Foreign Legion events: June 01 – 10

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

 

French Foreign Legion: June 01

1946, CDRE/EO (Far East Foreign Regiments Disciplinary Company) was formed in then French Indochina
– the company was based on the Tagne Island nearby the coast of central Annam (today’s central Vietnam)
– its mission was to discipline considerably undisciplined legionnaires of all units serving in Indochina
– CDRE/EO was assigned to 2e REI
– the last personnel of the unit left the island in late July 1955

1956, GPLEA (Foreign Legion Algerian Motorized Group) was officially formed
– a short-lived unit participating in the Algerian War
– composed of 21e CPLE, 22e CPLE and 23e CPLE (Foreign Legion Motorized Companies)
– GPLEA was dissolved in October 1956
– its companies consolidated with 2e REI

1980, 4th Foreign Regiment (4e RE)
– that day, RILE (Foreign Legion Training Regiment) was redesignated
– it became 4e RE, adopting the number, color and traditions of the disbanded 4e REI
– based in Castelnaudary, southern France, the regiment trains enlisted volunteers and legionnaires

1983, 1er REC landed at Beirut, Lebanon
– it joined the Multinational Force in Lebanon, an international peacekeeping force created in August 1982
2e REP and 2e REI participated in the Force too
– 1er REC left Lebanon in late September
– during the mission, at least 89 French soldiers were killed, including several legionnaires

– in the very rare image, Batiment C of the military camp of CDRE/EO disciplinary company on the island of Tagne, French Indochina
– the CDRE/EO insignia bears the latin inscription “Dura Lex Sed Lex” – a strict law, but the law

CDRE/EO - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1955 - Disciplinary Company - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: June 02

1837, Battle of Barbastro + Legion’s first commanding officer killed
– one of the most curious battle in Legion history
– it took place in the Huesca region of northeastern Spain
– the original French Foreign Legion (created in March 1831, now called “Old Legion”), reduced to a single battalion and led by Colonel Conrad, was involved in
– on the other side, another Foreign Legion in the service of the Carlists
– the royalists (including the “Old Legion” of Col Conrad) attacked the town of Barbastro, defended by the Foreign Legion of the Carlists
– according to Carlist officers, many German legionnaires on both sides were old friends talking familiarly together during the battle, before killing each other
Colonel Joseph Conrad, the commander of the French Legion, was killed during the battle, when leading his men into a counter-attack
– he has been recognized as the first commanding officer of the Legion killed in action
– his body was saved by Captain Bazaine, who joined the Legion as a 21-year-old sergeant in early 1832, and who became the commander of French intervention forces in Mexico in the 1860s and, later, Marechal of France
– the “Old Legion” had Major Meyer + Captain Bazaine wounded
– 100 legionnaires were killed or wounded
– the Carlists’ Legion suffered heavy losses (only 160 men out of 900 were combat-ready)
– the “Old Legion” was handed over to Spain in June 1835 to fight in the First Carlist War for Maria Christina, Regent of Spain

2016, 13e DBLE left the United Arab Emirates
– the Demi-Brigade had been stationed there during 5 years
– it moved to the Emirates from Djibouti, Africa in 2011
– since late June 2016, 13e DBLE has been placed at Camp Larzac, southern France
– in 1940, the freshly established unit took basic training there
– between 1940-44 and 1945-2016, the 13e DBLE was stationed outside France

– in the picture, Colonel Joseph Conrad, killed on June 2, 1837, as the first commanding officer of the Legion
– born in Strasbourg in Dec 1788, he was very popular among his men for his friendly character and for his exceptional bravery
– he was nicknamed “The old Fritz” or “The father Fritz” by his legionnaires and “The brave on the white horse” by the Carlists
– after his death, the Legion in Spain stagnated and next year, it ceased to exist

Colonel Joseph Conrad - Foreign Legion Etrangere

 

French Foreign Legion: June 03

1842, in northeastern Algeria, the town of Djidjelli was attacked again by around 4,000 local rebels
– the attack took long twenty-two hours
– legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 2e RLE (Foreign Legion Regiment, now 2e REI), led by Captain Beurmann and stationed at Djidjelli at that time, managed to defend the town
– hundreds of rebels were killed or wounded

1955, during a military operation, clashes with local rebels for Sergeant Franz and his legionnaires from 21re CP (Motorized Company, 21re CPLE since next month) near Bir El Ater, in the Tebessa region of northeastern Algeria
– several rebels were killed
– the company, created in November 1954, was an independent unit equipped with Jeeps, Dodges and AMM8 armored cars
– in 1956, it was integrated into GPLEA (Foreign Legion Algerian Motorized Group)
– later that year, the GPLEA consolidated with 2e REI

1959, a two-day operation ended for legionnaires from 3e REI
– it took place close to Bou Achra, in the Ain Defla region of northern Algeria
– the operation was aimed at local rebels
– 6 rebels were killed

– in the photo, 3e REI legionnaires during an operation in Algeria, late 1959

3e REI - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1959 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: June 04

1859, Battle of Magenta + Colonel De Chabrières killed
– the battle took place in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, close to the town of Magenta, during the Second Italian War of Independence
– a decisive French-Sardinian victory under Napoleon III against the Austrians
– Magenta was overrun by French units
– both Foreign Regiments were involved in
Colonel De Chabrières, the commanding officer of 2e RE (2e REI now), was killed when his legionnaires launched a frontal attack
– 2e RE had also Captain Alavoine + Captain D’Assis + Lieutenant André + 41 legionnaires killed
– 6 officers + 113 legionnaires were wounded
1er RE had 14 legionnaires killed, 5 officers + 30 legionnaires wounded
– 2e REI’s regimental flag has been inscribed with the battle honor
– its current barracks in Nimes bear the name of Colonel De Chabrières
– by coincidence, 2e RE had its depot stationed in Nimes during the war in Italy in 1859

1915, Third Battle of Krithia – Kérévés Déré
– the battle occurred during the Gallipoli Campaign (or Dardanelles Campaign) of World War I, when the French and British troops fought against Ottomans (Turks)
– Battalion Legion, 1er RMA (African Regimental Combat Team) took part in
– that day, the legionnaires with fixed bayonetes attacked Turkish defenders, equipped with machine guns, along the Kereves Spur on the Gallipoli peninsula
– during the attack, Second Lieutenant Caumer + 22 legionnaires were killed
– 2 officers + 76 legionnaires were wounded

1925, Battle of Astar
– a battle during retaking the military post of Astar, located at Taounate, in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco
– legionnaires from 6th Battalion, 1er RE, led by Major Cazaban, took part in
– the battalion managed to defend the post
– over 30 legionnaires were killed or wounded

1956, a battle with local rebels for legionnaires from 1re CSPL (Saharan Motorized Company) during a military operation near Amourah in the Djelfa region of northern Algeria
– during the battle, at least 22 rebels were killed

– in the image, Colonel Marie Louis Henry de Granet-Lacroix de Chabrières being killed during the 1859 Battle of Magenta, painted by Pierre Benigni

Battle of Magenta - Colonel De Chabrières - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1859 - Pierre Benigni

 

French Foreign Legion: June 05

1956, 2e REP (Parchute Regiment) received its regimental flag
– the ceremony took place at Philippeville, northern Algeria
– the regiment was formed in Algeria in December 1955 by consolidating the 2e BEP (Battalion) with the 3e REP

1957, legionnaires from 2nd + 3rd + 5th Motorized Company, 2e REI took part in a military operation at Djebel Morhad in the Ain Sefra region of northwestern Algeria
– during the operation, at least 35 rebels were killed

– in the image, 2e REI legionnaires with their Dodge 6×6 in western Algeria, 1957

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

 

French Foreign Legion: June 06

1843, in northeastern Algeria, the town of Djidjelli was attacked by around 3,000 local rebels
– legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 2e RLE (Foreign Legion Regiment, now 2e REI), led by Major Petit de la Haye and stationed at Djidjelli at that time, managed to defend the town
– tens of rebels + 14 legionnaires were killed

1940, Attack of Soissons
– a violent action of the Battle of France of WWII in northeastern France
– 3rd Battalion, 12e REI, led by Major André, took part in
– defending the seven bridges of the River Aisne in the Soissons sector, the battalion got involved in a severe, ten-hour battle with German forces
– during the battle, the battalion was annihilated
– it lost the vast majority of its strength
– also, almost all of its officers were killed or wounded, only one lieutenant was combat-ready
– 12e REI (some 3,000 men) was a provisional unit established in February 1940 in France, composed of around 400 legionnaires, former legionnaires-reservists, foreign volunteers and mobilized foreigners living in France

1959, a military operation for legionnaires from 3e REI near Champlain in the Medea region of northern Algeria
– during the operation, 37 rebels were killed

1960, an operation for two motorized squadrons from 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment) near the Chebket El Malleg mountain, in the Djelfa region of northern Algeria
– 30 rebels were killed + 4 rebels were imprisoned
– Captain Lafont + 2 legionnaires were wounded

– in the picture, at Camp of Valbonne in France, Lt Colonel Besson is receiving the fanion of his 12e REI from an unknown civil woman (very unusual for such military ceremonies) on April 26, 1940

12e REI - 12 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1940 - France

 

French Foreign Legion: June 07

1846, in the Setif region of northeastern Algeria, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 2e RLE (Foreign Legion Regiment, now 2e REI), led by Major Lafont de Villiers, took part in a successfull battle with local rebels
– an officer + a legionnaire were killed, 17 legionnaires were wounded

1947, during an operation, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) took part in fierce clashes with the Viet Minh near Cu Chi in the Hoc Mon region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– about 150 Viet Minh attackers were killed, another 100 were imprisoned
– 13e DBLE had Lieutenant Rouast killed + 14 legionnaires wounded or missed

1951, close to Duc Hau in the Ninh Binh region of northern Vietnam, legionnaires from 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 2e REP) got involved in a battle with the Viet Minh
– Viet Minh had 57 men killed
– 5 legionnaires were also killed

1959, legionnaires from 1st Squadron, 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment) conducted a military operation at Djebel Mahregue, close to Charef, in the Djelfa region of northern Algeria
– at least 9 rebels were killed

– in the photo, 13e DBLE legionnaires during a military operation in southern Vietnam, around 1947-48

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

 

French Foreign Legion: June 08

1865, during the French intervention in Mexico (1862-67), a company of Captain Barutel from 2nd Battalion, Foreign Regiment got involved in a battle with Mexican rebels at La Carbonera in the Oaxaca state of Mexico
– another officer, Captain Fischer, was killed during the battle

1929, Battle of Ait Yacoub
– a fierce battle with local rebels in the Gourrama region of northeastern Morocco
– a French task force, including Lieutenant Lemarchand and his legionnaires from 6th Company, 3e REI, took part in
– heavily outnumbered by the enemy, the Legion platoon was annihilated, while fighting till the finish with charged bayonets
– Lieutenant Pierre Lemarchand and his legionnaires were all killed

1941, Syria-Lebanon Campaign started
– the British invasion of French Syria and Lebanon
– an operation of June-July 1941 during World War II to seize Syria and Lebanon, controlled by the French since the early 1920s
– on the British side, Australian and Indian troops in the vast majority
– the French side included the Foreign Legion’s 6e REI (Infantry Regiment)
– although badly equipped for modern warfare, the legionnaires fought bravely and suffered heavy casualties
– the armistice was signed on July 14, the French had to withdraw

1949, Operation Jonquille ended
– a week operation aimed at the Viet Minh
– it took place in the Plaine des Joncs region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– legionnaires from 1st + 2nd Squadron, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) participated in
– during the operation, 167 Viet Minh rebels were killed by 1er REC legionnaires

1950, during Operation Foudre, legionnaires from 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 1er REP) successfully attacked the Viet Minh between My Do and Viet An, in the Nam Dinh region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– Viet Minh had 15 men killed + 160 men imprisoned

– in the picture, the color guard of 6e REI, led by Lieutenant de Montfalcon, at Homs, Syria, 1940

6e REI - 6 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1940 - Syria

 

French Foreign Legion: June 09

1846, in the Setif region of northeastern Algeria, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 2e RLE (Foreign Legion Regiment, now 2e REI), led by Major Lafont de Villiers, took part in another successfull battle with local rebels
– during the battle, a legionnaire was killed + 13 legionnaires were wounded

1916, close to Meski in the Bou Denib region of Morocco, 2nd Mounted Company, 1er RE got involved in a battle with local rebels
– a legionnaire was killed + 6 legionnaire were wounded

1923, Battle of Bou Khamoudj
– a severe battle fought with fixed bayonets in the Taza region of northern Morocco
– 1st Battalion, 3e REI + 1st Mounted Company, 2e REI participated in
– during the battle, an officer + 10 legionnaires were killed
– 17 legionnaires were wounded

1940, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Lacombe de La Tour was killed in action
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Lacombe de La Tour was the commander of GRDI 97 during the Battle of France (May-June 1940) of WWII
– GRDI 97 (Division’s Recon Group, est. Feb 1940) was composed of the legionnaires from 1er REC and 2e REC (Cavalry Regiments) ready to fight in France
– the group consisted of HQ squadron + Motorcycle squadron + 2 x motorized squadron + horse squadron
– Lt Col De La Tour was killed when his GRDI 97 was attacked by German panzer forces near the woods of Noroy, in the Compiègne region, northern France
– during this severe attack, GRDI 97 lost its commander + two thirds of its strength (about 400 men of 650)

1959, a two-day military operation ended for legionnaires from 5th Motorized Company, 2e REI
– it took place at Djebel Bou Saoud, in the Ain Sefra region of northwestern Algeria
– during the successful operation, at least 37 rebels were killed

– in the image, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Lacombe de La Tour, the killed commander of GRDI 97

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Lacombe de La Tour - Foreign Legion Etrangere - GRDI 97 - GRD 97 - 1940 - France

 

French Foreign Legion: June 10

1859, during the Second Italian War of Independence, the 1er RE (Foreign Regiment) entered Milan in Italy to be garrisoned there for next six weeks
– its tasks would be to guard Austrian prisoners and to recruit Italian volunteers

1925, Battle of Ain Mediouna
– a military outpost located in the Taza region of northern Morocco
– held by Lt Bouscatier and his RICM (Colonial Regiment) platoon
– the outpost had been besieged and attacked by Moroccan rebels
– 4 officers + some 60 legionnaires (led by Lt Guyon) from 6th Battalion, 1er RE were volunteers to support the defenders of Mediouna
– in the evening of June 10, the legionnaires passed through the Moroccan encirclement and got involved in a severe battle (including hand-to-hand combat) with rebels
– in the morning, out of the 60+ volunteers of 6th Battalion, only Sergeant Vietorovsky and 4 legionnaires survived the battle and rejoined the battalion
– Lieutenants Guyon + Wablé + Fain + Beulaygue + over 50 legionnaires were killed
– Lieutenant Bouscatier and his RICM men were also killed
– for this action of bravery, the 6th Battalion was mentioned in the order of the Army and received the War Cross award

1954, during an operation close to Qui Nhon in the Binh Dinh region of central Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 1st Amphibious Group, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) got involved in a battle with the Viet Minh
– Viet Minh had 15 men killed

1957, a three-week operation ended for legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment) in the Kabylie region of northern Algeria
– during the operation, at least 34 rebels were killed

– in the photo, legionnaires in Morocco in the 1920s, operating the Hotchkiss M1914 machine gun

Legionnaires - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1920s - Morocco

 

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