40 years ago: A combined battalion which constructed the largest military camp in Western Europe was disbanded

In 1971, a combined battalion was activated to group Foreign Legion pioneers and French Army Engineer Corps sappers to construct the largest military camp in Western Europe. Later, the battalion constructed or modernized other military training areas, before its deactivation in late 1982. Even today, these camps still preserve concrete traces of the remarkable efficiency of the men of the Foreign Legion, who reaffirmed that legionnaires are both elite soldiers and competent builders, just like their ancestors.

Read more40 years ago: A combined battalion which constructed the largest military camp in Western Europe was disbanded

90 years ago: The deadliest accident ever experienced by the Foreign Legion

90 years ago, on September 14, 1932, a disaster occurred in North Africa’s Algeria, home to the French Foreign Legion at the time. A train carrying a detachment of the 1st Foreign Regiment derailed and crashed into a ravine. Dozens of legionnaires were killed in the accident, more than two hundred legionnaires were wounded. Yet, the sad event has almost been forgotten.

Read more90 years ago: The deadliest accident ever experienced by the Foreign Legion

45 years ago: The last operational battalion of the Foreign Legion was disbanded

In 1969, the legionnaires deployed to Chad in Central Africa to carry out their first combat action since 1962, when the Algerian War ended. The events in Chad demonstrated that in the new post-colonial era and with a dramatically reduced army, France still needed forces capable of intervening rapidly everywhere around the world. And that the considerable downsizing the Foreign Legion after the war in Algeria was not the best idea. Thus, a new operational force consisting of legionnaires would be created in 1971 and serve until 1977…

Read more45 years ago: The last operational battalion of the Foreign Legion was disbanded

PHOTOS: 3rd “Camerone” Company, 4e REI

Summer holidays are over and thus it’s time to share again some historical pictures of the French Foreign Legion. This time, those related to the pre-WWII 3rd Company, 4th Foreign Infantry Regiment (4e REI). A direct heir to the famous 3rd Company, 1st Battalion, Foreign Regiment that participated in the legendary 1863 Battle of Camerone.

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60 years ago: A unit helping to install the Foreign Legion in France was created

Following the end of the Algeria War in March 1962, the French Foreign Legion headquarters was forced to leave North Africa for France. Because of that, a new unit had to be formed with a special task: to prepare for the installation of the Foreign Legion in France and Corsica. As a result, a new task force saw its birth 60 years ago, on August 1, 1962.

Read more60 years ago: A unit helping to install the Foreign Legion in France was created

100 years ago: A cavalry regiment was officially created within the Foreign Legion

In late June 1922, a decree issued by the then French President of the Republic, Alexandre Millerand, ordered the creation of “…a cavalry regiment named 1er R.E.C…” within the French Foreign Legion, which was to be composed of a depot squadron and four combat squadrons. Thus, the very first cavalry regiment of the Legion was officially created, with the HQ stationed in Tunisia. To commemorate this important event, a new article was dedicated to this unit to map its entire history, from the early 1920s until nowadays.

Read more100 years ago: A cavalry regiment was officially created within the Foreign Legion

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.

Read more140 years ago: A fierce battle with local rebels in North Africa