defended the town
– legionnaires from 4th Company, 3e REI participated
– that day, 8 legionnaires were killed
– 7 legionnaires were seriously wounded

1950, in then French Indochina, fighting with the Viet Minh
– legionnaires from 2e BEP were involved
– 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion (later 2e REP)
– the fighting occurred in the Dong Hoi region, Central Vietnam
– several Viet Minh rebels were killed
– 4 legionnaires were also killed

2012, in northern Chad, a military operation ended
– a three-week reconnaissance operation
– conducted by 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment)
– to search rebels in the Faya-Largeau region

– in the photo, 1er REC legionnaires in Chad in 2012

1er REC - 1 REC - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 2012 - Chad


French Foreign Legion: January 07

1950, in then French Indochina, a Viet Minh attack
– near Dong Hau, in the Chau Doc region, Southern Vietnam
– the attack was aimed at a group of 14 legionnaires
– from 2nd Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade)
– 7 legionnaires were killed

1952, in then French Indochina, a battle with the Viet Minh
– part of the Battle of Hoa Binh (Nov 1951 – Feb 1952)
– an action during the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– the battle took place at Xom Pheo
– a Legion outpost attacked by a Viet Minh regiment
– located in the Hoa Binh region, Northern Vietnam
– occupied by 5th + 7th Company, 13e DBLE
– the battle took ten hours
– the attacker were successfully fought off
– Viet Minh lost about 800 men

1957, Battle of Algiers started
– military operations in Algiers, the capital of Algeria
– to restore order in the city
– that day, first 1er REP elements arrived
– 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment
– a response to growing activities of the FLN rebels
– a number of terrorist attacks in Algiers
– these attacks with explosives were aimed at civilians
– legionnaires conducted daily patrols to maintain order
– in the nights, searching the rebel firearms’ hideouts
– also raids aimed at rebel suspects and leaders
– Battle of Algiers would continue until October

1958, in northwestern Algeria, a fierce battle
– near Franchetti (now Sidi Amar), in the Saida region
– 6th Company, GILE (Training Group, now 4e RE) took part
– fresh legionnaires led by Captain Monnet
– sent to operation during their instruction
– 19 rebels were killed
– 3 rebels were imprisoned
– 3 fresh legionnaires were also killed

– in the image, 1er REP legionnaires during a patrol at Algiers, early 1957

1er REP - 1 REP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1957 - Algeria


French Foreign Legion: January 08

1838, Disciplinary Platoon of the Foreign Legion
– in Algeria, the first disciplinary unit of the Legion was established
– to serve for “incorrigible men”
– to be occupied by “the most exhausting work…”
– disciplinary units of the Legion existed in Algeria until the 1960s
– the last disciplinary unit was dissolved in Algeria in 1964
– the last disciplinary unit of the Legion served in Corsica
– it was dissolved in October 1976

1918, in France during WWI, heavy clashes with Germans
– near Flirey, northeastern France
– RMLE were involved
– Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team (future 3e REI)
– hundreds of German soldiers were killed or wounded
– around 110 German soldiers were imprisoned

1952, in then French Indochina, Viet Minh attacks
– during the Battle of Hoa Binh (Nov 1951 – Feb 1952)
– part of the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– the attacks took place in the Hoa Binh sector
– aimed at Legion outposts located there
– located in the Hoa Binh region, Northern Vietnam
– occupied by 3rd Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade)
– the attacker were successfully fought off
– however, 63 legionnaires were killed, wounded or missed

– in the photo, RMLE legionnaires during an instruction in France, 1917

RMLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1917 - France


French Foreign Legion: January 09

1945, on the France-Germany border, clashes with Germans
– during the Liberation of France of WWII
– the clashes took place near Obenheim, eastern France
– 1st Battalion, RMLE were involved
– Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team (3e REI now)

1954, in then French Indochina, a Viet Minh attack
– it occurred on Colonial Road 9
– in the Quang Tri region, Central Vietnam
– the attack was aimed at a military convoy
– going to supply the 4th Battalion, 2e REI
– after the attack, 2e REI legionnaires launched counter-attacks
– 95 Viet Minh attackers were killed

1956, in northern Algeria, a skirmish with local rebels
– it took place near Taberdga, in the Khenchela region
– 1st Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) were involved
– the rebels were successfully fought off

1968, Last regiment of the Legion to leave Algeria
– that day, 2e REI left Algeria
– a country in North Africa
– the homeland of the Foreign Legion since 1832
– after 1962, all French units had to leave Algeria
– the country gained its independence
– 2e REI left it as the last regiment of the Foreign Legion

– in the image, after having left Algeria, 2e REI legionnaires and their color guard parade at Aubagne, France, late January 1968

2e REI - 2 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1968 - Aubagne - France


French Foreign Legion: January 10

1841, in northern Algeria, a military operation
– aimed at the Beni-Menour rebel tribe
– the operation took place in the Cherchell region
– carried out by Major Gauthrin and his 4th Battalion, Foreign Legion
– during the operation, Major Antoine Gauthrin was killed

1946, 2e REI to leave Algeria for French Indochina
– that day, 2e REI left North Africa for Southeast Asia
– the first Legion regiment deployed to Indochina after WWII
– to join local military operations
– later that year, the First Indochina War (1946-54) would begin

– in the picture, a 2e REI legionnaire with his FM 24/29 light machine gun in French Indochina, 1950s

2e REI - 2 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - FM 24/29  - 1953 - Indochina


Related posts:
Foreign Legion events: December 21 – 31
Foreign Legion events: January 11 – 20
French Foreign Legion history