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

Chouf : la bagne de la légion (Michel Tourvain)
Section de épreuve, Domaine Saint Jean
He, M.T. is at 70 years auld on a hunger strike where he was detained (72?) In front of the auld camp
Lots of media talking about it but watered down from the source
Several pics on France TV Corse
Chains, hands and ankles
Attached to a post for hours on end in the blazing sun...
@ Condo, you have better expérience than me...go dig up

An ex legionnaire who was in the Légion gaol in 1973 has been on hunger strike since 14 September. He is asking for justice, wants an inquiry and those responsible to be brought to court. The conditions sound harsh. The gaol operated in Corte between 1969 and 1976.

Here's an article from a couple of days ago, run it through an online translator.


The FFL was contacted but has yet to reply.

I'll let those better placed than me comment on this.
 

Gone2ratshat

Old-Salt
An ex legionnaire who was in the Légion gaol in 1973 has been on hunger strike since 14 September. He is asking for justice, wants an inquiry and those responsible to be brought to court. The conditions sound harsh. The gaol operated in Corte between 1969 and 1976.

Here's an article from a couple of days ago, run it through an online translator.


The FFL was contacted but has yet to reply.

I'll let those better placed than me comment on this.
He should stop whining , his treatment sounds like basic in the eighties ;) .
 
Chouf : la bagne de la légion (Michel Tourvain)
Section de épreuve, Domaine Saint Jean
He, M.T. is at 70 years auld on a hunger strike where he was detained (72?) In front of the auld camp
Lots of media talking about it but watered down from the source
Several pics on France TV Corse
Chains, hands and ankles
Attached to a post for hours on end in the blazing sun...
@ Condo, you have better expérience than me...go dig up
I'm on a short break with limited connectivity. I'll post my opinion on this topic in a short while.
 
An ex legionnaire who was in the Légion gaol in 1973 has been on hunger strike since 14 September. He is asking for justice, wants an inquiry and those responsible to be brought to court. The conditions sound harsh. The gaol operated in Corte between 1969 and 1976.

Here's an article from a couple of days ago, run it through an online translator.


The FFL was contacted but has yet to reply.

I'll let those better placed than me comment on this.
Again as per my reply to lpc, I shall comment on this in due course. However, when serving in Calvi in the early to mid eighties, we were all aware of the old "Section d'Epreuve" at Corte and the horrible reputation that it had.
 
He should stop whining , his treatment sounds like basic in the eighties ;) .
While I agree that FFL basic training (and at least initially the continuity training at your regiment) in the eighties involved a certain amount of beasting and bullshit, the "Section d'Epreuve" appears to have been somewhat more punitive and deliberately so.
 
My thoughts on the story about the "La Section d'Épreuve de la Légion Étrangère" at Corte in central Corsica which was the Foreign Legion's severe/recidivist prison site established after the move of the Legion from Algeria and which was dis-estalished in 1976.

I joined the Legion in 1981, completed Basic Training in Castelnaudary and arrived at 2 REP in Calvi in early 1982. So I have no first hand experience of that place, nor did I meet or speak to anyone that acknowledged any first-hand experience. However there was plenty of rumour and hearsay still swirling around about that establishment and its predecessor in Algeria. And it was not good. It appeared to be designed to be brutally punitive and intended to enforce absolute obedience.

To put this in context, let me refer to a piece that I wrote some time ago about Foreign Legion discipline and which I posted on ARRSE somewhat later after I had initially replied to a thread title concerning the difference between 2 REP and the (British) Parachute Regiment:


The 2 REP prison in Fort Maillebois on the ridgeline above Calvi (that I wrote about in the above linked post) was bad enough, but apparently the "Section d'Épreuve" had been far worse.

I do not know if the chap that is currently on hunger strike is exaggerating or if he is accurately remembering his travails at the place. However several points come to mind:

I never heard about rape being used as a punishment in the Legion (even in the wildest stories). It was regarded as abhorrent and a conviction for rape (or any other sex-crime as well as murder and drugs) barred a man from joining. Rape would have been a reason for being sent for punishment to the "Section d'Épreuve". I recall the story about an incident during Basic Training when (I believe) a former British Royal Marine, a few weeks ahead of me in training was locked up for some minor infraction in the guard-house and two old caporaux-chefs from the Support Company who were inprisoned in the same cell tried to rape him. He brained one with a metal "tabouret" (stool) and was chasing the screaming other one around the cell when the guards intervened. As I recall, he suffered no further punishment, but we heard that the assailants were severely punished.

The man does not say why he was incarcerated for an initial three months at the "Section d'Épreuve" it is described as the penal site to "subdue" or "tame" (I would possibly say "break") the "hard nuts" and the deserters. As Maillebois prison was in 2 REP, this would have been a step-up from the usual guard-house prison in each Regiment for minor or first offences. It was regarded as perfectly normal for a Legionnaire to spend some time in the Regimental "taule" ("nick") and it didn't even preclude a Legionnaire getting the points-based "Medaille de la Defense Nationale" when first instituted in 1982. In 2 REP to have gotten sent to Maillebois, one had to be a recidivist or have done something quite serious and I would extrapolate that to have been sent to the "Section d'Épreuve" for three months, that the offending conduct may have been far worse.

He does state that he tried to escape twice and that his sentence was increased by three months each time. This would appear to follow the Legion reasoning that he had not accepted the punishment and acknowledged his "crime" and did his best to conform as was expected.

What I can surmise though, is that there may have been some "garde-taulards" (prison guards) that were inclined to be sadistic and without adequate supervision may have got out of hand.

As regards there being officially no comment from the Legion, I would assume there is quite a lot of research going on into this. The press coverage is coming at a particularly bad time for the Legion as it is trying to increase the quota of French nationals in its ranks.

I would add: "Horses for courses". The Foreign Legion was a rough and tough place for rough and tough individuals. It was always a bit behind the French Regular Army in reforming its rules and regulations and it must be remembered that generally until the end of their first contract Legionnaires have no civil status in France. The British Army also used to have some very tough regimes for its offenders. The dramatisation of some was shown in an early Sean Connery movie called "The Hill".

Addendum: Apparently the man's just ended his hunger strike after some Corsican elected officials turned up and the local media was present.

Edited to add: I've just sifted through some videos posted by this chap on YouTube (all in French) and he is particularly scathing about one of the guards, a Caporal-Chef, who he says excessively brutalised him and who sexually assaulted and raped him, threatening him with worse punishment if he reported this. If true then this was truly beyond the pale and should not have been allowed to happen.
 
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selectvestry

Old-Salt
Condottiere: A question from the past. I served in Aden during its final bloody year (November 66 - November 67). For most of my time the Resident Armoured Regt with 24 Brigade in Falaise Camp were the QDG. An excellent Regiment Equipped with Saladin, Saracen, Ferret Scout Car and the Stalwart. As well as supporting the Infantry in Aden, One Sqn, complete with its Assault Troopers, patrolled the Desert, West of Little Aden towards the Bab-El-Mandeb. These Patrols lasted about 10 days or so. Occasionally they would pick up "Foreigners" attempting to cross the Desert, They were always treated with suspicion as they could be Russian agents for Nasser. After interrogation/screening it invariably turned out that they were Deserters from the Legion, stationed in Djibouti, who had managed to cross the Strait. The QDG Guardroom always had 2 or 3 awaiting "onward movement". The question is what would have happened to them, would they have been handed back? Or "set free". One other point. In Sharjah Camp, in the Trucial Oman, there were 2 Graves. some rumours told that they were German Seamen, others that they were Legionnaires who died in the Desert.
 
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Condottiere: A question from the past. I served in Aden during its final bloody year (November 66 - November 67). For most of my time the Resident Armoured Regt with 24 Brigade in Falaise Camp were the QDG. An excellent Regiment Equipped with Saladin, Saracen, Ferret Scout Car and the Stalwart. As well as supporting the Infantry in Aden, One Sqn, complete with its Assault Troopers, patrolled the Desert, West of Little Aden towards the Bab-El-Mandeb. These Patrols lasted about 10 days or so. Occasionally they would pick up "Foreigners" attempting to cross the Desert, They were always treated with suspicion as they could be Russian agents for Nasser. After interrogation/screening it invariably turned out that they were Deserters from the Legion who were Stationed in Djibouti, who had managed to cross the Strait. The QDG Guardroom always had 2 or 3 awaiting "onward movement". The question is what would have happened to them, would they have been handed back? Or "set free". One other point. In Sharjah Camp there were 2 Graves. some rumours told that they were German Semen, another swore that they were Legionnaires who died i the Desert.
Interesting.

As I understand it, it is quite difficult to cross the Bab-el-Mandeb strait due to the currents therein. So they probably had help in crossing. You had to be quite desperate to try and desert from Djibouti.

Had they been caught in Djibouti, they would have been returned to the Legion and been punished.

I did a four month short Company tour in Djibouti in 1982-3 as a young Repman, stationed at the rotating REP company camp on a mountain at Arta (17 km run down/up to/from the then Commando Training Centre at Arta Plage). I really enjoyed it. Lots of desert and amphibious training, a good month long MACP Op in the Bush, protecting local census-takers, a few jumps and a couple of good weekend leaves based out of 13 DBLE's main camp down in Gabode in the city, when a run ashore in town was still quite wild.
 
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It was a front page cover on Paris Match, (garde tauler punching a taulard that sealed the fate...Giscard period
Can some one find that article ?
The closest I can find is this:
But no front cover picture and you have to buy the magazine.
 
Here's what's on the (unofficial) Foreign Legion Info site:
It's a translation from the French and a bit ropey in places, but understandable. For example, I think that by this "persons which cheekily retorted to their superiors repeatedly" it actually means "persons guity of repeated gross insubordination".

Edited to add:

There's a wikipedia page on this subject also, but only available in French:
 
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6 leginnaires and or ex, from 2 REI arrested for pimping (human trafficing) National level
RAID was called out (robot cops)
All are in Marseille some where now...
Mostly or all are Ukrainiens ?
 
legionnaires-paratroopers-sas-choc-wwii-1943-1945.jpg
 
6 leginnaires and or ex, from 2 REI arrested for pimping (human trafficing) National level
RAID was called out (robot cops)
All are in Marseille some where now...
Mostly or all are Ukrainiens ?
Link to article in French. Some choice comments on Facebook by ex FFL friends (well if we can't help out young girls who are willing and hard working...).

"Des légionnaires soupçonnés de diriger un réseau de prostitution arrêtés à Nîmes" Des légionnaires soupçonnés de diriger un réseau de prostitution arrêtés à Nîmes
 
6 leginnaires and or ex, from 2 REI arrested for pimping (human trafficing) National level
RAID was called out (robot cops)
All are in Marseille some where now...
Mostly or all are Ukrainiens ?
Link to article in French. Some choice comments on Facebook by ex FFL friends (well if we can't help out young girls who are willing and hard working...).

"Des légionnaires soupçonnés de diriger un réseau de prostitution arrêtés à Nîmes" Des légionnaires soupçonnés de diriger un réseau de prostitution arrêtés à Nîmes.
If there is one thing i detest in life..it is dsloyal concurrence

Scumbags.

Edited to add: I wonder if they'll get a a few years in that nice little French hotel near Marseille called "Baumettes"? Or perhaps Legion service discredited and hoofed out of the country?
 
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