Thu, 19 April 2007
The French Foreign Legion was founded in 1831 as France's non-citizen military. Over the years, it consisted of many refugees, colonial citizens, and people trying to start a new life. The training is hard and only one in seven applicants makes it. After they complete their tour of duty, a Legionnaire may receive a 10-year residential permit and French citizenship.
The Legion's most famous military action was in the Battle of Camaron in the Maximilian Affair in Mexico in 1863. 62 Legionnaires were defending a convoy when they were attacked by 2,000 Mexican troops. The Legion fended off wave after wave until they eventually ran out of ammo. At this point, they charged with their bayonets. Their heroic actions saved the convoy. Since then, the French Foreign Legion has served with honor and distinction in many major world conflicts including the Franco-Prussian War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam War, and Desert Storm.
For more information, read:
Galenet: French Foreign Legion
Military History Magazine (September 2005): Intrigue
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