PHOTOS: 1re CSPL Platoon Leader badge in the Saharan Desert in 1958

This time I would like to share with you a very rare picture showing a sergeant serving as a platoon leader with the 1st Legion Saharan Motorized Company (1re CSPL) in the Sahara of Eastern Algeria, in the late 1950s. The unit was stationed at Fort Flatters at the time, an old French military post located close to the border with Libya. What’s rare in that picture is the insignia/badge worn by this NCO, above the company one.

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2e REP: 2022 Exercise Manticore

Between September 12 and October 10, 2022, the French Army is conducting a large-scale military exercise, called Manticore. It takes place in several departments of south-central France, including Aveyron and Puy-de-Dôme. Among the more than 3,000 soldiers participating in the exercise are legionnaires from the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e REP), the only airborne unit of the current French Foreign Legion.

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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.

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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…

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