How does the 2 REP (FFL) compare to the British Paras?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by The Badgers' Hole, Apr 10, 2011.

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  1. Just out of curiosity?

    (I hope this is the right thread for this)

    And I don't mean this in the "who's got the biggest dick contest", but just in general like training, deployments ect. I read a book about a Legionaire (Simmon Murray, an excelent book I have to say), from his time in 2 REP he had completed something in the region of 75 jumps which seems a lot and this was forthy years ago!

    Any thoughts?
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  2. There are one or two Arrsers that have served in both. I'm sure they will be along at some point to give you their views.
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  3. 2 REP have better dress sense when on the razzle.
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  4. and better than the 1e REP, disbanded in 1961. Apparently M. DeGaulle lacked a sense of humour about their plans to take over Paris and the government.
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  5. Which is why 2 Rep is based in Corsica. Very nice place though.

    There isn't that much of a comparison though is there? The Paras (1 Para excluded) are a Para trained Infantry, where as 2 REP have all sorts of niche capabilities for the French Army. I don't think they are expected to fight as a Bn, having each Company trained in a specific skill set.

  6. They can fight as a battalion if nessesary remember Kolwezi ? although its going back a few years. But as you say we were normally deployed in company strength or attached to other regiments / units as opposed to a battalion deployment which I can't remember happening in my time.
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  7. You certainly can't compare the two if your going to ignore one third of Para Reg fighting strength by excluding 1 PARA can you?

    No doubt my impressions are now out of date but from my own experiences on a "jolly" over to Corsica, I can't remember thinking 2REP had any extra skill sets or capabilities that Para Reg doesnt have.
    I remember being particularly underwhelmed with 2 REP's amphibious skills which any unit in the British Army picks up in the space of an afternoon prior to any amphibious tasking.

    Other differences that struck me whilst over in Corsica,

    They have much more hands on with Parachuting.
    Their small unit tactics seemed pretty basic.
    Their weapons are gash.
    Their emphasis on fitness appeared to be aimed at upper body, Para Reg is more heart and lungs.
    The local Corsican gangsters/freedom fighters, have an unofficial agreement with the Legionaires to leave each other alone. (That agreement doesnt extend to drunken British Paratroopers with a chip on both shoulders)
    They have wine on tap in their scoff house.

    Oh and they don't seem to deploy as often as Para Reg.
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  8. Further to HTD's post, the blokes I know who have served in both units would put Para Regt above 2REP in terms of all round soldiering. Their main gripe seemed to be problems caused by the lingo in as much as the orders and low level tactics had to be kept 'basic' so everyone knew what was going on.

    Two areas which the FFL appeared to be miles ahead was when it came to parachuting and bullshit, none of the RAF 'fuckabout' factor to deal with.......the FFL seem to have mastered the DFC, jump, DFC, jump technique. They are welcome to being better at bullshit.

    ...big caveat, I'm a good few years out of date now so grab a bag of salt with all of the above
  9. Don't deploy as often as Para Reg.....oh really, in the space of a 18 months I had deployments to Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia and as to " an unofficial agreement with the local gangsters ( the Unione Corse ) which does'nt extend to British Paratroopers what utter bollox, still I spose this to show how "nails" you are as opposed to 2eme REP but a fantasy all the same.
    As to weapons a probably a fair point when you were there last ( circa 92/ 93 ? ) but thats all changed now apart from the Famas which is on a par with the SA80 and anyway the Legion creed has always been make do with the tools you have.
    Fitness you're right again more upper body than the Brits but still able to "tab" when required and unlike the Brits everyone from cooks, HQ wallahs etc to fighting companies are all of an equal fitness I can't ever remember seeing a fatarse cook etc in my time in 2eme REP.
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  10. Im more than happy to be corrected and I can only be honest about what my opinions of them were in my short trip to Corsica.

    I wasnt attempting to belittle 2REP by saying they deploy less but if Afghan is anything to go by then Para Reg has certainly had more time on Operations. Genuine question but Could 2 REP really match Para Reg's deployment history over the last 30 years or so?

    I wasn't implying that Paras were more "nails" than Legionaries with regards to the local gangsters either. As I understood it from being told by an Irish Legionaire on my visit to Corsica, The policy is that the Legion leaves the gangsters alone and the gangsters leave the legion alone. That policy didn't extend to pissed up Brit Paras, one of whom punched the wrong guy in the wrong bar which resulted in a pretty big scrap that quickly got out of hand. It made for quite an interesting night anyway.

    Mindless bullshit seemed to rule the day far too often in my opinion. At the time of my visit the entire unit were banned from wearing camoflaged uniform and had to wear olive drab kit only as a result of some sort of disciplinary action. Seemed like a bizzare way for a supposed "elite" unit to do business thats all.
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  11. When you are based practically on the airstrip (used for their jump school too) and have nice weather all year round though, you'd expect their para skills to be up there. There boating is practiced alot too, around the citadel of Calvi and along the coast, so I am surprised they would be poor at that, unless the weather is TOO good for them to develop :D

    I only really saw their mountain training and snipers. I beleive they have the French version of a Pathfinder mob there too, called CRAP!! I beleive it sounds very artistic and nice in French, literally something like Action Reconnaisance Commando Special or something.

    I didn't exclude a third of the Para Regt really though, bearing in mind that 1 coy and 1 plt (at least) of 1 Para aren't Paras :D

    Not sure about deployments, they seem to be constantly out from what I gather.

    I met some of their RP staff in the Citadel, and they looked like fcuking nutters. Big, beefy and 1000ydstares. When I say met, I mean was outside their RP station (which is in the Citadel for some reasoon) and got a really long hard stare...
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  12. I'm guessing that you were part of 1 PARA that came over to us in the early 90's ? if so we were'nt issued with camouflage kit then olive drab was the only kit we had so I don't know about that story but it sounds like someone was bullsh1tting you mate the same as what that Irish Legionnaire told you about the Unione Corse ! nothing like a good story between squaddies is there.

    As to deployments I'd go so far as to say we deploy more than yourselves, ( and I stand by to be corrected) before Iraq/ Afghan etc apart from N.I., Falklands and maybe Bosnia / Kosovo where else had you been 2eme REP had Rwanda, Tchad, Kolwezi ( battalion drop ) Ivory Coast, Somalia, Bosnia , Kosova,Sierra Leone, Afghan plus all the usual Dijbouti, Guyane etc and thats just off the top of my head.

    Mindless bullshit yeah you got me there but 2 REPs well known for that and it is a major shock to the system for any brit joining but it is what it is.
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  13. Early 00's was my visit. Camo kit was available but banned for a certain time period. Quite strange but they seemed to have quite an odd approach to punishments which no doubt you have some fond memories.
    FAMAS was in use and wasn't well liked by our lot. Our own A2 was hardly a hit with them when they came over although they had a hard on the for the Gympy as a section weapon.

    Perhaps I stand corrected about the deployments. From what you say 2REP seemed to have much more of a variation of postings up until recently but Para Reg had pretty much a constant presence in NI for thirty years and have had a constant presence in Afghan and Iraq in recent times with the odd fast balls like Falklands, Sierra Leone, Mac, and Kos thrown into the mix along the way.
  14. Field punishments could be a bit extreme ( but then again they could be in the Brits ) but everything in la legion stems from tradition i.e. if it was good enough for legionnaires in the 1800's it's good enough for legionnaires of today but jail in Calvi was a sight easier than the gaurdroom or Colchester. Famas yeah was'nt keen on it but then again I started off with SLR so was'nt that keen on SA80 when we got that, but that was the old 7.62 over 5.56 arguement which still goes on here on arrse.
  15. La Pelote?

    Saw 2eme REP at the Royal Tournament many years ago. All the foreign armies came on making as much noise as possible. The Legion marched on, rather, ambled smartly, in total silence. Bearded Pioneer Sergeants at the back, BFO axes on shoulder.

    They then started to sing, and I must admit it looked and sounded fantastic.
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