Légion étrangère

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Foreign Legion
Légion Étrangère


Seven-flame grenade : badge of the Légion Étrangère
Lineup March 10, 1831
Country FranceFrance France
Armed forces Les forces armées françaises
Armed forces Armée de Terre
structure See organization
Strength approx. 9500
Garrisons see organization
motto "Legio Patria Nostra" ( Latin The Legion is our fatherland )
"Honneur et Fidélité" (French honor and loyalty )
Colours Rouge et Vert (red and green)
march Le Boudin
Anniversaries April 30th ( Battle of Camerone )
commander Brigadier General (Général de Brigade) Denis Mistral

General Paul-Frédéric Rollet (called: "Father of the Legion")

Headgear Képi Blanc and Beret Vert

The Légion étrangère [ leʒjõetʁãˈʒɛːʁ ], German Foreign Legion , is a large association , today a special unit of the French army , in which volunteers from over 150 nations serve as temporary soldiers . The Foreign Legionnaires are recruited in their team from non-French countries. According to international law , they are considered regular soldiers in the French army.

The French Foreign Legion was founded on March 10, 1831 by a decree of King Louis-Philippe I and initially served to conquer and secure the colonies of France in Africa , which was started in Algeria at that time (later French North Africa ; fighting up to in the 1920s). Since it was founded, it has been directly subordinate to the respective French head of state, i.e. the President of the French Republic . At the beginning of the 1960s, towards the end of the Algerian War , the force comprised up to 35,000 men and was then continuously reduced to an interim strength of 6,700 men, the last time in the years 2011-2013 due to austerity measures by the French state in the military sector. Due to the global political situation (terrorist attacks in Europe, ISIS etc.), it was decided to gradually increase the team strength again to 10,000 men between 2015 and 2018. Including reserve units and around 1000 civilian personnel, the Foreign Legion currently has a total of 10,500 men. The Legion's officer corps has always consisted of French. Until the Second World War there were exceptional officers with foreign patents . According to an address given by Colonel Morellon, more than 600,000 men from all over the world have served in the Légion Étrangère from its inception through the late 1980s. Over 36,000 were killed in operations during this period.


From the beginning to the end of the Cold War

Légion Étrangère, 1852
Foreign Legionnaires, 1920

The Foreign Legion is part of the country's practice of allowing foreigners to serve in its ranks, dating back to the 12th century, and was established in 1831 as the successor to various forerunner foreign regiments . One of these regiments was the Régiment de Hohenlohe ( Regiment Hohenlohe ) under the command of Ludwig Aloys von Hohenlohe-Bartenstein in the service of French royalists at the time of the French Revolutionary Wars , which was later taken over by King Charles X. The first in command was the Swiss Christoph Anton Stoffel from Arbon .

Foreign legionnaires of the 1st Régiment Étranger de Cavalerie in traditional parade uniform

France needed troops for the planned colonization of Algeria . At that time, many foreigners had settled in France, mostly in Paris. With the establishment of the Legion, King Louis Philippe got the necessary soldiers and at the same time was able to reduce a suspicious section of the population. Therefore, the next day he had the law of March 9, 1831 (la Loi du 9 mars 1831) officially confirmed by decree , according to which the Foreign Legion could only be used outside the continental borders of the kingdom. On April 17, 1832, the Foreign Legion was baptized by fire in a battle near Algiers . At that time the unit numbered about 6,000 men, 40 percent of whom were Germans and Swiss. Within just three years, the Legion lost 3,200 men in the fighting in North Africa, who died, deserted or had to be released for health reasons.

The next deployment of the Foreign Legion, parallel to the further conquest of Algeria, took place in Europe, during the First Carlist War in Spain. In this war of succession to the throne, which lasted until 1840, France and Great Britain supported the "liberal" Queen Isabella II from 1835 against the Carlist pretender Carlos. Great Britain sent a newly established "Auxiliary Legion" to Spain, which initially consisted of around 10,000 volunteers, while France contracted Isabella over to the Foreign Legion. A considerable number of Poles in exile fought in both contingents, who had fled to the two major Western powers after the failed uprising of 1830/31 and whose entry into the troops for the War of the Spanish Succession was now actively supported in both states. The first generation of Foreign Legionnaires was almost completely killed in the Carlist War. Only 250 of the original 6000 men returned to France in January 1839.

In order to channel the flow of refugees still striving for France and at the same time to satisfy the troop needs in North Africa, the French government had already set up a "Nouvelle Légion" in 1836. The unit was mainly used in the further subjugation of Algeria. It was not until the end of the 1840s that the French succeeded in breaking the Algerian guerrilla resistance under Abd el-Kader in a war of annihilation that included massacres , scorched earth and deportations and decimated the Algerian population by 15 to 30 percent. The methods used by the French in this “asymmetrical” war were to characterize the conduct of imperial warfare until the era of decolonization after 1945, and the Foreign Legion usually played an essential role in this.

On November 5, 1854, the Legion took part in the Battle of Inkerman in the Crimean War. The Foreign Legion was used in most of the French colonial wars .

In the summer of 1870 the Franco-German War began . Volunteers from many countries came to the Foreign Legion's recruitment offices along the national borders to join the Foreign Legion and defend the French Empire .

From 1883 the Legion was also deployed overseas. It was represented in all important arenas of France's politics of interests. In particular, these are Tonkin (until 1976 North Vietnam , today Vietnam , 1883–1940), Formosa (today Taiwan , 1885), French Sudan (1892–1893), Dahomey (today Benin , 1892–1894), Siam (1893–1897) , Madagascar (1895–1905) and Morocco (1900–1934).

The legion's reputation at that time can be illustrated by a statement made by General Joseph Gallieni , who was destined to lead the expeditionary force in Madagascar:

I demand that 600 Foreign Legion men be given to me so that - should it come to that - I can fall honorably and appropriately.

- Joseph Gallieni

With the former “Régiment de Marche de la Légion Etrangère” (RMLE), today the 3rd Infantry Foreign Regiment (3rd REI), the Legion has the most highly decorated regiment of the French armed forces in its original form. The Régiment d'Infanterie Coloniale du Maroc (RICM) has as many merits as the 3rd REI, but today no longer exists in its original form with the recruiting base in Morocco and is now called the 'Régiment d'infanterie-chars de marine'. Today it is a light tank regiment.

When the First World War broke out , most of the legionnaires of the two foreign regiments that existed at the time were busy with construction work in Morocco . Most of them, who came from Central Europe , were not sent to the Western Front and the other fronts in Europe. They stayed in Morocco to continue building work and pacify the troubled protectorate . The remaining French troops, mostly legionaries, suffered a heavy defeat against insurgent Berbers on November 13, 1914 near Khénifra ; there were more than 600 deaths. Nevertheless, several marching regiments were set up for use in the First World War.

From August 1914, thousands of foreigners in France or in the colonies applied to the Foreign Legion as volunteers who were ready to fight and die for France. A total of 42,883 volunteers of 52 nationalities, mostly Russians, Italians , Swiss , Belgians and British, were recruited, from which these five marching regiments were then formed.

After heavy losses of these units, mainly as a result of the return of most of the volunteers from the time of the beginning of the war to their countries of origin, the commander Rollet ordered on November 11, 1915, the creation of a "marching regiment" in which all legionary units on the western front were reorganized and combined . This regiment was then called the Régiment de Marche de la Légion Etrangère (RMLE). It was used in the Loretto Battle , the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of the Somme .

In the First World War a total of 5,172 men died in the ranks of the Legion. At the end of the war in 1918, the RMLE was the second most decorated regiment in the French army and the most decorated regiment in the Foreign Legion.

In the period from 1918 to the early 1930s, the Legion continued to be intensively involved in combating insurgent tribes in Morocco. In the mid-1920s, the clashes in the war against Abd-el-Krim reached their climax.

Between the beginning of the Second World War in 1939 and the German attack in 1940, the Legion was again greatly expanded, as in the First World War, several regiments of international volunteers (including many emigrants and those politically persecuted from within Germany ) were reorganized. Many of those persecuted by the Nazi regime found a new home in the Légion étrangère. The first major operation took place in the spring of 1940 in the Battle of Narvik . Apart from veteran cadres, Germans and Austrians were not used in France. After the defeat of June 1940 , part of the Legion suggested, including the 13th demi-brigade (13 e DBLE), to the side of Free France of Charles de Gaulle , while most in North Africa remained that the Vichy regime Philippe Pétain under, or in the Levant (Syria / Lebanon), where there was fighting against the British in 1941 .

The 5th Regiment was isolated in Indochina as a result of the occupation of the colony by Japan from 1940/41 .

After the Anglo-American landing in North Africa at the end of 1942, Free French Legion units fought in the Tunisian campaign , in Italy and during the liberation of Western Europe from 1944 until the end of the war in 1945 ( Normandy and as part of the 1st Army ).

Soon after 1945 France was faced with the problem of decolonization . Since 1946 there were armed conflicts with the communist independence movement Việt Minh in Indochina . Due to political considerations, only temporary and professional soldiers of the French army, elite troops such as the Legion and the new paratrooper units as well as North and Black African units alongside Indochinese auxiliaries were deployed there. The Legion was one of the most heavily involved units, recording the heaviest casualties in Indochina ever in a war - more than 11,000 dead. At the same time, Indochina became a “second home” for numerous Foreign Legionnaires, as they could afford opium and lovers ( congaï ) there because of the high wages . In 1954 she suffered her worst defeat in the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ . This found mythical exaggerations of this kind:

The survivors of Điện Biên Phủ told of the battle, of the failure of the leadership, of the terrible surprise when artillery fire suddenly drummed on their inadequate positions. A Thai battalion defected immediately. The other colored troops had behaved passively and sought cover. Only the French paratroopers and the Foreign Legionnaires, 80% Germans, had really fought down to the last hole in the ground and down to the knife, and they had lined up to die like in a mythical Gothic battle. "

- Peter Scholl-Latour : Death in the rice field - 30 years of war in Indochina

Shortly after the end of the Indochina conflict, the Legion was engaged with all its forces in the Algerian war that broke out from autumn 1954 . In terms of numbers, it was even less important within the French Algerian army, which comprised several hundred thousand soldiers, than in Indochina, but together with the paratrooper units (Réserve génerale) it was again disproportionately involved in the operations against the independence fighters, this time the Algerian ALN . Beginning with the Battle of Algiers in 1957, the French brought their technical and numerical dominance to bear over the years 1959/60 ( Challe Plan ); the Algerian resistance had almost nothing to counter the superiority. The methods used within the framework of the so-called French doctrine , including torture and illegal executions of Algerian suspects, however, drew massive domestic and foreign policy protests. At the same time, the Algerian Liberation Front developed a very effective journalistic strategy to induce legionaries to desert . The head of this movement was Winfried Müller from Wiesbaden, better known under the name Si Mustapha-Müller.

The massive protests against the practices of the Foreign Legion were one of the reasons why de Gaulle , despite the imminent military victory, increasingly tended to grant Algeria its independence. On the side of the French Algeria , a number of French officers, including some leaders of legionary units, opposed this development. The Legion was involved in the failed general coup of 1961 and in actions by the terrorist organization OAS . At that time, the dissolution of the association seemed possible; However, this lot only affected the 1st Paratrooper Regiment / 1st REP . Until 1966, Legion units were barred from participating in the traditional military parade on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to celebrate July 14th.

After 1945 more than a third to more than half of the legionnaires were German or German-speaking (the peak of this development was reached towards the end of the Indochina War), in 2006 it was only around two percent. Eastern Europeans currently make up the largest group of legionaries with around a third, followed by a quarter of South Americans . Around a fifth of the Foreign Legionnaires are actually French who have been given a new identity and henceforth serve as Canadians , Belgians, Swiss, Luxembourgers or Monegasque .

A plaque in the headquarters of the Foreign Legion in Aubagne near Marseille lists the theaters of war where the Legion was deployed:

Furthermore, units of the Foreign Legion took part between 1990 and 1991 as part of the Operation Daguet for the liberation of Kuwait in what the Americans called Operation Desert Storm . The 1st régiment étranger de cavalerie stationed in Orange was deployed at the 2013 intervention as part of the Opération Serval in Mali .

Soldiers of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS in the Legion

Foreign Legionnaire marches in front of an M24 Chaffee tank in Indochina (1954)
The 13th Demi Brigade of the Foreign Legion at a parade in Algeria (around 1958)

After 1945, France recruited former German soldiers for the French Foreign Legion. Many reported from prisoner-of-war camps and because of the dire economic situation in their homeland. Among them were former members of the Waffen SS , who were given the opportunity to assume a new identity when they joined. This possibility was also available to the French: A discrete instruction from Charles de Gaulle allowed French who had served in the 33rd Waffen SS Grenadier Division "Charlemagne" during the Second World War to rehabilitate themselves by serving in the Legion . But this was not the rule. The Legion strictly checked the recruits for their war history. War criminals should not find shelter. Former soldiers of the Wehrmacht were only of greater importance in the first post-war years. The typical German legionnaire was too young to have served in the Wehrmacht.

German newspapers outdid each other with their estimates. The magazine Der Spiegel reported in 1948 that there were supposedly 50,000 German Foreign Legionnaires in Indochina. That was about twice the number of all legionnaires there. Sections of the German press were interested in presenting the Indochina War to its readers as a kind of company with predominantly German participation, because reports about former Nazis and SS soldiers sold well abroad . Only recently have studies by Douglas Porch and especially Eckhard Michels refuted such legends.

“Many used to be in the SS . But even more stated that they had previously served in the SS. Membership in the SS was probably part of the good form with the German legionaries. "

Many poured into the service of the neighboring country because they were unemployed. Others wanted to experience adventure or they were lovesick. Still others, e.g. B. War orphans , starved and took the opportunity to leave Germany in ruins . Some criminals were among them; the so-called anonymity no longer exists in this form. Modern legionaries can only spend their first year of service with an invented name. During this time, the Legion denies inquiries that the relevant person is with them. After this first year, the legionnaire regains his old identity. He can only change the first name to francophon. Serious criminals can no longer hide with the Legion these days. Every applicant is asked for their criminal record in their home country. Nevertheless, it is still true today who was once in the Legion, who had finished with his old life.

Perception in Germany

Since the establishment of the Légion étrangère, legionaries from Germany have represented the majority. The perception of the Foreign Legion in the German public was largely determined by the current state of Franco-German relations : The fact that Germans served in the army of the "enemy" led at the time of the First Morocco Crisis in 1905 until the outbreak of the First World War to a “national psychosis”; later one saw in the Legion a "human-devouring Moloch". After 1945, the Legion recruited around a third of 18 to 20-year-olds in the French occupation zone , who were then considered minors . They were still dressed in French uniforms in Germany and crossed the border uncontrolled in French military vehicles, which led to protests in Germany. The absolute number and percentage of Germans in it were greatly overestimated in the 1950s. When the Algerian War ended in 1962, the absolute numbers and percentage of Germans fell. The perception of the Legion was now determined by memories of former legionaries who wanted to set a monument for themselves. Douglas Porch's The French Foreign Legion (1991) is considered the first historically balanced representation of the Legion; Eckard Michels' work Germans in the Foreign Legion (2000) takes this rank among German-language publications.

The term Foreign Legion did not appear in the first published reports of the 1840s, the first work with the term in the title was probably Fritz von Treubergen's book The French Foreign Legion in Algier (1886). Between 1840 and 1940 around 250 relevant titles appeared in the German-speaking area. While at first the depiction of the warlike experiences predominated, a pattern gradually emerged that the Foreign Legion painted in gloomy colors: A young man can be persuaded to join the Legion, is then inhumanly battered during training and thrown into a hopeless fight. Eventually he tries to escape, which either succeeds or ends with his capture and a tragic death abroad.

The authors of Foreign Legionnaires' novels include Friedrich Glauser , Otto Cesar Artbauer , Hans Paasche , Friedrich Wilhelm Mader , Josef S. Viera , Ernst Friedrich Löhndorff , Friedrich Hussong , Wilhelm Lamszus , Erwin Rosen and Robert Heymann . Ernst Jünger published his experiences in the Foreign Legion in 1936 under the title African Games .

Prominent Germans in the Foreign Legion

  • Ernst Jünger : 1913, released from the Legion after six weeks due to his father's intervention
  • Heinz Weil , 1938-1946, fought on the side of free France during World War II
  • Philip Rosenthal : 1939–1942, several unsuccessful escape attempts


Two snipers of the Section tireurs d'élite (STE) of the 2nd REI of the Foreign Legion in Afghanistan (2005)
CEPML Legionnaires in Indochina (1953/1954)

The Foreign Legion is used worldwide where the French State maintains its interests militarily or defend, either with a UN mandate , under NATO - command , with EU mandate to save or to French citizens from danger comply historic commitments from the colonial period ( Example Ivory Coast ). In terms of international law, the deployment of the Foreign Legion is no different from that of the military in other sovereign states.

The orientation and the military purpose have changed from the former colonial to a crisis intervention force and rapid intervention reserve, some of which have the special capabilities of special units , such as commando operations , urban warfare , counter-terrorism and long-range reconnaissance . These are concentrated in the respective companies and command groups / units, which in turn are subordinate to the French Special Forces (COS) if necessary .

Many units in the Legion do not have special names and are not listed as special units in the French High Command. Rather, all units of the Legion are to be regarded as classic Special Operations Capable (parachute / infantry special trains).

Permanent main areas of operation are in Kourou ( object protection at the spaceport in French Guiana by the "3 e régiment étranger d'infanterie" - supported by units from other regiments of the Foreign Legion - as well as the regular French army) and in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa .

Legionnaires are no longer used exclusively in wars as they used to be, but mainly to prevent war within the framework of UN or NATO missions (e.g. in Bosnia , Kosovo , Afghanistan ), to create and maintain peace, to save people at risk, and to provide humanitarian aid , to restore infrastructure (e.g. in Lebanon 2006 ) and to provide disaster relief (e.g. after the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia ).


The legion's manpower was 8,800 at the beginning of 2018.

It consists of nine regiments , whereby the designation regiment has historical backgrounds and does not correspond to the strengths and structure of other regiments usual. The 2 ° REI and the 2 ° REP are the regiments of the Foreign Legion with the largest number of personnel, each with a little over 1,300 men. As soon as the reorganization of the 13 e DBLE is completed at the end of 2018, this regiment will also have a little more than 1,300 men.

In the mid-1990s, six of the nine regiments were in France and were largely subordinate to the regular French army and part of the FAR (Force d'action rapide), now: CFAT ( Commandement de la force d'action terrestre ). Today only 2 regiments of the Foreign Legion are permanently outside of mainland France (france metropolitaine). These are the 3 ° REI in French Guiana and the DLEM on the island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. Both French Guiana and Mayotte, however, as so-called overseas departments (departements d'outre mer) are politically part of France and thus also part of the EU . Mayotte has this status since a referendum in 2011. This, and the redeployment of 13 e is DBLE to France in 2015 for the first time in the history of the Foreign Legion, since its deployment in Algeria (headquarters in Sidi Bel Abbes from 1843) the fact has arisen that not a single regiment is permanently stationed "abroad".

The Military Police ( Police Militaire ) is represented at each site. Her relatives wear an armband with the white letters PM on a red background on the left. By decree of June 29, 2011 it was restructured and renamed the Patrouille de la Légion Étrangère (PLE).

The 13 e DBLE left Djibouti in 2011 and was relocated to the United Arab Emirates . The base is located in Abu Dhabi . In Djibouti, the remains 5e régiment inter armes d'outre-mer of the French army, which is regularly alternately strengthened for four months by two companies of the Foreign Legion (Compagnies tournantes), as already previously in the 13 e DBLE was the case . The several hundred legionnaires due to the reduction of the 13 e were not DBLE with Arab in the United Arab Emirates added, the Fremdenlegion in France and abroad have been distributed to other regiments. In 2015, the 13 e DBLE moved from Abu Dhabi and moved back to France to the Camp du Larzac (Caserne General de Castelnau), where it has since been repositioned and expanded considerably by the end of 2018. The current team strength (March 2017) is 900 men, divided into 6 companies (headquarters company, 4 combat companies, maintenance company). Another combat company, a support company and a reserve company will follow in 2018 . The final team strength will then be 1,300 men (including 100 men from the reserve company, which is not constantly established). At brigade level, the 13 e DBLE has been subordinate to the 6th SU (Brigade Legere Blindée) of the French Army since June 29, 2016, to which the 1 ° REC, the 1 ° REG and the 2 ° REI of the Foreign Legion also belong, as well as the 1st Regiment de Spahis, 3rd Regiment d'Artillerie de Marine and 21st Regiment d'Infanterie de Marine. The brigade command (6th Compagnie de Commandement et transmissions - 6 ° CCT) is located in Nimes, in the Caserne Colonel de Chabrieres, where the 2 ° REI is also stationed.

Regiments stationed in France

  • 1st Foreign Regiment ( 1 ° RE ) and High Command of the Foreign Legion ( COMLE ), stationed in Aubagne , around 20 kilometers east of Marseille
  • 4th Foreign Regiment ( 4 ° RE ), stationed in Castelnaudary , Languedoc-Roussillon , training regiment for all future Foreign Legionnaires as well as training of NCOs up to and including the rank of Sergent Chief
  • 1st Cavalry Foreign Regiment ( 1 ° REC , tanks), stationed at Camp de Carpiagne (Base de Defense de Marseille-Aubagne), between Aubagne and Cassis
  • 2nd Infantry Foreign Regiment ( 2 ° REI ), stationed in Nîmes
    • STE: tank and person snipers
  • 1st Pioneer Foreign Regiment ( 1 ° REG ), stationed in Laudun-l'Ardoise near Nîmes
    • Detachement d'Intervention Operationnelle Subaquatique (DINOPS): Inland water and beach scouts, combat swimmers and combat divers renamed Groupe de Plongeurs de Combat du Génie (GPCG) (detachment is classified as a battalion ).
    • NEDEX: mine clearance
  • 13th Half-Brigade of the Foreign Legion ( 13 e DBLE ), stationed in Camp du Larzac .
    • Compagnie Commandement et Logistique (CCL) - headquarters and logistics company
    • 1 ° Compagnie de Combat - combat company
      • Section Commandement (staff / command platoon)
      • 3 Sections Combat (combat platoons)
      • Section d'appui (support train)
        • Groupe Anti-Char (anti-tank)
        • Groupe de Tireurs d'elite (snipers)
        • Groupe Mortiers (mortar group)
    • 2nd Compagnie de Combat
      • Subdivision like 1 ° Companie de Combat
    • 3 ° Compagnie de Combat
      • Subdivision like 1 ° Companie de Combat
    • 4th Compagnie de Combat
      • Subdivision like 1 ° Companie de Combat
    • 5 ° Compagnie de Combat (list 2018)
    • Compagnie d'appui (CA) support company (list 2018)
    • Company de camp (CC)
      • Section infrastructure (maintenance)
      • Section Pompiers (fire department)
  • 2nd Pioneer Foreign Regiment ( 2 ° REG ), stationed in Saint Christol , Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region
    • Plongeurs Army de Terre (PAT10): Inland water and mountain scouts, combat swimmers and combat divers renamed Groupe de Plongeurs de Combat du Génie (GPCG)
    • GRIN: Mine clearance
    • Le Groupe recherche humaine du 2 ° REG (GRH2) renamed Le Groupe commando montagne du 2 ° REG (GCM2): mountain combat specialists and scouts
  • 2nd Paratrooper Foreign Regiment ( 2 ° REP ), stationed at Camp Raffali northeast of Calvi on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica
    • CCL: Compagnie de Commandement et de Logistique (headquarters and logistics company)
    • CAS: Compagnie d'Administration et de Soutien (Administration and Support Company)
    • 1. Compagnie de Combat: House and night combat company
    • 2. Compagnie de Combat: Mountain Company
    • 3. Compagnie de Combat: amphibious company
    • 4. Compagnie de Combat: snipers and explosives experts / saboteurs
    • 5. Compagnie de Combat: desert combat company
    • CEA: Compagnie d'Eclairage et d'Appui (Reconnaissance and Support Company)
      • GCP : Command Unit, Counter Terrorism
      • Section MILAN (SM): Anti-tank defense (Missile d'Infanterie léger antichar)
      • Section Tireur d'élite (STE): snipers
      • Section de Reconnaissance Régimentaire (SRR): Tele-scouts
    • CMR: Compagnie de Maintenance Régimentaire (maintenance company)
    • 6. Compagnie: La réserve du régiment (reserve company - is formed from reservists if necessary)
  • Groupement du recrutement de la Légion étrangère ( GRLE ), based in Fontenay-sous-Bois near Paris in the Fort de Nogent . The GRLE reports directly to the command of the Legion, the so-called COMLE in Aubagne. She has two companies .
    • CTLE Compagnie de transit de la Légion étrangère is a transit company for legionnaires arriving from overseas or departing overseas. B. as part of a sejour (2- or 3-year stay in an overseas regiment)
    • CRLE Compagnie du recrutement de la Légion étrangère is responsible for recruiting, recruiting and hiring new recruits. All recruitment offices are subordinate to her. It currently has eleven recruitment offices in France, including one in Strasbourg . None are overseas.

Regiments stationed overseas

  • 3rd Infantry Foreign Regiment ( 3 ° REI ), stationed in French Guiana (South America), whose primary tasks include securing the border and the Guiana Space Center in Kourou . Instructors and soldiers in combat use tiger stripes. In 2019, units of the regiment were deployed to protect the rainforest from garimpeiros that infiltrated into French Guiana from Brazil.
    • 2nd Company (les Centurios) : The company specializes in jungle combat . The members of this unit conduct patrols on boats and on foot in the jungle. Regular command courses in Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Suriname and other countries are compulsory. You can recognize the soldiers by their shoulder badges such as B. CAZADOR, CONDOR, SELVA, TIGRE, LANCEROS.
    • 3rd Company (Legionnaires permanentes) was re-established on July 28, 2010 after 13 years of existence only on paper. It has the same tasks as the 2nd Company.
    • La Compagnie d'Eclairage et d'Appui (CEA) with the special jungle scout train, the section de reconnaissance régimentaire (SRR) , is similarly trained as the unit Commando de recherche et d'action en jungle (CRAJ) of the 9e RIMa.
  • Detachment / Department of the Mayotte Foreign Legion ( DLEM ), stationed on the island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean .
Regimental badge of the Foreign Legion
Insignes de la légion étrangère.pdf

Recruitment, Service and Supply

Soldiers of the 2 ° REI are dropped off in Afghanistan by a Cougar helicopter (2005)
A soldier of the 2 ° REI with an AT4 bazooka
Fort de Nogent served as a fortress during the Franco-Prussian War . The fort was not captured by the Germans. It was only after the surrender of France that the guns were surrendered and left to the Germans on January 26, 1871.

The selection criteria for the applicants are above average in an international comparison. The training methodology and the basic didactic approach, as with many comparable associations, aim to bring the recruits beyond their physical and mental performance limits. Care is taken to bring the troop as a whole into a team. In 2012, one of twelve applicants was accepted, which compared to previous years (1 in 8 to 1 in 10) meant that the selection process was tightened again.

The " Groupement de la Légion Etrangère " (GRLE) in Fort de Nogent in Fontenay-sous-Bois near Paris is responsible for all matters relating to recruitment . This is also where the “Center de présélection Nord” is located, one of the Legion's two pre-selection centers, where initial medical examinations and further tests take place. The second “Center de présélection Sud” is located in the Vienot district in Aubagne, where the “main selection center” CSI (Center de Sélection et d'Incorporation) is also located. The Legion still has ten recruiting offices in France (Poste d'Information de la Légion Etrangère - PILE). Under French law, fit-for-service men of any nationality between the ages of 17 and 40 can be recruited and recruited. Most of the team ranks today come from Eastern Europe and the successor states of the Soviet Union . But according to more recent information, their numbers are declining, while more and more applicants from America and Asia are pushing for the Foreign Legion.

First of all, the confirmed recruit is committed to a five-year period of service as part of an initial contract. After this commitment has expired, there is the option of extending the term in further temporary contracts over six months, three and five years.

In Germany, recruitment for the Foreign Legion is punishable under Section 109h of the Criminal Code. In addition, the service of Germans in the Foreign Legion can mean a violation of German military service if they are subject to military surveillance in Germany. To 4 July 2011, lost German citizen who served in the Foreign Legion, in accordance with § 28 Nationality Act , the German citizenship if they also French nationals were. Since July 5, 2011, the Federal Ministry of Defense has given its approval. a. for voluntary service in the Foreign Legion, without losing your German citizenship. After the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles , German citizens were also allowed to serve in the Foreign Legion (Section 179).

The Swiss Military Criminal Law of 1927 (Art. 94) forbids Swiss citizens from serving in the Legion. After the Second World War , up to 240 Swiss people were sentenced each year after their return to Switzerland. In recent years there have only been around five people a year. Since the Foreign Legion was founded, more than 60,000 Swiss have served in the Legion. Exact statistics do not exist. In Austria, according to the Citizenship Act, entry means the loss of Austrian citizenship (entry into military service in a foreign state). In the early days of the Legion, the applicant's identity was not checked or checked only superficially. Today applicants for the EVs ( Engagés Volontaires = voluntary applicants) are thoroughly safety- screened and thoroughly medically and psychologically examined for several weeks. Some of these tests are already carried out in the recruiting offices. If the prospective trainee remains in the application, he or she will be sent to Aubagne near Marseille if he or she is initially qualified for service in the Foreign Legion , where the examination of the applicants will continue. The interviewing of the candidates takes place at the DSPLE (Division Statistiques et Protection du Personnel de la Légion Étrangère) , which is also located in Aubagne. During the selection process, applicants are already used to work for the Legion.

Basically, since the end of 2010, each legionnaire has only been assigned a new identity, which is intended to protect against inquiries and requests for information, if he expressly wishes this. This so-called anonymity includes a new first and last name, new parents ' names, a new place of birth, a new date of birth, and these are also entered in the legionnaire's service card (Carte d'identité militaire) . At the latest when you leave the Foreign Legion, this false identity expires, provided the legionnaire has not become a French citizen and wishes to keep the name. In the case of a criminal past, the request is generally not granted. Many legionaries in active service apply for their real name to be used after reaching the rank of soldier de première classe (private) or after the first year of service.

period of service

The shortest commitment period in the Foreign Legion is five years. During this time, marriage is generally prohibited. A non-commissioned officer rank can be achieved; French citizenship is required to access the officer career, but 90 percent of the officers come from the French army and serve in the Legion for a certain period of time; it has a reputation for attracting the best officers in the army.

After three years of service, the Foreign Legionnaires can acquire French citizenship . In fact, the Foreign Legionnaire remains a foreigner until he has served at least the five years required in his contract. He then receives a ten-year residence permit in France. At the beginning of the service period every legionnaire is insured for life , the soldier can name any person he trusts as beneficiary. Legionaries are allowed to marry if they a) have restored their true identity (at the earliest after one year of service on request) and b) either the rank of non-commissioned officer (e.g. Sergent, Sergent-Chef, Adjudant , Adjudant-Chef ) or a higher A team rank ( Caporal-chef or Caporal ) with a minimum service period of seven years or c) have served as Légionnaire de 1ère classe (private) for at least ten years. Legionnaires who have already been married at the time of the engagement will be listed as single in the documents until they meet one of the aforementioned requirements.

French through spilled blood

Qui sait si l'inconnu qui
dort sous l'Arche immense , Mêlant sa gloire épique aux orgueils du passé,
N'est pas cet étranger devenu fils de France
Non par le sang reçu mais par le sang versé?

Who knows whether the stranger who
rests under the mighty arch of heaven is
the stranger who
mixed his honor with the conceit of the past became
a son of France.
Not through blood received, but rather through shed blood? "

- Pascal Bonetti (Offz. Legion)

La nationalité française est conférée par décret, sur proposition du ministre de la défense, à tout étranger engagé dans les armées françaises qui a été blessé en mission au cours ou à l'occasion d'un engagement opérationnel et qui en fait la demande.

"On the proposal of the Defense Minister, French nationality is granted by decree to all foreigners serving in the French armed forces who have applied for it and have been wounded in the course of or on the occasion of an operation."

- Article 21-14-1, Loi N ° 99-1141 du 29 December 1999

Foreign legionnaires can, by law, obtain French citizenship for injuries sustained in action , if the French Defense Minister so suggests.

Pension, old-age and disability benefits

After 20 years (previously 15, then 17.5 years) of service, the legionnaire receives a lifelong pension that can also be transferred abroad. In addition to the pension, the French state maintains special “ old people's homes ” for veterans , which are only accessible to legionaries. The largest facility is the Invalidenheim IILE ( Institution des Invalides de la Légion Étrangère ) of the Foreign Legion in Puyloubier in the south of France . Another large dormitory (with full board and laundry service, but without thorough medical care as in the IILE) is the Maison du Légionnaire ("House of the Legionnaire") in Auriol , about twelve kilometers north of Aubagne , which is called "Domaine du Vede" and was founded in 1934 by General Rollet . In May 2013, 59 former legionnaires between the ages of 42 and 94 lived there, with about 3/4 full capacity, with 80 places at the time. In 2015, more than 25 new living spaces (single apartments with private bathrooms) were created through new construction, but some of the oldest residential units (small rooms in an old building with shared bathrooms) were also demolished during the same period. However, even before the new buildings were built, these were only occupied in emergencies, but this could mostly be avoided due to the incomplete utilization of the domain. There are currently around 100 places to live and the occupancy rate is still 75–80%. Director of the domaine is currently the former lieutenant colonel of the Foreign Legion Zlatko Sabljic.


The French Foreign Legion uses the ranks of the French armed forces in its basic structure , but there are some deviations:

  • The rank designation for Foreign Legionnaires of the two lowest team ranks is Légionnaire de 2 ème classe and Légionnaire de 1 ère classe .
  • The rank of Caporal-chef de première classe , introduced in 1999 by the French land forces, is not used in the Foreign Legion.
  • The grade Élève sous-officier used in the French land forces for non-commissioned officers is not officially listed in the 4 ème régiment étranger in Castelnaudary (the training regiment of the Foreign Legion, in which all prospective non-commissioned officers are trained). The designation is used by the respective legionaries themselves and they are addressed with it, but the promotion of the graduates takes place directly from the Caporal or Caporal boss to the Sergent .
  • The general ranks Général de corps d'armée ( NATO rank code OF-8) and Général d'armée (OF-9) do not usually appear in the Foreign Legion. The only general in the Foreign Legion is the Commander of the Legion or COMLE (based on the COM.LE - Commandement de la Légion Etrangère - command staff of the Foreign Legion), this is a Général de brigade (OF-6), which traditionally ends of his service as commander-in-chief (usually after two years) to be promoted to Général de division (OF-7).
In some cases, however, the commanders-in-chief have held the post of COMLE for more than two years and / or are promoted to the Général de division earlier in their service as COMLE or, in rare cases, already hold this rank when they take up their duties . Commander Jean Maurin, who was in office until July 26, 2018, already held the rank of general de division when he took office on August 1, 2014 . His predecessor, Christophe de Saint Chamas, even went through three ranks of general during his time as commander-in-chief: he took command of the Legion on September 1, 2011 as Général de brigade , was promoted to Général de division on April 1, 2013 and shortly before the At the end of his tenure as COMLE, appointed Général de corps d'armée on July 31, 2014 .
  • In the only armored unit of the Foreign Legion, the 1 er régiment étranger de cavalerie (1 er REC), the ranks and badges of the armed forces arm blindée et cavalerie (armored forces of the French army) are traditionally used, to which the 1 er REC also belongs . That means that all badges (Barettabzeichen, siebenflammige grenade as well as the borders of the Kepi noir at NCOs and officers) and components of the insignia (angle bar), which with the other regiments (infantry) are designed in Gold, are the 1 he REC in Silver laid out and vice versa.
An adjudant of an infantry regiment, for example, wears a silver bar as a rank badge , which is divided in the middle by a thin red stripe; in the cavalry, this badge corresponds to the rank of chief adjudicator . You can differentiate between the two u. a. by the color of the seven-flame grenade on the rank badge. In the case of the adjudant of the infantry it is gold-colored, in the case of the chief adjudicator of the cavalry it is silver-colored.
In addition, the 1 er REC also uses different names than infantry for some ranks. In contrast to the infantry, the caporal or caporal chief is referred to as a brigadier or brigadier chief and the sergent or sergent chief as marechal de logis or marechal de logis chief .


The Foreign Legion uses the same weapons as the French army; Special forces may also use other models. These include the FAMAS 5.56 mm assault rifle - which has been replaced by the German HK416 F since 2017 ; the 13e DBLE is the first regiment to be equipped with the HK416F, the FN Minimi machine gun , model 1952 lMG ( 7.62 × 51 mm NATO ), mortar, M 621 automatic cannon , light anti-tank weapon LRAC F1, light surface-to-surface anti-tank guided weapon MILAN and the HOT anti-tank missile system .

On the ground, your mobility is ensured by vehicles of the types VAB , FL 501, VLTT P4 , Hotchkiss and AMX-10 .

Fama's F1 and G2 in comparison
Sagem Defense Sword T&D during an exercise.
  • Submachine guns & PDWs
    • HK MP5 , different versions (9 × 19 mm) (SD as well as A3-A4)
    • IMI Uzi , 9 mm Parabellum (Mini / Normal Uzi with silencer)
  • Assault rifles
    • GIAT MAS FAMAS F1 ( 5.56 × 45 mm NATO ), in phase out from 2017
    • GIAT MAS FAMAS G2 (5.56 × 45 mm NATO), in phase out from 2017
    • HK A G36 K Export (5.56 × 45 mm NATO) only GCP, Dinops, GRH
    • HK G36 K Export (5.56 × 45 mm NATO) only GCP, Dinops, GRH
    • HK G36c Export (5.56 × 45 mm NATO) only GCP, Dinops, GRH
    • clear magazine
    • HK HK416 F has been gradually replacing FAMAS F1 and G2 since 2017
  • Reflex optics, optics and laser pointers, partly self-procured.
    • Trijicon ACOG AA-52
    • EOTech
    • Leopold Mark IV MIII M1
    • Aimpoint CompM2
    • Hensoldt as part of the G36 (GCP, GRH and Dinops)
    • Scrome J4
    • PIRATE (IR laser)
    • APX L806 (Sniper FR F2)
    • Scrome J8 (Sniper FR F2)
    • Scrome J10 (Elite PGM HE II)
  • Night vision devices
    • Thales Angénieux Lucie "OB70" (IR)
    • Thales Angénieux Moni (GCP only)
    • Thales Angénieux (H) UGO "OB64" (IR, partly with HUD)
    • Sagem Clara (IR)
    • Thales Angénieux Sophie "OB72" (thermal)
    • MIRABEL for ERYX system (thermal)
    • MIRA for system MILAN (thermal)
    • Sagem Defense Sword T&D (thermal) as part of the Felin program
    • Sagem SWORD Sniper (thermal) as part of the Felin program
    • Thales Angénieux MINIE-D (IR with HUD) as part of the Felin program
  • Shotguns
    • various types from Mossberg and Remington
  • Protective vests and helmets
    • Seyntex Body armor France
    • Eagle Industries CIRAS Combat Integrated Releasable Armor System
    • F1 helmet
    • MSA Gallet TC F Version 2 (Spectra)
    • MSA Gallet TC 3001 (GCP)
    • Gueneau Casque Para EL50 (GCP or Chuteur OPS)


Parade in Rome, June 2, 2007
Monument aux morts
Danjou's prosthetic hand

The unmistakable identification mark of the Foreign Legionnaires is the white kepi ( Képi blanc ), which is only worn by team ranks ( Légionnaire de 2 ème classe, Légionnaire de 1 ère classe, Caporal and Caporal-Chef ). The beret color in the Legion is green ( Béret vert ) and the beret badge ( Insigne de béret ) is worn on the right, as is almost the case in the entire French army. The Legion's coat of arms is a seven-flame grenade that goes back to the immediate predecessor regiment, the Hohenlohe regiment . The colors of the Legion are green and red. (Green symbolizes the land, red the blood. If a unit of the Legion is in combat, the triangular pennant of the Legion is hung up there with the red color: "Blood on the land" ).

Only men can apply for the Foreign Legion. Susan Travers is the only woman who has ever officially served the Foreign Legion.

The Legion's motto is: Legio Patria Nostra (The Legion is our fatherland).

An object of identification of the Foreign Legion is the song Le Boudin , which, if there is no march during this time, is always sung in “Have a look!”.

The typical step of the legionnaires when marching is also unmistakable. While the other army units march at 110 steps per minute, the Legion only takes 88 steps per minute. This is due to the fact that in the African operational areas you often had to march through sandy areas, which is very exhausting at a fast marching speed. On the French national holiday , July 14th, the Foreign Legion is always one of the most applauded units. In a slow march, the Legion always parades at the end of the foot troops across the Champs-Élysées , led by the Legion's music formation ( Musique de la Légion étrangère ) and the bearded pioneers, who in their traditional parade uniform (leather apron, white gloves and shoelaces) and with Pulling an ax on his shoulder past the gallery.

The Legion's biggest feast day is April 30th, when all units of the Legion annually commemorate the battle for Camerone , which took place on April 30th, 1863 in a Mexican hacienda . There, three officers and 62 legionaries were able to hold their own against 2000 Mexican soldiers for a day . The last six legionnaires who were still able to fight ( Sous-Lieutenant Maudet, Caporal Maine, the legionnaires Catteau, Wensel, Constantin and Leonhard) finally fought on without ammunition and only with the bayonet attached. The last two legionaries under the command of Caporal Maine surrendered only on condition that they could keep their weapons and look after their fallen comrades. In the Foreign Legion, Camerone is a symbol of the fight to the last cartridge and, if need be, to the last man, to fulfill a given word and received orders.

The Legion has two cherished memorabilia: The Legionnaires Monument ( Monument aux morts ) in the headquarters of the Foreign Legion in Aubagne, southern France, which was transferred to France in 1962 with the end of the Algerian War and the associated withdrawal of the Legion from Sidi bel Abbès (Algeria) and the wooden hand prosthesis of Capitaine Danjou, who died in Camerone . It is carried in Aubagne every year on April 30th as part of a solemn ceremony in memory of the Battle of Camerone in 1863 by a specially selected former Foreign Legionnaire to the legionnaires memorial on the parade ground.


The official museum of the Légion Étrangère is located on the Côte d'Azur in Aubagne . According to its own statement, the aim of the exhibition is to present “myth and reality” of the Légion Étrangère.


Last greeting from former comrades of Dien Bien Phu for a deceased Foreign Legionnaire (Kamen, municipal cemetery)

Even if the proportion of Germans in the Foreign Legion is currently only two to three percent, there are several comradeships of former Foreign Legionnaires (Amicale des Anciens de la Légion étrangère) in Germany, most of which consist of legionnaires who served in Indochina and Algeria to have. They meet regularly in their own club halls and maintain the legion's traditions. Trips to various celebrations in France are also organized.

Most of the Amicales can be joined by people who have not served in the Legion. These sympathizers, however, have no voting rights in board elections. Deserters or foreign legionaries who have been dishonorably discharged will not be accepted. For this purpose, every new member (if it is a former legionnaire) is checked via the umbrella organization Fédération des Sociétés d'Anciens de la Légion Étrangère . The currently largest comradeships are the Amicalen Mannheim , Dresden , Hanover , Dortmund , Frankfurt and Kassel .

Abbreviations of the Legion

Meaning of the abbreviations
abbreviation French name German translation
COMLE Commandement de la Légion étrangère Foreign Legion High Command
RE Regiment étranger Foreign Regiment
REC Régiment étranger de cavalerie Foreign cavalry regiment
REG Régiment étranger de génie Pioneer Foreign Regiment
REI Regiment étranger d'infanterie Foreign infantry regiment
REP Régiment étranger de parachutistes Paratrooper Foreign Regiment
GPCG Groupe de Plongeurs de Combat du Génie all mountain swimmers (divers) and combat swimmers (divers) intervention departments of the land forces of the French army
PAT Plongeurs de l'armée de terre Combat swimmers (divers) of the 2 ° REG, who have now been combined into a group, is called GPCG
DINOPS Détachement d'intervention opérationnelle subaquatique Combat swimmer (diver) intervention department of the 1 ° REG, which is now also called GPCG
SRIO Section de renseignement et d'intervention offensive The 2 ° REG has GPCG and GCM2 in a Section divided
NEDEX Neutralization, enlèvement et destruction des explosifs Neutralization, disposal and destruction of explosives
GRIN Regional intervention group NEDEX Regional reaction group for the neutralization, disposal and destruction of explosives
GCM2 Groupe commando montagne du 2 ° REG Mountain command group of the 2 ° REG
GRH2 Le Groupe recherche humaine du 2 ° REG Mountain command group of 2 ° REG, which is now called GCM2
CIE Company company
STE Section de tireurs d'élite Sniper platoon
GCP Groupement des commandos parachutistes Paratrooper command group
CDC Chef de Corps Regimental commander, usually Colonel (Colonel), rarely Lieutenant-Colonel (Lieutenant Colonel)
CDU Commandant de Unitè Company commander, usually Capitaine (captain)
CDS Chef de Section Platoon leader, usually lieutenant, sous-lieutenant or adjudant (first lieutenant, lieutenant or sergeant major), rarely sergent chief (sergeant or sergeant major) with CM 2nd degree = Certificat Militaire du 2 ° (with passed platoon leader course - after obtaining the license Militaire Professionnel du 2 ° (BMP 2nd degree) - promotion to adjudicant is possible)
SEAD Section d'aide à l'engagement débarqué Reconnaissance and security platoon, which is able to take smaller enemy posts / positions in a flash and to secure them until further forces move in. One SAED is assigned to, for example: the Compagnie de Commandement et de Soutien -CCS- of the 3rd REI, and the Compagnie d * appui -CA- of the 2nd REI

Cinematic reception

Television documentaries

  • In the service of others. German legionaries in the Indochina War , TV-D 2004, director: Marc Eberle (director) , length 55 min.
  • Ex-Foreign Legionnaires in the GDR. From the jungle war to the prefabricated building , TV-D 2007, director: Katja Herr, length 45 min.
  • ZDFHistory. The Myth of the Foreign Legion - Germans in France's service , TV-D 2008
  • Foreign Legion - The toughest elite force in the world , TV-D 2018

See also


German speaking

  • Werner A. Abendschön: 1825 days - With the Foreign Legion on two continents Epee Edition, Kehl am Rhein 2013, ISBN 978-3-943288-02-5 .
  • Paul Bonnecarrère: France's foreign sons Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart, 1987, ISBN 3-613-01144-1 .
  • Douglas Boyd: The French Foreign Legion Translated from the English by Jürgen Rohweder. E. S. Mittler & Sohn, Hamburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-8132-0873-3 .
  • Thomas Gast: The Legion - With the 2nd e Rep in the trouble spots of this earth Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 2010, ISBN 978-3-613-03154-8 .
  • Thomas Gast: Guyana - Fascination Foreign Legion Epee Edition, Kehl am Rhein 2013, ISBN 978-3-943288-19-3 .
  • Peter Hornung: The Legion - Europe's last mercenaries Meyster-Verlag, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-8131-8123-5 .
  • David Jordan: The history of the French Foreign Legion from 1831 to the present day Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-7276-7157-2 .
  • Terry Kajuko: Dien Bien Phu - The Paratroopers of the Foreign Legion in Indochina. Epee Edition, Kehl am Rhein 2014, ISBN 978-3-943288-26-1 .
  • Yers Keller: The paratroopers of the Foreign Legion Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-613-01902-7 .
  • Christian Koller : The Foreign Legion. Colonialism, mercenaries, violence 1831–1962 Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2013, ISBN 978-3-506-77563-4 .
  • Gerhard Kümmel : From the majority to the minority: Germans in the French Foreign Legion In: Ders. (Ed.): The troops are becoming more colorful: armed forces and minorities (= military and social sciences . Vol. 47). Nomos, Baden-Baden 2012, ISBN 978-3-8329-7802-0 , pp. 73-82.
  • Peter Macdonald: Foreign Legion - Training, Armament, Use Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-613-01518-8 .
  • Eckard Michels : Germans in the Foreign Legion 1870-1965, Myths and Realities Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2000, ISBN 3-506-74471-2 .
  • Stefan Müller: Myth of the Foreign Legion - My work in the toughest army in the world Econ Verlag, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-430-20191-9 .
  • Gerhard Neuenhoff: German Students and Foreign Legionaries 1831 to 1835 Einst und Jetzt , Vol. 30 (1985), pp. 47-67.
  • Hélie de Saint Marc: The Guardians of the Evening Edition Atlantis, Friedberg / Bay. 2000, ISBN 3-932711-51-3 .
  • Martin Specht: Today it might hit you Ch. Links Verlag, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-86153-760-1 .
  • Walter Widmer: In the Hell of the Foreign Legion - factual report Verl. Baumann-Druck, Schöftland 1955.
  • Heinrich Pleticha, Siegfried Augustin: Lexicon of adventure and travel literature from Africa to Winnetou. Edition Erdmann in K. Thienemanns Verlag, Stuttgart, Vienna, Bern 1999, ISBN 3-522-60002-9 .

Foreign language literature

  • Daniel Berger, Christian Portal: Mission profonde en Guyane avec la Légion Etrangère Edition Grancher, Paris 1984.
  • Paul Bonnecarrère: Par le sang versé Editions livre de poche, Paris 1972, ISBN 2-253-00683-1 .
  • Pierre Dufour: La Légion en Algérie Editions Lavauzelle, Panazol 2002, ISBN 2-7025-0613-5 .
  • Pierre Dufour: La Légion étrangère 1939–1945 Heimdal, Bayeux 2000, ISBN 2-84048-130-8 .
  • Pierre Dufour: La Légion étrangère en Indochine 1945–1955 Lavauzelle, Paris 2001, ISBN 2-7025-0483-3 .
  • Dominique Farale: Mystérieuse Légion Etrangère de 1831 à nos jours DIE, Paris 2005, ISBN 2-914295-16-2 .
  • Étienne de Montety: Des hommes irréguliers Perrin, Paris 2006, ISBN 2-262-02423-5 (biography).
  • Douglas Porch: The French Foreign Legion. A Complete History HarperCollins, London / New York 1991, ISBN 0-333-43427-7 .
  • Zbigniew Truszczyński: Afrykańskie wędrówki z Legią Cudzoziemską Bellona, ​​Warszawa 2002, ISBN 83-11-09386-5 .
  • Henri Weill: Légionnaires Pascal Galodé éditeurs, Paris 2011, ISBN 978-2-35593-122-2 .

Web links

Commons : Foreign Legion  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Foreign Legion  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. See German recruiting website, accessed on August 7, 2015.
  2. Bernd Ziegeldorf: The Foreign Legion today. In: LaLegion - information on the French Foreign Legion. Retrieved July 10, 2019 .
  3. Legion Etrangere: Plaquette de présentation Légion étrangère 2019 . Ed .: Division Rayonnement et Patrimoine de la Legion Etrangere. 2019, p. 3 .
  4. Porch S. XV
  5. www.peter-eggenberger.ch/fremdenlegion.php , accessed on December 2, 2008.
  6. Porch, p. 507 ff.
  7. Birgit Amrehn: Germans in the Foreign Legion. (No longer available online.) Planet-wissen.de, November 25, 2004, archived from the original on February 16, 2008 ; Retrieved September 28, 2013 .
  8. history.zdf.de
  9. a b Mercenaries under the African sun . someday
  10. SS under the tricolor. Cannon fodder for Indochina . In: Der Spiegel . No. 2 , 1948 ( online ).
  11. a b kriegsreisen.de
  12. Porch, p. 171.
  13. Eckard Michels: Germans in the Foreign Legion. P. 12.
  14. Eckard Michels: Germans in the Foreign Legion. P. 230.
  15. Eckard Michels: Germans in the Foreign Legion. P. 14.
  16. ^ Johann Althaus: Foreign Legion: This is how the toughest elite troop in the world is created . In: THE WORLD . January 24, 2018 ( welt.de [accessed April 5, 2018]).
  17. boc.sga.defense.gouv.fr (PDF; 357 kB)
  18. legion-etrangere-munch.com
  19. marianne2.fr ( Memento of November 28, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  20. since 2015
  21. 3rd Régiment étranger d'infanterie , accessed on October 7, 2019.
  22. La tropa de élite que protege de la minería ilegal la Guayana Francesa, el país más boscoso del mundo , BBC, May 28, 2019 (Spanish), accessed October 7, 2019.
  23. a b forum-insignes-medailles.net ( memento of the original from December 18, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.forum-insignes-medailles.net
  24. 3rei.legion-etrangere.com ( Memento from January 22, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  25. If accepted, sign an initial five-year contract with the Foreign Legion. Later there is the possibility to sign further contracts of six months to three or five years. at legion-recrute.com ( memento of July 4, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (accessed July 23, 2008).
  26. Citizenship Act § 28 ( Memento from April 26, 2018 in the Internet Archive )
  27. Federal Gazette of July 5, 2011 ( Memento of November 17, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 84 kB)
  28. ^ Documentarchiv.de Peace Treaty of Versailles of June 28, 1919.
  29. SR 321.0 Military Criminal Law, Art. 94
  30. Foreign Legion - Recruiting: Questions (FAQ). ( Memento of December 16, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) at: legion-recrute.com .
  31. Lt. Website of the Foreign Legion this is possible after three years of service.
  32. Porch, p. 632.
  33. www.lalegion.de ( Memento from February 23, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) - 4ème régiment étranger.
  34. www.lalegion.de ( Memento of October 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) - Commandement de la Légion Etrangère.
  35. www.lalegion.de ( Memento from October 19, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) - Commandement de la Legion Etrangere.
  36. www.waffenhq.de - Section “Weapons and Equipment”.
  37. ↑ Major order from France. Heckler & Koch provides the future French assault rifle. Heckler & Koch, September 28, 2016, accessed April 7, 2017 .
  38. 4re.legion-etrangere.com t ( Memento from October 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  39. ^ Manufacture d'armes de Bayonne in the English language Wikipedia.
  40. wordiq.com
  41. a b nexter-group.fr ( Memento from November 5, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  42. a b img130.imageshack.us
  43. a b img18.imageshack.us
  44. i602.photobucket.com ( Memento from January 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  45. trijicon.com
  46. img411.imageshack.us
  47. i139.photobucket.com ( Memento from September 22, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  48. i44.tinypic.com
  49. realitymod.com
  50. defense.gouv.fr
  51. a b aptc.superforum.fr
  52. scrome.com ( Memento from May 1, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  53. youtube.com
  54. Welt der Wunder, Issue 1
  55. a b sagem-ds.com
  56. pleasantieux.com
  57. farm5.static.flickr.com ("This photo is no longer available") Status: October 2nd, 2015.
  58. Osteophone Headset OH-295 for FELIN deutsche-elno.de
  59. seyntex.be ( Memento from January 30, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  60. eagleindustries.com
  61. z750.org
  62. msa-gallet.fr
  63. Some.inetgiant.fr ( Memento from September 19, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  64. trancheemilitaire.com ( Memento of December 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  65. Le Boudin
  66. Horaires. Légion étrangère, accessed on July 14, 2017 (French).
  67. Musée de la Légion Étrangère - Musée du Légionnaire. Museum of the Légion Étrangère, accessed on July 14, 2017 (French).
  68. a b c d e 2reg.legion-etrangere.com ( Memento from October 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  69. a b c 1reg.legion-etrangere.com ( Memento of March 8, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  70. special units.net
  71. commandohubert.free.fr
  72. a b c chants.militaires.free.fr
  73. Bernd Ziegeldorf: The Foreign Legion - 2nd Régiment Etranger d'Infanterie. In: LaLegion - information about the French Foreign Legion. LaLegion.info, accessed on May 9, 2019 (German).
  74. Bernd Ziegeldorf: The Foreign Legion - 3 ° Régiment Etranger d'Infanterie. In: LaLegion - information about the French Foreign Legion. LaLegion.info, accessed on May 9, 2019 (German).

Coordinates: 43 ° 17 ′ 33 ″  N , 5 ° 33 ′ 12 ″  E