Foreign Legion events: January 21 – 31

Discover important historical events in French Foreign Legion’s history. Significant campaigns and battles, deployments and operations, the establishments or dissolutions of units. See the most interesting events of the Foreign Legion which occurred between January 21 and January 31.

 

French Foreign Legion: January 21

1945, Battle of Strasbourg (Jan 5-21) ended
– a battle between the Allies and German troops during WWII
– the battle took place in the important border town of Strasbourg, eastern France
– French troops, including legionnaires from RMLE (Regimental Combat Team, later 3e REI) and 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade), were involved in

1950, during a military operation in the Tra Vinh region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 2nd Squadron, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) got involved in a fierce battle with the Viet Minh in the village of Giong Ngo Hac
– during the battle, 3 legionnaires + 40 rebels were killed

1960, legionnaires from 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment) got involved in fighting with local rebels during a military operation at the Gadet Meglires, a mountain in the Djelfa region of northern Algeria
– during the operation, 63 rebels were killed + 2 rebels imprisoned

– in the rare picture, an “ancien” legionnaire from the RMLE during operations in eastern France, early 1945

RMLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1945 - France

 

French Foreign Legion: January 22

1947, near Vinh Long in the Sadec region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 11th Company, 3e REI got involved in severe fighting with the Viet Minh
– Second Lieutenant Lajouanie + 13 legionnaires were killed

1960, legionnaires from 5e REI took part in a military operation near Melaab in the Tissemsilt region of north-western Algeria
– during the operation, 9 rebels were killed

– in the image, 5e REI legionnaires during an operation in Algeria, 1960

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

 

French Foreign Legion: January 23

1866, during the French intervention in Mexico, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, Foreign Regiment (then title of the Legion), led by Major Saussier, conducted a successful operation aimed at a group of rebels near Saltillo in northern Mexico
– around 40 rebels were killed + 100 wounded

1916, near M’Rirt in the Khenifra region of Morocco, 6th Battalion, 2e RE (2e REI now) got involved in severe clashes with local rebels
– the enemy was fought off
– Lieutenant Bruyant + 7 legionnaires were killed

1947, during an operation in the Ben Tre region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina, 7th Company, 3e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh
– the company lost 4 legionnaires

– in the photo, legionnaires in Morocco in the mid-1910s

Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1914 - Morocco

 

French Foreign Legion: January 24

1945, during the Liberation of France of WWII, legionnaires from 2e BLE (Foreign Legion Battalion, future 13e DBLE) got involved in severe fighting with German troops near Illhaeusern, eastern France, on the border with Germany
– 2e BLE had 37 men killed + 142 men wounded

1952, Operation Mars started
– the operation took place in Tunisia, North Africa
– its mission was to restore order in the country, affected by bloody riots
– 3e BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 3e REP) participated in

1958, a military operation for legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment) near Mahouna in the Guelma region of north-eastern Algeria
– 67 rebels were killed

1960, a week military operation to maintain order in Algiers, the capital of Algeria, started for legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment)

– in the picture, 1er REP parades in Bone, north-eastern Algeria in 1958

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

 

French Foreign Legion: January 25

1834, Foreign Legion’s 7th Battalion (composed of Polish legionnaires), stationed at Algiers (the capital of Algeria), deployed to Bougie in north-eastern Algeria to maintain order there

1915, during WWI, the French positions near Craonnelle, Aisne, north-eastern France were attacked by German troops
– 2nd Regimental Combat Team of the 2e RE (2e REI now) helped to defend the positions

1949, during a patrol near Dong Khe in the Cao Bang region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, a group of legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 3e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh
– Lieutenant Potet + legionnaire Knodel were killed

– in the image, legionnaires in France, on the Western Front of WWI, 1915

RMLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1915 - France

 

French Foreign Legion: January 26

1871, during the Franco-Prussian War, 1st + 2nd Battalion of the Provisional Foreign Regiment (composed of non-legionnaires in the majority since mid-December) got involved in a battle with German troops near Vorges-les-Pins, eastern France

1885, during the Siege of Tuyen Quang (Nov 1884 – Mar 1885) in northern Vietnam, the citadel of Tuyen Quang was attacked by Black Flag Army (Pavillons noirs) Chinese rebels
– two Foreign Legion companies (390 men, led by Captain Cattelin) were occupying and defending the citadel during the siege
– the attack continued until March 2, when the Chinese were fought off

1954, during Operation Gerfaut II, legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 5e REI got involved in fierce fighting with the Viet Minh in the Thai Binh region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 68 Viet Minh attackers were killed + 94 rebels were imprisoned

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

– also in 1957, legionnaires from 5e REI took part in a military operation near Marnia in the Tlemcen region of north-western Algeria
– 92 rebels were killed + 8 rebels imprisoned

– in the photo, 5e REI legionnaires with a grenade launcher in Algeria, 1957

5e REI - 5 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1957 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: January 27

1882, near the Chott Tigri, on the Algeria-Morocco border, a French column (led by Colonel Négrier) got involved in a battle with the Beni Guill rebel tribe
– a mounted company of the Legion took part in
– 53 rebels were killed

1906, a Moroccan Berber rebel group of Cheikh Bouamama was annihilated by 3rd Company, 1er RE in the Oran region of north-western Algeria

1948, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) were attacked by the Viet Minh near Cu Chi in the Hoc Mon region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 4 legionnaires were killed

1950, near Pho Trach in the Quang Tri region of central Vietnam, legionnaires from 2e BEP (Battalion, later 2e REP) and French colonial paratroopers got involved in a severe battle with the Viet Minh
– 2 legionnaires + 18 French paratroopers were killed

– in the picture, 2e BEP legionnaires during an operation in French Indochina, 1950

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

 

French Foreign Legion: January 28

1863, last elements of two Legion battalions (some 1,400 legionnaires) + HQ Company and the Music band of the Foreign Regiment (then title for the Legion) left Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria for Mers El Kebir, to take ship for the Campaign in Mexico

1918, in the Tadla region of central Morocco, 1st Battalion, 1er RE got involved in fierce fighting with local rebels near the hill of Cazenave
– the enemy was successfully fought off
– 4 legionnaires were killed + 5 wounded
– for this action, the battalion was mentioned in the order of the Army

1947, an LCVP (landing craft) with 10th Company, 3e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh near Chau Doc, An Giang region, southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– Lieutenant Troussard + several legionnaires were killed

1956, Attack of Taineste
– 3rd Battalion, 2e REI (ex-1st Bn, 6e REI) was seriously attacked by hundreds of Moroccan rebels at Taineste, Taza region, Morocco
– Lieutenant Schmidt + 17 legionnaires were killed
– at least 42 rebels were also killed
– even if it is a forgotten event today, nowhere to be mentioned, it seems to be the largest loss for the Legion within a single battle during the operations in North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya) after 1945

1959, legionnaires from 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment) got involved in fighting with local rebels during a military operation at Djebel Sahari in the Djelfa region of northern Algeria
– during the operation, 34 rebels were killed

2013, 2e REP jumped over Timbuktu
– that night, about two hundred legionnaires from 2e REP were dropped north of Timbuktu, the ancient trading city in Mali and an important point controlled by rebel groups
– within a few hours, the city was seized

– in the photo, 2e REP legionnaires in Timbuktu, Mali, late January 2013

2e REP - 2 REP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 2013 - Mali

 

French Foreign Legion: January 29

1862, Foreign Regiment (ex-2nd Foreign Regiment, now 2e REI), based in Algeria, incorporated officers and legionnaires from 1st Foreign Regiment (1er RE), dissolved by an imperial decree

1954, a fierce battle with the Viet Minh for legionnaires from 2nd Amphibious Group, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) in the Nimh Dinh region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– during the battle, several legionnaires were wounded

– in the image, legionnaires from 2nd Amphibious Group, 1er REC disembarking an LVT-4 (Alligator) amphibious landing craft during an operation in French Indochina, 1954

1er REC - 1 REC - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1954 - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: January 30

1945, during the Liberation of France of WWII, legionnaires from 3e BLE (Foreign Legion Battalion, future 13e DBLE) got involved in severe fighting with German troops along the Rhone canal, eastern France, on the border with Germany
– 3e BLE suffered heavy casualties

1948, in the Cao Bang region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, the Na Let outpost occupied by a platoon of the 1st Battalion, 3e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh
– 2 legionnaires were killed

– in the photo, during the Liberation of France of WWII, 13e DBLE marches in Dijon, 1944

13e DBLE - 13 DBLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1944 - Dijon - France

 

French Foreign Legion: January 31

1920, Battle of Mahagibat
– near Sidi Lamine in the Khenifra region of Morocco, a detachment of 1st Battalion, 1er RE got involved in fierce fighting with hundreds of local rebels
– the detachment made part of a French column
– Captain Bonaventure Scaglia of 8e BICM (French colonial troops) was killed

1955, in French Indochina, 1st Amphibious Group, 1er REC was officially dissolved
– created in 1951, it was composed of 2nd + 3rd + 12th + 13th + 17th Squadron, equipped with Landing crafts LVT 4 (called Alligator by the French) and M29 Weasel (called Crab) tracked vehicles
– the squadrons were also dissolved to this date

1968, 2e REI was deactivated in Aubagne, southern France
– reduced to a small detachment, the 2e REI became the last regiment of the Legion to leave North Africa, in which the Legion had been stationed since the 1830s
– the regiment was reactivated in Corsica in 1972

– in the picture, the 2e REI’s color guard during the regiment’s dissolution ceremony in Aubagne, January 1968

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

 

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