1978 Battle of Kolwezi

The Battle of Kolwezi (also Operation Bonite or Operation Leopard) was an airborne operation conducted in May 1978 in then Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo now), Central Africa. Its mission was to rescue over 2,000 European hostages held in the town of Kolwezi, an important mining center in the Katanga Province of southern Zaire. The hostages were captured by Tigers, the Katangese rebels from the left-wing Congolese National Liberation Front (FNLC).

The operation was successfully carried out by legionnaires from the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e REP) of the French Foreign Legion. The Battle of Kolwezi was part of the Second War of Shaba (then title of the Katanga Province), fought between Zaire and the FNLC. Because of the successful operation and its international media coverage, the 2e REP became popular across the world.

Battle of Kolwezi - Operation Leopard - Operation Bonite

 

Prelude to the Battle

May 13-18, 1978

On this day, the town of Kolwezi, an important mining center in the Katanga Province in then southern Zaire, was invaded by around 3-4,000 Katangese rebels. They belonged to the left-wing Congolese National Liberation Front (FNLC), organized in neighboring Angola and led by Nathanael Mbumba. The political aim of the FNLC was to occupy the Katanga Province of Zaire, a region particularly rich in cobalt and copper, and separated it from Zaire. The rebels had already tried to occupy the province in March-May 1977, without result.

This time, the Katangese rebels started to loot the town, rape local girls and women, and kill local residents who would oppose their violence. They also would capture as hostages over 2,000 Europeans, mostly of French and Belgian origin, that lived in the town and worked for a local mining industry.

Then Zaire was a former Belgian colony, known as the Belgian Congo until 1960. That’s the reason why the town, established in 1937 as the headquarters of an Anglo-Belgian mining company, had had such strong presence of French-speaking Europeans.

Having seen the new rebel invasion to his country, the then President of Zaire, General Joseph Mobutu, contacted Belgium, France, Morocco and the United States. He asked them to help Zaire with restoring order in Kolwezi.

Until May 18, the majority of rebels had left the town. Only some 500 of them remained in Kolwezi.

 

Preparations and departure

May 17, 1978 – Wednesday

That day in Corsica, at 10:00 AM (10.00), the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, a French Foreign Legion airborne unit commanded by Lt Colonel Philippe Erulin, was put on alert. The one parachute regiment which remained among the Legion units and France’s rapid reaction force, it was composed of around 750 men at the time and based at Calvi, Corsica. The regiment had belonged to the 11th Parachute Division (11e DP), then under the command of their former colonel (in 1967-70), General Lacaze.

At 08:00 PM (20.00), the 2e REP was ready for departure.

 

May 18, 1978 – Thursday

Solenzara Air Base

In the early morning of that day, Operation Bonite (also known as Operation Leopard in Zaire) had begun. At 02:20 AM (02.20), the whole 2e REP was alerted. At 04:30 AM (04.30), first 2e REP elements left Calvi for the Solenzara Air Base, a French Air Force base located some 80 miles (130 km) south-east, at Solenzara in eastern Corsica.

At 11:30 AM (11.30), the regiment, complete, had already been gathered at Solenzara. General Lacaze of the 11e DP arrived to clarify the mission to the legionnaires.

During the day, several aircraft arrived at Solenzara; four Douglas DC-8 jet airliners and a Boeing 707 jet airliner.
 

Transport to Zaire

Later that day, the 2e REP legionnaires left Solenzara and flew off in the five jets to Kinshasa, the capital of Zaire. At 11:00 PM (23.00), the first jet airliner landed at Kinshasa. The last of the five jets landed in the capital the next day, May 19, at 11:00 AM (11.00).
 

2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment’s battle order of May 18, 1978
  • HQ: Lt Colonel Philippe Erulin
  • 1st Company: Captain Michel Poulet
  • 2nd Company: Captain Renaud Dubos
  • 3rd Company: Captain Rémy Gausserès
  • 4th Company: Captain Bernard Grail
  • SER Recce Platoon: Lieutenant Jean-Claude Halbert
  • S81 Mortar Platoon: Lieutenant Jean-Tristan Verna

 

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Zaire - Kolwezi - Map
Zaire and the location of Kolwezi.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Solenzara - Corsica - Loading
Solenzara, Corsica, May 18, 1978. The 2e REP legionnaires are loading a U.S.A.F. aircraft supporting their mission in Kolwezi.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Solenzara - Erulin - General Lacaze
Solenzara, Corsica, May 18, 1978. General Lacaze (right), the head of the 11e DP and a former commander of the regiment, is reviewing the 2e REP before leaving Corsica for Zaire. He is accompanied by Lt Col Erulin (left), the then commanding officer.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Solenzara - Corsica - Departure
Solenzara, Corsica, May 18, 1978. The 2e REP legionnaires are boarding a U.S.A.F. aircraft to be transported to Zaire.

 
 

1978 Battle of Kolwezi

May 19, 1978 – Friday

In the morning, the preparations of an airborne operation took place at the air base of Kinshasa. First 2e REP elements were to be transported to Kolwezi. At the time, only a half of the regiment were present there:

  • 1st Company
  • 2nd Company
  • 3rd Company
  • a reduced HQ Staff + a medical group

 

Toward Kolwezi

The 2e REP units boarded five military aircraft; four Lockheed C-130 Hercules of the Zairian Army and a Transall C-160 of the French Air Force.

At 10:30 AM (10.30), the first C-130 Hercules left Kinshasa, shortly after followed by the remaining four military aircraft. The town of Kolwezi lies 930 miles (1,500 km) south-east of Kinshasa and thus, the flight would take four hours.

 

First jump over Kolwezi

At 03:15 PM (15.15), first legionnaires jumped over Kolwezi. They were 381 men in total and had jumped over Drop Zone Alpha, a drop zone located near the center of Kolwezi, close to the Old Town. Situated between a Police station and a local hotel, the drop zone was 875 yards (800 m) long, covered by high grass and 16-foot (4 m) termite mounds.

During their combat jump, the legionnaires were equipped with U.S. T-10 S parachutes. By the way, the Legion paratroopers had never experienced them; they had got a quick training how to use these parachutes only a while before leaving Kinshasa for Kolwezi.

Every Hercules had some 80 legionnaires on board. They were dropped from two doors, by 20 men each. It means that two dropping waves had to be done.

On the ground, the paratroopers had been assembled by their units and their mission could start. Nevertheless, six legionnaires had already been injured. During the regrouping, a legionnaire missed: Corporal Robert Arnold, a young British member of the 1st Company. The next day, he would be found to be massacred by rebels. He had still been equipped with his parachute. Corporal Arnold became the first killed legionnaire of Operation Bonite.

 

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kinshasa
Kinshasa, the capital of Zaire, May 19. The 2e REP legionnaires equip themselves with U.S. T-10 S parachutes to jump with them over Kolwezi later that day.

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kinshasa
Kinshasa, Zaire, May 19. The first wave of 2e REP legionnaires boarding an aircraft to be transported to Kolwezi.

 

Fighting in Kolwezi

In the town, the 2e REP men had to occupy as soon as possible several strategic points:

  • Jean XXIII Lycée (a high school): 1st Company
  • Hospital + Gecamines Factory: 2nd Company + HQ
  • Impala Hotel: 3rd Company

 

The Lycée was one the places expected as a location for rebels’ hostages, along with the hospital. The Impala Hotel was used by rebels as their HQ. At the Gecamines Factory, there could be some vehicles to allow the 2e REP units to be motorized.

The 3rd Company was ordered to carry out also another two missions: to seize a train station in the center of Kolwezi and an important bridge situated between the Old Town and the New Town.

When entering the town, the battle between rebels and 2e REP legionnaires started. The fighting with rebels occurred in all main streets and took about two hours. At 05:45 PM (17.45), all strategic points were seized; Kolwezi was recaptured. During the fights, a large number of rebels were killed and tens of their weapons seized.

 

Second jump over Kolwezi cancellation

In the evening, a planned second jump over Kolwezi was cancelled. It was to conduct at 05:55 PM (17.55), by the rest of the 2e REP. However, due to several factors, the jump was eventually cancelled. It got dark and the drop zone wasn’t safe for a night jump. The strategic points had already been seized, and the majority of Europeans had been rescued. Lastly, the rebels had been pushed out of the town.

Because of that, the aircraft with the second wave of legionnaires moved to Lubumbashi, the second largest city of then Zaire, located some 155 miles (250 km) south-east of Kolwezi. The legionnaires would spend the coming night there.

 

Night fights in Kolwezi

During the night, the rebels had attacked the legionnaires under cover of darkness; new fights flared up. The skirmishes took all the night. Many rebels would be killed and a number of other weapons captured as well.

 

Military equipment from Corsica to Zaire

Meanwhile, at the Solenzara Air Base in Corsica, the 2e REP’s military materiel was loaded on board of U.S. Air Force transport aircraft (several Lockheed C-141 Starlifter airlifters). Especially the regiment’s vehicles with their drivers, some 80 men in total.

But these aircraft weren’t able to transport all vehicles and thus a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft had to arrive. The then largest military aircraft within the U.S.A.F., part of the 3rd Military Airlift Squadron [1].

The loading of the C-5 Galaxy took all the night + the morning of May 20. After the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy had been ready, it moved to Lubumbashi in Zaire, to be unloaded there.

The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy would support the 2e REP until May 24 [2]. The aircraft continued the flights in, to and out of Libreville, Gabon, a former colony of France, with a French military base placed there. The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy would be moving on a regular basis between Gabon, Kinshasa and Lubumbashi to re-supply the 2e REP legionnaires.

[1], [2]: All of these unique information about the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft and its mission during May 19-24 were provided to the Foreign Legion Info website by John “Jack” Legere (Sergeant, 3rd Military Airlift Squadron at the time of the operation), a crewmember of the aircraft

 

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Entrance
Welcome to Kolwezi. An entrance to Kolwezi, Zaire, late May 1978.

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Map
Kolwezi. A plan of the town with its outskirts (yellow circles), drop zones (green fields) and the strategic points seized by the 2e REP on May 19, 1978.

 

May 20, 1978 – Saturday

Second jump over Kolwezi

That day at 07:00 AM (07.00) in the morning, the rest of the 2e REP (256 men in total) jumped over Kolwezi:

  • 4th Company
  • Reconnaissance Platoon (Section d’Eclairage et de Reconnaissance, SER)
  • 81 Mortar Platoon (Section de Mortiers 81, S81)
  • rest of the HQ Staff

 

The HQ + S81 + SER jumped over Drop Zone Alpha as the first wave of the regiment in the previous day. On the contrary, the 4th Company would jump over Drop Zone Bravo. It is a newly set up drop zone situated in the east, close to the New Town of Kolwezi. The legionnaires of the second wave were dropped successfully and shortly afterward, they joined their comrades from the rest of the regiment.

 

Cleaning out of Kolwezi

The 20th of May was marked by cleaning out of Kolwezi. The 1st Company was clearing the southern part of the Old Town; several rebel groups were hidden there. The 2nd Company was clearing the western part of the Old Town. Lieutenant Raymond would be wounded through it. The 3rd Company was clearing the New Town first. The unit would later move to Manika, a native quarter situated south-west of the New Town. Manika had served as the main base of support to rebels and their headquarters.

The freshly dropped 4th Company were holding their position east of Kolwezi. In the afternoon, the company would move to the north-west.

The SER and S81 had been clearing the northern part of the town before they moved to Camp Forrest, an old police facility located north of the New Town.

 

Belgian paratroopers to Kolwezi

Also that day in the morning, Belgian paratroopers landed in Kolwezi, as a part of their Operation Red Bean. They were members of the Régiment Para-Commando led by Colonel Depoorter. The 1st Parachute Battalion landed (hadn’t jumped) at the airport of Kolwezi and would support legionnaires in rescuing the local Europeans. The 2e REP’s HQ was co-ordinating this mission. Its men handed Europeans over to Belgians. Later that day, even the Belgian 3rd Parachute Battalion landed in Kolwezi to join the rescue operation. Over 2,000 Europeans would be evacuated between 21 and 22 May and spread temporarily among other towns and cities in Zaire.

 

Battle of Metal Shaba

At 02:30 PM (14.30), the most violent action during the 1978 Battle of Kolwezi took place. The battle occurred at Metal Shaba, one of the quarters/villages around Kolwezi, situated about 3 miles (5 km) to the north.

Initially, 4th Company got involved, after they had left their position at Drop Zone Bravo. Having finished to scout out the local rail station situated north of Metal Shaba, the legionnaires faced on their way back over 100 well-equipped rebels that would attack them. Staff Sergeant Daniel was immediately killed. He served as a deputy to the 2nd Platoon leader (Lieutenant Dary, the Chief of the Foreign Legion in 2004-07). Corporal Prudence was seriously wounded.

Shortly afterward, the 2nd Company + SER + S81 arrived in order to support the 4th Company. A fierce battle flared up and would take several hours. By the evening, around 80 rebels would be killed and a number of their vehicles destroyed. A lot of heavy weapons and firearms were seized.

That night, after a week, Kolwezi was calm, without fighting. Only sporadic shots could be heard.

 

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Jumping
Jumping over Kolwezi. The second wave of the 2e REP jumps over Kolwezi, May 20.

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - 4th Company - Drop Zone Bravo
Drop Zone Bravo. Legionnaires of the 4th Company after having landed east of Kolwezi, May 20.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Mortar Platoon - S81
Mortar Platoon – S81 of the 2e REP during the Battle of Kolwezi. The platoon jumped over the town on May 20, 1978.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Metal Shaba
Battle of Metal Shaba, Kolwezi, May 20. A very rare image showing the 4th Company legionnaires during the most violent action of the 1978 Battle of Kolwezi.

 

May 21, 1978 – Sunday

That day, several firefights took place. In the morning, two legionnaires were seriously wounded, Corporal Pain and Legionnaire Marco.

Also that day, first 2e REP vehicles successfully arrived in Kolwezi, transported by the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy and the C-141 Starlifters. The regiment would be quickly equipped with them to carry out reconnaissance patrols around the town; new rebel hideouts would be found.

The next day, GMC trucks of the 2e REP would arrive in the town.

 

May 22, 1978 – Monday

On May 22, a three-company task force was formed and moved to Kapata, another village on the periphery of the town. That one is situated several miles south-west of Kolwezi. At Kapata, a skirmish took place; 8 rebels were killed.

The same day, the Battle of Kolwezi was officially over. However, the ongoing military operations would continue.

 

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Zaire - Vehicles
Vehicles in Zaire. The vehicles of the 2e REP arrived in Zaire between May 21-22.

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Jeeps
Jeeps at Kolwezi. The first Jeeps of the 2e REP arrived at Kolwezi on May 21.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Patrolling
Patrolling around Kolwezi. The 2e REP legionnaires patrol around Kolwezi with their vehicles (Jeeps and GMC trucks).

 

May 23, 1978 – Tuesday

On May 23, the SER platoon was ordered to move to Likasi, a town located 93 miles (150 km) east of Kolwezi. The legionnaires would guard Europeans living there.

In the afternoon, a reconnaissance patrol conducted by the 1st Company took place some 8 miles (13 km) north-west of Kolwezi, in a village called Luilu. During the mission, about 20 killed Europeans were found. It was obvious that they had been tortured and massacred.

Shortly after the legionnaires had finished their mission and were ready to leave Luilu, a small, well-hidden rebel group attacked them. Legionnaire Clement was immediately killed. The following skirmish took an hour; all 5 rebels would be killed eventually. However, Corporal Harte had been fatally wounded. He died some time later.

 

May 24, 1978 – Wednesday

The first day off for the 2e REP legionnaires.

 

May 25, 1978 – Thursday

A new operation at Kapata, the village south-west of Kolwezi. On May 22, eight rebels had been killed there by a combined task force. The new operation too would be carried out by a three-company combined task force. Even that day, several rebels would be killed and 2 rebels imprisoned.

Also, on May 25, the Red Cross arrived in Kolwezi, with food supplies and medication for local inhabitants.

 

May 26, 1978 – Friday

The 2e REP, excluding the SER platoon in Likasi, moved some 8 miles (13 km) north-west to the village of Luilu, the site of the bloody firefight of May 23 in which two legionnaires and five rebels had died. The regiment would take a rest there.

Also that day, another two Europeans (Belgians) were found and rescued.

 

May 27, 1978 – Saturday

On May 27, the 1st Company left Kolwezi and moved to Lubumbashi. For the company, the operation was temporarily over.

Meanwhile, two companies and the S81 platoon were conducting the very last reconnaissance around Kolwezi. That day, all military operations of the 2e REP were finally over.

However, the same day, Senior Corporal Alioui had died (for an unknown reason). He was a member of the 2e REP commando group.

 

1978 Battle of Kolwezi: Aftermath

On May 28 (Sunday), at 03:00 AM (03.00) in the early morning, the larger part of the 2e REP (HQ + 2nd + 4th Company) left Kolwezi, after having spent a week of operations there. They joined the 1st Company in Lubumbashi. Meanwhile, the SER platoon was to seize the Lualaba bridge, a strategically important point in the Katanga Province. The bridge is situated some 25 miles (40 km) from Kolwezi, where only the 3rd Company + S81 platoon remained back then.

On June 3, tens of newspaper reporters arrived in Kolwezi from around the world. They were accompanied by Lt Colonel Erulin. The next day, the 1st Company came to relieve the 3rd Company in Kolwezi.

On June 6 in Lubumbashi, a military parade took place. The 2e REP participated.

The following day, June 7, the three-week stay in Zaire was over and the 2e REP returned to Corsica. All the regiment’s GMC trucks and Jeeps remained in Zaire; Moroccan troops (having replaced the legionnaires in the Katanga Province) would use them.

On June 16, even the 1st Company finally left Zaire and returned to Corsica. The legionnaires had helped to guard Kolwezi until June 15.

 

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Lubumbashi
Military parade at Lubumbashi, June 6, 1978. The 2e REP during a military parade organized in honor of the regiment in the second largest city of Zaire, by then Zairian President Mobutu.

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Erulin - Mobutu
Erulin and Mobutu, June 6, 1978. The 2e REP’s commanding officer, Lt Colonel Erulin, with General Mobutu, the then Zairian President.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Bastia - Valery d'Estaing
2e REP welcomed by French President, Bastia in Corsica, June 9, 1978. French President Valery d’Estaing (on the right) welcomes the 2e REP after their arrival from Zaire. Because of the successful battle, the regiment became popular over the world and their action supported the prestige of France. Lt Colonel Erulin on the left.

 
 

1978 Battle of Kolwezi: Results

– more than 2,100 Europeans rescued

– about 170 Europeans were massacred by rebels
– more than 700 local inhabitants were also massacred by rebels

– some 250 rebels were killed
– over 160 rebels were captured

– a Belgian paratrooper was killed

 

2e REP’s losses during the Battle of Kolwezi

5 legionnaires of the regiment were killed:

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Norbert DANIEL
Norbert DANIEL

Staff Sergeant Norbert DANIEL
– born in France
– 29 years old
– killed on May 20, 1978
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Youcef ALIOUI
Youcef ALIOUI

Senior Corporal Youcef ALIOUI
– born in Algeria
– 27 years old
– a member of commandos (today’s GCP)
– he died on May 27, 1978
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Richard ARNOLD
Richard ARNOLD

Corporal Richard ARNOLD
– born in England
– born as Robert Guy Ashby
– 21 years old
– killed on May 19, 1978
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Paul HARTE
Paul HARTE

Corporal Paul HARTE
– born in France
– born as Jean Hembert
– 26 years old
– fatally wounded on May 23, 1978
– he died the next day
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Jules CLÉMENT
Jules CLÉMENT

Legionnaire Jules CLÉMENT
– born in France
– born as Jean Cesar
– 20 years old
– killed on May 23, 1978

 

20 men of the regiment were wounded:

– Lieutenant Raymond
– Sergeant Cabrol
– Senior Corporal Senekovic
– Corporal Bareda
– Corporal Courson
– Corporal Dallet
– Corporal Munoz
– Corporal Ovacic
– Corporal Pain
– Corporal Prudence
– Legionnaire Becker
– Legionnaire Demont
– Legionnaire Forestier
– Legionnaire Gilbert
– Legionnaire Jakovic
– Legionnaire Marco
– Legionnaire Rodriguez
– Legionnaire Seeger
– Legionnaire Soral
– Legionnaire Svoboda

 

Unmentioned French losses

– 6 French military personnel have been missed
– sent to Kolwezi on May 13, 1978
– only a notepad of one of those French soldiers was found in Kolwezi
– at the hospital, by 2e REP legionnaires
– these French soldiers have never been found
– there aren’t any known information about their destiny
– they are unmentioned in almost all documents

– Lieutenant Jacques Laissac
– Adjudant-Chef Pierre Van Nuvel
– Adjudant Jacques Bireau
– Adjudant Christian Cesario
– Adjudant Jacques Gomilla
– Adjudant Bernard Laurent

 
 

1978 Battle of Kolwezi: Images

Here are some additional images to document the battle.

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Calvi - Paying Homage
Paying homage, Calvi, June 3, 1978. At the military base of the 2e REP, a ceremony to pay homage to the five killed legionnaires took place.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Legionnaire - M2 Browning
An M2 Browning operated by a 2e REP legionnaire during the Battle of Kolwezi, May 1978.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Legionnaires - Hotel Impala
Hotel Impala. 2e REP legionnaires sleeping at their HQ in Kolwezi, May 1978.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Legionnaires - Radio Post
A radio post of the 2e REP during the Battle of Kolwezi, May 1978.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Legionnaires - Wounded - Seeger - Gilbert
20 men of the 2e REP were wounded during the May 1978 Battle of Kolwezi. Between them, Legionnaire Seeger (in the foreground) and Legionnaire Gilbert.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Legionnaires - Sablek - Sabljic
Then Sergeant Sablek carrying a rebel suspect during the Battle of Kolwezi. In 2018, Lt Colonel (ret) Zlatko Sabljic (of Croatian origin) serves as the head of Home of Legionnaire, a retirement home for Legion veterans. He spent 38 years in the Legion.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Captured Weapons
Over 1,000 firearms were captured during the Battle of Kolwezi, May 1978.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Legionnaire - Girl
A legionnaire of the 2e REP holding a rescued little girl, Kolwezi, May 1978.

 

A French TV report showing images from Solenzara (including 2e REP legionnaires) and Kolwezi, taken in late May 1978
An English TV report covering the events in Kolwezi, May 1978

 

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Main information & images sources:
Képi blanc magazines (1978)
2e REP’s 2014 REP INFO bulletin
Thomas P. Odom: Shaba II: The French and Belgian Intervention in Zaire in 1978 (Combat Studies Institute, 1993)
Memorial Gen Web (in French)
FSALE (in French)
Google Maps
Wikipedia.org

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More from the Foreign Legion’s history:
1863 Battle of Camerone
1908 Forthassa Disaster
1932 Turenne Rail Accident
1954 Battle of Dien Bien Phu
1976 Loyada Hostage Rescue Mission
1976 Djibouti helicopter crash
1982 Mont Garbi Accident
Foreign Legion in the Balkans: 1915-1919
Foreign Legion Mounted Companies
Foreign Legion Repair Platoons in Africa
6th Foreign Infantry Regiment
11th Foreign Infantry Regiment

 

 
More from the history of the Foreign Legion’s paratroopers:
3rd Foreign Parachute Regiment
Parachute Company of 3e REI
1st Heavy Mortar Foreign Parachute Company
CERA – Foreign Airdrop Company
 

 

The page was updated on: May 16, 2020

 

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