GPLEA: 21e CPLE, 22e CPLE, 23e CPLE

Units of the French Foreign Legion forgotten by time. Independent, self-governing autonomous motorized infantry companies serving in Algeria, established at the turn of the year 1954/1955 in response to rising rebel activity in French North Africa. The companies were equipped with Jeeps, Dodges WC 6×6, M3 Scout Cars (22e CPLE in 1955) and with AM-M8 Greyhound armored cars. They were often supported or even transported by helicopters and co-operated in several military operations with Foreign Legion paratroopers from 1er REP. In February 1956, the companies were grouped into a motorized group: GPLEA.

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The Foreign Legion only unit ever based in Libya

A hardly known self-governing, autonomous motorized infantry unit of the French Foreign Legion, established in 1949 to guard the Fezzan region of Libya, being under the French administration. The 3rd Legion Saharan Motorized Company (3e CSPL), one of the four legendary Saharan motorized companies of the Legion. In the late 1950s, 3e CSPL left Libya to participate in the Algerian War.

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Second Saharan motorized unit of the Legion

Learn about the 2nd Legion Saharan Motorized Company (2e CSPL), an autonomous motorized infantry unit of the French Foreign Legion serving in the Algerian Sahara between the 1940s and 1960s. Very little known today, equipped with Dodges WC 4×4 and 6×6, and also by AMM8 Greyhound armored cars, it became a Saharan rapid reaction force during the Algerian War.

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Legion’s first Saharan motorized unit

Though little known today, four autonomous Saharan companies ranked among the most prestigious Foreign Legion’s units in the 1950s – 1960s. They kept the old traditions of the legionnaires riding camels through the North African desert and oasis, serving in the old cool-looking fortresses. Even the official recruiting posters of the Legion in the 1950s and 1960s portrayed Saharan units to attract new volunteers to join in. Today, the Legion’s first Saharan motorized unit will be presented here.

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Rare Foreign Legion’s photos from the 1980s & Gulf War

Chad, Djibouti, Mayotte and the Gulf War… See the interesting slideshows created by Ch. R., a former legionnaire and NCO of the French Foreign Legion, who served in the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment (1er REC) during the 1980s and 1990s. Hundreds of rare, cool photos from places known by almost all legionnaires and from the Gulf War 1990-91.

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