Regiment of Tonkin: From Indochina to Polynesia

Regiment of Tonkin. The only regiment of the French Foreign Legion established (two times) in Asia. Nicknamed after Tonkin, the then title for northern Vietnam during the French rule and the place were the unit was born, the 5th Foreign Regiment (5e RE) remains also the only regiment of the Foreign Legion stationed in French Polynesia. Its legionnaires were also the only Legion force fighting against the Japanese during WWII (1940 and 1945). Besides that, the 5e RE’s units fought in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Algeria. In 1963, the regiment was reorganized and moved to French Polynesia to build and guard a new French nuclear testing site…

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History of the 5th Foreign Regiment

Since its dissolution in July 1, 2000, the 5th Foreign Regiment (5e Régiment étranger, 5e RE) has been the last disbanded regiment of the French Foreign Legion. Nicknamed “Regiment du Tonkin” or “Genie Legion”, the 5e RE has a long and truly remarkable history. I have tried to collect some data and photos and made its own page for those interested in.

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