Foreign Legion events: August 21 – 31

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 August 21 and August 31, will be published.

 

French Foreign Legion: August 21

1903, Attack on Taghit ended
– the French outpost of Taghit was located near Figuig, on the Algeria-Morocco border
– during four days, over 3,500 rebels were attacking some 400 French troops garrisoned inside the outpost
– Lt Pointurier and his platoon from 22nd Mounted Company, 2e RE (now 2e REI) took part in the action, having reinforced the outpost four days earlier
– the outpost was finally managed to defend
– hundreds of rebels were killed or wounded
– the French had 9 troops killed + another 21 wounded
– two weeks later, the same rebels attacked the 22nd Mounted Company, 2e RE at El Moungar and annihilated it

1917, on the Western Front of WWI, a two-day French attacks ended
– they took place near Verdun-sur-Meuse in northeastern France
– RMLE (Regimental Combat Team) of the Legion was involved in
– the French launched several successful attacks on German positions
– RMLE, commanded by Lt Colonel Rollet, liberated Cumières and Regnéville
– the unit also captured 680 prisoners
– for that action of August 20-21, RMLE (future 3e REI) gained its sixth mention in the order of the Army and received the Fourragère in the colors of Légion d’honneur (Legion of Honour), the highest French military award

1941, 4th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade established
– in Morocco, 4e DBLE was established
– organized at Casablanca, formed by two battalions
– 4e DBLE received the regimental flag of the deactivated 4e REI
– the unit was sent to Senegal, West Africa to maintain order there

1957, a successful military operation for legionnaires from 6th Motorized Company, 4e REI + 2e REP
(Parachute Regiment)
– the operation was aimed at a large rebel group
– it took place at Oued Hallail, close to Ferkane, in the Tebessa region of northeastern Algeria
– the group was annihilated
– at least 35 rebels were killed

– in the rare picture, the regimental standard of RMLE at Nancy, France, in 1918
– the standard is held by Lt Colonel Rollet, the then RMLE commander who became the famous Chief of the Foreign Legion in 1931, nicknamed as Father of the Legion

RMLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1918 - Nancy - France

 

French Foreign Legion: August 22

1895, during the Second Madagascar Expedition, a Foreign Legion battalion helped to seize the town of Andriba, in central Madagascar

1947, during an operation close to Can Tho, a town in southern Vietnam of then French Indochina, legionnaires from 10th Company, 3e REI were attacked by the Viet Minh
– many rebels were killed or wounded
– nonetheless, Lieutenant Campenet + 2 legionnaires were also killed

1959, Pierre du Bois de Dunilac and his wife liberated
– during Operation Jumelles, Lt Lambert and his platoon from 12th Company, 5e REI liberated Pierre du Bois de Dunilac (a Swiss writer and painter) and his wife, held by rebels in an abandoned village near Azazga, northern Algeria
– they were captured by Algerian rebels two months earlier

– in the image, Colonel Favreau, the one-eyed regimental commander of 5e REI, with Pierre du Bois de Dunilac and his wife, August 1959

5e REI - 5 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1959 - Pierre du Bois de Dunilac - Algeria

 

French Foreign Legion: August 23

1947, during an operation, Second Lieutenant Buonfils and his two platoons from Heavy Company, 3rd Battalion, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) were attacked by a large group of the Viet Minh
– the attack took place close to Bao Trai, in the Duc Hoa region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 15 rebels were killed
– 13e DBLE had several legionnaires also killed

1952, a successful operation against the Viet Minh ended for legionnaires from Armored Mobile Platoon, 2e CREBLE (Foreign Legion Armored Vehicle Repair Company), which took place in the Phuc Yen region of the Tonkin Delta, northern Vietnam

– in the photo, 13e DBLE men during an operation in French Indochina

13e DBLE - 13 DBLE - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1951 - French Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: August 24

1854, Major Nayral and his Foreign Legion task force, composed of eight elite companies from 1er RLE (Foreign Legion Regiment, now 1er RE) and 2e RLE (now 2e REI), landed at Varna, today’s Bulgaria
– they were the first legionnaires to participate in the Siege of Sevastopol (beginning in mid-September), which opened the Crimean campaign, the main part of the Crimean War (1853-56)
– Crimean War was a conflict between the Russian Empire and an alliance of France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire and Sardinia

1955, Operation Remy
– a large airborne operation in then Southern Vietnam
– it took place in the Bau Long region
– over 470 legionnaires from 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 2e REP) participated in

– in the picture, 2e BEP legionnaires during an operation in Southern Vietnam, 1955

2e BEP - 2 BEP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1955 - Vietnam

 

French Foreign Legion: August 25

1842, in northeastern Algeria, the town of Bougie was attacked by around 5,500 local rebels
– the attack took two hours
– legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 2e RLE (Foreign Legion Regiment, now 2e REI), led by Captain Carteron and stationed at Bougie at that time, managed to defend the town
– around 120 rebels were killed

1952, Operation Sauterelle started
– a five-day operation aimed at the Viet Minh in then French Indochina
– it took place in the sand dunes of the Quang Tri and Hue regions, central Vietnam
1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) + a battalion from 5e REI and a battalion from 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) took part in
– during the operation, 107 Viet Minh rebels were killed + over 400 rebels were imprisoned

1956, Second Lieutenant Hervieux and his platoon of legionnaires from 2nd Battalion, 13e DBLE were attacked by local rebels near Bougie, northeastern Algeria
– Second Lieutenant Hervieux + 10 legionnaires were killed

1973, 3e REI left Madagascar for French Guiana
– 3e REI had been stationed on the island since 1962
– in French Guiana, the unit has to protect a new French space center
– its 2nd Company stayed on the Comoro Islands (west of Madagascar)
– the company became DLEC (Comoros Detachment)
– it was redesignated to DLEM (Mayotte Detachment) in 1976

– in the rare image, 3e REI legionnaires are listening to the regimental band during their voyage to French Guiana, late August 1973

3e REI - 3 REI - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1973 - Madagascar - French Guiana

 

French Foreign Legion: August 26

1946, during a river patrol close to Cao Lanh, in the Sadec region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina, Captain De Belloc De Chamborant and his 20 legionnaires from 12th Company, 3e REI were severely attacked by the Viet Minh
– Captain De Belloc De Chamborant + 2nd Lieutenant Rincent + 2nd Lieutenant Thizon + 13 legionnaires were killed

1949, three-day fierce clashes with the Viet Minh ended for legionnaires from 10th Company, 2e REI
– the clashes took place at Thin Tho, in central Vietnam of then French Indochina
– Viet Minh had around 90 men killed
– nonetheless, Captain Pachany (company commander) was badly wounded

2013, Helie de Saint Marc died
– probably the most controversial officer of the French Foreign Legion in the 20th century
– the main Foreign Legion figure fully participating with his regiment in the April 1961 Putsch of Algiers, the event aimed at then President Charles de Gaulle, viewed by putschists as a traitor of France, French soldiers and French residents living in Algeria
1er REP, the unit three times annihilated in French Indochina and commanded by Major De Saint Marc par interim in 1961, it was disbanded because of the Putsch and never re-established
– Major De Saint Marc served with the Legion 1948-61, in 3e REI, 3e BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 3e REP), 2e BEP (2e REP now), 1er BEP and 1er REP
– as a French Resistance member, Helie de Saint Marc was imprisoned in a German concentration camp 1943-45
– with the Legion, he participated in the First Indochina War (three deployments, 5 years in total), Suez Crisis and Algerian War
– because of the Putsch, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June 1961
– fully rehabilitated in 1978, he became a writer

– in the picture, 2e REP legionnaires rendering homage to Helie de Saint Marc in front of Lyon Cathedral on August 30, 2013

Helie de Saint Marc - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 2013 - Lyon

 

French Foreign Legion: August 27

1951, in the Son Tay region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina, legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 5e REI got involved in a fierce battle with the Viet Minh

2006, Operation Baliste started for 2e REG
– an operation to evacuate French citizens living in Lebanon during the 2006 Lebanon War
– that day, some 160 legionnaires from 1st Company, 2e REG arrived in Lebanon
– 3rd Company, 1er REG (the first French Army unit to take part in the operation) had been in Lebanon since late July
– during Operation Baliste, at least 8,000 French citizens were rescued

– in the photo, 2e REG legionnaires in Lebanon, September 2006

2e REG - 2 REG - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 2006 - Lebanon

 

French Foreign Legion: August 28

1948, a patrol for legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 2e REI near Ninh Hoa, in the Nha Trang region of central Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 12 rebels were imprisoned

1953, Operation Claude started
– a two-week operation close to Tien Lang, in the Hai Phong region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment) + 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 2e REP) were involved in
– during the operation, over 60 Viet Minh rebels were killed by 2e BEP
– 2e BEP had 11 men killed, including Second Lieutenant Comtat

– in the image, 2e BEP legionnaires in French Indochina, 1953

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

 

French Foreign Legion: August 29

1953, during Operation Claude, clashes with the Viet Minh for legionnaires from 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 2e REP) at Phuong Lai, in the Hai Phong region of northern Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 9 rebels were killed, 12 rebels were imprisoned

1956, legionnaires from 4th Company, 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) were attacked by local rebels at Djellal, in the Khenchela region of northeastern Algeria
– 13e DBLE had 4 legionnaires killed + 11 wounded
– 6 rebels were killed

1957, a successful military operation for legionnaires from 2e REC (Cavalry Regiment) in the Ghardaia region of central Algeria
– the operation was aimed at a large local rebel group
– during the operation, many rebels were killed or imprisoned

– in the picture, 2e REC legionnaires landing during an operation in the Ghardaia region of Algeria, 1957

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

 

French Foreign Legion: August 30

1914, a military camp was attacked by Moroccan rebels
– the camp was occupied by 22nd Company, 6th Battalion, 1er RE
– it was located near Taza, northern Morocco
– 2 legionnaires were killed
– the attackers were fought off

1948, during a military operation, clashes with the Viet Minh for legionnaires from 3rd Battalion, 2e REI in the Phan Rang region of central Vietnam, then French Indochina
– 11 rebels were killed, several rebels were imprisoned

1950, Operation Rouleaux started
– a three-day operation aimed at the Viet Minh in then French Indochina
– it took place in the then Cap Saint-Jacques region (Vung Tau now), southern Vietnam
– legionnaires from 2e BEP (Parachute Battalion, future 2e REP) were involved in
– during the operation, several Viet Minh camps were destroyed

– in the photo, a Viet Minh rebel captured by 2e BEP legionnaires during Operation Rouleaux, 1950

2e BEP - 2 BEP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1950 - Operation Rouleaux - French Indochina

 

French Foreign Legion: August 31

1930, Battle of Bou Leggou
– a fierce battle in the Ksar Es Souk region of Morocco
– 2nd Mounted Company (a freshly motorized unit), 2e REI got involved in
– Captain Fauré and his 200 legionnaires were facing some 1,500 local rebels
– the battle took three hours
– 21 legionnaires were killed + 12 men wounded (including Lieutenant Brenclé)
– for this action, the company was mentioned in the order of the Army and received the War Cross
– in 1940, the unit was redesignated nad became CSPLE (Saharan Motorized Company, 1re CSPL since 1946)

1946, during a patrol near My Duc Tay in the Sadec region of southern Vietnam, then French Indochina, a platoon of legionnaires from 11th Company, 3e REI was attacked by the Viet Minh
– Second Lieutenant Bertrand (platoon leader) was killed

– in the old postcard, legionnaires ready for an operation in the Ksar Es Souk region of Morocco, 1930s

Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1930s - Ksar Es Souk - Morocco

 

Related posts:
Foreign Legion events: August 11 – 20
Foreign Legion events: August 01 – 10
Foreign Legion events: July 21 – 31
Foreign Legion events: July 11 – 20
French Foreign Legion history