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, 1er RE to leave Milan
– that day, 1st Foreign Regiment (1er RE) left Milan
– currently the second largest city in Italy
– the regiment had been garrisoned there for six weeks
– during the Second Italian War of Independence
– it carried out two main tasks there
– 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
– in northern Morocco, a local rebel attack
– an action during the Pacification of Morocco (1907-34)
– close to Beni Ahmed, in the Taza region
– 6th Battalion, 1er RE were involved
– led by Major Kratzert
– 2 legionnaires were killed
– 2 legionnaires were wounded

– 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
– in northern Morocco, a battle with local rebels
– part of the Pacification of Morocco (1907-34)
– the battle occurred on the Immouzer plateau, in the Fez region
– 3rd Battalion, 2e REI + 1st Battalion, 3e REI were involved
– 2e REI suffered heavy casualties
– 25 legionnaires were killed
– 49 officers and legionnaires were wounded

1947, in Madagascar (Indian Ocean), a successful operation
– aimed at local rebel camps
– at Akatikane and Tambohobe, in the Fianarantsoa region
– carried out by 5th Company, 2nd Battalion, 4e DBLEM
– Moroccan Half-Brigade (future 4e REI)
– the company was led by Captain Le Feunteun
– about 100 rebels were killed
– 2nd Battalion, 4e DBLEM landed in Madagascar in late June 1947
– to restore order on the island
– part of the then French colonial empire
– during this little-known mission, the legionaires successfully suppressed the local rebellion and restored order there
– the battalion left Madagascar in late 1951

1956, in northwestern Algeria, a battle with local rebels
– at Djebel El Khoun, in the Tlemcen region
– 3rd Battalion, 5e REI were involved
– about 30 rebels were killed
– however, Second Lieutenant Hugues de Perier was also killed

1959, Operation Jumelles started
– a large military operation during the Algerian War (1954-62)
– it took place in the Tizi Ouzou region, northern Algeria
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
– part of the Pacification of Morocco (1907-34)
– it took place close to Beni Ahmed, in the Taza region
– Major Kratzert and his 6th Battalion, 1er RE were involved
– Lieutenant Edouard Christophe (21st Company) was killed
– 17 legionnaires were also killed
– 36 legionnaires were wounded

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

1961, Bizerte Crisis ended
– Bizerte Crisis was an action in Tunisia
– a forgotten successful three-day battle
– between French and Tunisian forces
– the battle occurred after the Tunisian troops surrounded and blockaded the important French naval base in Bizerte, the capital of Tunisia (an already independent state)
– 3e REI participated
– the French suffered 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
– part of the Pacification of Morocco (1907-34)
– 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 and his company were annihilated

1949, 4th Squadron, 2e REC to deploy to Madagascar
– that day, the unit left North Africa
– 4th Armored Jeeps Squadron, 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment)
– an almost unknown, rarely mentioned Legion unit
– led by Captain Calmels
– deployed to Madagascar (Indian Ocean)
– part of the then French colonial empire
– the squadron had to maintain order on the island
– together with a battalion of 4e REI (ex-4e DBLEM)
– also with a Legion engineering company (1st Engineer Company)
– the squadron returned to North Africa in February 1952
– these units participated in the little-known mission on a remote island during the ongoing war in French Indochina

1952, Operation Dynamite ended
– an operation during the French Indichina War (1946-54)
– carried out by 1st Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade)
– the operation was aimed at the Viet Minh
– it took place in the Hoc Mon region, Southern Vietnam
– some 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
– a fierce battle in then French Indochina
– between legionnaires and the Viet Minh
– part of the French Indichina War (1946-54)
– the battle took place at the Phu Tong Hoa outpost
– in the Bac Kan region, Northern Vietnam
– it was occupied by Captain 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 fierce battle took four hours
– finally, Phu Tong Hoa was defended and the Viet Minh withdrew
– Captain Hervé Cardinal + Lieutenant Fernand Charlotton (his deputy) were killed
– 19 legionnaires were also killed
– a half of the killed were freshly trained legionnaires
– they 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 from 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
– a military operation during the Algerian War (1954-62)
– it took place in the Tablat and Medea regions, northern Algeria
– 1er REP (Parachute Regiment) were involved
– the successful operation was aimed at local rebel groups
– during three weeks, at least 92 rebels would be killed

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

– in the second image, inside the attacked outpost of Phu Tong Hoa

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

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

 

French Foreign Legion: July 26

1946, in then French Indochina, a Viet Minh attack
– near Vinh Tuong, in the Phan Rang region, Central Vietnam
– a Foreign Legion river patrol was heavily attacked
– a small group from 3rd Platoon, 3rd Company, 2e REI
– led by Adjudant Delhaye, a long-serving legionnaire
– they were annihilated
– Adjudant Roger Delhaye + 6 legionnaires were killed

1948, then French Indochina, clashes with the Viet Minh
– close to the Phu Tong Hoa outpost
– in the Bac Kan region, Northern Vietnam
– two groups of 1st Battalion, 3e REI legionnaires were involved
– they 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, 3e REI got involved in a fierce two-hour battle
– Second Lieutenant Eugène Fontaine + 4 legionnaires were killed
– Captain Grand’Esnon (company commander) + 16 legionnaires were badly wounded

– on its way from Na Fac, the group of 3rd Company, 3e REI got involved in a fierce skirmish
– a legionnaire was killed
– Lieutenant Roger 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
– an operation during the French Indichina War (1946-54)
– 1st Autonomous Group, 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) participated
– the three-week operation was aimed at the Viet Minh
– it took place in the Hue region, Central Vietnam
– 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
– an action during the French Indichina War (1946-54)
– close to Ninh Phuoc, in the Ninh Hoa region of Central Vietnam
– a Foreign Legion convoy was attacked by a Viet Minh battalion
– consisting of 13 trucks from HQ Company, 3rd Battalion, 2e REI
– the following severe battle took eight hours
– Lieutenant-Medic Bernard Gateau + 20 legionnaires were killed
– almost all of the survived legionnaires were seriously wounded

1954, Ceasefire in Northern Vietnam
– that day, a ceasefire in North Vietnam went into force
– a result of the 1954 Geneva Agreements
– it was the first of five ceasefires that were negotiated
– they went into force between late July and mid-August
– they ended the First Indochina War (1946-54)

1955, Attack of Tafassour
– a severe rebel attack in northeastern Algeria
– part of the Algerian War (1954-62)
– the bloodiest attack on the Legion in North Africa during the war
– it took place at the village of Tafassour
– close to Taberdga, in the Khenchela region
– a Foreign Legion convoy was attacked by local rebels
– 9th + 10th Company, 3rd Battalion, 3e REI
– ex-BM1LE (Foreign Legion Task Force No.1)
– Lieutenant-Medic Bernard Plisson + 25 legionnaires were killed
– during the following operation, 13 rebels were killed
– even in 2018, 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
– that day in Europe, the First World War started
– one of the largest wars in history
– all the economic great powers were involved
– France made part of the Allies
– France’s Foreign Legion participated
– on the Western Front (France)
– by four RM (Regimental Combat Teams)
– later, by a single RMLE (Foreign Legion’s Combat Team)
– RMLE became one of the two most decorated units of the French Army of WWI
– in the Balkans Campaign
– by a Battalion Legion from 1er RMA
– African Regimental Combat Team
– during the war, thousands of legionnaires and war-period volunteers (assigned to the Legion) were killed or wounded

1953, Operation Camargue started
– an operation during the French Indichina War (1946-54)
– 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) fully participated
– the two-week operation was aimed at a Viet Minh regiment
– it took place in the sand dunes of the Hue and Quang Tri regions
– in Central Vietnam
– at least 180 rebels were killed
– almost 400 rebels were imprisoned

1954, Massacre at Fort Japonais
– a massacre conducted by the Viet Minh in then French Indochina
– at the very end of the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– 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 Georges Apouey (platoon leader) was killed
– also all the European legionnaires were killed
– the massacre occurred 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
– a two-day military operation during the Algerian War (1954-62)
– it took place at Djebel Bou Kahil
– in the Djelfa region, northern Algeria
– legionnaires from 1st Battalion, 5e REI participated
– at least 36 rebels would be killed
– Lieutenant Bertrand de 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, in northern Morocco, a battle with local rebels
– part of the Pacification of Morocco (1907-34)
– the battle occurred at Djebel Skudin
– close to Tizi Zaouimt, in the Talsint region
– 2nd Mounted Company, 1er RE were involved
– the legionnaires with fixed bayonets fought off the rebels
– 22 rebels were killed

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

1956, in northeastern Algeria, a military operation ended
– at Beni Sbihi, in the El Milia region
– the operation was carried out by 2e REP (Parachute Regiment)
– aimed at local rebels
– 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
– a fierce battle with at least 400 Berbers in western Algeria
– it took place close to Taghit, in the Bechar region
– Mounted Company, 2e RE (currently 2e REI) were involved
– led by Captain Serant
– the enemy was fought off
– 8 legionnaires were killed

1922, Battle of Tizi N’Rechou
– a battle with local rebels in Morocco
– part of the Pacification of Morocco (1907-34)
– the battle took place 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 men from 12th Company, 4e REI
– a Sergeant, a Corporal and 9 legionnaires
– the battle took several hours
– Sergeant + Corporal + 4 legionnaires were killed
– finally, the survivors commanded by a most senior legionnaire fought off the attackers

1960, Operation Cigale started
– a two-month operation in northern Algeria
– part of the Algerian War (1954-62)
– it took place in the then Vialar region (now Tissemsilt)
– legionnaires from 1er REP (Parachute Regiment) participated
– during the operation, at least 115 rebels would be 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 then French Indochina, a Viet Minh attack
– close to Nha Trang, Central Vietnam
– aimed at Armored Train 3, 2e REI
– a unit consisting of legionnaires and local auxiliaries
– the attack occurred in the evening
– Armored Train 3 had to stop in front of a flaming bridge
– then, it was attacked
– the fighting took several hours
– the enemy was fought off
– a number of Viet Minh attackers were killed or wounded
– next day in the morning, the ceasefire in Central Vietnam came into force
– a part of the end of the First Indochina War (1946-54)

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

1962, 2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment dissolution
– in Algeria, 2e REC was dissolved
– one of the two cavalry regiments of the Legion
– established in Morocco 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

1977, Foreign Legion Task Force dissolution
– in Corsica, GOLE was disbanded
– established in Corsica in August 1971
– as a modern rapid reaction force of the Legion
– GOLE was based at Bonifacio, Corsica
– it was composed of four companies
– for an intervention mission, 4th Squadron, 1er REC could be assigned to GOLE
– nonetheless, in reality, GOLE participated only in one such mission
– in Djibouti in 1976
– during this mission, six of its legionnaires were killed in a halicopter crash
– in the 1976 Djibouti helicopter crash
– with the dissolution, its companies directly consolidated with 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