Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/21/2002 9:31:10 PM EST
They are pretty interesting, went to the websites. Curious if any ex-legionnares are on the site, or anybody knows anything else. James
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 9:41:34 PM EST
Just that they were the guys stuck defending Dien Bien Phu (France's last hold on Vietnam, happened before the US got a serious presence there). Ended up in an Alamo-style confrontation, because the French command underestimated the VC's ability to move artillery and AA weapons up mountainsides (and because the French put their base in a valley). Only difference was that IIRC they were allowed to surrender and leave (unlike the Alamo, where everyone died). Read about it in a military history book I've got around here somewhere.
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 9:48:55 PM EST
The FFL is in my opinion one of the most fascinating subject i have ever studied. did a full 25 page report (in french 8D), and they have so much history and honor... they're kind of have historically a bad rep... basically, they were france's military workhorse since their creation in the 1830's, if im not mistaken... they've been in mexico, upper s. america, t'chad (or chad), middle east... and ofcourse dien bien phu... which was such a sad but noteable and honorable event. Im glad you took interest in essentially the world's largest mercenary force... and by the way... they actually love american recruits :) P.S. the webpages have excellent stories, pictures, and even basic walk throughs about how training camp is, all very useful and interesting ~SantiJS
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 9:50:01 PM EST
I know a lot about them from about a year of reading books, internet research, talking to ex-legionaires and people who know them. If you have any specific questions, fire away.
Link Posted: 7/21/2002 10:38:24 PM EST
Very interesting organization. The only major drawback that I see is well,...the French thing. EEEWWWWWWWWW! [:(]
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 2:55:21 AM EST
I'm not interested in anything with the word "French" in it....other than French fries.
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 3:48:16 AM EST
Originally Posted By M4: I'm not interested in anything with the word "French" in it....other than French fries.
View Quote
Come on now, M4...What about French Bread, French Toast, French Kisses or French Dressing?
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 3:51:09 AM EST
french undressing...
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 3:53:28 AM EST
The only thing I know about the French FL is that if you were a felon or were running from the law, etc... the Legion was a way to disappear.
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 4:03:53 AM EST
There was a show on the History Channel, TLC or something like that a couple of months ago. From what I understand (and remember) they are a private army, and not part of the French Government/Army. They actually have the option of refusal in supporting Government activities. When someone joins, they still change the persons name, and after 20 years when the person retires, they have the option of taking up their old name and returning to society, or they can keep their FFL assigned name and retire in a vineyard/town that the FFL owns specifically for retirees. I don't think the reference to them being 'French' is applicable to them. Many are French, but they accept almost any nationality for service. Their actions in Dien Bien Phu proved proved (again) their status as honorable warriors, and they sure didn't drop their weapons and surrender!
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 4:17:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By neilfj: for service. Their actions in Dien Bien Phu proved proved (again) their status as honorable warriors, and they sure didn't drop their weapons and surrender!
View Quote
Timeline! This was shortly after World War 2, when much of the Legion Etrangere consisted of former SS and Hilfstruppen (former non-German SS volunteers)
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 4:28:42 AM EST
If I'm not mistaken, the FFL was implicated in a murder plot to assasinate the president of France(a few decades ago). So, you can see they really aren't a French controlled entity.
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 8:35:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/22/2002 8:36:25 AM EST by raven]
Originally Posted By gunman0: If I'm not mistaken, the FFL was implicated in a murder plot to assasinate the president of France(a few decades ago). So, you can see they really aren't a French controlled entity.
View Quote
That was a complicated and bad time for the Legion. It was also the climax of a longstanding grudge match between the Legion and Charles de Gaulle. During WWII, I think only one or two regiments were part of the Free French forces under the leadership of de Gaulle, the rest were aligned with Vichy France. I think opposing Legion elements actually fought against each other in Syria during WWII. I know for sure Free Legion forces landed in Norway to fight the German occupiers. De Gaulle really hated the Legion after WWII for not supporting him. He was an outspoken critic of them and called for their abolition for the rest of his career. Anyway, de Gaulle came to power during the Algerian war for independence. France actually considered Algeria as much a part of France as Normandy, Alsace, etc. Communists and far leftists called for Algerian independence, but de Gaulle vowed never to abandon it. Then, he turned around and surrendered Algeria to the rebels in 1963. Now this was a very bitter thing for the Legion. They felt they had lost Vietnam due to political indifference back in France, and wanted to redeem themselves in Algeria. Not only that, but Algeria's defense was the Legion's #1 mission, not to mention home base. When their chief political enemy stabbed them in the back, there was another schism in Legion loyalties, like back in WWII. There was an actual rebellion, with the commander of the 1ere parachute regiment pledging allegiance to the Legion first, not France. The rebellion was put down and that unit dissolved, but disaffected Legionaires who now had no home plotted to kill de Gaulle in revenge. That's the basis of the movie "Day of the Jackal". After that, the Legion became sort of the red-headed stepchild of the French Army. But it was revived in the early 70's when its new mission as a rapid deployment force was outlined. It is part of the French Army, and very much under French control.
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 8:44:09 AM EST
Well...after careful thought...(2 seconds worth) I've decided to stick with my normal thoughts. If it has anything to do with the French I say, FUCK THE FRENCH !!
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 9:18:20 AM EST
I read that it is not as easy to get into as it used to be; they are looking for people who already have experience.
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 9:28:21 AM EST
I once saw a black and white documentary film on two Americans who joined the French Foreign Legion. I think their names were Abbott and Costello. [:o)]
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 9:36:17 AM EST
Originally Posted By imposter: I read that it is not as easy to get into as it used to be; they are looking for people who already have experience.
View Quote
Prior military experience doesn't hurt, but they have no problem taking in untrained men, especially if they're fit and young. They can train you the Legion way, without any previous conditioning. It's harder to get in because of shrinking European militaries, not because they're looking for experience. There's something like 8000 legionaires, and they need maybe 1000 recruits a year, but get about 10,000 applicants. I read that maybe 5 Americans a year volunteer. A French passport isn't that alluring to Americans, I guess.
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 9:45:27 AM EST
Actually, with respect to criminals getting in, it is quite the contrary now. They are in direct constant with authorities and INTERPOL when it comes to recruits. As well, like Neilfj said, they are anything but french. although they ARE an extension of the french army (it is their pledge to defend France and her interests at all costs), they mainly tend to be a peace keeping force now... example, they played a moderate role during the Gulf War. They were also in Kosovo, and always in Africa. Basically, if you want to learn french, have a family, have different traditions, and travel the world (ALL OVER THE WORLD), then definitely check out the French Foreign legion. P.S. in no way am i suggesting joining the FFL over the US Armed Forces, because hey, we are the greatest nation in the world [beer]
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 9:52:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/22/2002 9:55:28 AM EST by quietshoez]
the convict thing is a thing of the past, now you have to go through a background check. and they DO love american recruits for some reason, you don't even have to speak french to join, (but you better damned well understand it before you leave training) (edited to add that i worked with some legionnaires formerly from algeria and morocco, and those guys were WEIRD!)
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 9:56:15 AM EST
Doesn't joining a foreign military force negate your US citizenship?
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 10:17:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/22/2002 10:19:20 AM EST by raven]
Originally Posted By Muad_Dib: Doesn't joining a foreign military force negate your US citizenship?
View Quote
Nope. And if for some reason France went to war against the US, they'd give you the option not to fight your countrymen. They still take people with shady backgrounds, if that turns up in your INTERPOL check. Serious crimes like murder, armed robbery, rape, disqualify you but things like theft or assault don't.
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 10:59:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By raven: They still take people with shady backgrounds, if that turns up in your INTERPOL check. Serious crimes like murder, armed robbery, rape, disqualify you but things like theft or assault don't.
View Quote
Theft and assault make you shady? Uhh ohh...
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 11:15:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By quietshoez: [b]and they DO love american recruits for some reason,
View Quote
Seriously? Anyone know why that is?
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 11:34:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/22/2002 11:43:51 AM EST by raven]
Originally Posted By cgwahl:
Originally Posted By quietshoez: [b]and they DO love american recruits for some reason,
View Quote
Seriously? Anyone know why that is?
View Quote
Because if you're from the US, you probably didn't join the Foreign Legion because you're desperate, running from problems, or just in it for meals, paycheck, and French citizenship...which is the motivation of a lot of 3rd world and Eastern European volunteers. You probably joined for adventure, or because you're a professional soldier who got booted out of the American service for one reason or another, or you just like military life and can't live like a civilian. Plus, there are so few Americans in the Legion, kind of a novelty. They like Japanese volunteers for the same reason. Japan's a really pacifist country, so Japanese guys who are into the military and want to see action, want to be deployed into combat zones, know that the Legion will more likely be in those situations than the Japanese army.
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 11:37:35 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 12:11:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By eswanson:
Originally Posted By cgwahl:
Originally Posted By quietshoez: [b]and they DO love american recruits for some reason,
View Quote
Seriously? Anyone know why that is?
View Quote
Because Abott and Costello worked out so well for them.
View Quote
LOL
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 12:17:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/22/2002 12:22:26 PM EST by Aimless]
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 1:11:23 PM EST
There is nothing wrong with French Maids either!
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 1:26:42 PM EST
Originally Posted By FatMan:
Originally Posted By M4: I'm not interested in anything with the word "French" in it....other than French fries.
View Quote
Come on now, M4...What about French Bread, French Toast, French Kisses or French Dressing?
View Quote
Ok....I can go with all those....but leave out the French dressing.
Link Posted: 7/22/2002 2:35:39 PM EST
Legionnaires are forbidden to marry during their first enlistment period.
Top Top