21st Marine Infantry Regiment
The 21st Marine Infantry Regiment is a unit of the French military issued by filiation from the 2e RIC. 1831: creation of the 2nd Marine Infantry Regiment 2e RIMa. 1900: the 2e RIMa was designated 2nd Colonial Infantry Regiment 2e RIC. January 17, 1901: creation of the 21st Colonial Infantry Regiment 21e RIC. July 1940: the regiment disappeared. September 1, 1940: creation of the 21e RIC within the cadre of the armistice army. November 8, 1942: dissolution. November 1, 1944: the 4th Senegalese Tirailleurs Regiment 4e RTS was designated as 21e RIC. March 22, 1955: dissolution. May 16, 1955: creation of the 21e RIC. December 1, 1958: the 21 Colonial Infantry Regiment 21e RIC was designated as 21st Marine Infantry Regiment. Designated as the 21e RIC on January 17, 1901. A brief passage in Morocco justified the regiment's colonial vocation. In 1914, the regiment garrisoned in Paris and belonged to the 5th colonial brigade of the 3rd Colonial Infantry Division 3e DIC; the 21e RIC was principally engaged Champagne, on the Somme and the Chemin des Dames and was cited in the Order of the Day four times.
On November 24, 1918, the regiment was awarded the Fourragere with colors bearing the Médaille militaire. Throughout the course of twenty years of peace, the 21e RIC accompanied the 23rd Colonial Infantry Regiment 23e RIC with whom both regiments shared their first experience. Both units maintained a high tempo of training; the two fraternal regiments relay the duties of services around the respective garrisons in Paris which revolved around: honorary detachments, award of decorations and national funeral procession of Marshals Joseph Joffre and Ferdinand Foch. From 1920 until 1939, the 21e garrisoned in Paris with the regimental staff and the 2nd Battalion headquartered in Clignancourt, the 1st Battalion in Ivry-sur-Seine Saint-Denis and the 3rd Battalion at Bicêtre Hospital. Cadres of the regiment retake accordingly the rhythm of deployments in Outre-mer territories. Overseas service postings included the Levant, French West Africa, Morocco and missions alongside the Czechoslovakian and Polish militaries.
During some months as many as thirty officers left the regiment for colonial service. On May 10, 1940, the 21st Colonial Infantry Regiment of colonel Cazeilles was part of the 3rd Colonial Infantry Division which reinforced the under-sector of Montmédy. In June 1940, the town of Villers-en-Argonne was the scene of fierce fighting and was destroyed by bombing and fire. On 11 and 12 June, the residents were evacuated from Villers; the men of the 2nd Battalion under Major Varrier were entrenched in an arc around Villers by 13 June, with the rest of the regiment in a line to their east. Their mission was to prevent access to the Forest of Argonne, the road from Villers to Passavant-en-Argonne, the gap south of Villers, a front three kilometers long; the battalion command post was at Villers. The Regiment as a whole was commanded by Colonel Cazeilles from Montdesir farm to the east of Villers; the unit received reports that German armored troops were approaching. The 2nd Battalion set up their anti-tank guns and machine guns in roadblocks around the town.
The 6th Senegalese Tirailleurs Regiment 6e RTS had been in contact with the enemy west of Villers in the direction of Braux-Saint-Remy and had retreated, reforming south of the 2nd Battalion positions in woods west of the village. On the morning of June 13, villages to the north and west of Villers were burning. At 1130, Major Varrier conducted two patrols on foot in front of Villers to the village of Ante and another by motorcycle to the Villers railway station at 1330. At 1430, two German tanks attempted to infiltrate on the left of the battalion in front of the 7th Company on the Ante road. Both tanks were knocked out by hits from 25 mm guns between 300 m and 200 m from the company's position. A wounded German was captured and his papers passed to the regimental command post; the 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment of the 35th Infantry Division retreated, passing Villers on its way. During the evening, the Germans advanced to within 2.5 km. A company, commanded by Captain Marchenoir, of the 18th Light Infantry Battalion of Africa, was made available to Major Varrier on the night of June 13 to 14, to strengthen the western side of Villers.
Considering the situation on the spot, Varrier decided to position them facing north and positioned the company on the ground intending to avoid encirclement. On the morning of the 14th, enemy movement across the front of the Battalion indicated that contact with enemy infantry was about to occur. Enemy aircraft, flying at low altitude, strafed the positions of the 2nd Battalion and the village of Villers during the morning. Around 1330, the Germans begin to bombard the village and continued heavy artillery fire until 1500. Despite losses caused by the artillery, the 2nd Battalion remained steady under fire; the first shells were fired at the village, which within a few moments was ablaze and was destroyed by the end of the bombardment. German infantry moved behind cover to about 800 m from the village and at 1500, the enemy and shouting, probed the positions of the 2nd Battalion; the main effort occurred west of the village, falling on the 5th Company under Captain Charvet and the 6th Company under Captain Paganel.
At the same time, with artillery support, the Germans pushed through the woods, on the flanks of the battalion, pressing on Captain Allegrini's 7th Company in an attempt to encircle its p
1st Spahi Regiment
The 1st Spahi Regiment is an armored regiment of the modern French Army called the 1st Moroccan Spahi Regiment. It was established in 1914 as a mounted cavalry unit recruited from indigenous Moroccan horsemen; the regiment saw service in the First World War, in the Second World War as part of the Forces Françaises Libres, as well as post-war service in the French-Indochina War and elsewhere. The modern regiment continues the traditions of all former Spahi regiments in the French Army of Africa; the Moroccan Spahis of the French Army were created in 1914 by Général Hubert Lyautey. The initial title of the regiment was that of the Régiment de Marche de Chasseurs Indigènes à Cheval; the French Army had raised four regiments of indigenous cavalry in both Algeria and Tunisia during the 19th century, extended the designation of "spahis" to the Moroccan mounted units recruited after 1908. The first Marching Moroccan Spahi Regiment participated in the First Battle of the Marne. Subsequently, sent to the Orient Front, the regiment served with distinction at Pogradec, Bofnia, Uskub and on the Danube.
The regiment was accordingly awarded 5 citations and a fourragere with the colors of the Médaille militaire. The regiment was redesignated as the 21st Moroccan Spahi Regiment in 1921 and served in the campaigns in the Levant from 1920 to 1927; the regiment was awarded 3 additional citations plus a fourragere in the colors of the Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures. In 1929, the regiment was renamed as the 1st Moroccan Spahi Regiment. On July 1, 1940, Captain Paul Jourdier, who commanded the 1st Squadron of the 1st Moroccan Spahi Regiment, decided to defect from the Vichy-led Army of the Levant and join the British forces in Palestine. While on maneuvers in southern Lebanon, Jourdier succeeded in detaching a small contingent comprising half of his squadron; the 1st RSM at this stage in the war was still a mounted cavalry unit, consisting of North African Muslim troopers under French officers. Reinforced by detached units that had separately crossed the border between Lebanon and Palestine, plus volunteers from London, the squadron undertook mounted operations in Eretria.
The squadron conducted horse-mounted cavalry charges at Umbrega, still under the leadership of Captain Paul Jourdier. The defection of a regular cavalry unit of the Vichy forces was publicized by the British and Free French forces, making use of photographs showing charging spahis; the regiment was subsequently dismounted and participated in the Syria–Lebanon Campaign on trucks, as part of the 1st Free French Brigade. Other squadrons were created, forming first one two army corps reconnaissance groups, commanded by Jourider and Robert de Kersauson. Reinforced by a company of the 501e Régiment de chars de combat of the Free French Forces, the 2nd Group constituted the Free French Flying Column which participated in the Battle of El Alamein, it subsequently participated in the advance to Tunisia as part of the British 8th Army in 1943 in the FFF commanded by Général Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque. On September 25, 1942, the two Groups were merged to form the 1st Moroccan Spahi Marching Regiment, under the command of Jean Rémy.
As a reconnaissance regiment of the 2nd Armored Division 2e DB, the 1st RMSM participated in the Liberation, suffering heavy losses in both France and Germany. The original 1e RSM saw mounted horse combat in Syria before being motorized in Morocco during 1943; the unit took part in the battle of Royan, France in 1945. It was subsequently merged with the 8th Dragoon Regiment; the 1st Marching Moroccan Spahi Regiment 1er RMSM was awarded the distinction of Compagnon de la Libération by decree of August 7, 1945 and cited twice at the orders of the armed forces. The Regimental Colors of the 1e RMSM include in golden letters, the following inscriptions in the folds: Erytrhée 1941 El-Alamein 1942 Tunisie 1943 Paris 1944 Strasbourg 1944Between 1944 and 1945, at the corps of the 2e DB, the 1e RMSM suffered the loss of 184 men out of whom 12.5% were Moroccan. One squadron of the 1st RSM served in the First Indochina War, between 1945 and October 1946. During the post-war era the regiment underwent several changes in title, as well as being transferred between a number of different garrisons.
In 1947, the regiment was designated as the 1st Regiment of Moroccan Spahis, a title it retained during its remaining service in Morocco. In 1956 the 1st RSM was transferred to Algeria; the regiment was re-designated as the 1st Regiment of Spahis. In October 1958 its title was again changed to the 21st Regiment of Spahis - in order to avoid confusion with the 1st Regiment of Algerian Spahis; the 1st Spahi Regiment continued in the French Army after the end of the Algerian War in 1962, although most of the other units of the former Armee d'Afrique were disbanded. One of General Charles de Gaulle's ministers urged that the 1st RSM be retained in service because of its distinguished role in the Free French Forces during World War II. De Gaulle responded: " On ne dissout pas un Compagnon de la Libération. ". In 1961, the regiment was transferred to Speyer Germany, as part of the French Forces of Germany (French: Fo
6th Foreign Engineer Regiment
The 6th Foreign Engineer Regiment was a unit of the French Foreign Legion in the rapid reaction force and part component of the 6th Light Armoured Division. The 6th Foreign Engineer Regiment became the 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment in 1999; the 6th Foreign Engineer Regiment, like all regiments of the French Foreign Legion, was an elite unit. The 6th Foreign Engineer Regiment was created on July 1984 at Laudun; the regiment was redesignated as the 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment on June 30, 1999 with the creation of the 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment 2e REG. At creation, the 6th Foreign Engineer Regiment comprised a command, 3 combat companies and support company. On the eve of the regiment change to the 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment, 1er REG. Chad Iraq. During the Gulf War, DINOPS operated in support of the U. S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division, provided EOD services to the division. After the ceasefire they conducted a joint mine clearing operation alongside a Royal Australian Navy Clearance Diver Team Unit.
Somalia Cambodia Former Yugoslavia - Sarajevo Former Yugoslavia - Sarajevo/Rajlovac Kosovo The 6th Foreign Engineer Regiment inherits the traditions and battle honors of the 6th Foreign Infantry Regiment. The insignia symbolizes the 6th Foreign Infantry Regiment in the form of a hexagon, the three Roman columns of the temple of Jupiter at Baalbek to the left of the insignia and the symbols of the French Foreign Legion: red and green colors with a grenade with seven flames in its center; the specialty of the regiment is symbolized by the "pot en tête" and armor used by sergeants at arms in the 13th century and worn by pionniers sapeurs. The number of the regiment is indicated in the grenade underneath the armor while the motto of the regiment is inscribed to the left and right of the hexagon. Chant de Marche: Sapeurs, mineurs et bâtisseurs La Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures with 1 palm, the regiment for engagement in Kuwait in Opération Daguet, 1990. Camerone 1863 Musseifre 1925 Syria 1925-1926 Kuwait 1990–1991 1984 - 1985: Colonel Degre 1985 - 1987: Colonel Boileau 1987 - 1989: Colonel Martial 1989 - 1991: Colonel Manet 1991 - 1993: Colonel Petersheim 1993 - 1995: Colonel Danigo 1995 - 1997: Colonel Hourbon 1997 - 1999: Colonel Ganascia Major French Foreign Legion Music Band
13th Demi-Brigade of Foreign Legion
The 13th Demi-Brigade of Foreign Legion, was created in 1940 and was the main unit of the 1st Free French Division, Free French Forces. From the coast of Norway to Bir Hakeim, to Africa the Alsace, while passing by Syria and Italy, the 13th Demi-Brigade would be part of most of the major campaigns of the armed forces of France during the Second World War. After having been engaged in Indochina from 1946 to 1954, the 13e DBLE joined the Algerian War, left in 1962; the 13e DBLE was based until 2011 at Quartier-Général Monclar in Djibouti, in virtue of an accord between France and the Republic of Djibouti in 1977. During 2011, the unit moved to the United Arab Emirates. In 2016, the unit returned to France, based at the same camp where it was first formed – Camp du Larzac; this unit of the Legion was created on March 1, 1940 within the cadre of the Franco-British expeditionary corps intended to intervene in Finland. The first designation of this unit was 13th Mountain Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion.
On July 1, 1940, the 1st battalion, 900 men, were based in England as troops of the Free French Forces, the 14e DBMLE, while the remainder of the demi-brigade, 800 men principally from the 2nd battalion, returned to Morocco and preserved the designation of 13e DBMLE. On November 4, 1940, the demi-brigade of Morocco was dissolved which allowed the troops which remained in England to readopt the designation of 13e DBLE; the unit was constituted in North Africa from volunteers of other foreign units stationed there. The unit was commanded by lieutenant-colonel Raoul Magrin-Vernerey and was comprised at the start of two battalions: The 1er bataillon – Chef de bataillon Guéninchault – Sidi bel-Abbès The 2e bataillon – Chef de bataillon Boyer Ressès – FezStarting May 13, 1940, the unit partook to the Norwegian Campaign at the troop corps of général Béthouart making way with Bjerkvik and Narvik; the operation was a success, with the invasion of France, the unit was obliged to repatriate to the national territory.
Losses in Norway were 8 Officers, 93 Legionnaires out of which Chef de Bataillon Guéninchault. The unit disembarked in Bretagne on June 4 in light to reinforce the constitution of a reduced Breton in mid-June. On June 21, the survivors of the demi-brigade joined Scotland; these troops which did not hear the Appeal of 18 June joined other units of the French Scandinavian Expeditionary Corps in the region of Trentham. Adhering to this appeal promoted captain Pierre Kœnig adjoint of lieutenant-colonel Raoul Magrin-Vernerey, convinced the latter to head to London, where they met général De Gaulle. Magrin-Vernerey met with général Antoine Béthouart, chief 1st Chasseurs Division of the French Scandinavian Expeditionary Corps, who allowed him to meet the men at the garrisoned camp on the night of June 30. Out of the 1619 Legionnaires present on June 28, 1940, a little less than 900 rallied to Free France, the others joined Morocco under the command of général Béthouard. Joining the camp, where were regrouped the garrisoned Free French Forces, the 13e DBLE participated to the July 14 parade in London.
The units of the Free French Forces took temporarily, between July 1, 1940 and November 2, 1940, the designation of 14th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion 14e DBLE, while composed of the following: One headquarter staff commanded by commandant Alfred Maurice Cazaud 3 combat units 1 accompanying unitAccordingly, the demi-brigade was strong of 25 Officers, 102 Sous-Officiers and 702 militaire du rang. End of September 1940, the unit participated to the Battle of Dakar against Dakar. Following the failure of the disembarking in Senegal, the unit finished by disembarking, under the command of lieutenant-colonel Cazaud, in Equatorial French Africa to partake, in November 1940, to the Battle of Gabon and the rallying of Gabon to Free France, under the command of général de Larminat; the unit accordingly assumed its original denomination, at the corps of the French Orient Brigade, the unit circled Africa and disembarked at Port Soudan on February 12, 1941 to take part in combats in the East African Campaign.
The brigade accordingly distinguished itself during the Battle of Keren, on March 27, 1941 Massaoua on April 8, 1941. In the following month, the unit joined Palestine in order to participate to the Syria–Lebanon Campaign; the demi-brigade entered into Syria on June 8 and following harsh combats, managed to enter into Damascus on June 21. On September 6, 1941, lieutenant-colonel prince Amilakvari assumed command of the unit. In December, the 2nd battalion and 3rd battalion made way to North Africa where the unit, at the corps of the Koenig Brigade, front faced the forces of the Afrika Korps. Promoted to chef de battaillon in September 1941, excellent instructor of men, René Babonneau assumed command of the 2nd battalion, which at Bir Hakeim, on May 27, 1942, held back more than 70 tanks of the division Ariete, by destroying 35 out of them, his battalion received a citation at the orders of the armed forces. Remaining at the rear to uphold the unfolding, in the night of June 10 and June 11, 1942, he was made prisoner and transferred to Italy, where he attempted to escape twice.
From May to June 1942, a part of the unit was successful at Bir Hakeim. This would be the occasion for Pierre Messmer, captain commanding a company to write later
1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment
The 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment is the only cavalry regiment in the French Foreign Legion. As of 2009 it was the only armoured cavalry regiment of the 6th Light Armoured Brigade; the regiment moved camp after being stationed at Quartier Labouche for 47 years in Orange, France since it moved from Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria in October 1967. The 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment was created on March 8, 1921 at Sousse from elements of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment; the title of the 1er REC would not become official until January 20, 1922, under Decree n°6330-1/11 of January 20, 1922. The cadres of the new unit were drawn from existing French cavalry regiments. Only one junior officer had had previous Legion experience while one non-commissioned officer had been in service with the 1st Foreign Regiment 1er RE. Of the 156 other ranks of the newly formed 1er REC, 128 were Russians. A significant contingent hailed from the White Army of Wrangle; these included thirty officers. Most of the remainder had served as regular cavalrymen with the Wrangle forces.
Beginning in 1925, the 1er REC was engaged as mounted cavalry in Morocco. In both theatres of operations, the Foreign Cavalry Regiment served with distinction, notably in the Levant at Messifre and at Rachaya; the fanion of the 1er REC received the Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures with 2 palms, the fourragère of the colors of the Croix de Guerre and the 1st Class Lebanese Order of Merit Medal. From 1927 to 1934, the 1er REC saw active service in Morocco, followed by patrol work along the northern border of the Sahara. In 1934 the 5th squadron was equipped with Panhard armored cars; the remainder of the regiment retained sabers. In 1939 the two existing regiments of Foreign Cavalry were still only motorized. However, in 1940, the 1e REC was dispatched to France as part of the 97th Reconnaissance Group of the Infantry Division; as such it was engaged in combat from May 18 until the Armistice. A citation issued at the orders of the Armed Forces praised the heroism of the Legionnaires during this period.
Following the Battle of France the 1er REC took up garrison duties in Tunisia. In 1943, the regiment was re-equipped with U. S. material, consisted of one light tank squadron and four armored car squadrons. Its new role was that of divisional recce regiment of the newly raised 5th Armored Division. In 1943, the 1er REC was engaged against the Germans in Tunisia. In 1944, the 1er REC landed on the côtes de Provence as one of the French armored units participating in the Liberation of France. At the end of World War II, the regimental colors were decorated with two new palms and the fourragère of the Croix de Guerre. In 1946, the 1er REC embarked for Indochina; the regimental squadrons plus two autonomes groups served for nine years in Tonkin. Three new citations and the fourragère of the Croix de Guerre of TOE were added to the regimental colors, while the two autonomes groups earned 6 citations. After returning to French North Africa in 1954, the regiment was involved in the Pacification of Algeria for eight consecutive years of active service.
Following the Évian Accords and the independence of Algeria the 1er REC regrouped at the base of Mers El Kebir. It was reassigned, on October 17, 1967, to peacetime duty in metropolitan France for the first time; the 1er REC was now based at Orange in the Quartier Labouche garrison. Reattached to the 14th Infantry Division on January 1, 1976. In 1978 and 1979, the regiment participated in Opération Tacaud in Tchad where an Army citation was awarded. During this period, the regiment received new equipment, including the FAMAS service rifle, MILAN anti-tank guided missiles, VAB armored personnel carriers, the AMX-10RC armored car. From May to October 1983, the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment served in three separate deployment areas: within the ranks of the Multinational Force in Lebanon; the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment remained within the Force d'Action Rapide and was part of the Division Daguet. On July 1984, the Royal étranger was incorporated into the 6th Light Armoured Division. Engaged in operation Daguet starting September 15, 1990.
Following an initial preparatory phase, the regiment saw service as part of Operation Desert Storm. On February 23, 1991. Victorious, the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment intact from personnel or material loss, decorated a new palm on the regimental colors. From December 1992 to June 1993, the regiment served in Cambodia as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force; the 2nd Squadron of the Regiment served in Sarajevo as part of the United Nations Protection Force from October 1993 to February 1994, subsequently with the cadre of BATINF from January to June 1995. From 1995 to 1996, the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment was engaged in the former Yugoslavia within the cadre of the force de réaction rapide and in Chad as part of Opération Épervier. From May to September 1996, the 5th Squadron, re
The Division Daguet was a French Army division formed in September 1990 in Saudi Arabia as part of France's contribution to Operation Desert Shield. The French military contribution to the allied cause to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation was named Opération Daguet and its ground part was subsequently named Division Daguet. In French "Daguet" is a young brocket deer. In 1991 the division participated in Operation Desert Storm guarding the left flank of the allied advance. After Iraq surrendered the division's units returned to France and the division itself was disbanded on 30 April 1991. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 the United States and its allies began to deploy forces to Saudi Arabia to protect the country from a feared Iraqi invasion; as Iraq's dictator Saddam Hussein refused to remove his forces from Kuwait the United Nations Security Council accepted UNSC Resolution 678, which authorized UN member nations in to evict Iraqi forces from Kuwait with force after 15 January 1991.
France had dispatched troops to Saudi Arabia in September 1990 to help deter Iraq from further military adventures, but with war drawing closer, the French contingent was reinforced all through fall of 1990. Most of the initial units of the Division Daguet were drawn from the 6th Light Armoured Division, but the division was made up mixed units from 20 regiments with troops and equipment coming from 57 regiments in total; the commander of 6th Light Armoured Division, Major General Jean-Charles Mouscardès, commanded Division Daguet, but after a medical emergency on 7 February 1991 he was replaced by Brigadier General Bernard Janvier the next day. Overall commander of French forces in Saudi Arabia and Opération Daguet was General Michel Roquejeoffre, commanding officer of the French Army's Rapid Action Force; the French operated independently under national command and control, but coordinated with General Schwarzkopf, Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command, coordinating the non-Arab forces.
In January, the Division was placed under the tactical control of the US XVIII Airborne Corps and reinforced for the ground war with the following units from the US Army: 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, 18th Field Artillery Brigade, 27th Engineer Battalion. On 24 February 1991, the ground phase began. Reconnaissance units of Division Daguet advanced into Iraq. Three hours the French main body attacked; the initial objective of the division was an airfield 90 miles inside Iraq at As-Salman. Reinforced by the US 82nd Airborne Division, the French crossed the border unopposed and attacked north; the French came across elements of the Iraqi 45th Infantry Division. After a brief battle, supported by French Army missile-armed Aérospatiale Gazelle attack helicopters, they controlled the objective and captured 2,500 prisoners. By the end of the first day Division Daguet had secured its objectives and continued the attack north, securing the highways from Baghdad to southern Iraq; the division's staff was drawn from the staff of the 6th Light Armoured Division based in Nîmes.
After the arrival of most units the division was split into two tactical groups: Group West and Group East. At the outset of hostilities the division was composed as follows: Other sources, including Dinackus, name the two command posts as "CP Verte" and "CP Rouge". Division Daguet6e Régiment de Commandement et de Soutien from the 6th Light Armoured Division Divisional HQ company 1× reconnaissance squadron from the 1er Régiment de Hussards Parachutistes from the 11th Paratrooper Division with ERC 90 Sagaie 1× signal company, organic to the 6e Régiment de Commandement et de Soutien from the 6th Light Armoured Division 1× signal company from the 54e Régiment de Transmission Logistic Support Group 2× transport companies, organic to the 6e Régiment de Commandement et de Soutien from the 6th Light Armoured Division 2× transport companies from the 511e Régiment du Train the 602e Régiment de Circulation Routière 2× supply companies, from the 511e Régiment du Train the 516e Régiment du Train Medical Support Group 4th Air-transportable Surgical Hospital 9th Air-transportable Surgical Hospital 2× medical transport companies and 1× medical supply company from medical units 1× medical company organic to the 6e Régiment de Commandement et de Soutien from the 6th Light Armoured Division 1× CBRN defence company 1× Military Police squadron from the National Gendarmerie General and HQ Protection Company 6× Long Range Reconnaissance/Special Forces teams from the 13e Régiment de Dragons Parachutistes Groupement Ouest, with units from the 6th Light Armoured Division 1er Régiment de Spahis 3× squadrons with AMX-10RC 1× anti-tank squadron with VAB/HOT 1er Régiment Étranger de Cavalerie 3× squadrons with AMX-10RC 1× anti-tank squadron with VAB/HOT 2e Régiment Étranger d'Infanterie 3× companies with VAB APCs 1× company from the 21e Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine with VAB APCs 1× squadron from the Régiment d'Infanterie-Chars de Marine from the 9th Marine Infantry Division with AMX-10RC 1× reconnaissance squadron from the 1er Régiment de Hussards Parachutistes from the 11th Paratrooper Division with ERC 90 Sagaie 11e Régiment d'Artillerie de Marine from the 9th Marine Infantry Division reinforced with men from the 68e Régiment d'Artillerie 3× batteries with towed 155mm TRF1 howitzers 1× air defence battery from the 35e Régiment d'Artillerie Parachutiste from the 11th Paratrooper Division with Mistral surface-to-air missiles 1st Combat Helicopter Regiment from the 4th Airmobile Division 1st Reconnaissance and Support-protection Helicopter Squadron with Gazelle/20mm helicopters 2nd Reconnaissance and Support-protection Hel
French Foreign Legion
The French Foreign Legion is a military service branch of the French Army established in 1831. Legionnaires are trained infantry soldiers and the Legion is unique in that it was, continues to be, open to foreign recruits willing to serve in the French Armed Forces; when it was founded, the French Foreign Legion was not unique. Commanded by French officers, it is open to French citizens, who amounted to 24% of the recruits in 2007; the Foreign Legion is today known as a unit whose training focuses on traditional military skills and 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. Training is described as not only physically challenging, but very stressful psychologically. French citizenship may be applied for after three years' service; the Legion is the only part of the French military that does not swear allegiance to France, but to the Foreign Legion itself. Any soldier who becomes injured during a battle for France can apply to be a French citizen under a provision known as "Français par le sang versé".
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, Morocco, Madagascar, West Africa, Italy, the Crimea, Indo-China, Loyada, Chad, Zaïre, Central Africa, Kuwait, Djibouti, former Yugoslavia, Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Mali and others; the French Foreign Legion was used to protect and expand the French colonial empire during the 19th century. The Foreign Legion was 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, 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 and North African campaigns. During the First Indochina War, the Foreign Legion saw; the FFL lost a large number of men in the catastrophic Battle of Dien Bien Phu. During the Algerian War of Independence, the Foreign Legion came close to being disbanded after some officers and the decorated 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment took part in the Generals' putsch. 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, Legion regiments had additional roles in sending units as a rapid deployment force to preserve French interests – in its former African colonies and in other nations as well; some notable operations include: the Chadian–Libyan conflict in 1969–1972, 1978–1979, 1983–1987.
In 1981, the 1st Foreign Regiment and Foreign Legion regiments partook to the Multinational Force in Lebanon. In 1990, Foreign Legion regiments were sent to the Persian Gulf and took part in Opération Daguet, part of Division Daguet. Following the Gulf War in the 1990s, the Foreign Legion helped with the evacuation of French citizens and foreigners in Rwanda and Zaire; the Foreign Legion was deployed in Cambodia, Sarajevo and Herzegovina. In the mid- to late-1990s, the Foreign Legion was deployed in the Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville and in Kosovo; the Foreign Legion took part in operations in Rwanda in 1990–1994. 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, Operation Serval in the Northern Mali conflict. Other countries have tried to emulate the French Foreign Legion model; the contemporary French Foreign Legion relates the most to that of the Spanish Legion. 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 disbanded Swiss and German foreign regiments of the Bourbon monarchy. The Royal Ordinance for the establishment of the new regiment specified that the foreigners recruited could only serve outside France; 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 Algeria. The Foreign Legion was used, as part of the Armée d'Afrique, to protect and expand the French colonial empire during the 19th century, but it fought in 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 F