Three videoclips, created and shared on YouTube by a former legionnaire of French nationality, with a large number of nice photos from the French Foreign Legion, made approximately 35 years ago (late 1970s, early 1980s).
There is the only cavalry regiment within the today’s French Foreign Legion. But it was not always so. During the years of 1939-40 and 1946-62, the Foreign Legion used also the second cavalry regiment, 2e REC. Nicknamed “Dauphin Étranger”, the 2e REC was the last Foreign Legion unit based in Morocco, which it left in 1956 for participating in the Algerian War. In Algeria, the regiment was serving and fighting for more than five years, till the end of the war in 1962. See history and pictures of the 2e REC.
There has not been such a controversial regiment neither within the French Foreign Legion nor within the whole of French Army for decades. The 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment (1er REP). Two times completely destroyed during the heavy fights of the First Indochina War, the 1er REP became the well-respected and feared legendary elite unit. But, it also participated in the Generals’ putsch in Algiers in 1961 and played a lead role of it….
In October 1952, the Foreign Legion made a decision to create an independent heavy mortar unit. In 1954, there were three mortar units within the French Foreign Legion fighting in the First Indochina War. A parachute mortar company and the two infantry mortar companies composed of mixed elements: legionnaires and local anti-communist soldiers. These units used the 120mm heavy mortars. See history and a few images of the units.
A short French documentary about the Foreign Legion released in 1949. Very nice images of the Foreign Legion main base in Sidi Bel Abbes (Algeria) while celebrating Camerone Day. A lot of legionnaires caught in the film will die during next five years in the First Indochina War. We can also see historical images of a typical legionnaires job of that time: hard-working with “la pioche“, a pickaxe.
Syria, Homs, Damascus. Names we are hearing regularly in these days of 2012-13. It is very interesting to discover the French Foreign Legion and its legionnaires were serving at these places for decades. In 1939, the Legion units serving in Syria were transformed into the 6th Foreign Infantry Regiment and just based at Homs and Damascus. In 1941, it was the only Foreign Legion regiment which remained loyal to the French Vichy regime (cooperating with Hitler). See the very little known history and some photos of the 6th Foreign Infantry Regiment.
It would not be the 2e REP without the 3rd Foreign Parachute Regiment (3e REP). That’s right. The 3e REP is, belive or not, a predecessor of the famous 2e REP. Formed as the 3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion in Algeria in 1949, the 3e REP was deactivated in 1955, by establishing the 2e REP. See some data and photos of the little-known regiment of the French Foreign Legion.