Andrew J. Mitchell: Pictorial History of the French Foreign Legion in Indochina, 1927-1945

In late September 2020, a new book dedicated to the Foreign Legion and its history was released: Pictorial History of the French Foreign Legion in Indochina, 1927-1945. This pictorial book is another interesting work of Andrew J. Mitchell, an Irish author, amateur historian and a well-known Foreign Legion badge collector.

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Zygmunt Jatczak & Krzysztof Schramm: Niczego nie żałuję (Je ne regrette rien)

In July 2020, Krzysztof Schramm, a Polish historian and an honorary member of Poland’s French Foreign Legion Veterans and Friends’ Association released a second edition of memories of Zygmunt Jatczak, most likely the last-known surviving Polish veteran of the First Indochina War (1946-54).

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History of a Foreign Legion unit to receive and train recruits in the 1930s and 1940s

In 1933, the Foreign Legion’s 1st Foreign Infantry Regiment, comprising around 8,000 legionnaires, established within its ranks a new unit to reduce the load on its administration. The new formation had to receive, organize and train recruits for the Legion, carry out the discharge procedure for those legionnaires returning to the civilian life, as well as other important tasks…

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44 years ago: Deadly accident in Africa

In late May 1976, an air accident occurred during a military exercise in the then French Territory of the Afars and the Issas (TFAI, today’s Djibouti), a country located in the Horn of Africa. A French Army helicopter crashed. Eight men on board were killed, including six legionnaires from GOLE (Foreign Legion Task Force). Another two legionnaires died later. At the time, the incident became the deadliest accident for the Legion since the end of the Algerian War (1962). And it still remains the second deadliest accident for the Legion since 1962. Nevertheless, for unknown reasons, the fatal crash has been completely forgotten in France. Here is the article dedicated to this sad event and to pay homage to the victims.

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42 years ago: Operation in Kolwezi began

On May 18, 1978, in Corsica, legionnaires of the French Foreign Legion’s 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e REP) were alerted and a few hours later, they took off in direction of then Zaire in Central Africa. The next day, May 19, they jumped over Kolwezi, a mining center in the south of the country. The legionnaires would rescue over 2,000 Europeans captured and held by local rebels…

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French Foreign Legionnaires in Southeastern Europe during World War I

105 years ago, in late April 1915, the Allied forces consisting of French, British, Australian and New Zealand troops landed in the Gallipoli peninsula in todays Turkey, to open a new theatre of the First World War. Among the landing French troops, there was also a Foreign Legion Battalion with a strength of more than 1,000 legionnaires. The tormented odyssey of forgotten heroes had started…

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Knut Flovik Thoresen: Narvik 1940

In early April 2020, Knut Flovik Thoresen, a Norwegian military officer and historian, released his another work dedicated to the Foreign Legion. He decided to map the allied expedition in northern Norway in April-May 1940 and, chiefly, the heroic fighting of the Foreign Legion’s 13th Foreign Legion Half Brigade (13e DBLE), which resulted in first allied victories over German forces in WWII.

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66 years ago: A major confrontation with the Viet Minh began

66 years ago, on 13 March 1954, a major confrontation between French troops and the Viet Minh movement began in then French Indochina. The confrontation transformed into a two-month bloody battle that occurred in a remote valley of Dien Bien Phu, situated in northeastern Vietnam. The battle started by a furious assault on a defensive position held by a Foreign Legion battalion. After several hours of severe fighting, the position is overrun… For those interested in this famous battle, see the well-ordered article supplemented with many images and additional information.

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