Foreign Legion events: April 01 – 10

See the most interesting data of the French Foreign Legion’s history. Important campaigns, battles, deployments, operations, the establishments or dissolutions of units… Discover the Legion’s significant events which took place between April 01 and April 10.

 

French Foreign Legion: April 01

1841, Foreign Legion regiments
– Foreign Legion devided into two parts
– Foreign Legion regiments (1er RLE, 2e RLE) were formed
– 1st Foreign Legion Regiment (1er RLE, 1er RE now) was composed of three battalions and stationed around Algiers, north-western Algeria
– Colonel Mollenbeck (born in Germany, he had served the French empire since 1805) became its commander
– 2nd Foreign Legion Regiment (2e RLE, 2e REI now), formed 20 days later, was composed of two battalions and stationed around Bone, north-eastern Algeria
– Colonel Senilhes took command

1943, Autonomous Artillery Group (GAA) was formed at Fez, Morocco
– composed of 3 motorized batteries, GAA was administratively assigned to 3e REI
– the group was disbanded in 1944

1946, 1re CSPL + 2e CSPL were officially activated
– by selecting personnel from the Foreign Legion Saharan Motorized Company (CSPLE, est. 1940), an additional Saharan motorized company was constituted, the 2e CSPL
– CSPLE was retitled and became 1re CSPL
– the companies were stationed in Algeria, at Ain-Sefra and Ouargla

1948, in French Indochina, Parachute Company of 3e REI was established
– Lieutenant Jacques Morin took command
– the company, based at Hanoi (northern Vietnam), became the very first airborne unit of the Foreign Legion
– a year later, it consolidated with 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 1er REP)

1949, in Tunisia, 6e REI was re-established
– the famous unit, nicknamed as Regiment of Levant (today’s Syria and Lebanon)
– it took part in the Syria-Lebanon Campaign (June-July 1941) of WWII
– 6e REI was deactivated in December 1941
– during 1949-55, 6e REI maintained order in Tunisia
– it also served as a training and transit unit of the Legion
– in 1949, one of its battalion was involved in the First Indochina War
– 6e REI, reduced to a single battalion, consolidated with 2e REI in 1955

1954, during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in the Dien Bien Phu valley of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 1er BEP took part in a large French counter-attack on Viet Minh positions near Eliane 2, a French point d’appui (point of support)
– 1er BEP had 16 men killed + 27 men wounded

1957, at Oued Abiod in the Batna region of north-eastern Algeria, severe clashes with local rebels for legionnaires from 2e REP (Parachute Regiment)
– 25 rebels were killed

– in the rare photo, 6e REI legionnaires parade in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, 1952

6e REI - 6 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1952 - Tunisia

 

French Foreign Legion: April 02

1858, Battle of Takitount
– it took place in the Setif region, north-eastern Algeria
– a fort of Takitoun was attacked by the Beni Selah, a rebel tribe
– the fort was occupied by a company (Captain Rembert) of 2nd Battalion, 1er RE
– the battle lasted 7 hours
– the enemy suffered heavy casualties and was fought off

1913, in the Taza region of Morocco, 1st Battalion, 1er RE got involved in clashes with local rebels near Nekhila
– after several attacks and counter-attacks, the enemy was fought off

1952, in the My Tho region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina, 1st + 2nd + 6th Squadron of 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) were involved in military operations aimed at the Viet Minh
– during the operations, 34 Viet Minh rebels were imprisoned

1954, during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in the Dien Bien Phu valley of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 1er REP) were involved in French counter-attacks on Viet Minh positions near Eliane 2, a French point d’appui (point of support)
– the same day in the morning, an order for legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 2e REI to leave Huguette 7, being attacked by the Viet Minh all the night
– 1er BEP had 13 men killed + 32 men wounded or missed
– 2e REI had 33 men wounded

– in the picture, 1er REC legionnaires with their Alligator (LVT 4) in French Indochina, early 1952

1er REC - 1 REC - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1952 - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: April 03

1948, the very first legionnaires of the Foreign Legion ended their parachute training to be officially awarded the French paratrooper badge
– these legionnaires, a platoon led by Lieutenant Arnaud de Foiard (a future general), belonged to the Parachute Company, 3e REI and did their instruction in Hanoi, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina

1958, on the Tunisian border in the Biskra region of north-eastern Algeria, legionnaires from 3rd + 6th Company, 4e REI got involved in clashes with a group of local rebels
– during the night and the next day, 18 rebels were killed

– in the image, a Dodge of 4e REI during an operation in Algeria, 1958

4e REI - 4 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1958 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: April 04

1945, during the last days of WWII in Europe, legionnaires from 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) + 2nd Battalion, RMLE (Regimental Combat Team, future 3e REI) helped to seize Karlsruhe, a town in western Germany

1951, during a military operation near An Hoa in the An Giang region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) got involved in clashes with the Viet Minh
– that day, Viet Minh had 32 men killed

1954, during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in the Dien Bien Phu valley of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, French troops and legionnaires from 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 1er REP) managed to defend Eliane 2, a French point d’appui (point of support), several times attacked by the Viet Minh and permanently shelled by Viet Minh artillery for over 100 hours
– at Eliane 2, some 1,200 Viet Minh attackers and 300 French troops (including the legionnaires) were killed
– a company from 1st Battalion, 2e REI + a company from 13e DBLE continued to defend Huguette 6, another French point d’appui, being attacked by the Viet Minh
– during the night, some 800 Viet Minh attackers were killed near Huguette 6

1956, near Djeurf in the Bir El Ater region of eastern Algeria, legionnaires from 23e CPLE (Motorized Company), an independent Legion unit, got involved in a battle with local rebels
– the company had 2 legionnaires killed
– later that year, the company helped to form the GPLEA (Algerian Motorized Group)

– in the very rare photo, during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu at Eliane in April 1954, Lieutenant-medic Patrice de Carfort with a wounded (most probably) Algerian, who defended this French stronghold together with para-legionnaires and airborne colonial troops

Dien Bien Phu - Lieutenant-medic Patrice de Carfort - 1954 - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: April 05

1945, during the last days of WWII in Europe, 6th Company, RMLE (Regimental Combat Team, future 3e REI) helped to seize Koenigsbach, a German village placed near Karlsruhe
– that day in Koenigsbach, around 200 German soldiers were imprisoned

1951, in the Quang Ninh region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 9th Company, 3e REI managed to defend the Bai Thao outpost, attacked by the Viet Minh
– some 80 Viet Minh attackers were killed
– 15 legionnaires were also killed

1952, first rebellions in Morocco, North Africa
– fresh legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 4e REI (autonomous training & transit unit at that time) took part in operations to restore order in the M’Rirt region

1955, in the Arris region of north-eastern Algeria, legionnaires from 5th Company, 2nd Battalion, 3e REI got involved in fighting with a group of local rebels
– 5 rebels were killed

1960, in north-western Algeria, a two-day operations started for legionnaires from 5e REI
– 16 rebels were killed

– in the image, RMLE legionnaires parading in Paris, early April 1945

RMLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1945 - Paris

 

French Foreign Legion: April 06

1845, in the Orleansville region of north-western Algeria, a two-day military operation started for legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 1er RLE (Foreign Legion Regiment, 1er RE now)
– led by Colonel De Saint-Arnaud, the legionnaires killed or wounded 211 local rebels
– some 500 rebels were imprisoned

1917, in the Taza region of Morocco, legionnaires from 1st Mounted Company, 1er RE helped to seize a rebel field camp of Abd El Malek, the rebel leader
– 5 legionnaires were wounded

1918, legionnaires from Mounted Company, 2e RE (2e REI now) got involved in a battle with local rebels near Tahala, between Fez and Taza, Morocco
– 4 legionnaires were killed
– 8 officers (including Captain Cattin) and legionnaires were wounded

1956, in the Nedroma region of north-western Algeria, legionnaires from 2nd + 9th Company, 5e REI got involved in a fierce battle with a large group of local rebels
– it was the first important battle for 5e REI in Africa
– 50 rebels were killed, 10 rebels were imprisoned
– 7 legionnaires were also killed

– also in 1956, 2nd Battalion, 5e REI landed in North Africa, as the last Foreign Legion unit having left French Indochina

– in the photo, the fanion of the 2nd Battalion, 5e REI in 1956

5e REI - 5 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1956 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: April 07

1871, during the Paris Commune, Provisional Foreign Regiment (composed of non-legionnaires in the majority since mid-December) was involved in a battle with radical socialists and anarchists occupying the capital of France (since March), near the Neuilly brige (Pont du Neuilly)
– 1 legionnaire was killed, 2 officers + around 20 legionnaires were wounded
– until March, the regiment had participated in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71)
– at the same time, another Foreign Regiment (the original Legion, composed of Germans in the vast majority) served in Algeria

1954, at Quong Kien in the Phu Ly region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 5e REI got involved in a fierce battle with the Viet Minh
– some 250 Viet Minh attackers were killed or wounded
– 29 legionnaires were also killed, 80 legionnaires were wounded or missed

1960, during Operation Promethee in the Geryville region, western Algeria, severe clashes with local rebels ended for legionnaires from 2e REI
– after two days of the operation (which occurred between April and June 1960), about 50 rebels were killed

– in the picture, 2e REI legionnaires during Operation Promethee in Algeria, 1960

2e REI - 2 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1960 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: April 08

1846, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 1er RLE (1er RE now) got involved in a battle with rebel tribes close to the range of Chabet Tendagh, north-western Algeria
– after fierce fighting, the rebels were defeated

1859, 1st Foreign Regiment (1er RE) took ship for Bastia, Corsica
– it had to leave Algeria to be as close as possible to Italians to recruit them easily, due to a difficult political situation in Europe and the coming war in Italy
– a few weeks later, Second Italian War of Independence started
– 1er RE took part in
– the regiment’ HQ and depot were placed at Bastia until February 1860

1918, in the Taza region of Morocco, legionnaires from 1st Mounted Company, 1er RE got involved in a battle with local rebels at Djebel Halib
– 1 legionnaire was killed + 3 legionnaires were wounded

1941, Capture of Massawa (Massaoua in French)
– that day, during the East African Campaign, an important port town on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea with around 10,000 Italian troops was attacked by the British and the Free French (including 14e DBMLE – Provisional Half-Brigade, 13e DBLE now)
– in the afternoon, Italian forces surrendered and the Allied force took 9,590 prisoners

1953, in the Viet Tri region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, 2e REP now) took part in a military operation aimed at the Viet Minh
– over 50 Viet Minh rebels were captured

– in the image, members of the 2e BEP in French Indochina, around 1953

2e REP - 2e BEP - 2 REP - 2 BEP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1953 - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: April 09

1954, in northern Vietnam of then French Indochina, during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (March-May 1954), first legionnaires from 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, 2e REP now) jumped over the Dien Bien Phu valley to reinforce French troops and hundreds of legionnaires already participating in the battle with the Viet Minh
– part of the reinforcement landed behind enemy lines
– that night, 2e BEP had 6 legionnaires killed or missed

1958, 2e GCP, 4e REI left Fort Trinquet, Mauritania
– as the only unit of the Legion deployed to this country, 2e GCP (Motorized Companies Group) participated in an important military operation (known as the Ifni War or the Forgotten War) aimed at a large group of Saharan rebels
– alongside French legionnaires, the Spanish Foreign Legion participated also in the operation
– that day, 100 Jeeps and Dodges of 2e GCP (ex-GPLEM – Moroccan Motorized Group, 1944-56) left Mauritania for Algeria to join the Algerian War, as the last Legion unit of North Africa

– in the photo, a 4e REI legionnaire with a Berber in the Sahara, 1958

4e REI - 4 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1958 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: April 10

1875, Foreign Legion
– that day, Foreign Regiment (the title since 1862) was redesignated
– it became the Foreign Legion
– the Legion consisted of 4 battalions
– it was composed of some 3,000 men
– the Legion continued to serve in Algeria (North Africa)
– since 1875, the Legion has never been retitled again

1913, in the Taza region of Morocco, 2nd Company, 1st Battalion, 1er RE got involved in severe fighting with local rebels near Nekhila
– Captain Doreau + 6 legionnaires were killed
– Lieutenant Grosjean was seriously wounded

1950, in the Quang Tri region of central Vietnam, then French Indochina, 13th + 14th Company, 2e REI + a platoon from 4th Squadron, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) got involved in a fierce battle with a Viet Minh regiment
– Viet Minh had many men killed
– 2e REI had also many men killed, including Second Lieutenant Thomas

1954, in northern Vietnam of then French Indochina, during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (March-May 1954), the first part of legionnaires from 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, 2e REP now), having landed at the Dien Bien Phu valley during the night, took part in clashes with the Viet Minh in the morning
– 2e BEP had 9 men killed (including Captain Delafond) + 11 men seriously wounded
– two companies (reduced to 50 men) from 1er BEP (future 1er REP) were involved in defending Eliane 1, a French point d’appui (point of support)
– in the evening and during the night, another part of 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, 2e REP now) jumped over the Dien Bien Phu valley to reinforce French troops and hundreds of legionnaires already participating in the battle with the Viet Minh

– in the picture, 1er RE legionnaires wounded in Morocco, in front of the military hospital of Sidi Bel Abbes, then Legion’s HQ in Algeria, in 1913

Foreign Legion Etrangere - legionnaires - 1913 - Sidi Bel Abbes - Algeria

 

Related posts:
Foreign Legion events: March 21 – 31
Foreign Legion events: March 01 – 10
Foreign Legion events: February 21 – 29
Foreign Legion events: February 11 – 20
French Foreign Legion history