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2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment

The 2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment was one of the two cavalry regiments of the French Foreign Legion serving after 1945. It participated in the Algerian War, some of its elements fought also during the World War II. The regiment was created in July 1939 and definitively disbanded in July 1962. Its flag is guarded by DLEM.

2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment History - 2 REC - L'histoire du 2e Régiment Étranger de Cavalerie

 

2e REC in 1939-1940

1925-1939 – three squadrons (3rd, 4th, 5th) of the 1er REC stationed in Morocco formed the Moroccan Squadrons Group (Groupement des Escadrons du Maroc, GEM)

July 01, 1939GEM became the 2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment (2e Régiment Étranger de Cavalerie, 2e REC)

- 2e REC was nicknamed as the Foreign Dauphin (Dauphin Étranger)
- Dauphin means a Heir apparent in French, while 1er REC is nicknamed as the Foreign Royal
- 2e REC’s traditions derived from the former French foreign cavalry regiment “Dauphin Étranger” (1666-1761)

February 1940 – elements of the 2e REC and 1er REC formed the 97th Infantry Division Reconnaissance Group (97e Groupe de Reconnaissance de Division d’Infanterie, 97e GRDI) to fighting in France against Germany

November 15, 1940 – 2e REC is disbanded and its legionnaires rejoined the 1er REC

 

2e REC in Morocco in 1946-1956

June 01, 19462e REC is recreated from elements of the 1er REC and stationed in Oujda, Morocco
- 2e REC is providing support for the 1er REC fighting in the First Indochina War by forming young cavalry legionnaires

April 1948 – operations in Martimprey, de Berkane and de Berguent

July 24, 1949 – the freshly created 4th squadron of the 2e REC is sent to Madagascar to make support for engineer units of the Foreign Legion working there

February 1952 – the 4th squadron is coming back from Madagascar and is disbanded

August 1953 – operations in Morocco, four dead legionnaires

1955 – operations in Morocco

November 01, 1955 – the 2nd Amphibious Group (2e Groupement amphibie, 2e GA) of the 1er REC became the 2nd Motorised Squadrons Group (2e Groupe d’escadrons portés, 2e GEP) of the 2e REC, after it left Indochina and landed in Africa

May 01, 1956 – 2e GEP became the 4th Squadron

June 27, 1956 – the 1st and 4th Squadron left Morocco for Bou Arfa, Algeria to participate in the Algerian War

August 19562nd Squadron is attached to the 10th Airborne Division and sent to Blida to train with the 1er REP because of the Suez Crisis

2e REC insignia

2e REC insignia; Image source: Wikipedia.org

Camp Clark of the 2e REC in Oujda in 1955

Camp Clark of the 2e REC in Oujda (July 1955)

AMX of the 2e REC in Berkane in 1955

The AMX-13 of 2e REC during an exercise, in Berkane (July 1955)

2e REC - Oujda - swimming pool - 1956

Legionnaires of 2e REC during swimming competitions at the pool of Oujda (August 1956)

 

2e REC during the Algerian War

October 01, 19563rd Squadron, as the last 2e REC’s unit, left Morocco for Algeria to participate in the Algerian War

November-December 1956 – 2nd Squadron of the 2e REC participated in the Suez Crisis in Egypt

January 1957 – operations in the M’Raier region

April-May 1957 – operations at Djebel Djelfa, Sahari, Amour, Senalba, Bou Kahil

July 1957 – operations in the Zaccar region, together with 3e CSPL

1958 – 1st Squadron participated in operations in the Laghouat region
1958   – 3rd Squadron participated in operations at Tadjemout

April-December 1958“Horse” mission

    - the 4th Squadron and Staff are sent to the Negrine region on the Tunisian border in the south of Algeria, to control and guard the electric tence border and a hidden radar base
2e REC 4th Squadron at Vieux Negrine

The 4th Squadron of 2e REC at Vieux Negrine on the Tunisian border during the Horse operation (June 1958)

2e REC 4th Squadron at Vieux Negrine in June 1958

The 4th Squadron of 2e REC at Vieux Negrine (June 1958)


 

December 1958 – operation at Djebel Groun in the Djelfa region and in Senelba

January 1959 – operations in the Charef mountains

February 1959 – operations at Djebel Atrech, Faidja and Serdoun

March 1959 - operations at Zemra

June 1959 – operation at Mahregue

July 1959Operation Etincelle

August 1959 – fighting in the Bou Saada region

October 1959 – operations at Baten, Charef and Djebel Mdaouar

November-December 1959 – operations at Kef El Djahfa

November 01, 1959Arzew Amphibious Squadron (Escadron Amphibie d’Arzew, EAA) became the 2nd Squadron instead of that one, which joined the 1er REP in 1957, ater the Suez Crisis was terminated

Arzew Amphibious Squadron in Arzew in 1959

Arzew Amphibious Squadron training in Arzew (July 1959)
In a few weeks, it becomes the 2nd Squadron of 2e REC

Alligators of the Arzew Amphibious Squadron in 1959

LVT-4 (called “Alligator”) of the Arzew Amphibious Squadron training in Arzew (July 1959)


 

January 21, 1960 – fights at Gadet Meglires, more than 60 rebels killed

April-June 1960 – operations at Zerca, Matmoura, at Djebel Malleg

September-October 1960 – operation in the Bou Kahil region, 100 rebels killed

February-May 1961 – fights with rebels at Teniet El-Hasbaia in the Bou Kahil region, together with 2e CSPL

January 1962 – 2e REC is redeployed to the Biskra region

    - the 1st squadron is based in Sidi-Okba
    - Staff and the 2nd squadron is based at Zeribet El Oued
    - the 3rd squadron is based in Ain Naga
    - the 4th squadron is based in Khanga Sidi Nadji
    - Administration service in Biskra

March 1962 – the Algerian War is terminated

April 1962 – 2e REC is redeployed again, still within the Biskra region

June 12, 1962 – an order launched, the 2e REC will be reduced to only two squadrons and they will be attached to the 1er REC

July 31, 1962 – 2e REC is officially disbanded
 
 
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Pictures of the 2e REC 1956-1962

 

2e REC 2nd squadron in Blida in September 1956

The 2nd Squadron of 2e REC during the Saint Michael Day parade in Blida (September 29, 1956)

AMX-13 2e REC 2nd squadron in the Suez Crisis November 1956

The AMX-13 of the 2nd Squadron of 2e REC during the Suez Crisis in Egypt (November 1956)

2e REC Djebel Djelfa April 1957

Djebel Djelfa – the first big operation for 2e REC during the Algerian War (April 1957)

2e REC Djebel Djelfa April 1957 wounded legionnaires

Wounded legionnaires from 2e REC during the Djebel Djelfa operations (April 1957)

2e REC Djebel Sahari April 1957

Legionnaires from 2e REC with the 75 S.R. cannons during the Djebel Sahari operation (April 1957)

2e REC - Camerone Day 1957

Legionnaires from 2e REC and their commander Colonel de Baulny during the Camerone Day ceremony in Laghouat (April 30, 1957)

2e REC - Camerone Day 1958 at Negrine

Colonel de Baulny during the Camerone Day ceremony of 2e REC at Negrine (April 30, 1958)

2e REC - Camerone Day 1959 in Djelfa

2e REC parading on Camerone Day in Djelfa (April 30, 1959)

2e REC Charef region October 1959

2e REC during an operation in the Charef region (October 1959)

2e REC parade 1960

AM-M8 – an inseparable part of the 2e REC, during a parade in Algeria (1960)

Image source: Voltigeur’s Web Page

2e REC Gadet Meglires on January 21, 1960

The officers of 2e REC during an operation at Gadet Meglires, in which more than 60 rebels were killed (January 21, 1960)

2e REC Djelfa region June 1960

2e REC during an operation in the Djelfa region (June 1960)

2e REC Bou Kahil region June 1960

2e REC during an operation in the Bou Kahil region (October 1960)

Finishing works at the holiday camp of the 2e REC in Douaouda 1960

Finishing works at the vacation/holiday camp of 2e REC in Douaouda (1960)

2e REC Bou Kahil region February 1961

The AM-M8 of 2e REC during an operation in the Bou Kahil region (February 1961)

2e REC parading - Algeria 1961

2e REC during a parade in Algeria (1961)

2e REC redeployment January 1962

2e REC during the redeployment to the Biskra region (January 1962)

1st Squadron of the 2e REC working at the new camp in Sidi-Okba February 1962

Legionnaires of the 1st Squadron of 2e REC working at their new camp of Sidi-Okba
(February 1962)

1st Squadron of the 2e REC working at the new camp in Sidi-Okba February 1962

Legionnaires of the 1st Squadron of 2e REC parading in Sidi-Okba (February 1962)

2e REC Flag

Flag of the 2e REC during an operation

 

See more, a bunch of really nice pictures of the 2e REC

 

Images source (besides that already defined):
Képi blanc magazines

Information source:
Legion cavalerie
Kepi blanc magazines

Special thanks to Joe van Raamt, a former cavalry legionnaire, for his great help with this article!

———

 
See other Foreign Legion’s disbanded regiments:
1st Foreign Parachute Regiment
3rd Foreign Parachute Regiment
4th Foreign Infantry Regiment
5th Foreign Regiment
6th Foreign Infantry Regiment

 

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