2e BEP: 70th anniversary of the predecessor to the 2e REP

70 years ago, on October 1, 1948, the 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion (2e BEP) of the Foreign Legion was established in North Africa. The unit would be shipped to Southeast Asia a few months later, to became the most awarded French battalion of the First Indochina War (1946-54). After having returned back to North Africa in late 1955, its men helped to constitute its famous successor, the 2e REP (Regiment).

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Foreign Legion’s Engineering Companies in the First Indochina War

Learn about engineering companies of the French Foreign Legion serving in then French Indochina during the First Indochina War (1946-54). Although very little-known units, even in France, these companies were among first Foreign Legion elements joining the military operations in Indochina and provided an important combat support in the following war.

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64 years ago: Major confrontation with the Viet Minh started

64 years ago, a major confrontation between the French and the Viet Minh started. It took place in northeastern Vietnam, in then French Indochina. On March 13, 1954, the French garrison of Dien Bien Phu was attacked. After several hours of bloody assaults, the enemy would overrun one of the important French strongpoints…

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61st Anniversary of the Fall of Dien Bien Phu

On May 7, 1954, after 55 days of fierce fighting, the major battle between French troops and Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh soldiers was terminated. The battle occurred in the valley of Dien Bien Phu, in northern Vietnam, and signaled the end of French influence in Southeast Asia. Thousands of legionnaires were involved in the struggle and many of them died…

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History of the first Foreign Legion parachute unit

During the First Indochina War, the Foreign Legion was demanded by French military authorities to create a parachute unit to support French infantry forces operating in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos since 1946. In 1948, volunteers of the Legion regiments stationed in Indochina formed the first Foreign Legion airborne unit – the Parachute Company, attached to the 3e REI.

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Heavy mortar units of the Foreign Legion in the First Indochina War

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.

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