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

Correct
Many west African countries and sub Saharan use this term
It's a Voudou thingy used by witch doctos to scare off the bad spirits... they shake their gri - gri , blah blah
Strapped to the arm (s) or carried in a (usually a skin) pouch
Amulettes, insignes, lucky charms, bells and am quite sure of myself when I say, testicules too are considered as attributes
The gully Gully man is also a magic man who boards ships passing through Suez Canal and performs a magic show.
 
Farewell ceremony at Les Invalides in Paris for Colonel Gabriel Chauvet (code name "Big-Boy") a survivor of the extreme fighting on Route Coloniale 4 (RC 4) between Dong Khe and Coc Xa in Indochina in October1950, when and where he was a young lieutenant in the 2nd Company of 1 BEP (First Foreign Legion Battalion, the precursor to 1 REP). He died recently. 2 REP, as the sole remaining Legion parachute unit and guardian of the Legion's airborne traditions and heritage, provided the pall-bearers. Note the subdued ceremony due to the ongoing anti-Covid-19 measures.
View attachment 486256
View attachment 486255
View attachment 486254

That's him on the left in 1950.
View attachment 486257
Colonel Chauvet's decorations denoting service during WW2, Indochina and Algeria; he was WIA 7 times !

Obsques_Chauvet_3.jpg


RIP mon colonel
 
Correct
Many west African countries and sub Saharan use this term
It's a Voudou thingy used by witch doctos to scare off the bad spirits... they shake their gri - gri , blah blah
Strapped to the arm (s) or carried in a (usually a skin) pouch
Amulettes, insignes, lucky charms, bells and am quite sure of myself when I say, testicules too are considered as attributes

Not his absolute best album, but a musical accompaniment to this reference, if you wish.
 
It was in 1952 the 1 B.E.P. celebrated Camerone as we do today... General Rollet in 1915 awarded all Légion units the right to carry, ' Camerone', on the regiments colours
There's some good old pics and videos of the advance posts built by the Legion on the R.C. 4 (Route Colonial 4) Tonkin
For some reason (maybe from @Condottiere or someone else posting here), though the battle honour may have been awarded during WW1, I recall mention that Camerone as an annual focus and special day for the whole legion didn't start until the 1930s sometime and was part of creating an esprit de Corps for a much enlarged Foreign Legion that had many different unit in it then.
 
For some reason (maybe from @Condottiere or someone else posting here), though the battle honour may have been awarded during WW1, I recall mention that Camerone as an annual focus and special day for the whole legion didn't start until the 1930s sometime and was part of creating an esprit de Corps for a much enlarged Foreign Legion that had many different unit in it then.
Wasnae me. But that sounds quite plausible for post WW1. IIRC (rough and ready without looking things up, so there may be some errors):

Before WW1 there were only a maximum of two (often multi-batallion) regiments of the Foreign Legion under various nomenclatures that at one stage included 1 RE (Regiment Etranger) and 2 RE with the I for infantry being added at some stage. In WW1 the RMLE was formed which went on to become 3 REI post war. Then along came 1 REC and 4, 5 and 6 REI's between the WW1 and WW2. Various units were formed in WW2, the most famous (and surviving to this day) was 13 DBLE. After the 1940 French armistice, the Legion divided into Vichy and Free French allegiances and the RMLE was formed again which reverted once more to 3 REI post war. Post WW2 along came 2 REC and 1 and 2 REP's.

Currently we have 1 RE (Depot Regt), 2 REI, 3 REI, 4 RE (Trg Regt), 1 REG (formed from 6 REG, which was created to continue 6 REI's traditions when 5 RE was still extant in French Polynesia as mainly an engineer unit), 2 REG (which was created after 5 RE disbanded and maintains it's traditions), 13 DBLE, 1 REC, 2 REP and DLEM (which maintains the traditions of 2 REC), as well as the GRLE (Recruiting Group which also maintains the traditions of 11 REI, one of the temporary WW2 Legion Units).
 
Wasnae me. But that sounds quite plausible for post WW1. IIRC (rough and ready without looking things up, so there may be some errors):

Before WW1 there were only a maximum of two (often multi-batallion) regiments of the Foreign Legion under various nomenclatures that at one stage included 1 RE (Regiment Etranger) and 2 RE with the I for infantry being added at some stage. In WW1 the RMLE was formed which went on to become 3 REI post war. Then along came 1 REC and 4, 5 and 6 REI's between the WW1 and WW2. Various units were formed in WW2, the most famous (and surviving to this day) was 13 DBLE. After the 1940 French armistice, the Legion divided into Vichy and Free French allegiances and the RMLE was formed again which reverted once more to 3 REI post war. Post WW2 along came 2 REC and 1 and 2 REP's.

Currently we have 1 RE (Depot Regt), 2 REI, 3 REI, 4 RE (Trg Regt), 1 REG (formed from 6 REG, which was created to continue 6 REI's traditions when 5 RE was still extant in French Polynesia as mainly an engineer unit), 2 REG (which was created after 5 RE disbanded and maintains it's traditions), 13 DBLE, 1 REC, 2 REP and DLEM (which maintains the traditions of 2 REC), as well as the GRLE (Recruiting Group which also maintains the traditions of 11 REI, one of the temporary WW2 Legion Units).
Looks like I might have seen it in either a Windrow or Porch book - sounds like it might have been linked to Mordacq's post WW1 consolidation/growth of the legion

E2A: yes in FBTS, MW mentions that it wasn't "specifically celebrated even at unit level before 30 April 1906 (when a historically minded lieutenant in North Vietnam paraded his platoon and told them the story)" and "the great annual ceremony of which [Danjou's Hand] forms the centrepiece today was choreographed only in 1931"

(Sh1t - I've hit old age. I can remember bits from a book I last read 5 years ago, but can't find where i put my wallet today...FFS)
 
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Wasnae me. But that sounds quite plausible for post WW1. IIRC (rough and ready without looking things up, so there may be some errors):

Before WW1 there were only a maximum of two (often multi-batallion) regiments of the Foreign Legion under various nomenclatures that at one stage included 1 RE (Regiment Etranger) and 2 RE with the I for infantry being added at some stage. In WW1 the RMLE was formed which went on to become 3 REI post war. Then along came 1 REC and 4, 5 and 6 REI's between the WW1 and WW2. Various units were formed in WW2, the most famous (and surviving to this day) was 13 DBLE. After the 1940 French armistice, the Legion divided into Vichy and Free French allegiances and the RMLE was formed again which reverted once more to 3 REI post war. Post WW2 along came 2 REC and 1 and 2 REP's.

Currently we have 1 RE (Depot Regt), 2 REI, 3 REI, 4 RE (Trg Regt), 1 REG (formed from 6 REG, which was created to continue 6 REI's traditions when 5 RE was still extant in French Polynesia as mainly an engineer unit), 2 REG (which was created after 5 RE disbanded and maintains it's traditions), 13 DBLE, 1 REC, 2 REP and DLEM (which maintains the traditions of 2 REC), as well as the GRLE (Recruiting Group which also maintains the traditions of 11 REI, one of the temporary WW2 Legion Units).
Didn't 5 REI garrison Indo China for a long while - from 1930 until they had to fight their way to the Chinese border in an epic 1500k, 93 day affair, when the Japanese Army turned on the French garrison in March 1945.
 
Didn't 5 REI garrison Indo China for a long while - from 1930 until they had to fight their way to the Chinese border in an epic 1500k, 93 day affair, when the Japanese Army turned on the French garrison in March 1945.
Yes. Formed from already present bataillons of other Legion units (the Legion had been involved in Indochina since the 1880’s). In WW2 after the 1940 Armistice, it remained under Vichy control which led to the unfortunate experience of essentially being ordered to stay put and not resist Japanese occupation when that occurred. Until the Japs turned on them late in the war.
 
Didn't 5 REI garrison Indo China for a long while - from 1930 until they had to fight their way to the Chinese border in an epic 1500k, 93 day affair, when the Japanese Army turned on the French garrison in March 1945.
That's the slight challenge with Our Friends Beneath The Sand, after an absolutely cracking opening it zips off to Tonkin for quite a bit when you've lulled yourself in to a full Beau Geste desert fort mindset.
 

engr172

War Hero
Book Reviewer
With the expected expansion of the legion, is it likely any new units will be formed/reformed, or will the existing units be enlarged? I believe that they have no issues with recruitment. Will be interesting to see what happens.

Wasnae me. But that sounds quite plausible for post WW1. IIRC (rough and ready without looking things up, so there may be some errors):

Before WW1 there were only a maximum of two (often multi-batallion) regiments of the Foreign Legion under various nomenclatures that at one stage included 1 RE (Regiment Etranger) and 2 RE with the I for infantry being added at some stage. In WW1 the RMLE was formed which went on to become 3 REI post war. Then along came 1 REC and 4, 5 and 6 REI's between the WW1 and WW2. Various units were formed in WW2, the most famous (and surviving to this day) was 13 DBLE. After the 1940 French armistice, the Legion divided into Vichy and Free French allegiances and the RMLE was formed again which reverted once more to 3 REI post war. Post WW2 along came 2 REC and 1 and 2 REP's.

Currently we have 1 RE (Depot Regt), 2 REI, 3 REI, 4 RE (Trg Regt), 1 REG (formed from 6 REG, which was created to continue 6 REI's traditions when 5 RE was still extant in French Polynesia as mainly an engineer unit), 2 REG (which was created after 5 RE disbanded and maintains it's traditions), 13 DBLE, 1 REC, 2 REP and DLEM (which maintains the traditions of 2 REC), as well as the GRLE (Recruiting Group which also maintains the traditions of 11 REI, one of the temporary WW2 Legion Units).
 
With the expected expansion of the legion, is it likely any new units will be formed/reformed, or will the existing units be enlarged? I believe that they have no issues with recruitment. Will be interesting to see what happens.
An expansion of the Foreign Legion has already occurred in the past few years with the existing combat units all being enlarged. There is some speculation about a further possible enlargement, but there are political and budgetary difficulties (not to mention internal rivalries within the French Army). However, as has been recently demonstrated, the capacity is there to do so relatively rapidly, should the decison be taken.

I have previously hazarded a guess that a new overseas based Legion Regiment may be established, probably with the resurrection of a previously disbanded one. This train of thought is based on General Mistral (GOC the Foreign Legion), relatively recently, officially stating that the potential for more Legionnaires obtaining long-term overseas postings will be increased.

I cannot see how this can be done other than by increasing the number of Legion Units permanently stationed overseas or significantly increasing their established manpower. There are currently only two Legion Units permanently based overseas: 3 REI in French Guyana and DLEM in Mayotte, both relatively small in permanent established manpower rather than companies/squadrons rotating through on a temporary basis from mainland based regiments. In my time (1980's) there were four, both the above plus 13 DBLE in Djibouti and 5 RE (originally called 5 RMP due to the inclusion of Regular French Engineer sub-units) in French Polynesia.

I have speculated that perhaps New Caledonia may be the location for a new permanent Legion garrison, given the following indicators:

1. French participation in the strategic western pivot towards the Indo-Pacific region in order to maintain balance against an expansionist China, improve power projection capability in the area and improve potential for mutual cooperation and training with the forces of allied and friendly Indo-Pacific States.​
2. Already increased Foreign Legion temporary presence in New Caledonia with sub-units rotating through from mainland Regiments.​
3, Increasing Foreign Legion recruitment from Cental, East and South-East Asia and the Pacific.​

Now, I would probably hazard another guess, that if another regiment were to be re-established in the Far East,, for historic reasons it would probably be a resurrection of 5 REI. Although 2 REG currently maintains some of the Legion's Far East traditions (noted by the Indochinese pagoda on its regimental badge), it is not the custodian of 5 REI's Colours. 2 REG is well on its way to establishing its own reputation as a Legion Engineer and Mountain Warfare regiment (it is the only Legion regiment assigned to the French 27th Mountain Infantry Brigade). Its Mountain Commando Group is particularly appreciated.

A more fanciful speculation is that if the Legion were to ever be based in South-West Asia/ the Middle East again and a new Legion unit were to be established, then 6 REI would be the obvious choice as this was the original Foreign Legion Regiment based in the French protectorate of Syria prior to WW2. Although 1 REG was originally established as 6 REG and carried on the traditions of 6 REI (as evinced by the shape and composition of its regimental badge); now as 1 REG it is a totally separate regiment in its own right and since its participation in the 1990 liberation of Kuwait (Op Daguet in French parlance) has established its own reputation as a Legion Light Armoured Engineer regiment. Its Combat Diver Group is particularly appreciated.
 
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Looks like I might have seen it in either a Windrow or Porch book - sounds like it might have been linked to Mordacq's post WW1 consolidation/growth of the legion

E2A: yes in FBTS, MW mentions that it wasn't "specifically celebrated even at unit level before 30 April 1906 (when a historically minded lieutenant in North Vietnam paraded his platoon and told them the story)" and "the great annual ceremony of which [Danjou's Hand] forms the centrepiece today was choreographed only in 1931"

(Sh1t - I've hit old age. I can remember bits from a book I last read 5 years ago, but can't find where i put my wallet today...FFS)
Thanks for your added edit. After the Legion's considerable success in WW1, there was a massive push between the wars both in expansion in size and in consolidation of ethos, traditions and esprit de corps. General Rollet is credited with much of this and is acknowledged as the "Father of the Legion".


1593775831446.png

As the Commander of the RMLE With the Regimental Colours on the Western Front in WW2.

1593775922833.png

As the Inspector General of the Legion
 
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Bodenplatte

Old-Salt
A more fanciful speculation is that if the Legion were to ever be based in South-West Asia/ the Middle East again and a new Legion unit were to be established, then 6 REI would be the obvious choice as this was the original Foreign Legion Regiment based in the French protectorate of Syria prior to WW2.
A chap with whom I had business dealings some time back was stationed in Syria with the Legion. He was Czech, and a medical student in Prague when the Germans occupied the rump of his country in March 1939. Wanting to fight back, he supposed that the country which was most likely to be fronting up to the Germans would be France, so he tipped up to the French Embassy and indicated that he would like to join the Legion. They sent him through Europe by train on diplomatic papers to S France, and then onwards to Algeria, from whence, after training, he was posted to Syria.
When France fell Syria was under the control of Vichy, and he found himself fighting on the wrong side. He deserted, and made his way to Palestine and was locally enlisted into the British Army, serving with the Royal Scots Greys.
The RAF was allowed to call for aircrew volunteers from all services after heavy losses and also the advent of 7 man crewed bombers. He volunteered, and his next adventure was flying Wellingtons in an RAF Czech bomber squadron as a WOP/AG. He survived that, and the squadron was converted to Coastal Command at about the time the Eighth Air Force was starting to conduct operations from UK. It seems that there was a scheme whereby RAF personnel were attached to USAAF groups in an advisory role, and he was sent to join a B-17 group, and flew several early missions before returning to the RAF.
Eventually he was granted a permanent commission in the RAF and he served on until the 1960s, his last station on retirement being Brize Norton.
 
Colonel Chauvet's decorations denoting service during WW2, Indochina and Algeria; he was WIA 7 times !

View attachment 486272

RIP mon colonel
Having had the good fortune to serve both with French and German militarys in particular, I had never heard the 'March of Les Soldats de Robert the Bruce' until a few months ago thanks to this thread.
How on earth was that adopted? Lovely air mind you.
 
A chap with whom I had business dealings some time back was stationed in Syria with the Legion. He was Czech, and a medical student in Prague when the Germans occupied the rump of his country in March 1939. Wanting to fight back, he supposed that the country which was most likely to be fronting up to the Germans would be France, so he tipped up to the French Embassy and indicated that he would like to join the Legion. They sent him through Europe by train on diplomatic papers to S France, and then onwards to Algeria, from whence, after training, he was posted to Syria.
When France fell Syria was under the control of Vichy, and he found himself fighting on the wrong side. He deserted, and made his way to Palestine and was locally enlisted into the British Army, serving with the Royal Scots Greys.
The RAF was allowed to call for aircrew volunteers from all services after heavy losses and also the advent of 7 man crewed bombers. He volunteered, and his next adventure was flying Wellingtons in an RAF Czech bomber squadron as a WOP/AG. He survived that, and the squadron was converted to Coastal Command at about the time the Eighth Air Force was starting to conduct operations from UK. It seems that there was a scheme whereby RAF personnel were attached to USAAF groups in an advisory role, and he was sent to join a B-17 group, and flew several early missions before returning to the RAF.
Eventually he was granted a permanent commission in the RAF and he served on until the 1960s, his last station on retirement being Brize Norton.
Yes, the time after the 1940 French Armistice and the establishment of the Vichy Government was a sad time for the Legion. Loyalties were torn between what was considered the legitimate government (Vichy) and a renegade army officer (De Gaulle) setting up an alternative. Most (as with the vast majority of the French Armed Forces around the world) recognised the authority of Vichy (after all Petain was in charge). It is notable that 13 DBLE didn't and out of all the Legion units ostensibly created on a temporary basis in 1939-40 (for the duration of the war) is the only one still in existence. As a "Compagnon de la Liberation" it is politically untouchable. One of the sad events of WW2 was 6 REI fighting 13 DBLE when it formed part of the British and Commonwealth force which took Syria from Vichy control.

Edited to add:
1594160606486.png

28 juin 1944. Villa Médicis, Rome. 13 DBLE parade inspected by De Gaulle Four years previously a similar parade was held in Trentham Park in England, when the regiment had been the first to declare for the Free French.
 
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Having had the good fortune to serve both with French and German militarys in particular, I had never heard the 'March of Les Soldats de Robert the Bruce' until a few months ago thanks to this thread.
How on earth was that adopted? Lovely air mind you.
The French have abiding memories of the "Auld Alliance".


(Note: not the Legion band playing, but that of the "Troupes de Marine" the former "Colonial Troops" of which one of the traditional recruiting areas is Britanny.

An edited translation from explanatory notes on the above YouTube page:

"This music dates from 1314. On this date Robert the Bruce, future king of Scotland, defeated the English at the battle of Bannockburn, hence this march. Later he renewed his country's alliance with France. In 1429 during the Siege of Orleans. Scottish volunteers played this march when Joan of Arc entered Orléans, and it remains a symbol of Franco-Scottish friendship. This march and still played today by the French army."

ETA: Robert the Bruce was a scion of the Norman-French "de Brus" family which established itself in England and particularly Scotland after the Norman Conquest.

ETA2: Plaque on the wall in the French city of Orleans honouring the contribution of the Scottish troops to the lifting of the siege 1429 and listing the principal Scottish commanders:
1593779199934.png

Got the piccie of t'interweb as I couldn't find the one I took when on holiday celebrating my wife's 40th birthday. On the day I spontaneously got her a beautiful and very unusual cabochon sapphire ring in an antique jewellers in this gorgeous old city.

ETA3: Another plaque in the city, found on t'interweb while researching the above.
1593779334237.jpeg
 
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An expansion of the Foreign Legion has already occurred in the past few years with the existing combat units all being enlarged. There is some speculation about a further possible enlargement, but there are political and budgetary difficulties (not to mention internal rivalries within the French Army). However, as has been recently demonstrated, the capacity is there to do so relatively rapidly, should the decison be taken.

I have previously hazarded a guess that a new overseas based Legion Regiment may be established, probably with the resurrection of a previously disbanded one. This train of thought is based on General Mistral (GOC the Foreign Legion) relatively officially stating that the potential for more Legionnaires obtaining long-term overseas postings will be increased.

I cannot see how this can be done other than by increasing the number of Legion Units permanently stationed overseas or significantly increasing their established manpower. There are currently only two Legion Units permamnetly based overseas 3 REI in French Guyana and DLEM in Mayotte, both relatively small in permanent established manpower rather than companies/squadrons rotating through on a temporary basis from mainland based regiments). In my time (1980's) there were four, both the above plus 13 DBLE in Djibouti and 5 RE (originally called 5 RMP due to the inclusion of Regular French Engineer sub-units) in French Polynesia.

I have speculated that perhaps New Caledonia may be the location for a new permanent Legion garrison, given the following indicators:

1. French participation in the strategic western pivot towards the Indo-Pacific region in order to maintain balance against an expansionist China, improve power projection capability in the area and improve potential for mutual cooperation and training with the forces of allied and friendly Indo-Pacific States.​
2. Already increased Foreign Legion temporary presence in New Caledonia with sub-units rotating through from mainland Regiments.​
3, Increasing Foreign Legion recruitment from Cental, East and South-East Asia and the Pacific.​

Now, I would probably hazard another guess, that if another regiment were to be re-established in the Far East,, for historic reasons it would probably be a resurrection of 5 REI. Although 2 REG currently maintains some of the Legion's Far East traditions (noted by the Indochinese pagoda on its regimental badge), it is not the custodian of 5 REI's Colours. 2 REG is well on its way to establishing its own reputation as a Legion Engineer and Mountain Warfare regiment (it is the only Legion regiment assigned to the French 27th Mountain Infantry Brigade). Its Mountain Commando Group is particularly appreciated.

A more fanciful speculation is that if the Legion were to ever be based in South-West Asia/ the Middle East again and a new Legion unit were to be established, then 6 REI would be the obvious choice as this was the original Foreign Legion Regiment based in the French protectorate of Syria prior to WW2. Although 1 REG was originally established as 6 REG and carried on the traditions of 6 REI (as evinced by the shape and composition of its regimental badge) now as 1 REG it is a totally separate regiment in its own right and since its participation in the 1990 liberation of Kuwait (Op Daguet in French parlance) has established its own reputation as a Legion Light Armoured Engineer regiment. Its Combat Diver Group is particularly appreciated.
There is a growing feeling areas such as New Caledonia could come under chinese threat.

Hence the planned deployment of VAB APCs in an area where light trucks were previously considered sufficient.
 

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