Foreign Legion events: July 21 – 31

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

 

French Foreign Legion: July 21

1859, following the end of the Second Italian War of Independence, the 1er RE (Foreign Regiment) left Milan, the currently second largest city in Italy
– the whole regiment had been garrisoned there during six weeks
– its tasks were to guard Austrian prisoners and to recruit Italian volunteers
– 1er RE left Milan for Bastia, Corsica to be based there until February 1860

1923, Attack on Gara 4
– an attack conducted by local rebels in northern Morocco
– it took place close to Beni Ahmed, in the Taza region
– Major Kratzert and his 6th Battalion, 1er REI (now 1er RE) was involved in
– 2 legionnaires were killed, another 2 legionnaires were wounded

1948, in then French Indochina, legionnaires from 2nd Company, 1st Battalion, 3e REI got involved in clashes with the Viet Minh near Phu Tong Hoa, an outopst located in the Bac Kan region, northern Vietnam
– several rebels were imprisoned

– in the photo, legionnaires in northern Morocco in the mid-1920s

Legionnaires - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1925 - Morocco

 

French Foreign Legion: July 22

1923, Battle of Immouzer
– the battle with local rebels in northern Morocco
– it took place on the Immouzer plateau, in the Fez region of northern Morocco
– 3rd Battalion, 2e REI + 1st Battalion, 3e REI took part in
– 2e REI had 25 men killed, 49 men were wounded

1947, a successful operation for Captain Le Feunteun and his 5th Company, 2nd Battalion, 4e DBLEM (Moroccan Half-Brigade, future 4e REI) in Madagascar (Indian Ocean), part of the then French colonial empire
– the operation took place at Akatikane and Tambohobe, in the Fianarantsoa region
– about 100 rebels were killed
– 4e DBLEM legionnaires were sent to Madagascar in 1947 to eliminate local rebels and to restore order in the region, during the ongoing war in French Indochina

1948, close to Van Phai, in the Bac Kan region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, Second Lieutenant Palisser and his platoon of legionnaires from 4th Company, 3e REI were attacked by the Viet Minh
– a legionnaire was killed, several legionnaires were wounded
– Second Lieutenant Palisser was badly wounded and died from his injuries two days later

1956, legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 5e REI got involved in a severe battle with local rebels at Djebel El Khoun, in the Tlemcen region of northwestern Algeria
– that day, around 30 rebels were killed
– 5e REI had Lieutenant Perrier killed

1959, Operation Jumelles started
– a large military operation during the Algerian War
– it took place in the Tizi Ouzou region, northern Algeria
– the legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment) were actively involved in the operation until January 1960
– during the operation, over 510 rebels were killed by the 1er REP

– in the image, 1er REP legionnaires during an operation in Algeria, 1959

1er REP - 1 REP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1959 - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: July 23

1923, Battle of Taghzout
– a severe battle with local rebels in northern Morocco
– it took place close to Beni Ahmed, in the Taza region
– Major Kratzert and his 6th Battalion, 1er REI (now 1er RE) was involved in
– Lieutenant Christophe (21st Company) + 17 legionnaires were killed
– 36 legionnaires were wounded

1952, Lieutenant Reveille and his Commando Le Lai launched an attack and successfully reseized two military outposts temporarily occupied by the Viet Minh
– the action took place near Xuan Dai, in the Phu Yen region of central Vietnam, then French Indochina
– nevertheless, an NCO was killed, Lieutenant Reveille + a senior legionnaire were wounded, an NCO + several commando members were captured
– Commando Le Lai was created in 1950 (consisting of local partisans, led by Legion leaders) and assigned to HQ Squadron, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment)

1957, a successful military operation for 1st + 4th + 6th Motorized Company, 2e REI
– it took place at Djebel Tekechkach, in the Geryville region of western Algeria
– during the operation, 101 rebels were killed, 12 rebels were imprisoned

1961, Bizerte Crisis ended
– Bizerte Crisis, a forgotten successful three-day battle between French and Tunisian forces, after the Tunisian troops surrounded and blockaded the French naval base in Bizerte, the capital of Tunisia
– 3e REI actively took part in
– the French had 27 men killed
– Tunisia had over 630 men killed
– the 3e REI legionnaires left Tunisia in mid-August

– in the rare picture, 3e REI legionnaires arriving in Tunisia, late July 1961

3e REI - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1961 - Bizerte Crisis - Tunisia

 

French Foreign Legion: July 24

1925, Battle of Tamzinet
– a battle with local rebels in northern Morocco
– a French convoy was attacked by around 300 rebels
– 6th Company, 2e REI (around 60 men) protected the convoy
– the legionnaires got involved in a fierce battle with the rebels
– Lieutenant Cadiou + many legionnaires were killed

1949, 4th Armored Jeeps Squadron, 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment) left North Africa for Madagascar, Indian Ocean
– the squadron (led by Captain Calmels) will patrol the island to maintain order there, together with a Legion engineering company + a battalion of 4e REI (ex-4e DBLEM)
– it returned to North Africa in February 1952

1952, Operation Dynamite ended for legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade)
– the operation was aimed at the Viet Minh and took place in the Hoc Mon region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– about 15 Viet Minh rebels were killed

– in the photo, 1st Battalion, 13e DBLE legionnaires parading in French Indochina, the early 1950s

13e DBLE - 13 DBLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1954 - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: July 25

1948, Battle of Phu Tong Hoa
– Phu Tong Hoa was a military outpost in the Bac Kan region, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– occupied by Captain Hervé Cardinal and his 2nd Company, 1st Battalion, 3e REI
– that day, there were 102 legionnaires at the outpost
– in the evening, they were surrounded and attacked by the Viet Minh
– the following severe battle took four hours
– Phu Tong Hoa was defended and the Viet Minh withdrew
– Captain Cardinal + Lieutenant Charlotton (his deputy) + 19 legionnaires were killed
– a half of the killed were fresh legionnaires having landed in Indochina a week ago
– a French artilleryman (out of 2 placed at the outpost) was also killed
– 33 legionnaires were badly wounded (one of them died of his injuries later)
– 40 killed Viet Minh attackers were found inside the outpost
– in the following days, several fierce clashes took place in the sector

1957, Operation NC 15 started for legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment) in the Tablat and Medea regions of northern Algeria
– the successful operation was aimed at local rebel groups
– during three weeks, at least 92 rebels were killed

– in the image, after the fierce battle, then 3e REI’s commander Lt Colonel Simon is visiting Phu Tong Hoa and its survivors, late July 1948

3e REI - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1948 - Phu Tong Hoa - Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: July 26

1946, near Vinh Tuong, in the Phan Rang region of central Vietnam, then French Indochina, Sergeant Major Delhaye and his group of 6 legionnaires from 3rd Platoon, 3rd Company, 2e REI were attacked by the Viet Minh during a river patrol
– Sergeant Major Delhaye and his legionnaires were all killed

1948, Clashes close to Phu Tong Hoa
– in the Bac Kan region, northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, two groups of 1st Battalion, 3e REI legionnaires went to support the outpost of Phu Tong Hoa, surrounded and heavily attacked by the Viet Minh in the previous evening
– on its way from Bac Kan, the group of 1st Company got involved in a fierce two-hour battle
– Second Lieutenant Fontaine + 4 legionnaires were killed
– Captain Grand’Esnon (company commander) + 16 legionnaires were badly wounded
– the Viet Minh was fought off
– on its way from Na Fac, Lieutenant Faulques and his group of 3rd Company legionnaires got also involved in a fierce battle
– 1 legionnaire was killed
– Lieutenant Faulques (the future well-known French officer, adventurer and mercenary) + 5 legionnaires were seriously wounded
– in the following days, the clashes continued

1952, Operation Quadrille ended
– a three-week operation aimed at the Viet Minh in then French Indochina
– it took place in the Hue region, central Vietnam
– 1st Autonomous Group, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) took part in
– during the operation, 36 Viet Minh rebels were killed

– in the photo, Roger Faulques, the famous Foreign Legion officer and a future head of mercenary groups, he started his military officer career with the 3e REI in Indochina in 1946
– on July 26, 1948, he was seriously wounded during a battle with the Viet Minh
– having recovered from his injuries, Roger Faulques returned to Indochina in 1950 to join the 1er BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 1er REP)
– in October 1950, during the Battle of RC4, in which the 1er BEP was completely lost in combat, he was four times badly wounded and had to suffer in the jungle for several days
– found almost dead by the Viet Minh and handed over to French autorities, he had to spend several years in the hospital
– recovered, Major Faulques rejoined the Legion and ended his military career in the 1er REP and 2e REP in Algeria
– he left the Army in 1961 to become a mercenary commander in Yemen and Congo, alongside the well-known Bob Denard
– one of the great officers of the Legion, Roger Faulques died in November 2011

Roger Faulques - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1960

 

French Foreign Legion: July 27

1949, Attack of Ninh Phuoc
– close to Ninh Phuoc, in the Ninh Hoa region of central Vietnam, then French Indochina, a convoy consisting of 13 trucks from HQ Company, 3rd Battalion, 2e REI was attacked by a Viet Minh battalion
– the following severe battle took eight hours
– Lieutenant-Medic Gateau + 20 legionnaires (including Staff Sergeant Hubert) were killed
– almost all of the survived legionnaires were seriously wounded

1954, Ceasefire in Northern Vietnam
– following the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities in Vietnam, part of the 1954 Geneva Agreements, the ceasefire in Northern Vietnam went into force on July 27

1955, Attack of Tafassour
the bloodiest attack on the Legion in North Africa during the Algerian War (1954-62)
– it took place at Tafassour (close to Taberdga), a village in the Khenchela region, northeastern Algeria
– a convoy of 9th + 10th Company, 3rd Battalion (ex-BM1LE, Foreign Legion Task Force 1), 3e REI was heavily attacked by local rebels
– Lieutenant Plisson + 25 legionnaires were killed
– during the following operation, 13 rebels were killed
– even in 2017, the attack has remained the second deadliest event for the Legion since the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (1954), after the 1982 Mont Garbi accident

– in the picture, a group of legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 3e REI in northeastern Algeria, 1955
– below, at the military cemetery of Khenchela, the graves of the legionnaires killed during the Attack of Tafassour

3e REI - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1955 - Algeria - Attack of Tafassour

 

French Foreign Legion: July 28

1914, First World War started
– one of the largest wars in history originating in Europe
– all the economic great powers were involved in
– France made part of the Allies
– France’s Foreign Legion participated in
– on the Western Front, the Foreign Legion was represented by four RM (Regimental Combat Teams), replaced later by a single RMLE (Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team, future 3e REI)
– in the Balkans Campaign, Battalion Legion from 1er RMA (African Regimental Combat Team) took part in
– in the end of the war, RMLE became one of the two most decorated units of the French Army
– the very little-known Battalion Legion, 1er RMA was the second Foreign Legion unit awarded with the Fourragère (for its mentions in the order of the Army)
– during the war, thousands of legionnaires and war-period volunteers (assigned to the Legion) were killed or wounded

1953, Operation Camargue started
– a two-week operation aimed at Regiment 95 of the Viet Minh
– it became one of the largest military operations of the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– it took place in the sand dunes of the Hue and Quang Tri regions of central Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) fully participated in
– during the operation, at least 180 rebels were killed
– at least 390 rebels were imprisoned

1954, Massacre at Fort Japonais
– a massacre conducted by the Viet Minh in then French Indochina
– that day, a Viet Minh commando attacked Fort Japonais, located near Hue, central Vietnam
– the fort was occupied by Armored Patrol Boats Platoon, a mixed unit assigned to 6th Squadron, 1er REC
– the unit was composed of legionnaires and local auxiliaries
– following the betrayal by several auxiliaries, the Viet Minh commando could enter the fort and launched a massacre
– Lieutenant Apouey (platoon leader) and all European legionnaires were killed
– the massacre took place only three days before the ceasefire in central Vietnam came into force, as part of the end of the First Indochina War

1958, Operation Meftah ended
– the two-day operation took place at Djebel Bou Kahil, in the Djelfa region of northern Algeria
– legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 5e REI participated in
– during the operation, at least 36 rebels were killed
– Lieutenant Longueau Saint-Michel + 7 legionnaires were also killed

– in the photo, during WWI in France in 1917, RMLE legionnaires operate the Hotchkiss machine gun

RMLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1917 - France

 

French Foreign Legion: July 29

1916, a successful battle with local rebels for 2nd Mounted Company, 1er RE
– the battle took place at Djebel Skudin, close to Tizi Zaouimt, in the Talsint region of northern Morocco
– the legionnaires with fixed bayonets fought off Moroccan rebels
– 22 rebels were killed

1952, in the Quang Tri region of central Vietnam, then French Indochina, a military operation aimed at the Viet Minh
– legionnaires from 7th Squadron, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) were involved in
– during the successful operation, 28 rebels were killed
– 216 rebels were captured

1956, an operation ended for legionnaires from 2e REP (Parachute Regiment)
– it took place at Beni Sbihi, in the El Milia region of northeastern Algeria
– during two days, 35 rebels were killed

– in the image, 1er REC legionnaires and their Crabs (M29 Weasel) in French Indochina, 1952

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

 

French Foreign Legion: July 30

1900, First Battle of El Moungar
– the battle took place close to Taghit, in the Bechar region of western Algeria
– Captain Serant and his Mounted Company, 2e RE (currently 2e REI) got involved in a fierce battle with at least 400 Berbers
– the enemy was fought off
– 8 legionnaires were killed

1922, Battle of Tizi N’Rechou
– in Morocco, close to the Tizi N’Rechou mountain, between Khenifra and Midelt, a small French outpost was attacked by local rebels
– the outpost was occupied by a sergeant, a corporal and 9 legionnaires from 12th Company, 4e REI
– after several hours of fighting, the sergeant, the corporal and four legionnaires were killed
– finally, the survivors commanded by a most senior legionnaire fought off the attackers

1960, Operation Cigale started
– the two-month operation took place in the then Vialar region (now Tissemsilt), northern Algeria
– legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment) participated in
– during the operation, at least 115 rebels were killed

– in the photo, 4e REI legionnaires in Morocco, between the two World Wars

4e REI - 4 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1938 - Morocco

 

French Foreign Legion: July 31

1954, in the evening, close to Nha Trang, in central Vietnam of then French Indochina, Armored Train 3 had to stop in front of a flaming bridge and was attacked by the Viet Minh
– the attack took several hours
– a number of Viet Minh attackers were killed or wounded
– the Armored Train served in the First Indochina War, being composed of legionnaires and local auxiliaries, and assigned to 2e REI
– next day in the morning, the ceasefire in central Vietnam came into force, as part of the end of the First Indochina War

1956, legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) got involved in a fierce battle with local rebels at Bou Yakadane, in the Khenchela region of northeastern Algeria
– 44 rebels were killed, 6 rebels were imprisoned

1962, 2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment disbanded
– in Algeria, 2e REC was disbanded
– one of the two cavalry regiments of the Legion
– established in July 1939, its legionnaires took part in the 1940 Battle of France
– deactivated in 1940 and reactivated in 1946, it took part in military operations in Madagascar 1949-52, in Morocco in 1953-56 and in Algeria in 1956-62
– its squadrons consolidated with 1er REC and formed its 5th + 6th Squadron

1977, Foreign Legion Task Force disbanded
– in Corsica, GOLE was disbanded
– established in August 1971 to become a rapid reaction force of the Legion
– based at Bonifacio in Corsica, GOLE was composed of 4 companies
– for an intervention mission, 4th Squadron, 1er REC could be assigned to GOLE
– nonetheless, in reality, GOLE hadn’t actively participated in any such mission
– in the 1976 Djibouti Accident, six of its legionnaires were killed in a halicopter crash
– with the dissolution, its companies were assigned directly to 2e RE (now 2e REI)

– in the picture, Dodges 6×6 of the 2e REC parade at Laghouat, Algeria, 1957

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

 

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