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

Looking at a couple of the images, the Legionaires carry pistols have them in what appears to be a Blackhawk Serpa style of holster. Would this be a version for the Beretta 92/G1 or simply a French knock off?

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It's the BHI version. Rules have relaxed considerably regarding the use of non regulation kit in the FFL and in the rest of the FRA armed forces.
 
Interesting link I found on Wiki about Western Defectors to the East including the following FFL soldiers below who deserted to the Viet Minh. None after 1950 though.

Erwin Borchers​
French Foreign LegionGermany / France1945Viet Minh[1]
Ernst Frey​
French Foreign LegionAustria / France1945Viet Minh[2]
Siegfried Wenzel​
French Foreign LegionGermany / France1945Viet Minh[3]
French Foreign LegionGreece / France1946Viet Minh[4]
Stefan Kubiak​
French Foreign LegionPoland / France1946Viet Minh[5]

Miroslav Surý​
French Foreign LegionCzechoslovakia / France1949Viet Minh[16]
František Vaňhara​
French Foreign LegionCzechoslovakia / France1949Viet Minh[16]

Ján Poláček​
French Foreign LegionCzechoslovakia / France1950Viet Minh[16]

Josef Zvoník​
French Foreign LegionCzechoslovakia / France1950Viet Minh[16]

The only one with a link to their history was the fourth one on the list, a Greek.

Kostas Sarantidis.
 
Interesting link I found on Wiki about Western Defectors to the East including the following FFL soldiers below who deserted to the Viet Minh. None after 1950 though.

Erwin Borchers​
French Foreign LegionGermany / France1945Viet Minh[1]
Ernst Frey​
French Foreign LegionAustria / France1945Viet Minh[2]
Siegfried Wenzel​
French Foreign LegionGermany / France1945Viet Minh[3]
French Foreign LegionGreece / France1946Viet Minh[4]
Stefan Kubiak​
French Foreign LegionPoland / France1946Viet Minh[5]

Miroslav Surý​
French Foreign LegionCzechoslovakia / France1949Viet Minh[16]
František Vaňhara​
French Foreign LegionCzechoslovakia / France1949Viet Minh[16]

Ján Poláček​
French Foreign LegionCzechoslovakia / France1950Viet Minh[16]

Josef Zvoník​
French Foreign LegionCzechoslovakia / France1950Viet Minh[16]

The only one with a link to their history was the fourth one on the list, a Greek.

Kostas Sarantidis.

There were many, many more in Algeria as defectors' network were set up in Tunisia and Morocco targeting Légionnaire from Eastern Europe and Germany. Many managed to desert with external support as France could not do anything as soon as they were in Tunisia or Morocco.

Some (about 7% according to the FFL) deserters joined the FLN, just like some deserters had joined the Vietminh in Indochina.

Before that, there had been quite a lot of desertion in units returning from Indochina and in the early stages of the war in Algeria (1954-56) when the prestige of France had been badly hit.

One of the hardest hit unit was 2°REI which was not labelled an "réserve générale" unit like 3° and 5°REI or 13°DBLE for example and which suffered quite a lot of casualties for little glory while on "herse" duty along the border with Tunisia.

The answer to the desertion problem was to improve the NCO to enlisted men ratio and to reorganize units. Units with defensive roles such as the 2° and 4°REI tasked with preventing infiltrations from Tunisia always had a lower morale than offensive units such as the REPs and 3° and 5°REI or 13°DBLE that were organized as lighter, intervention units.
 
Gives us another chance to see those lovely Hotchkiss jeeps. Aaaahhh !
What I learned to drive on. Double declutching on steep and narrow Corsican roads!
 
Could never take a military force entirely seriously when their anthem is a song about a sausage.
"Le Boudin" actually refered to the 19th century blanket bedroll strapped around the large pack in marching order.
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The French Foreign Legion has resumed its direct recruitment without having to book ahead online, as was instituted soon after the Covid-19 Pandemic took hold. Volunteer candidates for recruitment may once agin just turn up at the gates of the various recruitment centres around France. Socila distancing measures will be applied once inside.
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Recruiting stand on Bastille Day, 14 July at Les Invalides in Paris.
 
Although only the Foreign Legion Band participated as a Legion Unit in the (Covd-19 attenuated) 14th July Bastille Day Parade on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, there were also a few other Legionnaires in attendance:
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Bandsman with the band just visible over his right shoulder.
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Sergent Toky of 1 RE paraded as a member of the Colour Party of the EPPA, ("l'école du personnel paramédical des armées" or the French joint service paramedic school). Where he is on the three year long advanced military paramedic course after which he will be posted into 1 REG in that role.

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Sous Lieutenant (2Lt) Andriy joined the Foreign Legion in 2010, since when he served mostly in 2 REI before succeeding in the competitive tests to gain admission to the EMIA (Army Officer School - a two year course for soldiers already in the ranks*) in 2018. Of Ukrainian origin, he became a naturalised French citizen in 2015. He paraded with the Colour Party of his school.

*École militaire interarmes - Wikipedia

In addition four representatives of 13 DBLE also paraded in a mixed squad comprised of members of each of French major units that in 1940 opted to respond to De Gaulle's "Appel" for the establishment of the Free French Forces and thus became his "Compagnons de la Liberation".

The Legion band subsequently played a public open air concert in the "Jardin des Tuileries" park, which was broadcast on the France2 TV channel:
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Only one sausage. Tradition...
Yes, but what a sausage!
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Note, the basic Opinel folding pocket knife. When I joined in 1981, it was no.1 on the list of items you had to buy from the on-camp shop as a recruit Legionnaire. It was your jack of all trades knife and you used it to cut and fashion a "curette de bois", a piece of wood which was then placed in your weapon cleaning kit and used in conjunction with a cleaning cloth for getting into the little crevices when weapon cleaning.
 
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2 REP celebrated a (Covid-19) muted 14th July, Bastille Day Holiday in Corsica.
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Young Repmen preparing for the Parade.
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On parade in Calvi.

On the same day various decorations and medals were awarded among which:
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Capitain Solveig, as the Commander of a "Tactical Liaison Detachment" of the Parachute Commando Group (GCP - i.e. the Regimental Pathfinder Platoon) during Operation Barkhane in Mali in 2018, particularly distinguished himself during an "offensive reconnaissance" mission. Commanding his unit when attacked by a hidden enemy, he didn't hesitate and exposing himself he led an encirclement of the foe and by his remarkable determination and courage ensured the success of this action. He was awarded the Croix de la Valeur Militaire.

And various Legionnaires undertook the French naturalisation ceremony, receiving their full citizenship:
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All pictures and information taken from Official social media accounts.
 
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A little more light PT!
 
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Safety boat following a training jump into the sea in Calvi Bay.
 
Not 2 REP, but 2 REI. A short French TV clip from a documentary following a young officer and his platoon, firstly conducting some pre-deployment training in France and then deployment of Ops in Mali.
 
Yes, but what a sausage!
View attachment 490132
Note, the basic Opinel folding pocket knife. When I joined in 1981, it was no.1 on the list of items you had to buy from the on-camp shop as a recruit Legionnaire. It was your jack of all trades knife and you used it to cut and fashion a "curette de bois", a piece of wood which was then placed in your weapon cleaning kit and used in conjunction with a cleaning cloth for getting into the little crevices when weapon cleaning.
In a previous life as a commercial fisherman, it was also the knife of choice.
 
"Le Boudin" actually refered to the 19th century blanket bedroll strapped around the large pack in marching order.
View attachment 489959
Have to laugh - when I translated the refrain we used in the 4th I just could never imagine a British unit ever doing this. I sang it in front of local dignitaries and it goes (from memory): Again another gay boy taking it *********** under the tent of the monk's habit.
Couldn't make it up
 
This to me sums the Legion up. There is always a place for someone who is 'different' and when you read the memorials posted on this site to passed 'comrades' they all have lives worth living and a back story.
Good luck to him and a good career in the service of France.


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Sous Lieutenant (2Lt) Andriy joined the Foreign Legion in 2010, since when he served mostly in 2 REI before succeeding in the competitive tests to gain admission to the EMIA (Army Officer School - a two year course for soldiers already in the ranks*) in 2018. Of Ukrainian origin, he became a naturalised French citizen in 2015. He paraded with the Colour Party of his school.
 
Have to laugh - when I translated the refrain we used in the 4th I just could never imagine a British unit ever doing this. I sang it in front of local dignitaries and it goes (from memory): Again another gay boy taking it *********** under the tent of the monk's habit.
Couldn't make it up
Almost!
Actually the 4 RE's refrain to the Boudin is:
"Encore un girond enculé, sous la guitoune de l'aumônier."
Meaning.
"Another nancy-boy getting reamed in the padré's tent."

Anybody wanting to know more about "Le Boudin" i.e the March of the Foreign Legion should look up this post:
(apologies in linking to another post of mine, but it's a damn sight easier than writing it all out again!
 
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