13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion

13e DBLE insignia13e Demi-Brigade de Légion Étrangère, 13e DBLE. The only demi-brigade (half-brigade) of the Foreign Legion and the only demi-brigade within the current French Army. Since June 2016, the 13e DBLE has been stationed at Camp Larzac, located near La Cavalerie in the Aveyron department, southern France.

From August 2011 to June 2016, the 13e DBLE was placed at a desert training camp located at the Zayed Military City, close to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). From 1962 to June 2011, the 13e DBLE was stationed at Quartier général Monclar in Djibouti, Africa, as the last Foreign Legion unit permanently based on this continent.

The unit was formed with legionnaires from Sidi Bel Abbes (Algeria) and Fez (Morocco) in February 1940. Being composed of only two battalions, it was designated as the demi-brigade. Because of the existence of another two provisional units formed in previous months, 11e REI and 12e REI, the new unit got the number 13. The half-brigade was organized as a mountain warfare unit determined to fight in Finland (later, it was changed to Norway).

The 13th Foreign Legion Half-Brigade served during WWII in several campaigns (in Norway, in Senegal, Erirea, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Italy or France). After WWII, it participated in the First Indochina War (1946-54) and the Algerian War (1955-62). From 1963 to 2016, the 13e DBLE was also involved in operations in Djibouti, Somalia, Rwanda, Yemen, Ivory Coast, Indonesia, the Central African Republic, Jordan or Iraq.

13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion promotion


History of the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion

See the history of 13e DBLE during the 1940 – 2015 period. Well-ordered data, including dozens of pictures from all decades. From the Norwegian Campaign until its service in the United Arab Emirates: History of the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion

13e Demi-Brigade de Légion Étrangère - DBLE - 13 DBLE - 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade - History


Current structure of the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion

The regiment is devided (in 2021) into 7 companies composed of around 1,300 men. A reserve company being composed of non-Legion reservists is also assigned to the 13e DBLE. By the way, in the UAE in 2011-16, the unit comprised only 70 permanent officers, NCOs and legionnaires + 200 elements rotating every four months.

The current 13e DBLE is organized as a modern infantry unit of a new generation of the French Army. In mid-2017, the unit became the first French Army regiment to receive HK 416 F, the new French Army assault rifle. The regiment is specialized in landing operations, and in all stages of ground military operations too. Its companies are furnished with modernized VAB Ultima armored personnel carriers. In 2018, the unit took part in first overseas military operations.

The 13e DBLE is part of the 6th Light Armored Brigade (6e BLB). Other Legion regiments serve with this brigade too: 1er REC, 2e REI and 1er REG.

The 13th Foreign Legion Half-Brigade operates the DEEN2 (Level 2 Training Area Detachment, formerly CEITO), a large French Army training center placed within Camp Larzac. It is reserved for long-range snipers and 81 mm mortars.

In 2021, the 13e DBLE is composed of:

  • HQ & Logistics Company (Compagnie de Commandement et de Logistique, CCL)
  • 1st Company (1re Compagnie, 1CIE)
  • 2nd Company (2e Compagnie, 2CIE)
  • 3rd Company (3e Compagnie, 3CIE)
  • 4th Company (4e Compagnie, 4CIE)
  • 5th Company (5e Compagnie , 5CIE)
  • Combat Support Company (Compagnie d’Appui, CA)
    • Direct Combat Support Platoon (Section d’Appui Direct, SAD)
    • Snipers Platoon (Section Tireurs d’Elite, STE)
    • Landing Support Platoon (Section Aide à l’Engagement Débarqué, SAED)
  • Reserve Company (Compagnie de Réserve)


NICKNAME: Phalange Magnifique (Excellent Phalanx)
MOTTO: “More Majorum” (In the manner of our ancestors)
REGIM. MARCH: Sous le soleil brûlant d’Afrique
FFL INFO POSTS: 13e DBLE’s category


Location of the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion


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