Sat . 20 Jul 2020
TR | RU | UK | KK | BE |

French Foreign Legion

french foreign legion, french foreign legion hat
Foreign Legion Command
Mainland France

  • 1st Foreign Regiment
    • Foreign Legion Pionniers
  • 4th Foreign Regiment
  • Foreign Legion Recruiting Group
  • 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment
  • 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment
  • 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment
  • 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment
  • 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion


  • 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment

French Guiana

  • 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment


  • Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte
Nicknames The Legion English
La Légion French Mottos

Legio Patria Nostra The Legion is our Fatherland1
Honneur et Fidélité Honour and Fidelity1

Marche ou crève March or die, unofficial Colours Red and Green March Le Boudin2 Anniversaries Camerone Day 30 April Engagements
  • French conquest of Algeria
  • First Carlist War
  • Second Deployment to Algeria
  • Crimean War
  • Second Italian War of Independence
  • French intervention in Mexico
  • French campaign against Korea
  • Franco-Prussian War
  • Sino-French War
  • Second Franco-Dahomean War
  • Second Madagascar expedition
  • Mandingo Wars
  • World War I
  • Rif War
  • World War II
    • Syria–Lebanon Campaign
  • First Indochina War
  • Algerian War
  • Shaba II
  • Lebanese Civil War 1975–1990
    • United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon 1978–present3
    • Multinational Force in Lebanon 1982–1984
  • Gulf War
  • Global War on Terrorism 2001–present
    • War in Afghanistan 1978–present
    • Operation Enduring Freedom
      • War in Afghanistan
  • First Ivorian Civil War
  • Second Ivorian Civil War
  • Northern Mali conflict
  • Central African Republic conflict 2012–present
Commanders Current
commander COMLE Division General4 Capitaine Jean Danjou French
Captain Jean Danjou English Foreign Legion Pionniers Notable

Le Père Légion French
Général Paul-Frédéric Rollet French
The Father of the Legion English

General Paul-Frédéric Rollet English Insignia Identification
symbol Legion flash Abbreviation FFL English
LE French

The French Foreign Legion FFL; French: Légion Étrangère French pronunciation: ​leʒjɔ̃ etʁɑ̃ʒɛʁ, LÉ is a military service branch of the French Army established in 1831, unique because it was created for foreign recruits willing to serve in the French Armed Forces

Commanded by French officers, it is also open to French citizens, who amounted to 24% of the recruits in 20075 The Foreign Legion is today known as a unit whose training focuses not only on traditional military skills but also on its strong esprit de corps as its men come from different countries with different cultures This is a way to strengthen them enough to work as a team Although it is part of the French military, it is the only unit of the military that does not swear allegiance to France, but to the Foreign Legion itself6 Consequently, training is often described as not only physically challenging, but also very stressful psychologically French citizenship may be applied for after three years' service7 Additionally, any soldier who becomes injured during a battle for France immediately becomes a French citizen under a provision known as "Français par le sang versé" "French by spilled blood"7 As of 2008, members come from 140 countries

Since 1831, the Legion has suffered the loss of nearly 40,000 men on active service in France, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Madagascar, West Africa, Mexico, Italy, the Crimea, Spain, Indo-China, Norway, Loyada, Syria, Chad, Zaïre, Lebanon, Central Africa, Gabon, Kuwait, Rwanda, Djibouti, Ex-Yugoslavia, Somalia, Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Afghanistan, Mali, Sahel and others

The French Foreign Legion FFL was primarily used to protect and expand the French colonial empire during the 19th century The Foreign Legion was initially stationed only in Algeria, where it took part in the pacification and development of the colony Subsequently, the Foreign Legion was deployed in a number of conflicts, including the First Carlist War in 1835, the Crimean War in 1854, the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859, the French intervention in Mexico in 1863, the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, the Tonkin Campaign and Sino–French War in 1883, supporting growth of the French colonial empire in Sub-Saharan Africa and pacifying Algeria, the Second Franco-Dahomean War in 1892, the Second Madagascar expedition in 1895, and the Mandingo Wars in 1894

In World War I, the Foreign Legion fought in many critical battles on the Western Front It played a smaller role in World War II than in World War I, though having a part in the Norwegian, Syrian and North African campaigns During the First Indochina War 1946–1954, the Foreign Legion saw its numbers swell The FFL lost a large number of men in the catastrophic Battle of Dien Bien Phu During the Algerian War of Independence 1954–1962, the Foreign Legion came close to being disbanded after some officers, men, and the highly decorated 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er REP took part in the Generals' putsch Notable operations during this period included the Suez Crisis, the Battle of Algiers and various offensives launched by General Maurice Challe including Operations Oranie and Jumelles

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Legion had a new role as a rapid deployment force to preserve French interests – not only in its former African colonies but in other nations as well; it also returned to its roots of being a unit always ready to be sent to hot-spots all around the world Some notable operations include: the Chadian–Libyan conflict in 1969–1972 the first time that the Legion was sent in operations after the Algerian War, 1978–1979, and 1983–1987; Kolwezi in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo in May 1978; Rwanda in 1990–1994; and the Ivory Coast in 2002 to the present In 1990, the Foreign Legion was sent to the Persian Gulf as a part of Opération Daguet In the 1990s, the Foreign Legion helped with the evacuation of French citizens and foreigners in Rwanda, Gabon and Zaire The Foreign Legion was also deployed in Cambodia, Somalia, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina In the mid- to late-1990s, the Foreign Legion was deployed in the Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville and in Kosovo In the 2000s, the Foreign Legion was deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Licorne in Ivory Coast, the EUFOR Tchad/RCA in Chad, and Operation Serval in the Northern Mali conflict8

Many other countries have tried to emulate the French Foreign Legion model There have been units composed of foreign recruits in China, Israel, the Netherlands, Rhodesia, Russia, and Spain


  • 1 History
    • 11 Conquest of Algeria 1830–1847
    • 12 Carlist War 1835–1839
    • 13 Crimean War
    • 14 Italian Campaign 1859
    • 15 Mexican Expedition 1863–1867
    • 16 Franco-Prussian War 1870
    • 17 Tonkin Campaign and Sino-French War 1883–1888
    • 18 Colonisation of Africa
      • 181 Second Franco-Dahomean War 1892–1894
      • 182 Second Madagascar Expedition 1894–1895
      • 183 Mandingo War 1898
    • 19 Marching Regiments of the Foreign Legion
      • 191 World War I 1914–1918
      • 192 Interwar Period 1918–1939
      • 193 World War II 1939–1945
      • 194 Alsace-Lorraine
    • 110 First Indochina War 1946–1954
    • 111 Algerian War 1954–1962
      • 1111 Foreign Legion paratroops
      • 1112 Generals' Putsch 1961 and reduction of Foreign Legion
    • 112 Post-colonial Africa
    • 113 1962–present
      • 1131 Gulf War 1990–1991
      • 1132 Post 1991
    • 114 Global War on Terror 2001–present
  • 2 Composition and organization
    • 21 Current deployments
    • 22 DINOPS, PCG and Commandos
  • 3 Recruitment process
    • 31 Basic training
  • 4 Traditions
    • 41 Code of honour
    • 42 Mottos
      • 421 Honneur et Fidélité
      • 422 Legio Patria Nostra
    • 43 Regimental mottos
      • 431 Eleven colonels with 11 regimental mottos
    • 44 Insignia
  • 5 Marching songs
    • 51 Le Boudin
    • 52 Other songs
  • 6 Ranks
    • 61 Non-Commissioned and Warrant Officers
    • 62 Commissioned Officers
    • 63 Chevrons of seniority
    • 64 Honorary ranks
  • 7 Pioneers
  • 8 Cadences and marching steps
  • 9 Uniform
  • 10 Equipment
  • 11 Commandement de la Légion Étrangère Tenure 1931– present
    • 111 Commandement de la Légion Étrangère 1931–1984
      • 1111 Inspector Tenure
      • 1112 Autonomous Group Tenure
      • 1113 Command Tenure
      • 1114 Technical Inspection Tenure
      • 1115 Groupment Tenure
    • 112 Commandement de la Légion Étrangère 1984–present
      • 1121 Command Tenure
  • 12 Gallery
  • 13 Composition
    • 131 Membership by country
      • 1311 Alsace-Lorraine
    • 132 Countries that allow post-Foreign Legion contract
  • 14 Emulation by other countries
    • 141 Chinese Ever Victorious Army
    • 142 Israeli Mahal
    • 143 Netherlands KNIL Army
    • 144 Rhodesian Light Infantry and 7 Independent Company
    • 145 Russian "Foreign Legion"
    • 146 Spanish Foreign Legion
  • 15 References in popular culture
  • 16 See also
  • 17 References
  • 18 Further reading
  • 19 External links


Main articles: Grande Armée, History of the French Foreign Legion, 1st Foreign Regiment, and 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment

The French Foreign Legion was created by Louis Philippe, the King of the French, on 10 March 1831 from the foreign regiments of the Kingdom of France Recruits included soldiers from the recently disbanded Swiss and German foreign regiments of the Bourbon monarchy9 The Royal Ordinance for the establishment of the new regiment specified that the foreigners recruited could only serve outside France10 The French expeditionary force that had occupied Algiers in 1830 was in need of reinforcements and the Legion was accordingly transferred by sea in detachments from Toulon to Algeria711

The Foreign Legion was primarily used, as part of the Armée d'Afrique, to protect and expand the French colonial empire during the 19th century, but it also fought in almost all French wars including the Franco-Prussian War, World War I and World War II The Foreign Legion has remained an important part of the French Army and sea transport protected by the French Navy, surviving three Republics, the Second French Empire, two World Wars, the rise and fall of mass conscript armies, the dismantling of the French colonial empire, and the loss of the Foreign Legion's base, Algeria

Conquest of Algeria 1830–1847edit

Main articles: French conquest of Algeria and Pacification of Algeria

Created to fight "outside mainland France", the Foreign Legion was stationed in Algeria, where it took part in the pacification and development of the colony, notably by drying the marshes in the region of Algiers The Foreign Legion was initially divided into six "national battalions" Swiss, Poles, Germans, Italians, Spanish, and Dutch-Belgian12 Smaller national groups, such as the ten Englishmen recorded in December 1832, appear to have been placed randomly

In late 1831, the first legionnaires landed in Algeria, the country that would be the Foreign Legion's homeland for 130 years and shape its character The early years in Algeria were hard on the legion because it was often sent to the worst postings and received the worst assignments, and its members were generally uninterested in the new colony of the French13 The Legion served alongside the Battalions of Light Infantry of Africa, formed in 1832, which was a penal military unit made up of men with prison records who still had to do their military service or soldiers with serious disciplinary problems

The Foreign Legion's first service in Algeria came to an end after only four years, as it was needed elsewhere

Carlist War 1835–1839edit

Main article: First Carlist War

To support Isabella's claim to the Spanish throne against her uncle, the French government decided to send the Foreign Legion to Spain On 28 June 1835, the unit was handed over to the Spanish government The Foreign Legion landed via sea at Tarragona on 17 August with around 1,400 who were quickly dubbed Los Algerinos the Algerians by locals because of their previous posting

The Foreign Legion's commander immediately dissolved the national battalions to improve the esprit de corps Later, he also created three squadrons of lancers and an artillery battery from the existing force to increase independence and flexibility The Foreign Legion was dissolved on 8 December 1838, when it had dropped to only 500 men The survivors returned to France, many reenlisting in the new Foreign Legion along with many of their former Carlist enemies

Crimean Waredit

Main article: Crimean War The Légion étrangère in 1852

On 9 June 1854, the French ship Jean Bart embarked four battalions of the Foreign Legion for the Crimean Peninsula A further battalion was stationed at Gallipoli as brigade depot14 Eight companies drawn from both regiments of the Foreign Legion took part in the Battle of Alma 20 September 1854 Reinforcements by sea brought the Legion contingent up to brigade strength As the "Foreign Brigade", it served in the Siege of Sevastopol, during the winter of 1854–1855

The lack of equipment was particularly challenging and cholera hit the Allied expeditionary force Nevertheless, the "leather bellies" the nickname given to the legionnaires by the Russians because of the large cartridge pouches that they wore attached to their waist-belts, performed well On 21 June 1855, the Third Battalion, left Corsica for the Crimea

On 8 September the final assault was launched on Sevastopol Two days later, the Second Foreign Regiment with flags and band playing ahead, marched through the streets of Sevastopol Although initial reservations had been expressed about whether the Legion should be used outside Africa,14 the Crimean experience established its suitability for service in European warfare, as well as making a cohesive single entity of what had previously been two separate foreign regiments15 Total Legion casualties in the Crimea were 1,703 killed and wounded

Italian Campaign 1859edit

Main article: Second Italian War of Independence

Like the rest of the "Army of Africa", the Foreign Legion provided detachments in the campaign of Italy Two foreign regiments, grouped with the 2nd Regiment of Zouaves, were part of the Second Brigade of the Second Division of Mac Mahon's Corps The Foreign Legion acquitted itself particularly well against the Austrians at the battle of Magenta 4 June 1859 and at the Battle of Solferino 24 June Legion losses were significant and the 2nd Foreign Regiment lost Colonel Chabrière, its commanding officer In gratitude, the city of Milan awarded, in 1909, the "commemorative medal of deliverance", which still adorns the regimental flags of the Second Regiment16

Mexican Expedition 1863–1867edit

Main articles: French intervention in Mexico and Battle of Camarón Uniform of a legionnaire during the 1863 Mexican campaign

The 38,000 strong French expeditionary force dispatched to Mexico via sea between 1862 and 1863 included two battalions of the Foreign Legion, increased to six battalions by 1866 Small cavalry and artillery units were raised from legionnaires serving in Mexico The original intention was that Foreign Legion units should remain in Mexico for up to six years to provide a core for the Imperial Mexican Army17 However the Legion was withdrawn with the other French forces during February–March 1867

It was in Mexico on 30 April 1863 that the Legion earned its legendary status A company led by Captain Jean Danjou, numbering 62 Legionnaires and 3 Legion officers, was escorting a convoy to the besieged city of Puebla when it was attacked and besieged by three thousand Mexican loyalists,18 organised in two battalions of infantry and cavalry, numbering 2,200 and 800 respectively The Legion detachment under Captain Jean Danjou, Sous-Lieutenant Jean Vilain, Sous-Lieutenant Clément Maudet19 made a stand in the Hacienda de la Trinidad - a farm near the village of Camarón When only six survivors remained, out of ammunition, a bayonet assault was launched in which three of the six were killed The remaining three wounded men were brought before the Mexican commander Colonel Milan, who allowed them to return to the French lines as an honor guard for the body of Captain Danjou The captain had a wooden hand, which was later returned to the Legion and is now kept in a case in the Legion Museum at Aubagne, and paraded annually on Camerone Day It is the Foreign Legion's most precious relic

Captain Danjou's prosthetic wooden hand

During the Mexican Campaign, 6,654 French died Of these, 1,918 were from a single regiment of the Legion20

Franco-Prussian War 1870edit

Main articles: Franco-Prussian War and Alsace-Lorraine

According to French law, the Foreign Legion was not to be used within Metropolitan France except in the case of a national invasion,21 and was consequently not a part of Napoleon III's Imperial Army that capitulated at Sedan With the defeat of the Imperial Army, the Second French Empire fell and the Third Republic was created

The new Third Republic was desperately short of trained soldiers following Sedan, so the Foreign Legion was ordered to provide a contingent On 11 October 1870 two provisional battalions disembarked via sea at Toulon, the first time the Foreign Legion had been deployed in France itself It attempted to lift the Siege of Paris by breaking through the German lines It succeeded in retaking Orléans, but failed to break the siege In January 1871, France capitulated but civil war soon broke out, which led to revolution and the short-lived Paris Commune The Foreign Legion participated in the suppression of the Commune,22 which was crushed with great bloodshed

Tonkin Campaign and Sino-French War 1883–1888edit

Main articles: Tonkin Campaign and Sino–French War A Legionnaire sniper at Tuyen Quang

The Foreign Legion's First Battalion Lieutenant-Colonel Donnier sailed to Tonkin in the autumn of 1883, during the period of undeclared hostilities that preceded the Sino–French War August 1884 to April 1885, and formed part of the attack column that stormed the western gate of Son Tay on 16 December The Second and Third Infantry Battalions chef de bataillon Diguet and Lieutenant-Colonel Schoeffer were also deployed to Tonkin shortly afterwards, and were present in all the major campaigns of the Sino-French War Two Foreign Legion companies led the defence at the celebrated Siege of Tuyên Quang 24 November 1884 to 3 March 1885 In January 1885 the Foreign Legion's 4th Battalion chef de bataillon Vitalis was deployed to the French bridgehead at Keelung Jilong in Formosa Taiwan, where it took part in the later battles of the Keelung Campaign The battalion played an important role in Colonel Jacques Duchesne's offensive in March 1885 that captured the key Chinese positions of La Table and Fort Bamboo and disengaged Keelung

In December 1883, during a review of the Second Legion Battalion on the eve of its departure for Tonkin to take part in the Bắc Ninh Campaign, General François de Négrier pronounced a famous mot: Vous, légionnaires, vous êtes soldats pour mourir, et je vous envoie où l’on meurt! 'You, Legionnaires, you are soldiers in order to die, and I'm sending you to where one dies!'

Colonisation of Africaedit

Monument commemorating the soldiers of the Foreign Legion killed on duty during the South-Oranese campaign 1897–1902

As part of the Army of Africa, the Foreign Legion contributed to the growth of the French colonial empire in Sub-Saharan Africa Simultaneously, the Legion took part to the pacification of Algeria, plagued by various tribal rebellions and razzias

Second Franco-Dahomean War 1892–1894edit

Main article: Second Franco-Dahomean War

In 1892, King Behanzin was threatening the French protectorate of Porto-Novo in modern-day Benin and France decided to intervene A battalion, led by commandant Faurax, was formed from two companies of the First Foreign Regiment and two others from the second regiment From Cotonou, the legionnaires marched to seize Abomey, the capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey Two and a half months were needed to reach the city, at the cost of repeated battles against the Dahomean warriors, especially the Amazons of the King King Behanzin surrendered and was captured by the legionnaires in January 1894

Second Madagascar Expedition 1894–1895edit

Main article: Second Madagascar expedition

In 1895, a battalion, formed by the First and Second Foreign Regiments, was sent to the Kingdom of Madagascar, as part of an expeditionary force whose mission was to conquer the island The foreign battalion formed the backbone of the column launched on Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar After a few skirmishes, the Queen Ranavalona III promptly surrendered2324 The Foreign Legion lost 226 men, of whom only a tenth died in actual fighting Others, like much of the expeditionary force, died from tropical diseases23 Despite the success of the expedition, the quelling of sporadic rebellions would take another eight years until 1905, when the island was completely pacified by the French under Joseph Gallieni23 During that time, insurrections against the Malagasy Christians of the island, missionaries and foreigners were particularly terrible25 Queen Ranavalona III was deposed in January 1897 and was exiled to Algiers in Algeria, where she died in 191726

Mandingo War 1898edit

Main article: Mandingo Wars

From 1882 until his capture, Samori Ture, ruler of the Wassoulou Empire, fought the French colonial army, defeating them on several occasions, including a notable victory at Woyowayanko 2 April 1882, in the face of French heavy artillery Nonetheless, Samori was forced to sign several treaties ceding territory to the French between 1886 and 1889 Samori began a steady retreat, but the fall of other resistance armies, particularly Babemba Traoré at Sikasso, permitted the colonial army to launch a concentrated assault against his forces A battalion of two companies from the 2nd Foreign Regiment was created in early 1894 to pacify the Niger The Legionnaires' victory at the fortress of Ouilla and police patrols in the region accelerated the submission of the tribes On 29 September 1898, Samori Ture was captured by the French Commandant Gouraud and exiled to Gabon, marking the end of the Wassoulou Empire

Marching Regiments of the Foreign Legionedit

Main articles: Joseph Joffre, Ferdinand Foch, and Moroccan Division France Revue of the Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion, RMLE at the end of November 1918

World War I 1914–1918edit

Main articles: Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion and Paul-Frédéric Rollet Americans in the Foreign Legion, 1916 American poet Alan Seeger 1888-1916,
in his Marching Regiment uniform

The annexation of Alsace and Lorraine by Germany in 1871 led to numerous volunteers from the two regions enlisting in the Foreign Legion, which gave them the option of French citizenship at the end of their service27

With the declaration of war on 29 July 1914, a call was made for foreigners resident in France to support their adopted country While many would have preferred direct enlistment in the regular French Army, the only option immediately available was that of the Foreign Legion On one day only 3 August 1914 a reported 8,000 volunteers applied to enlist in the Paris recruiting office of the Legion

In World War I, the Foreign Legion fought in many critical battles on the Western Front, including Artois, Champagne, Somme, Aisne, and Verdun in 1917, and also suffered heavy casualties during 1918 The Foreign Legion was also in the Dardanelles and Macedonian front, and was highly decorated for its efforts Many young foreigners volunteered for the Foreign Legion when the war broke out in 1914 There were marked differences between the idealistic volunteers of 1914 and the hardened men of the old Legion, making assimilation difficult Nevertheless, the old and the new men of the Foreign Legion fought and died in vicious battles on the Western front, including Belloy-en-Santerre during the Battle of the Somme, where the poet Alan Seeger, after being mortally wounded by machine-gun fire, cheered on the rest of his advancing battalion28

Interwar Period 1918–1939edit

Main articles: Paul-Frédéric Rollet and Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion Paul-Frédéric Rollet 1875-1941
The Father of the Legion

While suffering heavy casualties on the Western Front the Legion had emerged from World War I with an enhanced reputation and as one of the most highly decorated units in the French Army 29 In 1919, the government of Spain raised the Spanish Foreign Legion and modeled it after the French Foreign Legion29 General Jean Mordacq intended to rebuild the Foreign Legion as a larger military formation, doing away with the legion's traditional role as a solely infantry formation29 General Mordacq envisioned a Foreign Legion consisting not of regiments, but of divisions with cavalry, engineer, and artillery regiments in addition to the legion's infantry mainstay29 In 1920, decrees ordained the establishment of regiments of cavalry and artillery29 Immediately following the armistice the Foreign Legion experienced an increase of enlistments30 The Foreign Legion began the process of reorganizing and redeploying to Algeria29

Legionnaires in Morocco, c 1920

The Legion played a major part in the Rif War of 1920–25 In 1932, the Foreign Legion consisted of 30,000 men, serving in 6 multi-battalion regiments including the 1st Foreign Infantry Regiment 1er REI – Algeria, Syria and Lebanon; 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment 2ème REI, 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment 3ème REI, and 4th Foreign Infantry Regiment 4ème REI – Morocco, Lebanon; 5th Foreign Infantry 5ème REI – Indochina; and 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment 1er REC – Lebanon, Tunisia and Morocco In 1931, Général Paul-Frédéric Rollet assumed the role of 1st Inspector of the Foreign Legion, a post created at his initiative While Colonel Regimental Commander of the 1st Foreign Regiment 1er RE 1925-1931, Rollet had planned the centennial celebrations of the Legion's 100th year anniversary on Camaron day of April 30, 1931 He was subsequently credited with creating much of the modern mystique of the Legion by restoring or creating many of its traditions

World War II 1939–1945edit

Main articles: Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion, and Raoul Magrin-Vernerey Free French Foreign Legionnaires assaulting an Axis strong point at the battle of Bir Hakeim, 1942

The Foreign Legion played a smaller role in World War II in mainland Europe than in World War I, though there was involvement in many exterior theatres of operations, notably sea transport protection through to the Norwegian, Syria-Lebanon, and North African campaigns The 13th Demi-Brigade, formed for service in Norway, found itself in the UK at the time of the French Armistice June 1940, was deployed to the British 8th Army in North Africa and distinguished itself in the Battle of Bir Hakeim 1942 Reflecting the divisions of the time, part of the Foreign Legion joined the Free French movement while another part served the Vichy government German legionnaires were incorporated into the Wehrmacht's 90th Light Infantry Division in North Africa31

The Syria–Lebanon Campaign of June 1941 saw legionnaire fighting legionnaire as the 13e DBLE clashed with the 6th Foreign Infantry Regiment 6e REI at Damascus Nevertheless, many legionnaires of the 6th Foreign Infantry Regiment 6e dissolved on December 31, 1941 integrated the Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion RMLE in 1942 Later, a thousand of the rank-and-file of the Vichy Legion unit joined the 13e DBLE of the Free French forces which were also part as of September 1944 of Jean de Lattre de Tassigny's successful Amalgam of the French Liberation Army French: Armée française de la Libération,, the 400,000 men amalgam consisted of the Armistice Army, the Free French Forces and the French Forces of the Interior which formed Army B and were later part of the French 1st Army with forces also issued from the French Resistance


Main article: Alsace-Lorraine

Following World War II, many French-speaking German former soldiers joined the Foreign Legion to pursue a military career, an option no longer possible in Germany including French German soldiers of Malgré-nous It would have been considered problematic if the men from Alsace-Lorraine didn't speak French These French-speaking former German soldiers made up as much as 60 percent of the Legion during the war in Indochina Contrary to popular belief however, French policy was to exclude former members of the Waffen-SS, and candidates for induction were refused if they exhibited the tell-tale blood type tattoo, or even a scar that might be masking it32

The high percentage of Germans was contrary to normal policy concerning a single dominant nationality however, and in more recent times Germans have made up a much smaller percentage of the Foreign Legion's composition33

First Indochina War 1946–1954edit

Main articles: Jacques Lefort, Pierre Darmuzai, Paul Arnaud de Foïard, and Bernard Goupil parachute company of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment

During the First Indochina War 1946–54 the Foreign Legion saw its numbers swell due to the incorporation of World War II veterans Although the Foreign Legion distinguished itself in a territory where it had served since the 1880s, it also suffered a heavy toll during this war Constantly being deployed in operations, units of the Legion suffered particularly heavy losses in the climactic Battle of Dien Bien Phu, before the fortified valley finally fell on May 7, 1954 No fewer than 72,833 served in Indochina during the eight-year war The Legion suffered the loss of 10,283 of its own men in combat: 309 officers, 1082 sous-officiers and 9092 legionnaires

While only one of several Legion units involved in Indochina, the 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion 1er BEP particularly distinguished itself, while being annihilated twice It was renamed the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er REP after its third reformation34

The 1er BEP sailed to Indochina on November 12 and was then engaged in combat operations in Tonkin34 On November 17, 1950 the battalion parachuted into That Khé and suffered heavy losses at Coc Xa Reconstituted on March 1, 1951, the battalion participated in combat operations at Cho Ben, on the Black River and in Annam34 On November 21, 1953 the reconstituted 1er BEP was parachuted into Dien Bien Phu34 In this battle, the unit lost 575 killed and missing34 Reconstituted for the third time on May 19, 1954, the battalion left Indochina on February 8, 195534 The 1er BEP received five citations and the fourragère of the colors of the Médaille militaire34 for its service in Indochina The 1er BEP became the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er REP in Algeria on September 1, 1955

Dien Bien Phu fell on May 7, 1954 at 17:3035 The couple of hectares comprising the battlefield today are corn fields surrounding a stele which commemorates the sacrifices of those who died there While the garrison of Dien Bien Phu included French regular, North African, and locally recruited Indochinese units, the battle has become associated particularly with the paratroops of the Foreign Legion

Algerian War 1954–1962edit

Foreign Legion paratroopsedit

Main articles: French Air Force, List of French paratrooper units, 10th Parachute Division France, and 25th Parachute Division France 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment formed and commanded by
Legion Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Paul Jeanpierre 1912-195836

The legion was heavily engaged in fighting against the National Liberation Front and the Armée de Libération Nationale ALN The main activity during the period 1954-1962 was as part of the operations of the 10th Parachute Division and 25th Parachute Division The 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment, 1er REP, was under the command of the 10th Parachute Division France, 10ème DP, and the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, 2ème REP, was under the command of the 25th Parachute Division France, 25ème DP While both the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er REP, and the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 2ème REP, were part of the operations of French parachute divisions 10ème DP and 25ème DP established in 1956, the Legion's 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er REP, and the Legion's 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 2ème REP, are older than the French divisions The 1er REP was the former thrice-reconstituted 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion 1er BEP and the 2ème REP was the former 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion 2ème BEP Both battalions were renamed and their Legionnaires transferred from Indochina on August 1, 1954 to Algeria by November 1, 1954 Both traced their origins to the Parachute Company of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment commanded by Legion Lieutenant Jacques Morin attached to the III/1er RCP37

With the start of the War in Algeria on November 1, 1954, the two foreign participating parachute battalions back from Indochina, the 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion 1er BEP, III Formation and the 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion 2ème BEP, were not part of any French parachute divisions yet and were not designated as regiments until September and December 1, 1955 respectively

Main operations during the Algerian War included the Battle of Algiers and the Bataille of the Frontiers, fought by 60,000 soldiers including French and Foreign Legion paratroopers For paratroopers of the Legion, the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er REP and 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 2ème REP, were the only known foreign active parachute regiments, exclusively commanded by Pierre Paul Jeanpierre for the 1er REP36 and the paratrooper commanders of the 2ème REP38 The remainder of French paratrooper units of the French Armed Forces were commanded by Jacques Massu, Buchond, Marcel Bigeard, Paul Aussaresses Other Legion offensives in the mountains in 1959 included operations Jumelles, Cigales, and Ariege in the Aures and the last in Kabylie36

The image of the Legion as a professional and non-political force was tarnished when the elite 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er REP, which was also part of the 10th Parachute Division played a leading role in the general's putsch of 196136 and was subsequently disbanded

Generals' Putsch 1961 and reduction of Foreign Legionedit

Main articles: Jean Olié, Paul Gardy, and Hélie de Saint Marc Marche ou Crève and More Majorum for Legion Officers, Sous-Officiers and Legionnaires of the CEPs, BEPs and REPs of the Legion39 Tenue of a Legionnaire of the Saharan Mounted Companies of the Foreign Legion CSPLE Often blue or red and worn by all the soldiers of the Army of Africa; the Legion however, officially adopted the Ceinture Bleue blue sash in 1882

Coming out of a difficult Indochinese conflict, the French Foreign Legion, reinforced cohesion by extending the duration of basic training Efforts exerted were successful during this transit; however, entering in December 1960 and the revolt the generals, a crisis hit the legion putting its faith at the corps of the Army40

For having rallied to the generals putsch of April 1961, the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er REP of the 10th Parachute Division was dissolved on April 30, 1961 at Zeralda

In 1961, at the issue of the putsch, the 1st Mounted Saharan Squadron of the Foreign Legion41French: 1er Escadron Saharien Porté de la Légion Etrangère, 1er ESPLE received the missions to assure surveillance and policing

The independence of Algeria in 1962 was traumatizing since it ended with the enforced abandonment of the barracks command center at Sidi Bel Abbès established in 1842 Upon being notified that the elite regiment was to be disbanded and that they were to be reassigned, legionnaires of the 1er REP burned the Chinese pavilion acquired following the Siege of Tuyên Quang in 1884 The relics from the Legion's history museum, including the wooden hand of Captain Jean Danjou, subsequently accompanied the Legion to France Also removed from Sidi Bel Abbès were the symbolic Legion remains of General Paul-Frédéric Rollet The Father of the Legion , Legion officer Prince Count Aage of Rosenborg, and Legionnaire Heinz Zimmermann last fatal casualty in Algeria

Legion officer Lieutenant Colonel Prince Count Aage of Rosenborg 1887-1940

It was at this time that the Legion acquired its parade song "Non, je ne regrette rien" "No, I regret nothing", a 1960 Edith Piaf song sung by Sous-Officiers and legionnaires as they left their barracks for re-deployment following the Algiers putsch of 1961 The song has remained a part of Legion heritage since

The 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er REP was disbanded on April 30, 196136 However, the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 2ème REP prevailed in existence, while most of the Saharan Méharistes integrated into the 1st Foreign Infantry Regiment, 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment and 4th Foreign Infantry Regiment respectively

Post-colonial Africaedit

The 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion parading in Algeria circa 1958

By the mid-1960s the Legion had lost its traditional and spiritual home in Algeria and elite units had been dissolved34 President de Gaulle considered disbanding it altogether but, being reminded that the 13th Demi-Brigade was one of the first units to declare for him in 1940 and taking into consideration the effective service of various Saharan units and performances of other legions units, he chose instead to downsize the Legion from 40,000 to 8,000 men and relocate it to metropolitan France42 The Legion now had a new role as a rapid intervention force to preserve French interests

Intervention actions in Africa following the Algerian War included the Chadian–Libyan conflict in 1969–72, 1978–79, and 1983–87; Kolwezi in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo in May 1978; Rwanda in 1990–94; and the Ivory Coast in 2002 to the present


  • 1969–1971 : interventions in Chad
  • 1978–present : Peacekeeping operations part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon during the Global War on Terror
  • 1978–1978 : Battle of Kolwezi Zaïre
  • 1981–1984 : Peacekeeping operations in Lebanon at the corps of the United Nations Multinational Force during the Lebanese Civil War along with the 31ème Brigade which included the Operational Group of the Foreign Legion Operation Épaulard I was spearheaded by lieutenant-colonel Bernard Janvier The Multinational Force also included HM's 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, American contingents of United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy, 28 exclusive French Armed Forces regiments including French paratroopers regiments, companies, units of the 11th Parachute Brigade along with the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 2e REP, the Irish Armed Forces and units of the National Gendarmerie, Italian paratroopers from the Folgore Brigade, infantry units from the Bersaglieri regiments and Marines of the San Marco Battalion

Gulf War 1990–1991edit

The 6th Light Armoured Division 6ème DLB operating the left flank of the 34 nations coalition during the Gulf War

In September 1990, the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment 1er REC, the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 2ème REP, the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment 2ème REI, and the 6th Foreign Engineer Regiment 6ème REG were sent to the Persian Gulf as a part of Opération Daguet along with the 1st Spahi Regiment, the 11th Marine Artillery Regiment, the 3rd Marine Infantry Regiment, the 21st Marine Infantry Regiment, the French Army Light Aviation, the Marine Infantry Tank Regiment, French paratroopers regiments including components of the 35th Parachute Artillery Regiment 35ème RAP, the 1st Parachute Hussard Regiment 1er RHP, the 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment 17ème RGP and other airborne contingents Division Daguet was commanded by Général de brigade Bernard Janvier

A Legion honour guard of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment stands at attention as they await the arrival of Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr and Lt Gen Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, commander of Joint Forces in Saudi Arabia, during Operation Desert Shield

The Legion force, mainly comprising 27 different nationalities,43 was attached to the French 6th Light Armoured Division 6ème DLB, whose mission was to protect the Coalition's left flank while cover fired by the marine's artillery During the Gulf War, DINOPS operated in support of the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division, and provided the EOD services to the division After the cease fire took hold they conducted a joint mine clearing operation alongside an Royal Australian Navy Clearance Diver Team Unit

After the four-week air campaign, coalition forces launched the ground offensive They quickly penetrated deep into Iraq, with the Legion taking the As-Salman Airport, meeting little resistance The war ended after a hundred hours of fighting on the ground, which resulted in very light casualties for the Legion

Post 1991edit

  • 1991: Evacuation of French citizens and foreigners in Rwanda, Gabon and Zaire
  • 1992: Cambodia and Somalia
  • 1993: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 1995: Rwanda
  • 1996: Central African Republic
  • 1997: Congo-Brazzaville
  • Since 1999: KFOR in Kosovo and Macedonia

Global War on Terror 2001–presentedit

  • 2001–present: Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan
  • 2002–2003: Operation Licorne in Ivory Coast
  • 2008–2008: EUFOR Tchad/RCA in Chad
  • 2013–2014: Operation Serval in the Northern Mali conflict44

Composition and organizationedit

Main articles: Foreign Legion Command and Foreign Legion Pioneers Pionniers Regimental insignia

Prior to the end of the Algerian War the legion had not been stationed in mainland France except in wartime Until 1962, the Foreign Legion headquarters was located in Sidi Bel Abbès, Algeria Today, some units of the Légion are in Corsica or overseas possessions mainly in French Guiana, guarding Guiana Space Centre, while the rest are in the south of mainland France Current headquarters is in Aubagne, France, just outside Marseille As a result of a recruiting drive in the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks, the Legion will be 8,900 men strong in 201845 En savoir plus sur http://wwwopex360com/2017/04/28/en-2018-la-legion-etrangere-aura-retrouve-ses-effectifs-dil-y-20-ans/#DwHbmccLEj4XRQ7m99

  • Mainland France
    • 1st Foreign Regiment 1er RE, based in Aubagne, France HQ, selection and administration, other specific missions
      • Pionniers Sections of Tradition
    • 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment 1er REC, based in Camp de Carpiagne Bouches-du-Rhône, France armoured troops
    • 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment 1er REG former 6th Foreign Engineer Regiment 6ème REG, based in Laudun, France
      • Pionniers Groups
    • 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment 2ème REI, based in Nîmes, France
    • 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment 2ème REG, based in St Christol, France
      • Pionniers Groups
    • 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 2ème REP, based in Calvi, Corsica
    • 4th Foreign Regiment 4èmeRE, based in Castelnaudary training, France
      • Pionniers Groups
    • Foreign Legion Recruiting Group GRLE, based at Fort de Nogent military recruiting and other, France
    • 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion 13ème DBLE stationed in Djibouti until 2011, then the United Arab Emirates until 2016 As of January 2016, the 13e DBLE is progressively based at Camp Larzac to integrate the 6e BLB
  • French Overseas Territories and Overseas Collectives, France
    • 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment 3ème REI, based in French Guiana
      • Pionniers Groups
    • Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte DLEM

Current deploymentsedit

Main article: Foreign Legion Command

These are the following deployments:46

Note: English names for countries or territories are in parentheses

  • Opérations extérieures other than at home bases or on standard duties
    • Guyane French Guiana Mission de presence sur l'Oyapok – Protection – 3ème REI Protection CSG ; 2ème REP / CEA; 2ème REI / 4ème compagnie
    • Afghanistan Intervention 1er REC / 3° escadron 1 peloton; 2ème REI / 4° compagnie OMLT; 2ème REG / 1ère compagnie
    • Mayotte Departmental Collectivity of Mayotte Prevention DLEM Mission de souveraineté
    • Gabon Prevention 2ème REP / 3ème compagnie – 4ème compagnie
Acronym French Name English Meaning
CEA Compagnie d'éclairage et d'appuis Reconnaissance and Support Company
CAC Compagnie anti-char Anti-Tank Company
UCL Unité de commandement et de logistique Unit of Command and Logistics
EMT État-major tactique Tactical Command Post
NEDEX Neutralisation des explosifs Neutralisation and Destruction of Explosives
OMLT Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team The official name for this branch is in English

DINOPS, PCG and Commandosedit

Main article: List of French paratrooper units
  • 2ème REP Commando Parachute Group GCP; Pathfinders qualified in Direct Actions, Special Recco and IMEX
  • 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment 1er REG; Parachute Underwater Demolition PCG Teams Combat Engineer Divers, French: Plongeurs du Combat du Génie, former DINOPS Teams of Nautical Subaquatic Intervention Operational Detachment French: Détachement d'Intervention Nautique Operationnelle Subaquatique
  • 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment 2ème REG; Parachute Underwater Demolition PCG Teams Combat Engineer Divers, French: Plongeurs du Combat du Génie, former DINOPS Teams of Nautical Subaquatic Intervention Operational Detachment French: Détachement d'Intervention Nautique Operationnelle Subaquatique and Mountain Commando Group GCM in some cases as double specialties47

Recruitment processedit

Arrival 1 to 3 days in a Foreign Legion Information Center Reception, information, and terms of contract Afterwards transferred to Paris, Foreign Legion Recruitment Center
Pre-selection 1 to 4 days in a Foreign Legion Recruitment Center Paris Confirmation of motivation, initial medical check-up, finalising enlistment papers and signing of 5-year service contract
Selection 7 to 14 days in the Recruitment and Selection Center in Aubagne Psychological and personality tests, logic tests no education requirements, medical exam, physical condition tests, motivation and security interviews Confirmation or denial of selection
Passed Selection Signing and handing-over of the five-year service contract Incorporation into the Foreign Legion as a trainee

Basic trainingedit

Légionnaires training in French Guiana

The majority of officers in the Legion are seconded from the regular French Army and are referred to as Legion officers Officiers de Légion Adjudant-chefs, Adjudants, and a limited number of both French and non-French officers French: Officier du Rang de La Légion are promoted from the ranks of the Legion

Basic training for the Foreign Legion is conducted in the 4th Foreign Regiment This is an operational combat regiment which provides a training course of 15–17 weeks, before recruits are assigned to their operational units:

  • Initial training of 4–6 weeks at The Farm La Ferme – introduction to military lifestyle; outdoor and field activities
  • March Marche Képi Blanc – a 31 mile 50 km 2 day march 25 km pr day in full kit, followed by the Kepi Blanc ceremony on the 3rd day
  • Technical and practical training alternating with barracks and field training – 3 weeks
  • Mountain training Chalet at Formiguière in the French Pyrenees – 1 week
  • Technical and practical training alternating barracks and field training – 3 weeks
  • Examinations and obtaining of the elementary technical certificate CTE – 1 week
  • March Raid Marche - a 75 mile 120 km final march, which must be completed in 3 days
  • Light vehicle drivers education drivers license – 1 week
  • Return to Aubagne before reporting to the assigned operational regiment – 1 week

Education in the French language reading, writing and pronunciation, is taught on a daily basis, throughout all of basic training


Main article: Honneur et Fidélité

As the Foreign Legion is composed of soldiers of different nationalities and backgrounds, it needed to develop an intense esprit de corps,37 which is achieved through the development of camaraderie,37 specific traditions, the loyalty of its legionnaires, the quality of their training, and the pride of being a soldier in an élite unit37

Code of honouredit

The "Legionnaire's Code of Honour"4849 is the Legion's creed, recited in French only5051

Code d’honneur du légionnaire Legionnaire’s Code of Honour
Art 1 Légionnaire, tu es un volontaire, servant la France avec honneur et fidélité Legionnaire, you are a volunteer serving France with honour and fidelity
Art 2 Chaque légionnaire est ton frère d’armes, quelle que soit sa nationalité, sa race ou sa religion Tu lui manifestes toujours la solidarité étroite qui doit unir les membres d’une même famille Each legionnaire is your brother in arms whatever his nationality, his race or his religion might be You show him the same close solidarity that links the members of the same family
Art 3 Respectueux des traditions, attaché à tes chefs, la discipline et la camaraderie sont ta force, le courage et la loyauté tes vertus Respect for traditions, devotion to your leaders, discipline and comradeship are your strengths, courage and loyalty your virtues
Art 4 Fier de ton état de légionnaire, tu le montres dans ta tenue toujours élégante, ton comportement toujours digne mais modeste, ton casernement toujours net Proud of your status as legionnaire, you display this in your always impeccable uniform, your always dignified but modest behaviour, and your clean living quarters
Art 5 Soldat d’élite, tu t’entraînes avec rigueur, tu entretiens ton arme comme ton bien le plus précieux, tu as le souci constant de ta forme physique An elite soldier, you train rigorously, you maintain your weapon as your most precious possession, and you take constant care of your physical form
Art 6 La mission est sacrée, tu l’exécutes jusqu’au bout et si besoin, en opérations, au péril de ta vie The mission is sacred, you carry it out until the end and, if necessary in the field, at the risk of your life
Art 7 Au combat, tu agis sans passion et sans haine, tu respectes les ennemis vaincus, tu n’abandonnes jamais ni tes morts, ni tes blessés, ni tes armes In combat, you act without passion and without hate, you respect defeated enemies, and you never abandon your dead, your wounded, or your arms
Commemoration of the Battle of Camarón by the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment at the Roman Theatre of Orange Regimental flags of the 1st Foreign Regiment and 2nd Regiments in Paris, 20032


Honneur et Fidélitéedit

In contrast to all other French Army units, the motto embroidered on the Foreign Legion's regimental flags is not Honneur et Patrie Honour and Fatherland but Honneur et Fidélité Honour and Fidelity52

Legio Patria Nostraedit

Legio Patria Nostra in French La Légion est notre Patrie, in English The Legion is our Fatherland is the Latin motto of the Foreign Legion52 The adoption of the Foreign Legion as a new "fatherland" does not imply the repudiation by the legionnaire of his original nationality The Foreign Legion is required to obtain the agreement of any legionnaire before he is placed in any situation where he might have to serve against his country of birth

Regimental mottosedit

Eleven colonels with 11 regimental mottosedit

  • 1er RE: Honneur et Fidélité
  • GRLE: Honneur et Fidélité
  • 1er REC: Honneur et Fidélité & Nec Pluribus Impar No other equal
  • 2e REP: Honneur et Fidélité & More Majorum According to the traditions of our ancestors
  • 2e REI: Honneur et Fidélité & Être prêt Be ready
  • 2e REG: Honneur et Fidélité & Rien n'empêche Nothing prevents
  • 3e REI: Honneur et Fidélité & Legio Patria Nostra The Legion our Fatherland
  • 4e RE: Honneur et Fidélité & Creuset de la Légion et Régiment des fortes têtes The crucible of the Legion and the strong right minded regiment
  • 6e REG then 1e REG: Honneur et Fidélité & Ad Unum All to one end - for the regiment until the last one
  • 13e DBLE: Honneur et Fidélité & More Majorum According to the traditions of our ancestors
  • DLEM: Honneur et Fidélité & Pericula Ludus Dangers game - for the regiment To Danger is my pleasure of the 2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment


Regiment Colors Insignia Beret Insignia Tenure Notable Commandants
Le Commandement
de la Légion étrangère COMLE
1931–Present général Paul-Frédéric Rollet
général Raoul Magrin-Vernerey
général Jean-Claude Coullon
1st Foreign Regiment 1ème RE

1841–Present général Paul-Frédéric Rollet
Captain Jean Danjou
Colonel Raphaël Vienot
Peter I of Serbia
Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener

Commandant Pierre Segrétain
Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Paul Jeanpierre

4th Foreign Regiment 4ème RE
1976 –Present
Foreign Legion Recruiting Group GRLE
Legion Pionniers
Pionniers de La Légion Etrangère
1st Foreign Regiment
Pionniers Sections of Tradition
1st Foreign Engineer Regiment
Pionniers Groups
2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment
Pionniers Groups
3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment
Pionniers Groups
4th Foreign Regiment
Pionniers Groups
Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte
Pionniers Groups
1e RE
1e REG
2e REG
3e RE
4e RE
Communal Depot of the Foreign Regiments DCRE 1933-1955
Colonel Louis-Antoine Gaultier
1st Foreign Infantry Regiment 1er REI 1950-1955
1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment 1er REC
Nec Pluribus Impar
Foreign Air Supply Company CERA 1951
Parachute Company of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment Para Co du 3ème REI 1948-1949
1st Foreign Parachute Battalion 1er BEP 1948-1955
Lieutenant Jacques Morin Company Commander37
Lieutenant Paul Arnaud de Foïard Section-Platoon, Commander
1st Foreign Parachute Battalion 1er BEP 1948-1955 Commandant Pierre Segrétain34
1er BEP, I formation
Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Jeanpierre36
1er BEP, I, II and III formations
Captain Pierre Sergent
1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er REP
Marche ou Creve
1955-1961 Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Jeanpierre36

Commandant Hélie de Saint Marc
Captain Pierre Sergent
Guy Rubin de Cervens

1st Foreign Parachute Heavy Mortar Company 1ère CEPML 1953-1954 Lieutenant Jacques Molinier
Lieutenant Paul Turcy
Lieutenant Erwan Bergot
Lieutenant Jean Singland
1st Foreign Engineer Regiment 1er REG
Ad Unum
2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment 2ème REG
Rien n'empêche
1999- Present
2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment 2ème REC 1939–1940
2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment 2ème REI
Être Prêt
3 Apr 1841 – 1 Apr 1943
1 Aug 1945 – 1 Jan 1968
1 Sept 1972 – Present
Captain Jean Danjou
Patrice de MacMahon, Duke of Magenta
Colonel Chabrières
Commandant Pierre Segrétain
Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Paul Jeanpierre
2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion 2ème BEP 1948-1955 Commandant Barthélémy Rémy Raffali53
Captain Georges Hamacek
2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 2ème REP
More Majorum
1948- Present Lieutenant Colonel Paul Arnaud de Foïard
2nd Marching Regiment of the 1st Foreign Regiment- 2èmeRM1er RE - 1914–1915
3rd Marching Regiment of the 1st Foreign Regiment- 3èmeRM1erRE - 1914–1915
4th Marching Regiment of the 1st Foreign Regiment- 4èmeRM1erRE - 1914-1915
2nd Marching Regiment of the 2nd Foreign Regiment- 2èmeRM2èmeRE - 1914–1915
Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion RMLE

3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment-present
Colonel Paul-Frédéric Rollet
Lieutenant-Colonel Peppino Garibaldi
Colonel Alphonse Van Hecke
Eugene Bullard
American poet Alan Seeger
Swiss poet, French naturalized Blaise Cendrars
Lieutenant Colonel Prince Count Aage of Rosenborg
Italian writer, Curzio Malaparte
Lazare Ponticelli
3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment 3ème REI
Legio Patria Nostra

11 November 1915 - Present
Marching Regiments of Foreign Volunteers RMVE
21st Marching Regiment of Foreign Volunteers- 21e RMVE - 1939–1940
22nd Marching Regiment of Foreign Volunteers- 22e RMVE - 1939–1940
23rd Marching Regiment of Foreign Volunteers- 23e RMVE - 1940

3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion 3ème BEP 1948-1955 Captain Darmuzai54
3rd Foreign Parachute Regiment 3ème REP 1955-1955 Captain Darmuzai54
5th Foreign Infantry Regiment 5ème REI 1930–2000
6th Foreign Infantry Regiment 6ème REI
Ad Unum
1939–1940; 1949–1955 Commadant Pierre Segrétain
Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Jeanpierre
6th Foreign Engineer Regiment 6ème REG
Ad Unum
1999 - 1e REG
11th Foreign Infantry Regiment 11ème REI 1939–1940
12th Foreign Infantry Regiment 12ème REI 1939–1940
13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion 13ème DBLE
More Majorum
Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte DLEM
Pericula Ludus

Marching songsedit

Le Boudinedit

The chapeau chinois literally "Chinese hat" in French is the French name of an old Ottoman music instrument that was popular in the eighteenth century, but was progressively abandoned by most European military bands in the nineteenth century, except by the Foreign Legion and the Spahis37

"Le Boudin"255 is the marching song of the Foreign Legion

Other songsedit

  • "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien", 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment
  • "Sous Le Ciel de Paris", The Choir of the French Foreign Legion
  • "Anne Marie du 3e" REI in German56
  • "Adieu, adieu"
  • "Aux légionnaires"
  • "Anne Marie du 2e REI"57
  • "Adieu vieille Europe"
  • "Chant du quatrième escadron"
  • "Chez nous au 3e"
  • "C'est le 4"
  • "Connaissez-vous ces hommes"
  • "Contre les Viêts" song of the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion after having been the marching song adopted by the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment
  • "Cravate verte et Képi blanc"
  • "Dans la brume, la rocaille"
  • "Défilé du 3e REI"
  • "C'était un Edelweiss"
  • "Écho"
  • "En Afrique"
  • "En Algérie" 1er RE58
  • "Es steht eine Mühle" in German
  • "Eugénie"
  • "Les Képis Blancs" 1e RE59
  • "Honneur, Fidélité"
  • "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden" in German
  • "Il est un moulin"
  • "J'avais un camarade"
  • "Kameraden in German"
  • "La colonne" 1er REC
  • "La Légion marche" 2e REP39
  • "La lune est claire"
  • "Le Caïd"
  • "Il y a des cailloux sur toutes les routes"
  • "Le fanion de la Légion"
  • "Le Soleil brille"
  • "Le front haut et l'âme fière" 5e RE
  • "Légionnaire de l'Afrique"
  • "Massari Marie"
  • "Monica"
  • "Sous le Soleil brûlant d'Afrique" 13e DBLE
  • "Nous sommes tous des volontaires" 1er RE60
  • "Nous sommes de la Légion"
  • "La petite piste"
  • "Pour faire un vrai légionnaire"
  • "Premier chant du 1er REC"
  • "Quand on an une fille dans l'cuir"
  • "Rien n'empêche" 2er REG61
  • "Sapeur, mineurs et bâtisseurs" 6e REG
  • "Soldats de la Légion étrangère"
  • "Souvenirs qui passe"
  • "Suzanna"
  • "The Windmill"
  • "Venu volontaire"
  • "Véronica"


Main articles: Foreign Legion Command, Foreign Legion Pioneers Pionniers, and Honneur et Fidélité

All volunteers in the French Foreign Legion begin their careers as basic legionnaires with one in four eventually becoming a sous-officier non-commissioned officer On joining, a new recruit receives a monthly salary of €1,200 in addition to food and lodgings762 He is also given his own new rifle, which according to the lore of the Legion must never be left on a battlefield7 Promotion is concurrent with the ranks in the French Army

Foreign Legion rank Equivalent rank NATO Code Period of service Insignia
Engagé Volontaire Recruit 15 weeks basic training None
Legionnaire 2e Classe Private / 2nd Class Legionnaire OR-1 On completion of training and Marche képi blanc March of the White Kepi None
Legionnaire 1e Classe Private / 1st Class Legionnaire OR-2 After 10 months of service
Caporal Corporal OR-3 Possible after 1-year of service, known as the Fonctionnaire Caporal or Caporal "Fut Fut" course Recruits selected for this course need to show good leadership skills during basic training
Caporal Chef Senior Corporal OR-4 After 6 years of service
Table note: Command insignia in the Foreign Legion use gold lace or braid indicating foot troops in the French Army But the Légion étrangère service color is green for the now-defunct colonial Armée d'Afrique instead of red regular infantry

Non-Commissioned and Warrant Officersedit

Main articles: Foreign Legion Command, Foreign Legion Pioneers Pionniers, and Honneur et Fidélité An insignia for a Sous-officier

The insignia for a Sous-officier contains three components In this case, three upward gold chevrons indicates a Sergent-chef The diamond-shaped regimental patch or Écusson is created from three green borders indicating a Colonial unit; rather than one for "Regulars" or two for "Reserves" The grenade has seven flames rather than the usual five Two downward chevrons of seniority attests to at least 10 years service

Sous-officiers NCOs including warrant officers account for 25% of the current Foreign Legion's total manpower

Foreign Legion rank Equivalent rank NATO Code Period of service Insignia
Sergent Sergeant OR-5 After 3 years of service as Caporal
Sergent Chef Senior Sergeant OR-6 After 3 years as Sergent and between 7 and 14 years of service
Adjudant Warrant Officer OR-8 After 3 years as Sergent Chef
Adjudant Chef † Chief Warrant Officer OR-9 After 4 years as Adjudant and at least 14 years service
Major ‡ Command or
Regimental Sergeant Major
OR-9 Appointment by either: i passing an examination or
ii promotion after a minimum of 14 years service
without an examination
^ †: No further promotions are given to non-French Legionnaires on attaining the rank of Adjudant Chef

^ ‡: Since 1 January 2009, the French military rank of major has been attached to the sous-officiers Prior to this, Major was an independent rank between NCOs and commissioned officers It is an executive position within a regiment or demi-brigade responsible for senior administration, standards and discipline

Commissioned Officersedit

Main article: Foreign Legion Command

Most officers are seconded from the French Army though roughly 10% are former non-commissioned officers promoted from the ranks

Foreign Legion rank Equivalent rank NATO Code Command responsibility Insignia
Sous-Lieutenant Second lieutenant OF-1 Junior section leader
Lieutenant First lieutenant OF-1 A platoon
Capitaine Captain OF-2 A company
Commandant Major OF-3 A battalion
Lieutenant-Colonel Lieutenant colonel OF-4 Junior régiment or demi-brigade leader
Colonel Colonel OF-5 A régiment or demi-brigade
Général de brigade Brigadier General OF-6 Brigade comprising régiments or demi-brigades
Le Commandement
de la Légion étrangère 64

de division

Major General OF-7 Entire division of the French Foreign Legion

Chevrons of seniorityedit

The Foreign Legion still uses chevrons to indicate seniority chevrons d'ancienneté Each gold chevron, which are only worn by ordinary legionnaires and non-commissioned officers, denotes five years service in the Legion They are worn beneath the rank insignia65

Honorary ranksedit

The French Army had awarded honorary ranks to individuals credited with exceptional acts of courage since 1796

In the Foreign Legion, General Paul-Frédéric Rollet introduced the practice of awarding of honorary Legion ranks to distinguished individuals, both civilian and military; men and women in the early 20th century Recipients of these honorary appointments had participated in an exemplary manner on active service with units of the Legion, or had rendered exceptional service to the Legion in non-combat situations66

More than 1,200 individuals have been granted honorary ranks in the Legion pour services éminent The majority of these awards have been made to military personnel in wartime, earning titles such as Legionnaire d'Honneur or Sergent-Chef de Légion d'Honneur But other recipients have included nurses, journalists, painters, and ministers who have rendered meritorious service to the Foreign Legion66


Main articles: Foreign Legion Command and Foreign Legion Pioneers Pionniers Pioneers of the 1st Foreign Regiment

The Pionniers pioneers are the combat engineers and a traditional unit of the Foreign Legion The sapper traditionally sport large beards, wear leather aprons and gloves and hold axes The sappers were very common in European armies during the Napoleonic Era but progressively disappeared during the 19th century The French Army, including the Legion disbanded its regimental sapper platoons in 1870 However, in 1931 one of a number of traditions restored to mark the hundredth anniversary of the Legion's founding was the reestablishment of its bearded Pionniers67

In the French Army, since the 18th century, every infantry regiment included a small detachment of pioneers In addition to undertaking road building and entrenchment work, such units were tasked with using their axes and shovels to clear obstacles under enemy fire opening the way for the rest of the infantry The danger of such missions was recognised by allowing certain privileges, such as being authorised to wear beards

The current pioneer platoon of the Foreign Legion is provided by the Legion depot and headquarters regiment for public ceremonies68 The unit has reintroduced the symbols of the Napoleonic sappers: the beard, the axe, the leather apron, the crossed-axes insignia and the leather gloves When parades of the Foreign Legion are opened by this unit, it is to commemorate the traditional role of the sappers "opening the way" for the troops67

Cadences and marching stepsedit

Main article: Foreign Legion Command The French Foreign Legion has its own military band

Also notable is the marching pace of the Foreign Legion In comparison to the 116-step-per-minute pace of other French units, the Foreign Legion has an 88-step-per-minute marching speed It is also referred to by Legionnaires as the "crawl" This can be seen at ceremonial parades and public displays attended by the Foreign Legion, particularly while parading in Paris on 14 July Bastille Day Military Parade Because of the impressively slow pace, the Foreign Legion is always the last unit marching in any parade The Foreign Legion is normally accompanied by its own band, which traditionally plays the march of any one of the regiments comprising the Foreign Legion, except that of the unit actually on parade The regimental song of each unit and "Le Boudin" is sung by legionnaires standing at attention Also, because the Foreign Legion must always stay together, it does not break formation into two when approaching the presidential grandstand, as other French military units do, in order to preserve the unity of the legion

Because of its slower pace, the Foreign Legion is always the last unit marching in any parade Parade in Rome, June 2007

Contrary to popular belief, the adoption of the Foreign Legion's slow marching speed was not due to a need to preserve energy and fluids during long marches under the hot Algerian sun Its exact origins are somewhat unclear, but the official explanation is that although the pace regulation does not seem to have been instituted before 1945, it hails back to the slow marching pace of the Ancien Régime, and its reintroduction was a "return to traditional roots"69 This was in fact, the march step of the Foreign Legion's ancestor units – the Régiments Étrangers or Foreign Regiments of the Ancien Régime French Army, the Grande Armée's foreign units, and the pre-1831 foreign regiments


Légionnaires in modern dress uniform Note the green and red epaulettes, the distinctive white kepi and the blue sash They carry France's standard assault rifle, the FAMAS

From its foundation until World War I the Foreign Legion normally wore the uniform of the French line infantry for parade with a few special distinctions70 Essentially this consisted of a dark blue coat later tunic worn with red trousers The field uniform was often modified under the influence of the extremes of climate and terrain in which the Foreign Legion served Shakos were soon replaced by the light cloth kepi, which was far more suitable for North African conditions The practice of wearing heavy capotes greatcoats on the march and vestes short hip-length jackets as working dress in barracks was followed by the Foreign Legion from its establishment71 One short lived aberration was the wearing of green uniforms in 1856 by Foreign Legion units recruited in Switzerland for service in the Crimean War72 In the Crimea itself 1854–59 a hooded coat and red or blue waist sashes were adopted for winter dress,73 while during the Mexican Intervention 1863–65 straw hats or sombreros were sometimes substituted for the kepi7475 When the latter was worn it was usually covered with a white "havelock" – the predecessor of the white kepi that was to become a symbol of the Foreign Legion Foreign Legion units serving in France during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 were distinguishable only by minor details of insignia from the bulk of the French infantry However subsequent colonial campaigns saw an increasing use of special garments for hot weather wear such as collarless keo blouses in Tonkin 1884–85, khaki drill jackets in Dahomey 1892 and drab covered topees worn with all-white fatigue dress in Madagascar76 189577

In the early 20th century the legionnaire wore a red kepi with blue band and piping, dark blue tunic with red collar, red cuff patches, and red trousers78 The most distinctive features were the green epaulettes replacing the red of the line worn with red woollen fringes;79 plus the embroidered Foreign Legion badge of a red flaming grenade, worn on the kepi front instead of a regimental number80 In the field a light khaki cover was worn over the kepi, sometimes with a protective neck curtain attached The standard medium-blue double breasted greatcoat capote of the French infantry was worn, usually buttoned back to free the legs for marching81 From the 1830s the legionnaires had worn a broad blue woollen sash around the waist,82 like other European units of the French Army of Africa such as the Zouaves or the Chasseurs d'Afrique, while indigenous units of the Army of Africa spahis and tirailleurs wore red sashes White linen trousers tucked into short leather leggings were substituted for red serge in hot weather83 This was the origin of the "Beau Geste" image

In barracks a white bleached kepi cover was often worn together with a short dark blue jacket "veste" or white blouse plus white trousers The original kepi cover was khaki and due to constant washing turned white quickly The white or khaki kepi cover was not unique to the Foreign Legion at this stage but was commonly seen amongst other French units in North Africa It later became particularly identified with the Foreign Legion as the unit most likely to serve at remote frontier posts other than locally recruited tirailleurs who wore fezzes or turbans The variances of climate in North Africa led the French Army to the sensible expedient of letting local commanders decide on the appropriate "tenue de jour" uniform of the day according to circumstances Thus a legionnaire might parade or walk out in blue tunic and white trousers in hot weather, blue tunic and red trousers in normal temperatures or wear the blue greatcoat with red trousers under colder conditions The sash could be worn with greatcoat, blouse or veste but not with the tunic Epaulettes were a detachable dress item worn only with tunic or greatcoat for parade or off duty wear84

A drawing showing French Foreign Legion troops in action against tribesmen in Morocco in 1908 The legionnaires are incorrectly shown wearing the red sashes of native regiments and not the medium blue of the Legion

Officers wore the same dark blue almost black tunics as those of their colleagues in the French line regiments, except that black replaced red as a facing colour on collar and cuffs85 Gold fringed epaulettes were worn for full dress and rank was shown by the number of gold rings on both kepi and cuffs Trousers were red with black stripes or white according to occasion or conditions All-white or light khaki uniforms from as early as the 1890s were often worn in the field or for ordinary duties in barracks86 Non-commissioned officers were distinguished by red or gold diagonal stripes on the lower sleeves of tunics, vestes and greatcoats87 Small detachable stripes were buttoned on to the front of the white shirt-like blouse

Prior to 1914 units in Indo-China wore white or khaki Colonial Infantry uniforms with Foreign Legion insignia, to overcome supply difficulties This dress included a white sun helmet of a model that was also worn by Foreign Legion units serving in the outposts of Southern Algeria, though never popular with its wearers88 During the initial months of World War I, Foreign Legion units serving in France wore the standard blue greatcoat and red trousers of the French line infantry, distinguished only by collar patches of the same blue as the capote, instead of red After a short period in sky-blue the Foreign Legion adopted khaki with steel helmets, from early 1916 A mustard shade of khaki drill had been worn on active service in Morocco from 1909, replacing the classic blue and white89 The latter continued to be worn in the relatively peaceful conditions of Algeria throughout World War I, although increasingly replaced by khaki drill The pre-1914 blue and red uniforms could still be occasionally seen as garrison dress in Algeria until stocks were used up about 1919

During the early 1920s plain khaki drill uniforms of a standard pattern became universal issue for the Foreign Legion with only the red and blue kepi with or without a cover and green collar braiding to distinguish the Legionnaire from other French soldiers serving in North African and Indo-China The neck curtain ceased to be worn from about 1915, although it survived in the newly raised Foreign Legion Cavalry Regiment into the 1920s The white blouse bourgeron and trousers dating from 1882 were retained for fatigue wear until the 1930s

At the time of the Foreign Legion's centennial in 1931, a number of traditional features were reintroduced at the initiative of the then commander Colonel Rollet These included the blue sash and green/red epaulettes In 1939 the white covered kepi won recognition as the official headdress of the Foreign Legion to be worn on most occasions, rather than simply as a means of reflecting heat and protecting the blue and red material underneath The Third Foreign Infantry Regiment adopted white tunics and trousers for walking-out dress during the 1930s and all Foreign Legion officers were required to obtain full dress uniforms in the pre-war colours of black and red from 1932 to 1939

During World War II the Foreign Legion wore a wide range of uniform styles depending on supply sources These ranged from the heavy capotes and Adrian helmets of 1940 through to British battledress and American field uniforms from 1943 to 1945 The white kepi was stubbornly retained whenever possible

From 1940 until 1963 the Foreign Legion maintained four Saharan Companies Compagnies Sahariennes as part of the French forces used to patrol and police the desert regions to the south of Morocco and Algeria Special uniforms were developed for these units, modeled on those of the French officered Camel Corps Méharistes having prime responsibility for the Sahara In full dress these included black or white zouave style trousers, worn with white tunics and long flowing cloaks The Legion companies maintained their separate identity by retaining their distinctive kepis, sashes and fringed epaulettes

The white kepis, together with the sash90 and epaulettes survive in the Foreign Legion's modern parade dress Since the 1990s the modern kepi has been made wholly of white material rather than simply worn with a white cover Officers and senior noncommissioned officers still wear their kepis in the pre-1939 colours of dark blue and red A green tie and for officers a green waistcoat recall the traditional branch colour of the Foreign Legion From 1959 a green beret previously worn only by the legion's paratroopers became the universal ordinary duty headdress, with the kepi reserved for parade and off duty wear9192 Other items of currently worn dress are the standard issue of the French Army


Further information: Modern equipment and uniform of the French Army

The Foreign Legion is basically equipped with the same equipment as similar units elsewhere in the French Army These include:

  • The FAMAS assault rifle, a French-made automatic bullpup-style rifle, chambered in the 556×45mm NATO round In bullpup-style firearms, the action and magazine insert is behind the trigger section This layout shortens the length of the weapon, while retaining the barrel length
  • The SPECTRA is a ballistic helmet, designed by the French military, fitted with real-time positioning and information system, and with light amplifiers for night vision
  • The FÉLIN suit, an infantry combat system that combines ample pouches, reinforced body protections and a portable electronic platform

Commandement de la Légion Étrangère Tenure 1931– presentedit

Main articles: Foreign Legion Command, 1st Foreign Regiment, and Honneur et Fidélité

Commandement de la Légion Étrangère 1931–1984edit

Inspector Tenureedit

Inspection de la Légion étrangère ILE
Name Portrait Rank Tenure Note
Paul-Frédéric Rollet Général 1931–1935
Raoul Magrin-Vernerey Général 1948–1950

Autonomous Group Tenureedit

Groupement autonome de la Légion étrangère GALE
Name Portrait Rank Tenure Note
Jean Olié Général 1950
Paul Gardy Général 1951

Command Tenureedit

Commandement de la Légion étrangère COLE
Name Portrait Rank Tenure Note
René Lennuyeux Général 1955 colonel then Général

Technical Inspection Tenureedit

Inspection technique de la Légion étrangère ITLE
Name Portrait Rank Tenure Note
René Lennuyeux Général 1957
Paul Gardy Général 1958
René Morel Légion étrangère Général 1960
Jacques Lefort Général 1962

Groupment Tenureedit

Groupement de la Légion étrangère GLE
Name Portrait Rank Tenure Note
Marcel Letestu Général 1972
Gustave Fourreau Général 1973
Bernard Goupil Général 1976
Paul Lardry Général 1980
Jean-Claude Coullon27 Général 1982

Commandement de la Légion Étrangère 1984–presentedit

Command Tenureedit

Commandement de la Légion étrangère COMLE
# Name Portrait Rank Tenure Note
1 Jean-Claude Coullon27 Général 1984
2 Jean Louis Roué27 Général 1985
3 Raymond Le Corre27 Général 1988
4 Bernard Colcomb Général 1992
5 Christian Piquemal27 Général 1994
6 Bernard Grail27 Général 1999
7 Jean-Louis Franceschi27 Général 2002
8 Bruno Dary27 Général 2004
9 Louis Pichot de Champfleury27 Général 2006
10 Alain Bouquin27 Général 2009
11 Christophe de Saint-Chamas27 Général 2011
12 Jean Maurin27 Général 2014


This monument to the Legionnaires at Aubagne originally stood at the Legion's headquarters in Sidi Bel Abbès but was moved to France when Algeria gained independence in 1962 The gold parts on the globe mark countries where the legions been deployed It is inscribed La Legion A Ses Morts The Legion to its dead


The Foreign Legion is the only unit of the French Army open to people of any nationality Most legionnaires still come from European countries but a growing percentage comes from Latin America93 Most of the Foreign Legion's commissioned officers are French with approximately 10 percent being Legionnaires who have risen through the ranks94

Legionnaires were, in the past, forced to enlist under a pseudonym "declared identity" This policy existed in order to allow recruits who wanted to restart their lives to enlist The Legion held the belief that it was fairer to make all new recruits use declared identities7 French citizens can enlist under a declared, fictitious, foreign citizenship generally, a francophone one, often that of Belgium, Canada, or Switzerlandcitation needed As of 20 September 2010, new recruits may enlist under their real identities or under declared identities Recruits who do enlist with declared identities may, after one year's service, regularise their situations under their true identities95 After serving in the Foreign Legion for three years, a legionnaire may apply for French citizenship7 He must be serving under his real name, must have no problems with the authorities, and must have served with "honour and fidelity"95 A soldier who becomes injured during a battle for France can immediately apply for French citizenship under a provision known as "Français par le sang versé" "French by spilled blood"7

While the Foreign Legion historically did not accept women in its ranks, there was one official female member, Susan Travers, an Englishwoman who joined Free French Forces during World War II and became a member of the Foreign Legion after the war, serving in Vietnam during the First Indochina War96 Women were barred from service until 2000,97 which then-French Defence Minister Alain Richard had stated that he wanted to take the level of female recruitment in the Legion to 20 percent by 202098

Membership by countryedit

As of 2008, legionnaires came from 140 countries The majority of enlisted men originate from outside France, while the majority of the officer corps consists of Frenchmen Many recruits originate from Eastern Europe and Latin America Neil Tweedie of The Daily Telegraph said that Germany traditionally provided many recruits, "somewhat ironically given the Legion's bloody role in two world wars"7 He added that "Brits, too, have played their part, but there was embarrassment recently when it emerged that many British applicants were failing selection due to endemic unfitness"7


Main articles: Honneur et Fidélité, Alsace-Lorraine, and Malgré-nous

Original nationalities of the Foreign Legion reflect the events in history at the time they join Many former Wehrmacht personnel joined in the wake of WWII99 as many soldiers returning to civilian life found it hard to find reliable employment Jean-Denis Lepage reports that "The Foreign Legion discreetly recruited from German POW camps",100 but adds that the number of these recruits has been subsequently exaggerated Bernard B Fall, who was a supporter of the French government, writing in the context of the First Indochina War, questioned the notion that the Foreign Legion was mainly German at that time, calling it:

a canard…with the sub-variant that all those Germans were at least SS generals and other much wanted war criminals As a rule, and in order to prevent any particular nation from making the Foreign Legion into a Praetorian Guard, any particular national component is kept at about 25 percent of the total Even supposing and this was the case, of course that the French recruiters, in the eagerness for candidates would sign up Germans enlisting as Swiss, Austrian, Scandinavian and other nationalities of related ethnic background, it is unlikely that the number of Germans in the Foreign Legion ever exceeded 35 percent Thus, without making an allowance for losses, rotation, discharges, etc, the maximum number of Germans fighting in Indochina at any one time reached perhaps 7,000 out of 278,000 As to the ex-Nazis, the early arrivals contained a number of them, none of whom were known to be war criminals French intelligence saw to that
Since, in view of the rugged Indochinese climate, older men without previous tropical experience constituted more a liability than an asset, the average age of the Foreign Legion enlistees was about 23 At the time of the battle of Dien Bien Phu, any legionnaire of that age group was at the worst, in his "Hitler Youth" shorts when the Third Reich collapsed101

The Foreign Legion accepts people enlisting under a nationality that is not their own A proportion of the Swiss and Belgians are actually likely to be Frenchmen who wish to avoid detection102 In addition many Alsatians are said to have joined the Foreign Legion when Alsace was part of the German Empire, and may have been recorded as German while considering themselves French

Regarding recruitment conditions within the Foreign Legion, see the official page in English dedicated to the subject:103 With regard to age limits, recruits can be accepted from ages ranging from 17 ½ with parental consent to 40 years old

Countries that allow post-Foreign Legion contractedit

In the Commonwealth Realms, its collective provisions provide for nationals to commute between armies in training or other purposes Moreover, this 'blanket provision' between member-states cannot exclude others for it would seem inappropriate to single out individual countries, that is, France in relation to the Legion For example, Australia and New Zealand may allow post-Legion enlistment providing the national has commonwealth citizenship Britain allows post-Legion enlistment Canada allows post-Legion enlistment in its ranks with a completed five-year contractcitation needed

In the European Union framework, post Legion enlistment is less clear Denmark, Norway, Germany and Portugal allow post-Legion enlistment while The Netherlands has constitutional articles that forbid it Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap, Artikel 15, lid 1e, In Dutch:104 that is: one can lose his Dutch nationality by accepting a foreign nationality or can lose his Dutch nationality by serving in the army of a foreign state that is engaged in a conflict against the Dutch Kingdom or one of its allies105 The European Union twin threads seem to be recognized dual nationality status or restricting constitutional article

The United States allows post-FFL enlistment in its National Guard, and career soldiers, up to the rank of captain only and to Green Card holders

Israel allows post-Legion enlistment

One of the biggest national groups in the Legion are Poles Polish law basically allows service in a foreign army, but only after written permission from the Ministry of National Defense

Emulation by other countriesedit

Chinese Ever Victorious Armyedit

The Ever Victorious Army was the name given to a Chinese imperial army in the late 19th century The new force originally comprised about 200 mostly European mercenaries, recruited in the Shanghai area from sailors, deserters and adventurers Many were dismissed in the summer of 1861, but the remainder became the officers of the Chinese soldiers recruited mainly in and around Sungkiang The Chinese troops were increased to 3,000 by May 1862, all equipped with Western firearms and equipment by the British authorities in Shanghai Throughout its four-year existence the Ever Victorious Army was mainly to operate within a thirty-mile radius of Shanghai It was disbanded in May 1864 with 104 foreign officers and 2,288 Chinese soldiers being paid off The bulk of the artillery and some infantry transferred to the Chinese Imperial forces It was the first Chinese army trained in European techniques, tactics, and strategy

Israeli Mahaledit

In Israel, Mahal Hebrew: מח"ל‎‎, an acronym for Mitnadvei Ḥutz LaAretz, which means Volunteers from outside the Land of Israel is a term designating non-Israelis serving in the Israeli military The term originates with the approximately 4,000 both Jewish and non-Jewish volunteers who went to Israel to fight in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War including Aliyah Bet106 The original Mahalniks were mostly World War II veterans from American and British armed forces

Today, there is a program, Garin Tzabar, within the Israeli Ministry of Defense that administers the enlistment of non-Israeli citizens in the country's armed forces Programs enable foreigners to join the Israel Defense Forces if they are of Jewish descent which is defined as at least one grandparent

Netherlands KNIL Armyedit

Though not named "Foreign Legion", the Dutch Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indische Leger KNIL, or Royal Netherlands-Indian Army in reference to the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia, was created in 1830, a year before the French Foreign Legion, and is therefore not an emulation but an entirely original idea and had a similar recruitment policy It stopped being an army of foreigners around 1900 when recruitment was restricted to Dutch citizens and to the indigenous peoples of the Dutch East Indies The KNIL was finally disbanded on 26 July 1950, seven months after the Netherlands formally recognised Indonesia as a sovereign state, and almost five years after Indonesia declared its independencecitation needed

Rhodesian Light Infantry and 7 Independent Companyedit

See also: Rhodesian Light Infantry and 7 Independent Company Rhodesia

During the Rhodesian Bush War of the 1960s and 1970s, the Rhodesian Security Forces enlisted volunteers from overseas on the same pay and conditions of service as locally based regulars107 The vast majority of the Rhodesian Army's foreigners joined the Rhodesian Light Infantry RLI, a heliborne commando regiment with a glamorous international reputation;108 this unit became colloquially known as the "Rhodesian foreign legion" as a result, even though foreigners never made up more than about a third of its men According to Chris Cocks, an RLI veteran, "the RLI was a mirror of the French Foreign Legion, in that recruiters paid little heed as to a man's past and asked no questions And like the Foreign Legion, once in the ranks, a man's past was irrelevant"109 Just as French Foreign Legionnaires must speak French, the Rhodesian Army required its foreigners to be anglophone Many of them were professional soldiers, attracted by the regiment's reputation—mostly former British soldiers, or Vietnam veterans from the United States, Australian and New Zealand forces—and these became a key part of the unit110 Others, with no military experience, were often motivated to join the Rhodesian Army by anti-communism, or a desire for adventure or to escape the past109

After the Rhodesians' overseas recruiting campaign for English-speakers, started in 1974, proved successful, they began recruiting French-speakers as well, in 1977 These francophone recruits were placed in their own unit, 7 Independent Company, Rhodesia Regiment, which was commanded by French-speaking officers and operated entirely in French The experiment was not generally considered a success by the Rhodesian commanders, however, and the company was disbanded in early 1978111

Russian "Foreign Legion"edit

In 2010 the service conditions of the Russian Military have been changed The actual term "Russian Foreign Legion" is a colloquial expression without any official recognition Under the plan, foreigners without dual citizenship are able to sign up for five-year contracts and will be eligible for Russian citizenship after serving three years Experts say the change opens the way for Commonwealth of Independent States citizens to get fast-track Russian citizenship, and counter the effects of Russia's demographic crisis on its army recruitment112

Spanish Foreign Legionedit

The Spanish Foreign Legion was created in 1920, in emulation of the French one, and had a significant role in Spain's colonial wars in Morocco and in the Spanish Civil War on the Nationalist side The Spanish Foreign Legion recruited foreigners until 1986 but unlike its French model, the number of non-Spanish recruits never exceeded 25%, most of these from Latin America It is now called the Spanish Legion and only recruits Spanish nationalscitation needed

References in popular cultureedit

Main article: French Foreign Legion in popular culture

Beyond its reputation as an elite unit often engaged in serious fighting, the recruitment practices of the French Foreign Legion have also led to a somewhat romanticised view of it being a place for disgraced or "wronged" men looking to leave behind their old lives and start new ones This view of the legion is common in literature, and has been used for dramatic effect in many films, not the least of which are the several versions of Beau Geste'

See alsoedit

  • Military history of France portal
  • Foreign Airborne Battalions and Regiments of France
  • Régiments de marche de volontaires étrangers
  • List of Foreign Legionnaires – notable members of the French Foreign Legion
  • French Foreign Legion Museum
  • Wild Geese – Irish soldiers who fought for France
  • List of militaries that recruit foreigners
  • Spanish Legion
  • International Legion
  • International Brigades
  • Memorial to the American Volunteers, Paris
  • Lafayette Escadrille, a World War I volunteer air squadron
  • Beau Geste, a novel with many film adaptations detailing life in the Foreign Legion
  • James Waddell French Foreign Legion, a New Zealander, highly decorated officer
  • Count Aage of Rosenborg, a Danish Prince who served in the Foreign Legion and died with the rank of lieutenant-colonel


  1. ^ a b Official Website of the General Command of the Foreign Legion 
  2. ^ a b c Musique de la Légion étrangère 16 April 2013 "Le Boudin - Musique de la Légion étrangère vidéo officielle" – via YouTube 
  3. ^ "United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon UNIFIL" 
  4. ^ Official Website of the Commandement de la Légion Etrangère 
  5. ^ Jean-Dominique Merchet, La Légion s'accroche à ses effectifs
  6. ^ Axelrod, Alan 2013-12-27 Mercenaries: A Guide to Private Armies and Private Military Companies CQ Press ISBN 9781483364667 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Tweedie, Neil "The French Foreign Legion – the last option for those desperate to escape the UK" The Daily Telegraph 3 December 2008 Retrieved on 4 April 2012 Archived
  8. ^ Hinshaw, Drew; Gauthier-Villars, David January 15, 2013 "France Widens Military Effort in Mali" The Wall Street Journal 
  9. ^ Douglas Porch 1 January 1991 The French Foreign Legion: A Complete History pp 3–4 ISBN 978-0-333-58500-9 
  10. ^ Douglas Porch 1 January 1991 The French Foreign Legion: A Complete History p 1 ISBN 978-0-333-58500-9 
  11. ^ Douglas Porch 1 January 1991 The French Foreign Legion: A Complete History pp 11–13 ISBN 978-0-333-58500-9 
  12. ^ Douglas Porch 1 January 1991 The French Foreign Legion: A Complete History p 14 ISBN 978-0-333-58500-9 
  13. ^ Porch p 17–18
  14. ^ a b Douglas Porch 1 January 1991 The French Foreign Legion: A Complete History p 124 ISBN 978-0-333-58500-9 
  15. ^ Douglas Porch 1 January 1991 The French Foreign Legion: A Complete History pp 127–128 ISBN 978-0-333-58500-9 
  16. ^ In Le livre d'or de la Légion étrangère, page 66
  17. ^ Rene Chartrand, The Mexican Adventure 1861-67, page 19, ISBN 9781855324305
  18. ^ "About the Foreign Legion" Retrieved 9 March 2007 
  19. ^ "Historique du 2 REI, La Creation Creation", Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment 
  20. ^ Neeno, Timothy "The French Intervention in Mexico 1862–67" Military History Online Retrieved 26 February 2011 
  21. ^ Martin Windrow, page 5 "Our Friends Beneath the Sands", ISBN 978 0 297 85213 1
  22. ^ Lepage, Jean-Denis GG 2008 The French Foreign Legion: An Illustrated History USA: Mc Farland & Co Inc p 60 ISBN 078643239X 
  23. ^ a b c Philip D Curtin 28 May 1998 Disease and Empire: The Health of European Troops in the Conquest of Africa Cambridge University Press p 186 ISBN 978-0-521-59835-4 
  24. ^ Cambridge history of Africa, p530
  25. ^ Herbert Ingram Priestly 26 May 1967 France Overseas: A Study Of Modern Imperialism, 1938 Routledge p 308 ISBN 978-0-7146-1024-5 
  26. ^ Musée de l'Armée exhibit, Paris
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "COMLE, Editorial of COMLE in Képi Blanc", Official Website of General Command of Foreign Legion 
  28. ^ Shortly before his death, Seeger wrote, "I have a rendez-vous with Death, at some disputed barricade And I to my pledged word am true, I shall not fail that rendezvous"
  29. ^ a b c d e f Porch p 382–3
  30. ^ Windrow
  31. ^ Littlejohn, David 1979 Foreign Legions of the Third Reich: Volume 1: Norway, Denmark and France San Jose: R James Bender p 199 ISBN 0912138173 
  32. ^ Porch, Douglas 1991 The French Foreign Legion: A Complete History of the Legendary Fighting Force HarperCollins Canada, Limited p 523 ISBN 978-1616080686 
  33. ^ Jean-Dominique Merchet "Secret Défense - La Légion étrangère s'accroche à ses effectifs - Libérationfr" liberationfr 
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i "History of the 2e REP, the 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion 1er Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes", Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 
  35. ^ "Section Historique, L'Indochine of the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment", Official Website of the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment 1st RCP 
  36. ^ a b c d e f g "History of the 2e REP, the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er Régiment Etranger de Parachutiste", Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 
  37. ^ a b c d e f "History of the 2e REP, The origins", Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 
  38. ^ "Ils ont commandé le 2éme REP, Regimental Commanders", Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 
  39. ^ a b "Traditions, Chant du 2e REP", Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 
  40. ^ Comor André-Paul, « La Légion étrangère dans la guerre d'Algérie, 1954-1962 », Guerres mondiales et conflits contemporains, 1/2010 n° 237, p 81-93
  41. ^ Note that in the French language, the designation of "Mounted Company" French: Compagnie Portée means mounted and could be applied for both Motorized or Mounted by other means The designation of "Motorized Company" French: Compagnie Motorisée would be strictly limited to being motorized which is not the word being used even if it was motorized The referral of "Mounted" Saharan Companies French: Compagnie Saharienne "Portée" is used instead of motorized strictly, even if these units were motorized, to also describe the packing of artillery The companies could be described as Motorized Saharan Companies of the Legion; however their strict French limitation to motorized only in terms of translation and function would be incorrect as they should be referred to as "Mounted" which would apply for both Motorized or mounting other means
  42. ^ "Gallery" Legion of the Lost 
  43. ^ Kent, Arthur; Brokaw, Tom 13 November 1990 "French Foreign Legion Prepares for Persian Gulf War" Video News Report NBC Nightly News NBCUniversal Media, LLC Retrieved 7 December 2014 Glen Slick is an American bearing arms for President Mitterrand, not President Bush He's one of 27 nationalities here with the French Foreign Legion 
  44. ^ Drew Hinshaw and David Gauthier-Villars 15 January 2013 "France Widens Military Effort in Mali" The Wall Street Journal CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter link
  45. ^ in French L Lagneau, "En 2018, la Légion étrangère aura « retrouvé ses effectifs d’il y a 20 ans »", Zone militaire
  46. ^ "Régiments et unités composant la Légion étrangère" legion-etrangerecom 
  47. ^ "2e Regiment Etranger de Genie 2e REG; Structure du 2ème Régiement Etranger de Génie", Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment 
  48. ^ "Code d'honneur du Légionnaire", Official Website of General Command of Foreign Legion COMLE 
  49. ^ 4th Foreign Regiment, Code d'honneur du Légionnaire 
  50. ^ https://wwwyoutubecom/watchv=CIGquKXtxgw | Video of French Foreign Legion reciting the "Legionnaire's Code of Honour" in French
  51. ^ https://wwwyoutubecom/watchv=e8z3pCTw1ag | Video of French Foreign Legion reciting the "Legionnaire's Code of Honour" in French
  52. ^ a b "LEGIO PATRIA NOSTRA", Official Website of the General Command of the Foreign Legion COMLE 
  53. ^ "History of the 2e REP, 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion,2e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes", Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 
  54. ^ a b Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, History of the 2e REP, the 3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion 3e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes"
  55. ^ TheMarches09 8 February 2010 "Marche de la Légion / Le Boudin" – via YouTube 
  56. ^ "Chant du régiment" 
  57. ^ "Le chant du 2ème REI" legion-etrangerecom 
  58. ^ "Les chants du 1er RE et des compagnies" 
  59. ^ "Les chants du 1er RE et des compagnies: Les Képis Blancs" 
  60. ^ "Les chants du 1er RE et des compagnies" 
  61. ^ "Les chants du 2e REG et des compagnies" 
  62. ^ "Examples of wages" legion-recrutecom Retrieved 4 April 2012 
  63. ^ a b AuPasCamarade 8 October 2012 "Légion Etrangère - Le salut au Caïd" – via YouTube 
  64. ^ "Official Website of the Commandement de la Légion Etrangère" wwwlegion-etrangerecom Retrieved 14 January 2016 
  65. ^ "Chevrons d'ancienneté" wwwlegion-etrangerecc Retrieved 15 July 2011 
  66. ^ a b Official Website of the General Command COMLE, Section L’honorariat à la Légion Etrangère Honorary rank induction in the Foreign Legion
  67. ^ a b Douglas Porch, page 418, The French Foreign Legion A Complete History, ISBN 0-333-58500-3
  68. ^ Martin Windrow 1981 Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion 1831–1981 Blandford ISBN 978-0-7137-1010-6 
  69. ^ Szecsko, p 17
  70. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica 1911 Edition, page 587, Vol 27
  71. ^ Martin Windrow 1981 Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion 1831–1981 Blandford p 16 ISBN 978-0-7137-1010-6 
  72. ^ Martin Windrow 1981 Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion 1831–1981 Blandford p 42 ISBN 978-0-7137-1010-6 
  73. ^ Martin Windrow 1981 Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion 1831–1981 Blandford p 39 ISBN 978-0-7137-1010-6 
  74. ^ Martin Windrow 1981 Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion 1831–1981 Blandford p 43 ISBN 978-0-7137-1010-6 
  75. ^ Pages 26-29 "La Legion Etrangere 1831/1945, Raymond Guyader, Hors Serie No 6 Gazette des Uniformes 1997
  76. ^ Pages 38-41 "La Legion Etrangere 1831/1945, Raymond Guyader, Hors Serie No 6 Gazette des Uniformes 1997
  77. ^ Martin Windrow 1981 Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion 1831–1981 Blandford p 26 ISBN 978-0-7137-1010-6 
  78. ^ Page 41 "La Legion Etrangere 1831/1945, Raymond Guyader, Hors Serie No 6 Gazette des Uniformes 1997
  79. ^ Frederic Martyn, Life in the Legion: from a Soldier's Point of View New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911, pp 83-84 Read online at archiveorg
  80. ^ Martin Windrow 1981 Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion 1831–1981 Blandford p 58 ISBN 978-0-7137-1010-6 
  81. ^ Jouineau, Andre French Army 1914 p 58 ISBN 978-2-35250-104-6 
  82. ^ Martin Windrow 1981 Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion 1831–1981 Blandford p 18 ISBN 978-0-7137-1010-6 
  83. ^ Martin Windrow 1981 Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion 1831–1981 Blandford pp 54–55 ISBN 978-0-7137-1010-6 
  84. ^ Pages 44-46 "La Legion Etrangere 1831/1945, Raymond Guyader, Hors Serie No 6 Gazette des Uniformes 1997
  85. ^ Pages 47-49 "La Legion Etrangere 1831/1945, Raymond Guyader, Hors Serie No 6 Gazette des Uniformes 1997
  86. ^ Page 42 "La Legion Etrangere 1831/1945, Raymond Guyader, Hors Serie No 6 Gazette des Uniformes 1997
  87. ^ Page 46 "La Legion Etrangere 1831/1945, Raymond Guyader, Hors Serie No 6 Gazette des Uniformes 1997
  88. ^ Martin Windrow 1981 Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion 1831–1981 Blandford p 75 ISBN 978-0-7137-1010-6 
  89. ^ Martin Windrow 1981 Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion 1831–1981 Blandford pp 85–89 ISBN 978-0-7137-1010-6 
  90. ^ Galliac, Paul L' Armee Francaise p 88 ISBN 978-2-35250-195-4 
  91. ^ Libru
  92. ^ Libru
  93. ^ The Foreign Legion - Tougher Than The Rest 1/3 YouTube 17 June 2012 
  94. ^ French Foreign Legion – Recruiting
  95. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions About the Foreign Legion English" French Foreign Legion Retrieved on 4 April 2012
  96. ^ "Tomorrow to Be Brave: A Memoir of the Only Woman Ever to Serve in the French Foreign Legion 9780743200028: Susan Travers, Wendy Holden: Books" Amazoncom 
  97. ^ Joy Lichfield 13 October 2000 "Women can run off and join the Legion" The Independent 
  98. ^ "BBC NEWS - Europe - Foreign Legion to admit women" bbccouk 
  99. ^ Sharpe, Michael 2008 Waffen SS Elite Forces 1: Leibstandarte and Das Reich p 183 ISBN 978-0-7858-2323-0
  100. ^ Jean-Denis G G Lepage 28 January 2008 The French Foreign Legion: An Illustrated History McFarland p 170 ISBN 978-0-7864-3239-4 
  101. ^ Bernard B Fall 1994 Street Without Joy: The French Debacle in Indochina Stackpole Books p 279 ISBN 978-0-8117-1700-7 
  102. ^ Evan McGorman, Life in the French Foreign Legion, p 21
  103. ^ "French Foreign Legion – Recruiting" Legion-recrutecom Archived from the original on 22 November 2013 
  104. ^ "Wettennl - Wet- en regelgeving - Rijkswet op het Nederlanderschap - BWBR0003738" overheidnl 
  105. ^ Rijksoverheidnl
  106. ^ Benny Morris, 1948, 2008, p85
  107. ^ Moorcraft, Paul L; McLaughlin, Peter April 2008 1982 The Rhodesian War: A Military History Barnsley: Pen and Sword Books p 52 ISBN 978-1-84415-694-8 
  108. ^ Abbott, Peter; Botham, Philip June 1986 Modern African Wars: Rhodesia, 1965–80 Oxford: Osprey Publishing p 17 ISBN 978-0-85045-728-5 
  109. ^ a b Binda, Alexandre May 2008 The Saints: The Rhodesian Light Infantry Johannesburg: 30° South Publishers p 126 ISBN 978-1-920143-07-7 
  110. ^ Binda, Alexandre May 2008 The Saints: The Rhodesian Light Infantry Johannesburg: 30° South Publishers pp 186–188 ISBN 978-1-920143-07-7 
  111. ^ Montfort, Robert September 1987 Micheletti, Eric, ed "La Septième Compagnie indépendante: les volontaires français en Rhodésie" The Seventh Independent Company: the French volunteers in Rhodesia RAIDS in French Paris: Histoire et Collections 16: 16–20 ; Montfort, Robert October 1987 Micheletti, Eric, ed "La Septième Compagnie indépendante: les volontaires français en Rhodésie II" The Seventh Independent Company: the French volunteers in Rhodesia part II RAIDS in French Paris: Histoire et Collections 17: 28–31 
  112. ^ Okorokova, Lidia 25 November 2010 "Russia's new Foreign Legion" The Moscow News Retrieved 17 July 2011 

Further readingedit

  • MR Tony Geraghty 1987 March Or Die: A New History of the French Foreign Legion ISBN 978-0-8160-1794-2 
  • Evan McGorman 1 January 2002 Life in the French Foreign Legion: How to Join and What to Expect When You Get There Hellgate Press ISBN 978-1-55571-633-2 
  • Douglas Porch 23 June 1992 The French Foreign Legion: Complete History of The Legendary Fighting Force Harper Perennial ISBN 978-0-06-092308-2 
  • Roger Rousseau, The French Foreign Legion in Kolwezi, 2006 ISBN 978-2-9526927-1-7
  • Tibor Szecsko 1991 Le grand livre des insignes de la Légion étrangère ISBN 978-2-9505938-0-1 

External linksedit

  • Official Website in French
  • Official Website in English
  • Le Musée de la Légion étrangère Foreign Legion museum
  • Website about the French Daguet Division First Gulf War 1990–1991
  • Foreign Legion Information – unofficial website about the French Foreign Legion in English
  • In the Foreign Legion 1910 – by Erwin Rosen b 1876
  • Books on Legion from 1905 to Present

Coordinates: 43°17′33″N 5°33′12″E / 432925°N 55534°E / 432925; 55534

french foreign legion, french foreign legion age limit, french foreign legion hat, french foreign legion movies, french foreign legion pay scale, french foreign legion ranks, french foreign legion recruitment, french foreign legion training, french foreign legion uniform, french foreign legion weapons

French Foreign Legion Information about

French Foreign Legion

  • user icon

    French Foreign Legion beatiful post thanks!


French Foreign Legion
French Foreign Legion
French Foreign Legion viewing the topic.
French Foreign Legion what, French Foreign Legion who, French Foreign Legion explanation

There are excerpts from wikipedia on this article and video

Random Posts

Body politic

Body politic

The body politic is a metaphor that regards a nation as a corporate entity,2 likened to a human body...


Kakamega is a town in western Kenya lying about 30 km north of the Equator It is the headquarte...
Academic year

Academic year

An academic year is a period of time which schools, colleges and universities use to measure a quant...
Lucrezia Borgia

Lucrezia Borgia

Lucrezia Borgia Italian pronunciation: luˈkrɛttsja ˈbɔrdʒa; Valencian: Lucrècia Borja luˈkrɛsia...