2e REI: El Moungar 2019

In early September 2019, the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment (2e REI) of the French Foreign Legion commemorated the 116th anniversary of the famous Battle of El Moungar. The battle occurred at El Moungar, in the Bechar region of western Algeria, on September 2, 1903. That day, a half-company of the then 2nd Foreign Regiment (2e RE) was attacked by a war band of Moroccan Berbers.

El Moungar was a waterhole situated close to Taghit, at the Algeria-Morocco border, on an important road going to the Sahara. The place saw another battle between legionnaires of the 2e RE and Berbers three years earlier, in July 1900. In late August 1903, Taghit saw four-day Berber attacks that were eventually fought off.

On the 2nd of September, Captain Vauchez and part of his 22nd Mounted Company, 2e RE (2 officers and 111 legionnaires) protected a supply camel train when they were attacked by the Moroccan band. The following fierce battle took almost eight hours and the Legion company suffered heavy casualties. Captain Marie-Louis Vauchez along with his deputy Lieutenant Christian Selchauhansen, a Danish officer serving in the Legion, were killed. Another 34 legionnaires were also killed, while 47 legionnaires were seriously wounded. Finally, with coming French reinforcements, the enemy was fought off.

Nowadays, the battle is commemorated annually. The date of the battle became the regimental holiday for the 2e REI.

Like the last time, even this year the battle was commemorated discreetly, without public. See the commemorations in Nimes, the garrison town of the regiment, and Paris, where the elements of the regiment are participating in Operation Sentinelle just now. The commanding officer used the holiday to award several of his men with the Valor Cross and the Gold Medal of French Defense.

PHOTOS. 2019 El Moungar in Nimes and Paris, September 1.
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Related posts:
2e REI: El Moungar 2018
2e REI: He joined the Legion in 1979. He leaves in 2019
2e REI: Infernal Run 2019
2e REI: Military training in early 2019