Foreign Legion events: July 11 – 20

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 July 11 and July 20.

 

French Foreign Legion: July 11

1948, at Po Chiem, a village in the That Khe region of northern Vietnam in then French Indochina, a night patrol (Lieutenant Da Silva and 8 legionnaires) from 5th Company, 3e REI discovered a secret Viet Minh meeting
– during a following rapid action, 12 rebels were killed

1954, near Dong Ly in the Red River Delta of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 3e REI got involved in their last battle with the Viet Minh during the war in Indochina
– 5 legionnaires were killed

2013, 1er REC + 2e REP were awarded
– in Paris, the regimental flags of the 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) and 2e REP (Parachute Regiment) were decorated
– 1er REC was awarded with the Croix de la Valeur militaire (Military Valour Cross) for its role during Operation Tacaud in Chad in 1978
– 2e REP was awarded with the Fourragère in colors of the ribbon of Croix de la Valeur militaire (red & white) for its actions in the War in Afghanistan in 2008-12
– since then, the 2e REP legionnaires have been allowed to wear both, the red Fourragère (gained in 1955) + the red & white Fourragère

– in the image, an NCO of the 2e REP with the new Fourragères in colors of the ribbon of Croix de la Valeur militaire during the ceremony in Paris on July 11, 2013

2e REP - 2 REP - 1er REC - 1 REC - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 2013 - Paris

 

French Foreign Legion: July 12

1871, a battle with local rebels in the Kabylie region, northern Algeria
– German-speaking legionnaires from Foreign Regiment (then title for the Legion) took part in
– 16 rebels were killed
– German-speaking legionnaires (3rd + 4th Battalion) were not allowed to take part in the Franco-Prussian War in France in 1870-71

1926, Battle of Tizi Talmlat
– a battle with Moroccan rebels
– the battle took place at Tizi Talmlat, in the Taza region of Morocco
– 3rd Company, 1er REI (1er RE now) took part in
– Second Lieutenant Holtzapffel + 2 legionnaires were killed

1948, a group of legionnaires from 2nd Company, 3e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh near Phu Tong Hoa in the Bac Kan region, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 3 legionnaires were killed, 15 wounded

1953, near Xuan Dai in the Tourane region of central Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires and local auxiliaries from the mixed 4th Battalion, 2e REI got involved in a battle with the Viet Minh
– that day, Viet Minh had around 200 men killed

– in the image, 2e REI legionnaires during an operation in Indochina, 1953

2e REI - 2 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1953 - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: July 13

1857, during a military operation, legionnaires from 2e RE (currently 2e REI) took part in the successful attack launched by a French column on the important rebel village of Chellata, in the Kabylie region of northern Algeria
– this action helped to pacify the region

1955, 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 2e REP) was awarded with the Fourragère in colors of the Légion d’Honneur (red) for the six mentions in the order of the Army, which the battalion obtained during the First Indochina War between 1949-54
– since then, the 2e BEP/2e REP legionnaires have been allowed to wear the red Fourragère
– the 2e BEP became the most decorated French battalion in Indochina

1956, Operation 10 started for legionnaires from 2e REP (Parachute Regiment)
– the operation took place in the Oued Kebir region of northeastern Algeria
– during two days, over 20 rebels were killed

– in the photo, General Jacquot decorates the fanion of the 2e BEP held by Major Masselot (its then commander) with the red Fourragère at Camp Chanson of Saigon, July 13, 1955

2e REP - 2 REP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1955 - Fourragère - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: July 14

Bastille Day, French National Day
– every year, the Foreign Legion participate in the Bastille Day Military Parade
– it takes place on the Champs-Élysées in Paris

1926, Battle of Tizi N’Ouidel
– a severe battle with hundreds of Moroccan rebels
– the battle took place at Tizi N’Ouidel, near Talzemt, in the Taza region of Morocco
– Major Le Roch and his 1st Battalion, 1er REI (1er RE now) took part in
– the enemy was successfully fought off
– during the battle, at least 90 rebels were killed
– nonetheless, Major Julien Le Roch + Lieutenant Chavarot (Machine Guns Company commander) + Second Lieutenant De Gouttes were also killed
– 127 legionnaires were killed or wounded (including Sergeant Major Nesvadba)
– for that battle, the battalion was mentioned in the order of the Army

1939, White Kepis in Paris for the first time
– for the first time, the legionnaires paraded with the Kepi blanc (White Kepi) on the Champs-Élysées in Paris
– until 1939, the legionnaires paraded with regular blue-red kepis and the white-covered kepis were used mainly by Legion units stationed in Morocco

1941, Syria-Lebanon Campaign ended
– British invasion of French Syria and Lebanon of WWII of June-July 1941
– that day, the Armistice of Saint Jean d’Acre was signed at Beirut, Lebanon
– the armistrice ended the operation 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
– during four weeks, almost 250 legionnaires were killed, another 600 legionnaires were badly wounded
– Syria and Lebanon were occupied by British troops and the French had to withdraw

1951, during a patrol, a group of legionnaires from 3rd Company, 5e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh in the Dong Trieu region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– Sergeant Werner + 16 legionnaires were killed
– only one legionnaire survived

– in the picture, the Foreign Legion with White Kepis parades on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, July 14, 1939

Bastille Day - Legionnaires - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1939 - Paris - France

 

French Foreign Legion: July 15

1951, Commando 10 established
– a unit created in Vietnam, then French Indochina
– it was composed of the Legion leaders from 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, 2e REP now) and local auxiliaries
– Lieutenant De Preville (also 2e BEP) took command
– it was the first commando unit established within the Foreign Legion
– because of that, it was called Commando Leyion (Legion in Vietnamese)
– in February 1952, the unit was renamed to Commando De Preville, in honor to its commander killed in action
– led by Staff Sergeant Jahnwitz, Commando Preville was dissolved in June 1952

1954, during a large military operation, legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) got involved in a severe battle with the Viet Minh near Lang Tai, in the Bac Giang region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 10 legionnaires were killed + another 44 were wounded
– in two weeks, the First Indochina War will be over

1955, an intervention mission in Casablanca, Morocco started for 4e REI
– legionnaires had to calm down local rebellions, and restore and maintain order in one of the largest and most important cities in Africa

1956, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 5e REI got involved in a severe battle with local rebels at Djebel Fillaoussene, in the Tlemcen region of northwestern Algeria
– that day, 13 rebels were killed

– in the photo, 4e REI legionnaires in Casablanca, Morocco, 1955

4e REI - 4 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1955 - Casablanca - Morocco

 

French Foreign Legion: July 16

1849, as part of a French task force, legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 2e RLE (Foreign Legion Regiment, now 2e REI) got involved in a battle with local rebels in the Batna region of northeastern Algeria
– during the battle, 62 rebels were killed

1886, in Tonkin (then title for northern Vietnam), legionnaires from 2nd Company, 3rd Battalion, 2e RE (now 2e REI) liberated the village of Bat Leon and its 1,300 inhabitants, occupied by Chinese rebels
– during the operation, 6 rebels were killed

1940, 13e DBMLE dissolution
– 13th Foreign Legion Provisional Half-Brigade (13e DBMLE) was dissolved in Fez, Morocco
– established five months ago, in late February 1940, the unit took part in the Norwegian Campaign of WWII in April-June, alongside British troops
– following the Fall of France of June 1940, the 13e DBMLE (some 2,100 men) landed in England with the rest of the French expeditionary force fighting in Norway (around 14,000 men)
– thereafter, General De Gaulle asked the French soldiers to stay in England and join the British Army or to return back to France
– only about 1,200 men, including 900 legionnaires from 13e DBMLE (Poles, Czechs, ex-Spanish republicans, Jews and other men joining the Legion in the late 1930s to fight against Germany) left the French Army and joined De Gaulle
– the vast majority of French soldiers stationed in England decided to continue in serving France and the French government
– the legionnaires staying in England formed the 14e DBMLE which later became the 13e DBLE and was integrated back into the Legion in 1944-45

– in the image, 13e DBMLE legionnaires reviewed at Brest before leaving France for Norway, late April 1940

13e DBMLE - 13 DBMLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1940 - Brest

 

French Foreign Legion: July 17

1851, in the Collo region of northeastern Algeria, clashes with local rebels for legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 2e RLE (Foreign Legion Regiment, now 2e REI), led by Major Meyer
– Second Lieutenant Leclerc + 3 legionnaires were wounded

1923, Battle of Ait Maklouf
– in northern Morocco, 1st Battalion (led by Major Buchsenschutz) + Mounted Company, both from 2e REI, were attacked by Moroccan rebels
– after a fierce battle, the legionnaires fought off the enemy
– 2e REI had 9 men killed + 31 men wounded

1953, Operation Hirondelle started
– a three-day military operation in the Lang Son region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, 2e REP now) + 2nd Battalion, 5e REI + a bulldozer platoon from the mixed 22nd Engineers-Legion Battalion (which led the French column) took part in
– its main task was to search and destroy Viet Minh supply depots
– the operation was marked by extreme weather conditions
– several French soldiers, including legionnaires, died from heat exhaustion

1958, a week operation ended for legionnaires from 2e REP (Parachute Regiment)
– it took place in the Guelma region, northeastern Algeria
– during the operation, 25 rebels were killed

– in the picture, 2e REP legionnaires in northeastern Algeria, 1958

2e REP - 2 REP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1958 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: July 18

1918, Battle of Soissons started
– on the Western Front of World War I, RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team) got involved in a battle with German troops
– the three-day battle took place close to Soissons, northern France
– during the battle, RMLE lost 780 men and took 450 prisoners
– for this action, RMLE gained its 8th citation in the order of the Army

1925, a severe battle with local rebels for Major Deslandes and his legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 1er REI (now 1er RE) near Teroual, northern Morocco
– during the battle, Major Marcel Deslandes was killed

1946, during a patrol, Lieutenant Chauvet and his platoon from 6th Company, 3e REI were attacked by the Viet Minh in the Ben Tre region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– Lieutenant André Chauvet + Staff Sergeant Venturini + a number of legionnaires were killed
– 3e REI landed in Indochina three months earlier

2006, Operation Baliste started for 1er REG
– an operation to evacuate French citizens living in Lebanon during the 2006 Lebanon War
– during the operation, at least 8,000 French citizens were rescued
– 3rd Company, 1er REG (Engineer Regiment) was the first French Army unit of the operation to land in Lebanon
– 1st Company, 2e REG joined the operation in Lebanon in late August

– in the photo, 1er REG legionnaires (as part of UN forces) with a VAB during Operation Baliste in Lebanon, 2006

1er REG - 1 REG - Operation Baliste - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 2006 - Lebanon

 

French Foreign Legion: July 19

1870, Franco-Prussian War started
– the war took place in France between July 1870 – May 1871
– three battalions of the Legion took part in (since October 1870)
– 1st + 2nd Battalion (both composed of non-German legionnaires) + 5th Battalion, created in France and composed of foreign war-period-volunteers (non-legionnaires)
– the battalions fought mainly in the Second Battle of Orléans
– thereafter in 1871, after the war ended, they were involved in restoring order in Paris, controlled by a revolutionary government of the Paris Commune

1919, Foreign Legion paraded in London
– the regimental flag of the RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team, future 3e REI), one of the then two most decorated flags of the French Army, paraded in London, England

1949, during an operation near Tam Quan in the Binh Dinh region of central Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 10th Company, 2e REI got involved in a fierce battle with a Viet Minh battalion
– some 60 Viet Minh rebels were killed

1963, Legion in French Polynesia
– for the first time, legionnaires landed in French Polynesia, Pacific Ocean
– a detachment of the 5e REI (around 70 men)
– the legionnaires landed in Papeete, Tahiti
– until December, hundreds of legionnaires landed in French Polynesia
– they will build and guard a new French nuclear testing site at Mururoa Atoll

– in the image, the first 5e REI legionnaires arriving in Tahiti, French Polynesia on July 19, 1963

5e REI - 5 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1963 - Tahiti

 

French Foreign Legion: July 20

1954, Geneva Conference ended
– a conference taking place in Geneva, Switzerland
– it resulted in the 1954 Geneva Agreements
– the Agreements, besides other things, arranged a settlement between France and the Viet Minh
– a ceasefire was signed and it brought an end to the First Indochina War (1946-54)

1955, clashes with local rebels at Djebel Bosoan, northern Algeria for legionnaires from 10th Company, 3e BEP (Parachute Battalion, later 3e REP)

– on the picture, 3e BEP legionnaires during an operation in northern Algeria, July 1955

3e BEP - 3 BEP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1955 - Algeria

 

Related posts:
Foreign Legion events: July 01 – 10
Foreign Legion events: June 21 – 30
Foreign Legion events: June 11 – 20
Foreign Legion events: June 01 – 10
French Foreign Legion history