An intresting thread.
French WW2 and postwar history is intresting but very confusing in parts, there is a lot of
research needed to get to grips with it all.
Especially WW2 when French were fighting on opposite sides, a lot of it was "blacked out"
by the press especially when the Allies entered Syria in 41, an intresting "impasse" was the
confrontation of "Free French" Legionnaires from the 3rd REI (later bcame the 13TH Demi-
Brigade) and the 6th Regiment who were fighting on the Vichy side.
Apparantly the British let the French sort it out between themselves ending with most being
given the opportunity to "change sides", most of these men later fought at "Bir Hacheim" in 42.
As for the Post war especially in "Indo-China" the French were in no mood to be trifled with
and were still smarting over events in WW2, the stories of Waffen-SS serving with the Legion
were mostly exaggerated, there were German troops but mostly from the Wehrmacht or from
French speaking countries being given the chance to redeem themselves, an intresting "semi-
Autobiography called "The Forgotten Soldier" by Guy Sajer tells the story of an Alsation/
German who had joined the "Gross Deutchland" then when the War was over was "made" to
enlist with the French.
As for Algieria there was no "betrayal" as such which also seems to be exagerrated, it basicaly
stems from the fact that the French decided to hand over the Algerians their Independance in
1961/62 and a lot of Legionnaires rejected this idea.
There was a short lived mutiny which involved some Officers and men from the 1st BEP which
distingiuished itself in "Dien Bien Phu" in Indo-China but was later disbanded because of this
episode. The mutineers tried to involve the 2nd REP who "flirted" with the mutiny but for the
most part distanced themselves from it but some highly decorated Officers were imprisoned.
During the end a Para-Military group were formed called the "OAS" which apparantly had some
Ex Legionnaires involved as well as others but most of these when caught were executed by
One firing squad/courtmartial incident involving an ex Legionnaire/OAS member ironically
shouted out "Vive La France" just before he was shot.
Good hunting Peiper.