Foreign Legion events: January 01 – 10

Explore important data in French Foreign Legion’ history. Significant campaigns and battles, deployments and operations, the establishments or dissolutions of units… Discover the most interesting events of the Legion which occurred between January 01 and January 10.


French Foreign Legion: January 01

1832, Foreign Legion (created March 1831) was considered as fully organized
– it was placed in Algeria, North Africa
– 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th + 7th Battalion were stationed at Algiers, the capital of Algeria
– 4th Battalion was stationed at Oran
– 6th Battalion was stationed at Bone

1862, Foreign Regiment
– that day, 2nd Foreign Regiment (2e RE, currently 2e REI) became Foreign Regiment
– it had to incorporate legionnaires from 1st Foreign Regiment (1er RE), dissolved by an imperial decree
– Foreign Regiment will be renamed to Foreign Legion in 1875

1885, two foreign regiments were re-created
– Foreign Legion (1875-84, a regiment composed of six battalions to that date) devided into two regiments again

1946, RMLE-EO (Far East Regimental Combat Team, est 1945) was redesignated
– it became 2e REI, a unit established in 1841 and deactivated in 1943
– ten days later, 2e REI left Algeria to take part in new military operations in French Indochina, as the first Foreign Legion regiment

– also in 1946, 723e CRALE (Foreign Legion Automobile Repair Company), an autonomous vehicle recovery unit, was created in Algeria to be shipped to French Indochina to support ongoing military operations
– in 1951, it changed its title to 1re CMRLE (Foreign Legion Medium Repair Company)
– in 1956, back in North Africa, the company was dissolved

1951, CERA (Foreign Airlift Company) was established
– a short-living tactical airlift mixed unit composed of 250 men, including some 140 legionnaires from 1er BEP and 2e BEP (Parachute Battalions, future 1er REP and 2e REP), to support French troops during military operations in Northern Vietnam by air
– legionnaires left the unit in August 1951 and it became CRA (Airlift Company) in September

1971, 61e BMGL (Engineer-Legion Mixed Battalion) was established
– an engineering unit composed of French military engineers and legionnaires
– its task was to build the largest military camp of Western Europe, Camp de Canjeurs
– the battalion was dissolved in 1982

– in the picture, a legionnaire in Algeria in the early 1830, by P.Benigni

Foreign Legion Etrangere - Legionnaire - 1832 - Algeria


French Foreign Legion: January 02

1954, in the Thakhek region of Laos, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 9th Squadron, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) got involved in fighting with the Viet Minh
– two legionnaires were killed

1961, legionnaires from 5e REI (Infantry Regiment) took part in a military operation near Bir El Ater in the Negrine region of north-eastern Algeria
– during the operation, 9 rebels were killed

1987, a 5e RE (ex-5e REI) detachment of legionnaires landed on the Wallis and Futuna Islands, South Pacific
– the islands are located between New Caledonia and Tahiti (over 3,000 km / 1,800 miles west from Tahiti)
– legionnaires-engineers helped rebuild local infrastructure of the islands, devastated by a tropical cyclone

– in the image, 5e RE legionnaires-engineers with their equipment in South Pacific

5e RE - 5 RE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1994 - Polynesia


French Foreign Legion: January 03

1846, in the Sidi Bel Abbes region of north-western Algeria, a two-day military operation aimed at local rebels ended for 1st Battalion, 1er RLE (Foreign Legion Regiment, 1er RE now)

1954, Operation Achille for legionnaires from 6th Company, 3e REI
– the operation took part in the Moung Khoua region of Laos, then French Indochina

2012, the regimental color of 2e REG (Engineer Regiment) was decorated with the Military Valor Cross for the regiment’s actions in the War in Afghanistan
– between 2008-12, 2e REG lost Captain Dupin + several legionnaires in Afghanistan

– in the photo, Defense Minister Gérard Longuet decorates the 2e REG’s color 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, at Hong Son Thai Du in the Thain Nguyen region of northern Vietnam, a company of legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 2e RE (2e REI now) attacked a group of pirates entrenched in a fort
– the fort was successfully seized and the group annihilated

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

– also in 1948, during a patrol, a group of legionnaires from 2nd Company, 13e DBLE were attacked by the Viet Minh in the Hoc Mon region of southern Vietnam
– several legionnaires were wounded

1990, Operation Salam ended
– the operation (Sep 1989 – Jan 90) took place in Pakistan
– it was launched to provide demining instruction to Afghan population, after the Soviet–Afghan War ended (Feb 1989)
– a detachment of 6e REG (Engineer Regiment, currently 1er REG) was involved in

– in the image, 13e DBLE legionnaires (wearing their khaki berets) during a patrol in French Indochina, in the late 1940s

13e DBLE - 13 DBLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1948 - Indochina


French Foreign Legion: January 05

1831, Hohenlohe Regiment dissolution
– that day, a royal decree was issued
– it prescribed that the Hohenlohe Regiment (est 1815 as Royal Foreign Legion, composed of foreigners) has to be disbanded
– since 1816, the unit had been commanded by Colonel Louis Aloysius, Prince of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Bartenstein, a German prince fighting for France between 1792-1814
– the French or naturalized officers, NCO and soldiers of the regiment were transferred to 21st Light Infantry Regiment, created the same day
– the foreigners serving with the Hohenlohe Regiment joined Foreign Legion, created two months later, in March 1831
– Foreign Legion took many traditions of the Hohenlohe Regiment, including the 88 steps/minute marching speed (while French regular units march 120 steps/minute)

1915, on the Western Front of WWI at Lachalade and La Harazee, north-eastern France, 4th Regimental Combat Team (called Garibaldi Legion, composed of Italian volunteers), 1er RE got involved in firce fighting with German troops
– Garibaldi Legion suffered heavy casualties
– 114 Germans were imprisoned

1948, during a patrol, legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 2e REI were attacked by the Viet Minh in the Ninh Hoa region of central Vietnam, then French Indochina
– Lieutenant De Sesmaisons was killed

1956, a military operation at Djebel El Fedjouj in the Guelma region of north-eastern Algeria for legionnaires from 2e REP (Parachute Regiment)
– 22 rebels were killed

– in the picture, a member of the Hohenlohe Regiment, by P.Benigni

Regiment Hohenlohe - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1816 - France


French Foreign Legion: January 06

1853, a task force formed with legionnaires from 1er RLE (Foreign Legion Regiment, 1er RE now) returned to Sidi Bel Abbes, north-western Algeria
– the task force took part in a two-month operation to maintain order in the region

1947, during the Siege of Nam Dinh (Dec 1946 – Mar 1947), a city in the Red River Delta of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 4th Company, 3e REI reinforced French units and took part in the fighting
Nam Dinh was besieged and attacked by thousands of Viet Minh rebels
– that day, 8 legionnaires were killed + 7 seriously wounded

1950, in the Dong Hoi region of central Vietnam, legionnaires from 2e BEP (Battalion, later 2e REP) got involved in clashes with the Viet Minh
– 4 legionnaires + several Viet Minh rebels were killed

2012, a three-week recce operation ended for legionnaires of the 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) in the Faya-Largeau region of northern Chad
– the legionnaires made part of GTEFT (Ground Task Force)

– in the photo, an ERC 90 Sagaie (right) and a P4 of 1er REC in Chad in late 2011

1er REC - 1 REC - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 2011 - Chad


French Foreign Legion: January 07

1950, during a patrol, a group of 14 legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) were heavily attacked by the Viet Minh near Dong Hau in the Chau Doc region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 7 legionnaires were killed

1952, during the Battle of Hoa Binh (Nov 1951 – Feb 1952) in northern Vietnam, the outposts of 5th + 7th Company, 13e DBLE located at Xom Pheo were attacked by a Viet Minh regiment
– after 10 hours of fighting, the outposts were successfully defended
– Viet Minh lost about 800 men

1957, Battle of Algiers started
– military operations to restore order in the capital of Algeria
– that day, first elements from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment) arrived in Algiers
– next week, 1er REP as a full regiment took part in the battle
– the operations continued until October 1957

– in the image, two 1er REP legionnaires look at Algiers, 1957

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


French Foreign Legion: January 08

1838, Disciplinary Platoon of the Foreign Legion was established in Algeria
– it served for the “incorrigible men to be occupied by the most exhausting works”

1918, on the Western Front of WWI, RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team, future 3e REI) launched an attack on German positions near Flirey, northeastern France
– the Germans had hundreds of soldiers killed or wounded
– around 110 German soldiers were imprisoned

1952, during the Battle of Hoa Binh (Nov 1951 – Feb 1952) in northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, the outposts of 3rd Battalion, 13e DBLE located at Hoa Binh were attacked by the Viet Minh
– the outposts were successfully defended
– however, 63 legionnaires were killed, wounded or missed

– in the picture, an outpost of 13e DBLE near Hoa Binh in January 1952

13e DBLE - 13 DBLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1952 - French Indochina


French Foreign Legion: January 09

1945, during the Liberation of France of WWII, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, RMLE (Regimental Combat Team) got involved in fighting with German troops near Obenheim, eastern France, on the border with Germany
– later that year, the RMLE became 3e REI

1954, on Colonial Road 9 in the Quang Tri region of central Vietnam, then French Indochina, a military convoy to supply the 4th Battalion, 2e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh
– in following counter-attacks, 2e REI legionnaires killed 95 rebels

1956, during a military operation, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) got involved in an ambush near Taberdga, in the Khenchela region of northern Algeria
– a legionnaire was wounded

– in the photo, a RMLE legionnaire fighting German troops in eastern France, 1945

RMLE - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1945 - France


French Foreign Legion: January 10

1841, in the Cherchell region of northern Algeria, 4th Battalion (led by Major Gautrin), Foreign Legion conducted a military operation aimed at the Beni-Menour tribe
– during the operation, Major Gautrin was killed

1946, 2e REI left North Africa for French Indochina in South-East Asia
– as the first Foreign Legion regiment, it will join the military operations there
– later that year, the operations resulted in the First Indochina War (1946-54)

1954, in the Dien Bien Phu valley of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, 3rd Battalion, 3e REI was placed at Isabelle, a strongpoint consisting of several fortified outposts
– three months later, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu starts
– the Isabelle strongpoint will become the last strongpoint to be taken over by the Viet Minh
– the 3e REI legionnaires continued to resist even after the battle was officially finished

– in the image, 2e REI legionnaires during an operation in French Indochina

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


Related posts:
Foreign Legion events: December 21 – 31
Foreign Legion events: December 11 – 20
Foreign Legion events: December 01 – 10
Foreign Legion events: November 21 – 30
French Foreign Legion history