140 years ago: A fierce battle with local rebels in North Africa

In North Africa in late April 1882, in a borderland territory which separated Algeria from Morocco, a surveying expedition under the command of Captain de Castries was returning from survey work at the Chott Tigri depression. Escorted by two companies of the Legion, the column was attacked by more than 2,000 local insurgents. The escort, whose strength was no more than 350 men, was fighting one against six. At the end of the seven-hour battle, two officers and 49 legionnaires had been killed.

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PHOTOS: Algerian War 1954-1962

Sixty years ago – on March 19, 1962 – the Algerian War ended. One of the decolonization movements that affected the Western empires after World War II, the Algerian War took place between 1954 and 1962 in Algeria, the then French department situated in North Africa. The war was fought between the French armed forces and the National Liberation Army (ALN), the armed wing of the National Liberation Front (FLN). The French Foreign Legion, firmly established in Algeria since 1831, took an important part in the conflict, as the main core of the French intervention forces. Officially, the Legion lost 65 officers, 278 NCOs, and 1,633 legionnaires in action. See over 30 iconic pictures to commemorate the war and those who fought in it on the Legion side.

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History: Learn about the predecessor to the French Foreign Legion

Learn about an infantry regiment of the French Army consisting of foreign volunteers that served as the predecessor to the current French Foreign Legion. It was constituted by a 1815 royal decree, after the defeat of Napoleon I at Waterloo, to replace the eight foreign regiments serving in Napoleon’s army. After its dissolution in early 1831, the unit was replaced by the Foreign Legion.

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JOINING: PCR test no older than 24 hours is required to join the Foreign Legion

Since late January 2022, a new rule for joining the French Foreign Legion has been applied. A PCR test no older than 24 hours is required now to enter the recruting centers and begin the selection process. According to the recruiting officers of the Legion, this new rule applies for all candidates from all countries, regardless of the degree of risk of infection, even for vaccinated individuals and people who have recently recovered from Covid.

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Major Franck M. : The Legion was my chance

This interesting interview appeared in La Dépêche du Midi – a French regional daily newspaper – seven months ago, on 17 February 2021. In June 2021, Major Franck M. [1] from the 4th Foreign Regiment (4e RE) in Castelnaudary left the Foreign Legion after having spent incredible 40 years and 6 months in the institution [2]. Read his famous life story in English.

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100 years ago: A sad campaign in France ended for the Foreign Legion

100 years ago, in late June 1871, three battalions of the Foreign Legion landed in Algeria, having returned from the very first deployment of the Legion in metropolitan France. The men spent eight months there and took part in a wretched campaign. However, these weren’t the only foreigners to participate in the then fighting on the French side. Also, the three battalions didn’t represent all units of the Legion that were to partake in the conflict.

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80 years ago: Father of the Legion died

80 years ago, on 16 April 1941, one of the most important persons of the French Foreign Legion passed away. Nicknamed as the “Father of the Legion”, he created a modern institution and widely raised public awareness of his legionnaires. His time at the head of the Foreign Legion was known as the Legion’s golden age. However, the Second World War and his damaged health stopped the enormous work dedicated to the legionnaires and veterans.

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