1978 Battle of Kolwezi

The Battle of Kolwezi (also known as Operation Bonite or Operation Leopard) was a successful airborne operation carried out in May 1978, by the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e REP) of the French Foreign Legion. It took place in what was then Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Central Africa. The operation’s task was to rescue over 2,000 European hostages captured by local left-wing rebels. Because of the successful operation and its international media coverage, the 2e REP gained popularity across the world.

Battle of Kolwezi - Operation Leopard - Operation Bonite

 

Prelude to the battle

May 13-18, 1978

On May 13, 1978, the town of Kolwezi, an important mining center in the Katanga Province in southern Zaire, was invaded by around 3,000-4,000 Katangese rebels. Called Tigers, they belonged to the left-wing Congolese National Liberation Front (FNLC), organized in neighboring Angola and led by Nathanael Mbumba. The political aim of the FNLC was to occupy the Katanga Province, a region particularly rich in cobalt and copper, and separate it from Zaire. It was not their first such attempt. The rebels had already tried to occupy the province in March-May 1977, but without success.

The May 1978 invasion was part of the Second War of Shaba (then the name of the Katanga Province), fought between Zaire and the FNLC. This time, the Katangese rebels would loot the town, rape local girls and women, and kill any local residents who opposed their violence. They would also capture as hostages over 2,000 Europeans, mostly of French and Belgian origin, who lived in the town and worked for the local mining industry.

Zaire was a former Belgian colony, known as the Belgian Congo until 1960. That’s why the town of Kolwezi, established in 1937 as the headquarters of an Anglo-Belgian mining company, had such a strong presence of French-speaking Europeans.

Having seen the new rebel invasion of his country, the then President of Zaire, General Joseph Mobutu, contacted Belgium, France, Morocco, and the United States, and asked them to help Zaire restore order in Kolwezi.

By May 18, the majority of rebels had left the town. Only about 500 of them remained there.

 

Preparations and departure

May 17, 1978 – Wednesday

That day in Corsica, at 10:00 a.m. (10:00), the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e REP), a French Foreign Legion airborne unit, was put on alert. France’s rapid reaction force and the one remaining parachute regiment among the Legion units, the 2e REP was composed of around 750 men and commanded by Lt Colonel Philippe Erulin at the time. The regiment was based at Calvi, Corsica, and belonged to the 11th Parachute Division (11e DP) of General Lacaze, their former colonel (1967-1970).

At 8:00 p.m. (20:00), the 2e REP was ready for departure.

 

May 18, 1978 – Thursday

Solenzara Air Base

In the early morning of May 18, Operation Bonite (also known as Operation Leopard in Zaire) began. At 2:20 a.m. (02:20), the whole 2e REP was alerted. At 4:30 a.m., the first 2e REP elements left Calvi for the Solenzara Air Base, a French Air Force base located around 80 miles (130 km) southeast, at Solenzara in eastern Corsica.

By 11:30 a.m. (11:30), the entire regiment had been gathered at Solenzara. General Lacaze of the 11e DP arrived to clarify the mission to the legionnaires.

During the day, several aircraft landed at Solenzara: four Douglas DC-8 jet airliners and a Boeing 707 jet airliner.
 

Transport to Zaire

Later that day, the 2e REP legionnaires left Solenzara and flew in the five jets to Zaire. At 11:00 p.m. (23:00), the first jet airliner landed in Kinshasa, the capital. The last of the five jets landed in the capital the next day, at 11:00 a.m. (11:00).
 

2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment’s battle order of May 18, 1978
  • HQ: Lt Colonel Philippe Erulin
  • 1st Company: Captain Michel Poulet
  • 2nd Company: Captain Renaud Dubos
  • 3rd Company: Captain Rémy Gausserès
  • 4th Company: Captain Bernard Grail
  • SER Recce Platoon: Lieutenant Jean-Claude Halbert
  • S81 Mortar Platoon: Lieutenant Jean-Tristan Verna

 

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Zaire - Kolwezi - Map
Zaire and the location of Kolwezi.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Solenzara - Corsica - Loading
Solenzara, Corsica, May 18, 1978. The 2e REP legionnaires are loading a U.S.A.F. aircraft supporting their mission in Kolwezi.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Solenzara - Erulin - General Lacaze
Solenzara, Corsica, May 18, 1978. General Lacaze (right), the head of the 11e DP and a former commander of the regiment, is reviewing the 2e REP before their departure for Zaire. He is accompanied by Lt Col Erulin (left), the then commanding officer.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Solenzara - Corsica - Departure
Solenzara, Corsica, May 18, 1978. The 2e REP legionnaires are boarding a U.S.A.F. aircraft to be transported to Zaire.

 
 

1978 Battle of Kolwezi

May 19, 1978 – Friday

In the morning, the preparations for an airborne operation took place at the air base in Kinshasa. The first 2e REP elements were to be transported to Kolwezi. At the time, only half of the regiment was present there:

  • 1st Company
  • 2nd Company
  • 3rd Company
  • a reduced HQ Staff and a medical group

 

Toward Kolwezi

The 2e REP units boarded five military aircraft: four Lockheed C-130 Hercules of the Zairian Army and a Transall C-160 of the French Air Force.

At 10:30 a.m. (10:30), the first C-130 Hercules left Kinshasa, followed shortly after by the remaining four military aircraft. The town of Kolwezi lies 930 miles (1,500 km) southeast of Kinshasa. Thus, the flight would take about four hours.

 

First jump over Kolwezi

At 3:15 p.m. (15:15), the legionnaires jumped over Kolwezi, 381 men in total. They made their jump over Drop Zone Alpha, a drop zone located near the center of Kolwezi, close to the Old Town. Situated between a police station and a hotel, the drop zone was 875 yards (800 m) long, covered by high grass and 16-foot (4 m) termite mounds.

During their combat jump, the legionnaires were equipped with U.S. T-10 S parachutes. However, the Legion paratroopers had never tried them before. They had only been given quick instructions on these parachutes shortly before leaving Kinshasa for Kolwezi.

Every Hercules had some 80 legionnaires on board. They were dropped through two doors, 20 men from each. This meant that two waves of drops had to be made.

On the ground, the paratroopers had been assembled in their units. The mission could then start. Nevertheless, six legionnaires had already been injured, and during the regrouping, another one was missing: Corporal Robert Arnold, a young British member of the 1st Company. The next day, he was found to have been massacred by rebels. He was still equipped with his parachute. Corporal Arnold became the first legionnaire killed during Operation Bonite.

 

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kinshasa
Kinshasa, the capital of Zaire, May 19. The 2e REP legionnaires equip themselves with U.S. T-10 S parachutes to jump with them over Kolwezi later that day. Note the sniper on the far right, with the attached sniper rifle.

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kinshasa
Kinshasa, Zaire, May 19. The first wave of 2e REP legionnaires boards an aircraft to be transported to Kolwezi.

 

Fighting in Kolwezi

Once inside the town, the 2e REP men had to occupy several strategic points as soon as possible:

  • Jean XXIII Lycée (a high school): 1st Company
  • Hospital and Gecamines Factory: 2nd Company and HQ
  • Impala Hotel: 3rd Company

 

The Lycée and hospital were two places expected as locations for the rebels’ hostages. The Impala Hotel was used as the rebels’ HQ. At the Gecamines Factory, there could be some vehicles to allow the 2e REP units to become motorized.

The 3rd Company was ordered to carry out another two missions as well. First, they had to seize a train station in the center of Kolwezi, and then, an important bridge located between the Old Town and the New Town.

The battle between the rebels and the 2e REP legionnaires started as soon as they entered the town. The fighting occurred in all main streets and lasted about two hours. By 5:45 p.m. (17:45), all strategic points were seized and Kolwezi was recaptured. During the fighting, numerous rebels were killed and tens of their weapons were seized.

 

Second jump over Kolwezi cancelled

In the evening, a planned second jump over Kolwezi was cancelled. It had been scheduled for 5:55 p.m. (17:55) with the rest of the 2e REP, but was called off due to several factors. First, it got dark, and the drop zone wasn’t safe for a night jump. The strategic points had already been seized, and the majority of European hostages had been rescued. Lastly, the rebels had been pushed out of the town.

Because of that, the aircraft with the second wave of legionnaires moved to Lubumbashi, the second largest city in Zaire, located some 155 miles (250 km) southeast of Kolwezi. There they would spend the upcoming night.

 

Night fights in Kolwezi

During the night, the rebels attacked the legionnaires under cover of darkness, and new fights flared up. These skirmishes took all night. Many rebels would be killed and a number of other weapons captured.

 

Military equipment from Corsica to Zaire

Meanwhile, at the Solenzara Air Base in Corsica, the 2e REP’s military materiel was loaded on board of several of the U.S. Air Force’s Lockheed C-141 Starlifter airlifters, especially the regiment’s vehicles and their drivers, comprising 80 men in total.

But these aircraft couldn’t transport all the vehicles. Thus, a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft had to be deployed. This was, at the time, the largest military aircraft within the U.S.A.F., part of the 3rd Military Airlift Squadron [1].

The loading of the C-5 Galaxy took all that night and the morning of May 20. Once all was ready, the aircraft moved to Lubumbashi, in Zaire, to be unloaded there.

The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy would support the 2e REP until May 24 [2]. The aircraft continued flights into and out of Libreville in Gabon, a former French colony, with a French military base. The C-5 Galaxy would move on a regular basis between Gabon, Kinshasa and Lubumbashi to resupply the 2e REP legionnaires.

[1], [2]: All of this unique information about the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft and its mission during May 19-24 was provided to the Foreign Legion Info website by John “Jack” Legere (Sergeant, 3rd Military Airlift Squadron at the time of the operation), a crewmember of the aircraft.

 

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Entrance
Welcome to Kolwezi. An entrance to Kolwezi, Zaire, late May 1978.

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Map
Kolwezi. A plan of the town with its outskirts (yellow circles), drop zones (green fields) and the strategic points seized by the 2e REP on May 19, 1978.

 

May 20, 1978 – Saturday

Second jump over Kolwezi

That day in the morning, at 7:00 a.m., the rest of the 2e REP (256 men in total) jumped over Kolwezi:

  • 4th Company
  • Reconnaissance Platoon (Section d’Eclairage et de Reconnaissance, SER)
  • 81 Mortar Platoon (Section de Mortiers 81, S81)
  • the rest of the HQ Staff

 

The HQ, S81, and SER jumped over Drop Zone Alpha as the first wave of the regiment the day before. However, the 4th Company would jump over Drop Zone Bravo. This was a newly set up drop zone situated in the east, close to the New Town of Kolwezi. The legionnaires of the second wave were successfully dropped, and shortly afterward, joined their comrades from the rest of the regiment.

 

Cleaning out Kolwezi

May 20 was marked by the cleaning out of Kolwezi. The 1st Company cleared the southern part of the Old Town; several rebel groups were hidden there. Meanwhile, the 2nd Company set to clearing the western part of the Old Town. Lieutenant Raymond would be wounded in the process. The 3rd Company first started clearing the New Town, before moving to Manika, a native quarter situated southwest of the New Town. Manika had served as the main base of support for the rebels and their headquarters.

The dropped men of the 4th Company were holding their position east of Kolwezi. In the afternoon, the company moved to the northwest.

The SER and S81 cleared the northern part of the town before moving on to Camp Forrest, an old police facility located north of the New Town.

 

Belgian paratroopers to Kolwezi

Also that morning, Belgian paratroopers landed in Kolwezi, as part of their Operation Red Bean. They were members of the Régiment Para-Commando under Colonel Depoorter. The 1st Parachute Battalion landed (having not jumped) at the airport in Kolwezi.

The Belgian paratroopers would support legionnaires in rescuing local Europeans, a mission coordinated by the 2e REP’s HQ. The legionnaires handed Europeans over to the Belgians. Later that day, the Belgian 3rd Parachute Battalion landed in Kolwezi as well to join the rescue operation. Over 2,000 Europeans would be evacuated between May 21 and 22 and spread temporarily across other towns and cities in Zaire.

 

Battle of Metal Shaba

At 2:30 p.m. (14:30), the most violent action during the 1978 Battle of Kolwezi took place. This battle occurred at Metal Shaba, one of the quarters/villages around Kolwezi, situated about 3 miles (5 km) to the north.

Initially, only the 4th Company was involved, after they had left their position at Drop Zone Bravo. Having finished scouting out the local rail station north of Metal Shaba, the legionnaires were on their way back when they were faced with an attack from over 100 well-equipped rebels. Staff Sergeant Daniel was immediately killed. He had served as a deputy to the 2nd Platoon leader (Lieutenant Dary, the Chief of the Foreign Legion from 2004 to 2007). Corporal Prudence was seriously wounded.

Shortly afterward, the 2nd Company, SER, and S81 arrived to support the 4th Company. A fierce battle flared up and lasted several hours. By the evening, around 80 rebels had been killed and a number of their vehicles destroyed. Many heavy weapons and firearms were seized too.

That night, after a week of fighting, Kolwezi was calm. Only sporadic shots could be heard.

 

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Jumping
Jumping over Kolwezi. The second wave of the 2e REP jumps over Kolwezi, May 20.

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - 4th Company - Drop Zone Bravo
Drop Zone Bravo. Legionnaires of the 4th Company shortly after their jump east of Kolwezi, May 20.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Mortar Platoon - S81
Mortar Platoon – S81 of the 2e REP during the Battle of Kolwezi. The platoon jumped over the town on May 20, 1978.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Metal Shaba
Battle of Metal Shaba, Kolwezi, May 20. A very rare image showing the 4th Company legionnaires in the most violent action of the 1978 Battle of Kolwezi.

 

May 21, 1978 – Sunday

On May 21, several firefights took place. In the morning, two legionnaires, Corporal Pain and Legionnaire Marco, were seriously wounded.

The same day, the first 2e REP vehicles successfully arrived in Kolwezi, transported by the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy and C-141 Starlifters. The regiment was quickly equipped with them to carry out reconnaissance patrols around the town; new rebel hideouts would be found.

The following day, GMC trucks belonging to the 2e REP would also arrive in the town.

 

May 22, 1978 – Monday

On May 22, a three-company task force was formed and moved to Kapata, another village on the periphery of Kolwezi, situated several miles to the southwest. At Kapata, a skirmish took place; eight rebels were killed.

The same day, the Battle of Kolwezi was officially over. However, the military operations continued.

 

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Zaire - Vehicles
Vehicles in Zaire. The vehicles of the 2e REP arrived in Zaire between May 21-22.

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Jeeps
Jeeps at Kolwezi. The first Jeeps of the 2e REP arrived in Kolwezi on May 21.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Patrolling
Patrolling around Kolwezi. The 2e REP legionnaires conduct patrols around Kolwezi with their vehicles (Jeeps and GMC trucks).

 

May 23, 1978 – Tuesday

On May 23, the SER platoon was ordered to move to Likasi, a town located 93 miles (150 km) east of Kolwezi. The legionnaires would guard Europeans living there.

In the afternoon, a reconnaissance patrol conducted by the 1st Company took place some 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Kolwezi, in a village called Luilu. During the mission, the patrol found 20 killed Europeans who had obviously been tortured and massacred.

Shortly after the legionnaires had completed their mission and were ready to leave Luilu, a small, well-hidden rebel group attacked them. Legionnaire Clement died immediately. The following skirmish took an hour; all five rebels were eventually killed. However, Corporal Harte was fatally wounded during the fight and died shortly after.

 

May 24, 1978 – Wednesday

The first day off for the 2e REP legionnaires.

 

May 25, 1978 – Thursday

On May 25, a new operation was launched at Kapata, the village southwest of Kolwezi. On May 22, eight rebels had been killed there by a combined task force. The new operation would also be carried out by a three-company combined task force. Just that day, several rebels were killed and two others imprisoned.

That same day, the Red Cross arrived in Kolwezi, with food supplies and medication for local inhabitants.

 

May 26, 1978 – Friday

The 2e REP, excluding the SER platoon in Likasi, moved to the village of Luilu, the site of the bloody firefight on May 23 in which two legionnaires and five rebels had died. The regiment would rest there.

Also that day, another two Europeans (Belgians) were found and rescued.

 

May 27, 1978 – Saturday

On May 27, the 1st Company left Kolwezi and moved to Lubumbashi. For this company, the operation was temporarily over.

Meanwhile, two companies and the S81 platoon were conducting the very last reconnaissance around Kolwezi. That day, all military operations of the 2e REP were finally completed.

However, the same day, Senior Corporal Alioui died (for an unknown reason). He was a member of the 2e REP commando group.

 

1978 Battle of Kolwezi: Aftermath

In the early morning of May 28 (Sunday), at 3:00 a.m., the larger part of the 2e REP (HQ, 2nd and 4th Companies) left Kolwezi, after having spent a week of operations there. They joined the 1st Company in Lubumbashi. Meanwhile, the SER platoon was set to seize the Lualaba Bridge, a strategically important point in the Katanga Province. The bridge is situated some 25 miles (40 km) from Kolwezi, where only the 3rd Company and S81 platoon remained at the time.

On June 3, tens of newspaper reporters from around the world, accompanied by Lt. Colonel Erulin, arrived in Kolwezi. The next day, the 1st Company came to relieve the 3rd Company in Kolwezi.

On June 6, a military parade, in which the 2e REP participated, took place in Lubumbashi.

The following day, June 7, the three-week stay in Zaire was over and the 2e REP returned to Corsica. All the regiment’s GMC trucks and Jeeps remained in Zaire; Moroccan troops who had replaced the legionnaires in the Katanga Province would use them.

On June 16, the 1st Company finally left Zaire and returned to Corsica. The legionnaires had helped to guard Kolwezi until June 15.

 

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Lubumbashi
Military parade at Lubumbashi, June 6, 1978. The 2e REP during a military parade in honor of the regiment in the second largest city of Zaire, organized by President Mobutu.

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Erulin - Mobutu
Erulin and Mobutu, June 6, 1978. The 2e REP’s commanding officer, Lt. Colonel Erulin, and General Mobutu, the then Zairian President.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Bastia - Valery d'Estaing
The 2e REP welcomed by the French President, in Bastia, Corsica, June 9, 1978. French President Valery d’Estaing (on the right) welcomes the 2e REP after their return from Zaire. Because of the successful battle, the regiment became popular all over the world and their actions supported the prestige of France. Lt Colonel Erulin is on the left.

 
 

1978 Battle of Kolwezi: Results

– more than 2,100 Europeans were rescued

– about 170 Europeans were massacred by rebels
– more than 700 local inhabitants were also massacred by rebels

– some 250 rebels were killed
– over 160 rebels were captured

– a Belgian paratrooper was killed

 

2e REP’s losses during the Battle of Kolwezi

5 legionnaires of the regiment were killed:

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Norbert DANIEL
Norbert DANIEL

Staff Sergeant Norbert DANIEL
– born in France
– 29 years old
– killed on May 20, 1978
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Youcef ALIOUI
Youcef ALIOUI

Senior Corporal Youcef ALIOUI
– born in Algeria
– 27 years old
– a member of commandos (today’s GCP)
– he died on May 27, 1978
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Richard ARNOLD
Richard ARNOLD

Corporal Richard ARNOLD
– born in England
– born as Robert Guy Ashby
– 21 years old
– killed on May 19, 1978
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Paul HARTE
Paul HARTE

Corporal Paul HARTE
– born in France
– born as Jean Hembert
– 26 years old
– fatally wounded on May 23, 1978
– he died the next day
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Jules CLÉMENT
Jules CLÉMENT

Legionnaire Jules CLÉMENT
– born in France
– born as Jean Cesar
– 20 years old
– killed on May 23, 1978

 

20 men of the regiment were wounded:

– Lieutenant Raymond
– Sergeant Cabrol
– Senior Corporal Senekovic
– Corporal Bareda
– Corporal Courson
– Corporal Dallet
– Corporal Munoz
– Corporal Ovacic
– Corporal Pain
– Corporal Prudence
– Legionnaire Becker
– Legionnaire Demont
– Legionnaire Forestier
– Legionnaire Gilbert
– Legionnaire Jakovic
– Legionnaire Marco
– Legionnaire Rodriguez
– Legionnaire Seeger
– Legionnaire Soral
– Legionnaire Svoboda

 

Unmentioned French losses

On May 13, 1978, six French military personnel sent to Kolwezi went missing. Only a notepad belonging to one of them was found in the town, at the hospital, by 2e REP legionnaires. These French soldiers have never been found, and there is no known information about their fate. They are unmentioned in almost all documents and sources related to the battle.

– Lieutenant Jacques Laissac
– Adjudant-Chef Pierre Van Nuvel
– Adjudant Jacques Bireau
– Adjudant Christian Cesario
– Adjudant Jacques Gomilla
– Adjudant Bernard Laurent

 
 

1978 Battle of Kolwezi: Images

Here are some additional images to document the battle.

2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Calvi - Paying Homage
Paying homage, Calvi, June 3, 1978. At the military base of the 2e REP, a ceremony to pay homage to the five killed legionnaires took place.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Legionnaire - M2 Browning
An M2 Browning operated by a 2e REP legionnaire during the Battle of Kolwezi, May 1978.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Legionnaires - Hotel Impala
Hotel Impala. 2e REP legionnaires sleeping at their HQ in Kolwezi, May 1978.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Legionnaires - Radio Post
A radio post of the 2e REP during the Battle of Kolwezi, May 1978.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Legionnaires - Wounded - Seeger - Gilbert
20 men of the 2e REP were wounded during the May 1978 Battle of Kolwezi. Among them, Legionnaire Seeger (in the foreground) and Legionnaire Gilbert.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Legionnaires - Sablek - Sabljic
Then-Sergeant Sablek, of Croatian origin, carrying a rebel suspect during the Battle of Kolwezi. From 2012 to 2020, Lt. Colonel (ret.) Zlatko Sabljic (with his real name given back to him) served as the head of the Home of Legionnaire, a retirement home for Legion veterans. He spent 38 years in the Legion.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Captured Weapons
Over 1,000 firearms were captured during the 1978 Battle of Kolwezi.
2 REP - 2e REP - 2nd REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Medal - Shaba Medal - Bravery Cross
The later edition of the Republic of Zaire’s Shaba medal (Bravery Cross) awarded to 2e REP legionnaires for their successful rescue operation in Kolwezi, part of the Second Shaba War. The original edition had the bar cut out, not solid. Collection of Krzysztof Schramm.
2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Legionnaire - Girl
A 2e REP legionnaire holding a rescued little girl, Kolwezi, May 1978.

 

A French TV report showing images from Solenzara (including 2e REP legionnaires) and Kolwezi, taken in late May 1978
An English TV report covering the events in Kolwezi, May 1978

 

———

Main information & images sources:
Képi blanc magazines (1978)
2e REP’s 2014 REP INFO bulletin
Thomas P. Odom: Shaba II: The French and Belgian Intervention in Zaire in 1978 (Combat Studies Institute, 1993)
Memorial Gen Web (in French)
FSALE (in French)
Google Maps
Wikipedia.org

 

 

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More from the Foreign Legion’s history:
1863 Battle of Camerone
1908 Forthassa Disaster
1911 Battle of Alouana
1932 Turenne Rail Accident
1954 Battle of Dien Bien Phu
1976 Loyada Hostage Rescue Mission
1976 Djibouti helicopter crash
1982 Mont Garbi Accident
Foreign Legion in the Balkans: 1915-1919
Foreign Legion Mounted Companies
Foreign Legion Repair Platoons in Africa
6th Foreign Infantry Regiment
11th Foreign Infantry Regiment

 

 
More from the history of the Foreign Legion’s paratroopers:
3rd Foreign Parachute Regiment
Parachute Company of 3e REI
1st Heavy Mortar Foreign Parachute Company
CERA – Foreign Airdrop Company
 

 

The page was updated on: May 19, 2021

 

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