Foreign Legion Saharan Motorized Companies in North Africa: History & Images

On the 31st March of 1963, the famous, legendary and little-known four Foreign Legion Saharan motorized units were disbanded and their men, vehicles, traditional uniforms and fanions merged with two infantry regiments. The dream of many generations of young men, the legionnaire of the Sahara with his white kepi, V-shaped bandoliers, baggy seroual trousers, a burnous cloak and sandals, officially disappeared.

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32 years ago: A sad bomb attack in Djibouti killed four French soldiers

32 years ago, on the 18th March of 1987, a bomb attack occurred in Djibouti, the capital of a small country of the same name located in the Horn of Africa. The attack was aimed at L’Historil, a restaurant frequented by Western guests, mainly French Army personnel. At least 11 people were killed, including a French Foreign Legion non-commissioned officer…

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65 years ago: A decisive battle started in then French Indochina

65 years ago, a decisive battle started in then French Indochina between French troops, including legionnaires, and the Viet Minh. The two-month battle occurred in a remote valley of Dien Bien Phu in northeastern Vietnam. On 13 March 1954, the Viet Minh launched a bloody assault on a defensive position held by a Foreign Legion battalion. After several hours of severe fighting, the position would be overrun…

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10 March 1831: When a Legion was born

188 years ago, on 10 March 1831, a royal ordinance of Louis Philippe I, King of the French was issued. The ordinance ordered the establishment of the Foreign Legion, to engage a number of foreign deserters asking to serve France. Until the 2000s, the 10th March of 1831 marked the official birthday of the current French Foreign Legion which derived its origin from that original Legion. Nevertheless, the lineage of the Legion is far more complex and because of that, the official birthday was quietly changed in the last decade to the more neutral 9th March.

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1982 Mont Garbi Accident: 37 years already

37 years ago, on the 3rd February of 1982, a common French military exercise was planned 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. They were assigned 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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111th anniversary: Foreign Legion’s company overtook by a severe snowstorm

March or Die… In Algeria on February 1, 1908, a blinding snowstorm overtook a company of the Foreign Legion during their march to a remote military post at the Algeria-Morocco border. Beaten by the severe snowstorm in a semi-desert land, tens of legionnaires died. Many other suffered frostbite and had to be amputated. Though forgotten these days, the disaster has remained one of the most tragic events for the Legion.

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2e REP: The new history page of the last airborne unit of the Foreign Legion

This day marks the birthday of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e REP) of the Foreign Legion. 63 years ago, on December 1, 1955, the well-known unit was established in North Africa. The regiment would take part in the Algerian War, until 1962. After having left Africa for Corsica in 1967, its men would deploy to Chad, Zaire, Iraq, ex-Yugoslavia, Ivory Coast, Afghanistan, Mali or Niger.

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