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.

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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.

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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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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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40 years ago: 1982 Mont Garbi Accident

40 years ago, in early February 1982, a common French military exercise was planned in Djibouti, a country in the Horn of Africa. A French Foreign Legion airborne platoon was to participate. The Legion paratroopers were ordered to carry out a routine training jump over a drop zone located nord-west of the capital. They boarded their aircraft and took off…

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1956 Tainaste Attack in Morocco

In the mid-1950s, violent attacks by local rebels against French targets – military, administrative and civilian – proliferated in French North Africa, which encompassed Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. At the beginning of 1956, several units of the Foreign Legion were stationed in Morocco. Among them was the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment (2e REI) of Lieutenant Colonel Jacquot. The regiment was based in the northern part of the country, in the Taza region, already well-known for the Legion.

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65 years ago: Two little-known motorized groups of the Foreign Legion were disbanded

In North Africa in late 1956, two little-known motorized groups of the Foreign Legion were disbanded, and their five companies helped to double the ranks of the two freshly established “motorized regiments”, first among Foreign Legion units. Learn more about these units that patrolled not only Algeria or Morocco, but also Northern Mauritania.

Read more65 years ago: Two little-known motorized groups of the Foreign Legion were disbanded

Andrew J. Mitchell: Collecting French Foreign Legion Insignia – 1st Foreign Regiment

In late 2021, a new English-written book dedicated to the French Foreign Legion was released: Collecting French Foreign Legion Insignia, Volume 1, 1st Foreign Regiment. Another original work of Andrew J. Mitchell, an Irish amateur historian and a Foreign Legion insignia collector.

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