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

Before 2 REP arrived at Camp Raffalli in Calvi on Corsica (in fact before it was even called Camp Raffalli, just named after the adjacent seasonal river called the "Fiume Secco" or "Dry River" in the Corsican dialect); it was home to a French SF parachute unit called 1ere Bataillon Parachutiste de Choc or 1 BPC (1st Shock Parachute Batallion) more commonly called "Premier Choc". It was disbanded in 1963 after the Algerian War and 2 REP established a training centre and parachuting school at its former camp, before moving in completely as a regiment in 1967 when it finally left Algeria.
Great photo of the parade square. I'd heard of the Premier Choc and always thought it was a strange title. What was it that made the unit SF?

Dan.
 
Great photo of the parade square. I'd heard of the Premier Choc and always thought it was a strange title. What was it that made the unit SF?

Dan.
The role and missions assigned to them by the French Government / Defence Ministry.
 
A bit of history!

Before 2 REP arrived at Camp Raffalli in Calvi on Corsica (in fact before it was even called Camp Raffalli, just named after the adjacent seasonal river called the "Fiume Secco" or "Dry River" in the Corsican dialect); it was home to a French SF parachute unit called 1ere Bataillon Parachutiste de Choc or 1 BPC (1st Shock Parachute Batallion) more commonly called "Premier Choc". It was disbanded in 1963 after the Algerian War and 2 REP established a training centre and parachuting school at its former camp, before moving in completely as a regiment in 1967 when it finally left Algeria.

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Parade Square in 1962. The Regimental HQ building (behind the flagpole) was the same one-storey edifice when I was there twenty years later. Since replaced by a bigger building. The accommodation blocks to the right (1st & 2nd Company) have not changed much. The flagpole has moved to the next to the regimental crest in the foreground (now replaced by 2 REP's triangular badge) and in it's place stands the Regimental "Monument aux Morts". The photo appears to have been taken from the top of the water tower which still remains near the main gate.

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1er Choc freefallers prior to a jump.
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And in the air above Calvi Citadel.
2 REP's GCP still continues the tradition in the same vein.

Water jump into Calvi Bay at about the same time:
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Calvi DZ in 1962. The big (yellow) hanger and the building with the tower (a parachute maintenance and packing centre) are still there. The hanger even then, was already a leftover from the previous use of this site as an airfield: Forgotten airfields.

Dropping on Calvi DZ further to the south-west with the main part of the camp visible:
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I also remember seeing a picture from the 50's or 60's of the old confidence course in and around Fort Charlet above Calvi town (still used when I was there in the eighties - now disused and replaced by a purpose-built trainaisium-style confidence course behind the camp) in one of Tony Geraghty's books about the SAS. They apparently cross-trained with this French unit at the time.

The Camp and DZ now for comparison purposes:
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Very interesting background to the camp at Calvi. I see that they were part of the attempted coup in 1958 but luckily didn't blow up their barracks!
 
Very interesting background to the camp at Calvi. I see that they were part of the attempted coup in 1958 but luckily didn't blow up their barracks!
Yes. Essentially this attempted coup was successful without it being carried out completely, in so far as the French Fourth Republic collapsed and De Gaulle returned to power allegedly promising ("I have understood you.") to keep Algeria French.
May 1958 crisis in France - Wikipedia

Not to be confused with the Algiers Putsch of 1961 which failed and led to the disbandment of 1 REP. This occurred when De Gaulle took the political decision to pull out of Algeria to the chagrin of many of the professional troops who had fought hard and actually won the war militarily.
Algiers putsch of 1961 - Wikipedia
 
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I'm certain they would have if it had gone ahead, but de Gaulle moved so quickly that it was 'nipped in the bud'. And as we know the 1 REP was only disbanded for blowing up their barracks rather than hand it over to the Algerians, not for the attempted coup!
Most Britons don't know anything of this part of French history and the trauma France has been through since 1939, defeat, loss of Vietnam, loss of Algeria even though they won that one, and 2 military coups. Makes our recent history look a bit bland and referring back to another post it is one of the reasons the professional army has recruitment problems. It's not really trusted by the majority of the left wing of the country.
 
And as we know the 1 REP was only disbanded for blowing up their barracks rather than hand it over to the Algerians, not for the attempted coup!
Do we know that? Several regiments were disbanded for their part in the coup. Did they all blow up their barracks?

... it is one of the reasons the professional army has recruitment problems. It's not really trusted by the majority of the left wing of the country.
I think you'll find that most countries these days are experiencing recruitment problems, not just France. And left wing politicos, no matter where they're from, don't trust their military and traditionally haven't been the source of Army enlistees. I don't think any 18-year old in France today is going to decide whether or not to join the Army based on what happened in 1961 in Algeria. But, I could be wrong..

Cheers,
Dan.
 
I'm certain they would have if it had gone ahead, but de Gaulle moved so quickly that it was 'nipped in the bud'. And as we know the 1 REP was only disbanded for blowing up their barracks rather than hand it over to the Algerians, not for the attempted coup!
Most Britons don't know anything of this part of French history and the trauma France has been through since 1939, defeat, loss of Vietnam, loss of Algeria even though they won that one, and 2 military coups. Makes our recent history look a bit bland and referring back to another post it is one of the reasons the professional army has recruitment problems. It's not really trusted by the majority of the left wing of the country.

I read that they blow up the barracks after they were disbanded if you look at the clip of Zeralda barracks after they left it does not look to damage



Here is another clip of the 1REP on there way to be disbandment

 
Do we know that? Several regiments were disbanded for their part in the coup. Did they all blow up their barracks?



I think you'll find that most countries these days are experiencing recruitment problems, not just France. And left wing politicos, no matter where they're from, don't trust their military and traditionally haven't been the source of Army enlistees. I don't think any 18-year old in France today is going to decide whether or not to join the Army based on what happened in 1961 in Algeria. But, I could be wrong..

Cheers,
Dan.
I was talking about society as a whole, how the army is perceived and the army intervention in politics. But I could be wrong :)
 
I read that they blow up the barracks after they were disbanded if you look at the clip of Zeralda barracks after they left it does not look to damage



Here is another clip of the 1REP on there way to be disbandment

You are right. I had read it in a book a long time ago the other way round but this is what wiki says

'Upon being notified that their regiment (1erREP) was to be disbanded and that they were to be reassigned, Legionnaires burned the Chinese pavilion acquired following the Siege of Tuyên Quang in 1884 and also blew up their barracks. '
 

Stumpy4154

LE
Book Reviewer
Bon fete Camerone to all Legionnaires, past and present. May the Kro flow freely.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Bon fete Camerone to all Legionnaires, past and present. May the Kro flow freely.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Damn, beaten to it! Joyeux Camerone toutes les Legionnaires!
 
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A short clip diagramatically explaining the Battle of Camerone. It is in French but has subtitles in English summarising the events. (From the 2 REP Facebook page)
 
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The Camerone anniversary celebration 30 April 2019 in Calvi.
The Parade:
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And the inter-company competitions held the previous day:
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How is the hangover
I had a wee dram yesterday, but I'm in Scotland and will travel down to London to celebrate the day with a small coterie of the Foreign Legion Association of GB on this Saturday coming. Due to personnel availability, logistics, etc. the Association celebrates Camerone on one of the two Saturdays on either side of the day itself.

It will be a smaller contingent at the actual parade and lunch/drinks afterwards as many in the Association will be attending a funeral in Wales on the same day. One of our esteemed longstanding members, "Jacko" a former Legion Para as well as a former British Parachute Regiment soldier was recently run-over by a car and killed while out cycling, We shall be raising a glass or two to him as well.

More Majorum
 
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I had a wee dram yesterday, but I'm in Scotland and will travel down to London to celebrate the day with a small coterie of the Foreign Legion Association of GB on this Saturday coming. Due to personnel availability, logistics, etc. the Association celebrates Camerone on one of the two Saturdays on either side of the day itself.

It will be a smaller contingent at the actual parade and lunch/drinks afterwards as many in the Association will be attending a funeral in Wales on the same day. One of our esteemed longstanding members, "Jacko" a former Legion Para as well as a former British Parachute Regiment soldier was recently run-over by a car and killed while out cycling, We shall be raising a glass or two to him as well.

More Majorum
A curious but assuredly an honest question. Do you gents converse in English or French at your UK meets?
 

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