Rescue mission in Loyada: 44th anniversary

The paratroopers of the French Foreign Legion, together with French elite counter-terrorism policemen and cavalrymen of the Legion’s 13th Half-brigade, participated in a hostage rescue mission 44 years ago, in early February 1976. The mission to rescue 31 French children kidnapped by local militants took place at Loyada, a small border village in then French Somaliland, today’s Djibouti (Horn of Africa). See more information.

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38 years ago: 1982 Mont Garbi Accident

38 years ago, on 3 February 1982, a common French military exercise had to take place in Djibouti, a country in the Horn of Africa. In the morning, a French Foreign Legion airborne platoon were lined up at a French air base. It was their only 10th day in Africa. The Legion paratroopers were ordered to carry out a routine training jump over a drop zone located nord-west of the capital. The legionnaires boarded their aircraft and took off…

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165 years ago: Another French Foreign Legion organized

See the history of another Foreign Legion organized in France, this time in early 1855, to take part in the Crimean War against the Russian Empire. The second Legion was composed of the Swiss exclusively and distinguished from the first one by their green uniform. It eventually became the 1st Foreign Regiment and was sent to Algeria. The unit lost its Swiss character in 1859.

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70 years ago: The last mounted company disappeared

See a complete history of the legendary Foreign Legion companies mounted on mules. The last of them disappeared 70 years ago in Morocco, in late December 1949. Elite high-mobile units, consisting of hard men loving the autonomous life far from the civilization, they played crucial role in the successful conquest of Algeria’s South Oran between the 1880s and 1900s. Shortly afterwards, they took part in the Pacification of Morocco and were fighting there until the mid-1930s.

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65 years ago: Little known repair units in Africa are disbanded

Learn about the history of the four almost forgotten Foreign Legion repair units serving in Africa during the ongoing war in Indochina. Organized in North Africa in the late 1940s and the early 1950s, they provided support to Legion and French regular units in Algeria, Tunisia and even deep in French West Africa, which was really exceptional.

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55 years ago: An important Foreign Legion engineer task force was disbanded

See a fully reworked article dealing with the history of a forgotten Foreign Legion engineer task force, the only engineer battalion-sized unit of the Legion that has ever been established in North Africa (no, the short-lived 12th Pioneer Battalion from 1939 wasn’t in fact a Foreign Legion formation). Organized by a half of the then 3e REI, the legionnaires of this important unit were tasked with the urgent transfer of the Legion’s Motherhouse from Algeria and its installation in France and Corsica, after the end of the Algerian War in 1962.

Read more55 years ago: An important Foreign Legion engineer task force was disbanded

70 years ago: A Foreign Legion airborne battalion was established

Read a freshly reworked article dedicated to a Foreign Legion airborne battalion that was established in North Africa 70 years ago, in mid-November 1949. The battalion would train legionnaires to take part in the First Indochina War (1946-1954) as paratroopers. Six years later, the unit was redesignated to a regiment, but for a very short time.

Read more70 years ago: A Foreign Legion airborne battalion was established