Hodgepodge for March 2015

I’m back from my little break.  Here are some of the Foreign Legion related items I’ve collected up for the month of March.

LegionDisk1.  Traditions of the French Foreign Legion.  I found two articles on the Foreign Legion at the “expatnation” website.  The first one is a run down of the Legion’s traditions and customs.  The other article is more or less simple facts about the Foreign Legion entitled Things You Don’t Know About the Foreign Legion.  Nothing new here but I also found some other interesting articles at the web site written by folks living in France.

2.  Still Serving Legionnaire; will-answer-any-questions!  The forum at the Close Protection World website has a long running discussion thread where “Adam” from the U.K. answers questions about the modern Foreign Legion.  Lots of great information about preparations for joining, what to expect if you are accepted and also plenty of myths and misconceptions cleared up.  Adam was in the 2REG (Engineers) back when this thread started in 2010.  Several other legionnaires also chimed in on topics as well before posting petered out in mid-2014.  (You do have to register to see all the pages.  If you are not really interested in the current Foreign Legion this may not interest you.)

IndoChinaLegion3. Germans in the French Foreign Legion (First Indochina War).  Here are two amazing videos that explore the post-WWII surge of German nationals (almost all were ex-soldiers of the smashed Third Reich) that flooded the Foreign Legion with needed recruits just when France needed them most to hold on to their colonies in Indochina and North Africa.  Each runs about 30 minutes and are loaded with newsreel footage and interviews of elderly former Legionnaires who clearly relish recounting their experiences.  The videos also explore the amazing fact that hundreds of German legionnaires who deserted the Legion in Indo-China actually wound up serving with the Viet Minh against their former comrades.  Video 1.  Video 2.

4.  Thomas Gast.  Here is “Ecriture“, a very well done website run by Thomas Gast a former member of the 2REP from Germany.  Mostly in German but with lots of photographs and excellent leads on books.

Mounted-FFL

 5.  Unfeasibly Miniatures.  This company is producing a fine line of 28mm Foreign Legion miniatures at a phenomenal rate.  Their latest is a couple of mounted legionnaires with mules.  Really nice items here.  It looks like they are also working on an artillery crew for an 80mm mountain gun–check out their facebook page.

 

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Legion Pulp: Three Mad Sergeants

3 Mad SergeantsThis short story is from the February 1939 issue of Adventure and is written by Georges Surdez.  Forty-two men are assigned to the “special section” garrisoned in the Ras-el-Khaloua Blockhouse located on the sun blasted, south facing hills of the Middle Atlas.  For six months the privates will be at the mercy three notorious Sergeants and over time they WILL adapt to the discipline of the Legion.

Another fine work from Surdez that is full of small but colorful details of life in the Foreign Legion as well as his usual finely crafted and memorable characters.

Three Mad Sergeants

Admin Note:  I’m going to take another short two week break from posting here as I have several pressing appointments, trips and issues to take care of.  I also need to do some work finishing up several future posts that have been on hold for way too long.  Looking ahead my next post will be at the end of the month and on April 1st, a 15 April pulp fiction story and Camerone Day is coming up on 30 April.  The Windy City Pulp Convention on the 17th of April as well and I plan to attend if possible.  Thanks for visiting.

Updated 22 March–uploaded new .pdf with missing page “48”.

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Hodgepodge February 2015

Sorry for the delay on this post.  I went to Canada again for several days and just got back. Why anyone travels to Canada during the winter escapes me but I was happy that it was actually warmer than my home state of Wisconsin.  Now that I’m back at the keyboard here is what I found over the past month….(relating to the Foreign Legion of course).

1.  Run Away with the Foreign Legion.  Here is a short article written in a humorous vein about getting away from it all and joining the Legion.  Mostly history and some nice pictures.

2. The French Foreign Legion Celebrates the Battle of Camarón This video is a very nice compilation of newsreel footage covering various celebrations of the Battle of Camarón.  I noted that it featured 1940 deployment footage of the Foreign Legion to the continent as well as Fête de Camarón films from 1931 (the Legion’s Centennial celebration), 1933, 1946, 1947, 1956, and 1957.  It has also been translated into English by the video poster Nettempereur.

3.  Thibaut Corday of the Foreign Legion Audiobook.  I found this product to be a pleasant surprise.  It’s an audiobook version of the Altus Press collection of Theodore Roscoe’s tales of Thibaut Corday.  There is a sample here.  The stories contained in this 5 CD volume #1 include:

Better Than Bullets
The Dance of the Seven Veils
An Eye for an Eye
The Death Watch
Prologue
Chapter 1: The Little Yankee
Chapter 2: The Flower of France
Chapter 3: Into Hell!
Chapter 4: To the Rescue!
Chapter 5: The Death Watch!
Epilogue
The Men Who Make The Argosy – Theodore Roscoe

4.  Unknown Donation of Foreign Legion Militaria.  This short article was intriguing….it seems somebody anonymously donated a decent collection of Foreign Legion items to the Proserpine Historical Museum of Proserpine, Queensland, Australia.   I suppose it might have come from a former Australian Legionnaire or his family but who knows?  They would love to know more about it.

5. Brigadier Tony Hunter-Choat.  I belatedly came across this item about the passing of former Legionnaire Hunter-Choat in 2012.  There are several more articles on the net about his amazing military career — just search for his name.   His service in the Legion bears many similarities to that of Dutch Legionnaire Peter Reeves who’s memoir is captured in the book Legion of Outcasts.  After the 1961 Algiers Putsch, many serving in the Foreign Legion at the time were almost cast adrift as most of their leadership went into hiding and the ranks rapidly shrank due to desertion.  In Hunter-Choat’s case he participated in the 1REP plot but after it’s failure he stayed put and eventually reached his five year mark and was discharged.  He then embarked on a second fantastic military career in the British Army.

Hunter-Choat6.  Bolt Action French Army Build.  Here is another post that recently appeared on the Bolt Action.net website.  It is a 1250 point list (wargame speak for the composition of a force used in battles with the Bolt Action rules) for a WWII French Colonial force.  Really nice pictures of miniature and terrain eye candy.

IMG_5777

 

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Burning Sands

BngSandsHere is a quick tale from an obscure comic called Mister Mystery.  The March 1952 issue (#04) featured a short Foreign Legion tale of a doomed desert patrol.  The art work leaves much to be desired and the title only lasted 19 issues.  Apparently, short run titles and name changes were the usual story at Key Publications where the owner, Stanley P. Morse, played loosely with the standards of professional comic book publishing.

…and I realize the accent of the legionnaires is supposed to be German but for goodness sake it sure didn’t sound like it inside my head.

Burning Sands

Admin Note:  In case you haven’t noticed, I recently added two new pages to this blog.  If you look below the blog illustration of Markov and the Geste brothers there is now a link to a Library page and to a Store page.  In the Library, I’m slowly formatting and collecting public domain books so they are more readily accessible to those looking for reading material.  Most of the books will be .pdf, epub (Nook Reader), and mobi (Kindle).  In the Store I hope to make some money for this blog by selling unique collections of fiction and non-fiction works.  I’m also compiling a bibliography / annotated guide that covers memoirs, fiction, non-fiction, pulps, movies, comics, and other media.  I don’t want to ask for donations but instead prefer to sell something readers might enjoy.  Money raised will go towards purchasing more miniatures, books, pulps and other assorted Foreign Legion related items.

 

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Legion Pulp: Knaves of Spades

Biribi1Here is a very early work by Georges Surdez that appeared in the 30 July 1925 issue of Adventure.  This is his 21st story for this magazine after first starting to appear there in 1922.  The plot concerns the men in the Bat’ d’Af” or the Battalions of Light Infantry of Africa (Bataillons d’Infanterie Légère d’Afrique or BILA) who served in North Africa.  They were also given the nickname Zéphyrs, Biribi or Joyeux (“Joyous ones”).  These units were composed of hardened men who had a prison record and have not fulfilled their military obligation or who were still in prison at the time of their normal draft for military service.  The majority of the men in these units came from the Paris or Marseilles underground.  The BILA units often fought alongside the Foreign Legion in their various campaigns in Algeria and Morocco and are often mistaken for Legionnaires as they wore fairly similar uniforms (although at one time all their uniforms were dyed brown) and shared a reputation for trouble making.

Knaves of Spades is a very long and somewhat complex story–billed as a complete novel, the story clocks in at 76 pages.  Here are two .pdf documents.  One for printing and a small one for reading on your tablet.

A Knave of Spades

Knaves of Spades_Print

NOTE:  The .pdf print version of this story was updated 17 Feb.  The previous version was missing a page and also had a duplicate page which was removed.

 

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They Joined the Legion (Hornet Comics)

TheyJoinedHornet was an U.K. comic book that ran for 648 issues (14 September 1963 to 7 February 1976).  Hornet featured a series on the French Foreign Legion called “They Joined the Legion” that appeared in it’s latter years.  Some of these stories are stand alone features and others were serialized for a couple of weeks.  They Joined the Legion also did not have recurring characters like some of the other UK Foreign Legion comics.  Here are three stories from the last four issues of this comic book (#645, #646, #647 and #648 from 17, 24, 31 January and 7 February respectively).  Many thanks to the original scanner and usenet uploader.

Film Crew

Heart of a Mouse

Blood Mask

 

 

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Hodgepodge for January 2015

hodgepodge (\ˈhäj-ˌpäj\): a mixture of different things; often a confused mixture of things that don’t go together.  Alteration of hotchpotch (a mutton stew with mixed vegetables)

Well this months mixture does have a unifying theme–as always, the French Foreign Legion.

1.  Former French Military / Foreign Legion Join ISIS.  Here is something interesting but not surprising when it comes to the non-Legion units that have a larger proportion of Muslims in their ranks than other Western countries.  It is surprising however that former members of the Foreign Legion would go astray.  I guess Legio Patria Nostra is not a strong enough of a bond for some weak minded converts.  It’s what you get when assimilation fails–thanks multiculturalists.

Jan_Lillyhammer2.  New Black Hat Foreign Legion Miniatures.  More great figures from Black Hat Miniatures.  I still need to get a good comparison between this fine line up 37 legionnaire figures and the other figures from Artizan and Askari.  Also don’t miss the Exotic Adventures Facebook page where you can see much of the process used in creating these sculpts as well as pictures of the whole line up.

BlackhatFFL3.  Follow that Camel & Fort Zwazantnerf.  Some awe inspiring miniature terrain building over at Lead Adventure Forum by UK wargamer “Hu Rhu”.  You have to start at page 1 and proceed to the end at page 8 to fully appreciate this effort.  The star of these posts is Fort Zwazantnerf (begins on page 5) but there are also plenty of painted miniatures, N. African houses and rocky terrain builds.

FortZwazantnerf

 4.  Arthur Askey.  Arthur Askey was an English comedian and actor who lived to the ripe age of 82–singing and cracking jokes right up to his hospitalization and death five months later.  Among his musical-comedy routines were three ditties about the Foreign Legion.  Here is a recording of one of his most famous.  The lyrics to all three are below (of course you have to read them with Akey’s voice in your head).

Arthur Askey_Foreign Legion

 5. La Legion Sans Baroud.   Here is a excellent video of the Foreign Legion in North Africa and southern France circa 1966.

6.  Foreign Legion Facebook Page.  I came across this great resource this month as well.  I’m not a big Facebook fan but this is well done with a nice feed of current Legion news and videos.  I look forward to their updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hachette Soldats de la Légion Etrangère

(My next collecting obsession…)  Hachette produces an amazing line of collectable 54mm/1:32 figurines depicting the French Foreign Legion throughout history.  You may have seen them around–the first 32 figures in the series were produced by King and Country and the remaining 100+ figures by another manufacturer.  They are popular on the various miniatures merchants on the web.  What is unique about these figures is that they are usually sold new with a 20+ page booklet (in French) that goes into depth on the aspects of the uniform and legionnaire depicted on the cover and also includes articles on three or four other subjects related to the Foreign Legion.  The pages of these booklets come “loose leaf” and are not numbered sequentially but instead grouped by headings like: uniforms, armament, history, biography, battles, culture, etc..  There is even a binder sold where you can put the pages in the right order under the right topics.  Kind of like those reference fact cards you used to see that featured airplanes, wild animals, cars, etc.  If you subscribed they would send you a new packet of cards each month to sort out and place in your cardboard storage box.

Legion-revueWhat blows my mind is the sheer numbers that have produced.  Here is an incomplete list I made last year–I believe the numbers are at least up to 177 and more likely 200 is a possible final production number.  The booklets, one for each miniature, would total almost 3,600+ pages worth which would make for quite a definitive reference source on the Foreign Legion.  As you can see by the pictures below the uniform studies are some of the best you can find.  For those not interested in collecting the miniatures, like myself, you can find the booklets for sale on eBay, or Amazon.fr.  Also many of the articles that appear in these booklets seem to have been collected, reformatted and published in Légion Etrangère Magazine.  I’m going to collect the booklets first without the miniatures.  I’ve bought about 16 of them already and they are a welcome addition to my Foreign Legion book collection.

01. Le pionnier du 6ème régiment défilant au pas, le 14 juillet 198409/2004
02a. Le légionnaire parachutiste du 1er BEP en Indochine vers 195009/2004
02b. Le légionnaire du 2ème REI, opérant en Bosnie en 1993, au sein des casques bleus09/2004
03. Le grenadier du RE au Mexique en 1863
04. Le sergent des compagnies sahariennes en 1956
05. Le caporal du 2ème bataillon de la 13ème DBLE à Bir Hakeim en 1942
06. Le fusilier de la brigade étrangère en Crimée,1855
07. Le légionnaire du RMLE sur le front de Champagne en 1917
08. Le lieutenant du 2ème REP à Kolwezi en 1978
09. Le fusillier de la 1er LE en 1831
10. Le caporal-chef du RMLE en 1944-1945
11. Le sergent-major du régiment étranger en 1871
12. Le tambour du 3ème REI en 1931
13. Le légionnaire du 2ème RE au Tonkin en 1883
14. L’adjudant du 2ème REI de la division Daguet en 1991
15. Le capitaine du 1er REC en tenue saharienne, au Maroc 1925
16. Le lieutenant-colonel du 1er RE et la robe du défilé (1960
17. Le tireur d ‘ élite du 2e REP
18. Le caporal-clairon du 2e Étranger et 1910-1914
19. L’éclaireur-skieur de la 13ème DBMLE skis à l’épaule, en Norvège en 1940
20. Le lieutenant porte-drapeau du RMLE en 1915
21. Le plongeur Dinops du 1er REG, en tenue de plongée
22. Le caporal-tirailleur de la 2ème Légion étrangère en 1855
23. Le capitaine du 3ème REI de la période 1931-1940
24. Le légionnaire démineur du 1er REG en 2004
25. Le capitaine du 2ème RE au Tonkin entre 1900 et 1914
26. Le légionnaire des CSPL et 1946-1962
27. Le sergent éclaireur du 2ème REG en 2004
28. Le légionnaire des 1er et 2ème RE en Afrique du Nord, période 1900-1914
29. Le légionnaire du 3ème REI à Kourou en 2004
30. Le caporal de la Cie Indochinoise de parachutiste à Dien bien Phu en 1954
31. Le chuteur opérationnel du 2ème REP en tenue de saut HA en 2004
32. Le capitaine de grenadier de l’ancienne Légion en 1835
33. Le caporal-chef de l ère compagnie de sapeur-pionnier du 3ème REI, période 1931-1939
34. Le sergent du bataillon de marche de la légion à Madagascar, de la période 1895-1901
35. Le caporal du 4ème étranger au Maroc de la période 1920-1934
36. Le légionnaire tireur AT4 du 2ème REI en 2006
37. Le brigadier des escadrons du RE en 1843 au Mexique
38. Le légionnaire de la 4ème DBLE Sénégal en 1942
39. Le légionnaire joueur de fifre de la MLE en 1993
40. L’adjudant du 1er REC/5 DB en 1943, 1945
41. L’instructeur du CEFE de Guyane en 2007, avec un serpent tenu en main
42. Le lieutenant du 2ème RE à El Moungar en 1903
43. Le caporal-clairon du 5e REI en indochine, période 1951, 1954
44. Le Général Rollet, inspecteur de la légion entre 1931 et 1934
45. Le sergent des compagnies montées de 1908 à 1914
46. Le légionnaire des RMVE en 1939, 1940
47. Le légionnaire des 1er et 2e RE, en Algérie de 1840 à 1851
48. Le légionnaire tireur Minimi en 2003
49. Le légionnaire de la 13ème DBLE en 1942
50. Le vétéran de la Légion étrangère en 2006
51. Le colonel du 2ème Étranger, 1889-1896
52. Le légionnaire des 1er et 2ème REP progressant Mat 49 à la main en Algérie, vers 1961
53. Le tirailleur de la 258ème compagnie du 3ème REI en 1951
54. Le lieutenant porte-drapeau de la 13ème DBLE en France vers 1945
55. Le légionniare du GRD 97 de la 7e DINA, France, 1940
56. L’officier du 4ème RE en 2006
57. Le capitaine adjudant major du RE en 1863
58. Le tambour major de la MLE en 2005
59. L’adjudant-chef du 2ème REI en tenue de parade en Indochine, vers 1950
60. Le légionnaire du 2ème REI en 2001
61. Le tambour du 2ème étranger en 1859
62. Le brigadier du 1er REC en 1935
63. Le lieutenant-colonel de la légion garibaldienne en 1914
64. Le sous-lieutenant de la LE en 1857
65. L’officier du 3ème REI en 1970
66. Le fusilier du régiment de Hohenlohe en 1830
67. Le parachutiste du 2ème REP en 2005
68. Le sous-officier du 4ème RE en 1979
69. Le légionnaire du dépôt commun en 1834
70. Le porteur de la main du capitaine Danjou en 2007
71. Le légionnaire de l’ancienne légion de 1835
72. Le timbalier du 1er REC en 1939
73. L’officier de la 2ème Légion en 1855
74. Le chapeau chinois de la MLE en 1935
75. Le chef de bataillon du 3ème REI en 1922
76. Le pilote du 1er REC en 1980
77. Le légionnaire en tenue bleue horizon, du 2ème RM/2ème RE en 1915
78. Le sous-lieutenant de la Légion étrangère en 1837
79. Le capitaine du 1er RE en 1845
80. La cantinière de 1855
81. Le sergent du bataillon de marche du 1er RMA en 1917
82. Le légionnaire du 2ème REP en 1969
83. Le sergent du 1er BEP en 1949
84. Le capitaine du régiment étranger en 1870
85. Le légionnaire des escadrons motorisés du 1er REC en 1929
86. Le légionnaire de la CSP en 1925
87. Le sous-lieutenant de la Légion étrangère en 1880
88. Le sergent des batteries sahariennes de la LE en 1940
89. Le sergent du 3ème bataillon du régiment de marche en 1914
90. Le chef de bataillon du 2ème régiment étranger en 1922
91. Le chef de bataillon de la 13ème DBLE en 1945
92. Le caporal du 4ème RE en 1924
93. Le légionnaire en tenue coloniale en 1892
94. Le caporal du 1er RE en 1887
95. Le colonel du 2ème RE en 1859
96. Le capitaine du 22ème RMVE en 1940
97. Le maréchal des logis du 1er REC en 1925
98. Le caporal de la LE en 1875
99. Le légionnaire de la 13ème DBMLE en 1940
100. Le voltigeur du 2ème RE en 1859
101. Le capitaine du 2ème BEP en 1953
102. Le caporal de la LE en 1881
103. Le légionnaire du 11ème REI en 1939
104. Le légionnaire de 1er CL du 5ème REI en 1936
105. Le légionnaire de 1er CL du 2ème RE en 1900
106. Le caporal sapeur-pionnier du 4ème REI en 1936
107. Le sergent de grenadiers du 2ème RE en 1859
108. Le tirailleur vietnamien du 4ème bataillon du 2ème REI en 1952
109. Le légionnaire en tenue d’exercice de 1938
110. Le caporal-chef des CPLE en 1955
111. Le brigadier-chef du 1er REC en 198311/2008
112. Le légionnaire de la 13ème DBMLE en 194011/2008
113. Le tireur d’élite du 2ème REI en tenue Fombec en 200712/2008
114. Le caporal de la 2ème CIPLE en Indochine courant 1953
115. Le lieutenant de batterie de marche du 4ème REI en 1932
116. Le légionnaire du 6 REG avec son lance-flammes, en 1984
117. Le sergent de la 4ème CSPLE en 1956
118. L’officier porte-drapeau du 2ème REP en 197802/2009
119. Le légionnaire de l’équipe de cross en 200003/2009
120. Le légionnaire tireur Milan en 200803/2009
121. L’adjudant de la 13ème DBLE, en tenue tropicale, en 1942-194304/2009
122. Le légionnaire du 1er bataillon du 1er RE en 188504/2009
123. Le lieutenant de la compagnie montée en 190605/2009
124. Le pionnier du 14 juillet en 199805/2009
125. Le légionnaire voltigeur du régiment étranger en 186406/2009
126. Le sergent-tambour de la musique de la légion en 200106/2009
127. Le mitrailleur du 3ème REI en 193007/2009
128. Le légionnaire tireur d’élite tenant un fusil FRF1 en 197807/2009
129. Le légionnaire du dépôt commun arme à l’épaule, en 192008/2009
130. L’infirmier parachutiste en 200808/2009
131. Le légionnaire de la 13ème DBLE, en 200209/2009
132. Le caporal du 2ème Régiment étranger en 189509/2009
133. Le légionnaire du 3ème REI en 2008, avec un genoux a terre, porteur d’un FAMAS09/2009
134. Le lieutenant de tirailleurs en 185510/2009
135. Le légionnaire cavalier au Mexique en 186410/2009
136. Le brigadier du 1er REC en 192510/2009
137. Le caporal du 2ème RE en 192611/2009
138. Le timbalier du 1er REC en tenue de parade en 193711/2009
139. Le chef de section du 2ème REP en 200712/2009
140. Le légionnaire du BMLEM en 190112/2009
141. Le légionnaire casqué dans sa tenue légère modèle 194001/2010
142. Le sergent-chef URH du 2ème REG 200901/2010
143. Le légionnaire FELIN du 2ème REI en 200902/2010
144. Le légionnaire du groupe d’assaut du 1er REG en 200702/2010
145. Le commando parachutiste du 2ème REP en 200603/2010
146. Le clairon de l’escadron de la 13ème DBLE en 199903/2010
147. L’adjudant instructeur du CEFE en tenue camo, vers 199504/2010
148. Le légionnaire de la compagnie d’infanterie du DLEM pendant la corvée de bois, en 200004/2010
149. L’éclaireur-skieur du 2ème REG, en200105/2010
150a. L’instructeur en tenue NRBC camo, en 200905/2010
150b. Le Légionnaire du dépôt commun en 1920, en redingote, arme à l’épaule05/2010

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Legion Pulp: Warriors in Exile “Fighting Through”

Blue Book 1938-05 0055One pulp fiction author that has not been represented here too often is H. Bedford- Jones.  Beford-Jones was a highly prolific writer who wrote just about every type of genre pulp fiction that was popular at the time.  His specialty, if one had to choose, would simply be “adventure” with a hint of high seas.  His contribution to Foreign Legion pulp fiction primarily consists of his stories under the collective name of “Warriors in Exile”.  This series appeared monthly in Blue Book Magazine from June 1937 to October 1938 and consisted of the following stories.  I previously posted Warriors in Exile “The King’s Pipe” (No. XIV) back in May of 2011.  “Fighting Through” is number XII in the series and takes place in Tonkin during the 1884-1885 siege of Tuyên Quang–one of the Foreign Legion’s truly epic battles.  Thanks to JvH for the scan and Urf for populating a copy to the usenet.

I. “We, About to Die”, The Blue Book Magazine Jun 1937
II. A Touch of Sun,  The Blue Book Magazine Jul 1937
III. The Legion in Spain,  The Blue Book Magazine Aug 1937
IV. The Grandson of Pompey,  The Blue Book Magazine Sep 1937
V. Leather-Bellies in the Crimea,  The Blue Book Magazine Oct 1937
VI. “Life, Not Courage, Left Them”,  The Blue Book Magazine Nov 1937
VII. The First American to Fight in the Legion,  The Blue Book Magazine Dec 1937
VIII. One Night in Magenta,  The Blue Book Magazine Jan 1938
IX. Dust of Dead Souls,  The Blue Book Magazine Feb 1938
X. A Crown Is Earned,  The Blue Book Magazine Mar 1938
XI. The Crime of the Legion,  The Blue Book Magazine Apr 1938
XII. Fighting Through,  The Blue Book Magazine May 1938
XIII. Gentleman Royal,  The Blue Book Magazine Jun 1938
XIV. The King’s Pipe,  The Blue Book Magazine Jul 1938
XV. The Little Black God,  The Blue Book Magazine Aug 1938
XVI. Reilly of the Legion,  The Blue Book Magazine Sep 1938
XVII. A Devil in the Heart,  The Blue Book Magazine Oct 1938

Warriors in Exile_Fighting Through

NOTE: Fixed the .pdf file above so that it prints better as of 16 Jan 2015. 

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Kepi Blanc Magazine

Insigne_KB_60_ansKepi Blanc is the official magazine of the French Foreign Legion.  Kepi Blanc (KB) was first published in 1947 and continues to this day after 68 years with over 772 issues.  It is somewhat the descendent of two other magazines, La Légion étrangère which began in 1912 and later  changed it’s name to Vert et Rouge on July 1945.  (Vert et Rouge continued to be published until 1959 with a total of about 115+ issues).  There were also several other post-WWII periodicals published by the separate Regiments and it was eventually decided that one “good” magazine could make better use of scarce resources and provide information and boost morale to all legionnaires.  So, KB was created in Sidi Bel Abbes by Colonel Gautier, the commandant of the Communal Depot of the Foreign Regiments (DRCE) at the time.  KB is very similar to many other current armed forces publications; the U.S. Army has Soldiers Magazine, the UK Army has Soldier Magazine.   KB‘s focus is, of course, on the French Foreign Legion and provides news and updates on the events for the various Legion units, current operations and exercises, history articles, book reviews, family events, travel tips, and for a while a cartoon section and regular feature on badges and unit crests.  I personally like the historical articles that are often illustrated with rare photographs and illustrations from the Foreign Legion archives.

Over the years I’ve been lucky to find good prices on several small hoards of KB here in the U.S.  Acquired bid by bid my collection now numbers over 250 issues.  I created a spreadsheet to keep track of them (and so I don’t buy too many duplicates).  On the MS Excel document below you can highlight the cells in different colors to indicate what you have in your collection.  If you look at the legend at the very bottom you will note that I keep track of the digital copies of the covers, any digital copies/.pdf of KB magazines (which I have never found) and my modest collection of about 251 hard copy magazines.   The reference used to create this checklist was KB‘s own cover index.  I’m not sure if anyone else who reads this blog collects KB magazines.  If you live in the Americas and want to make significant inroads on collecting all 772+ magazines you will have to get used to bidding on Delcampe or eBay.fr.  As I slowly improve my French Language skills (a 2015 News Year’s Resolution!) I hope to use KB more often in my future posts.

Kepi Blanc Magazine Checklist

Kepi Blanc Magazine Checklist

 UPDATEJuste sous mon nez!  Thanks to AALEME (see comment below) for pointing out about 300 Kepi Blanc magazines (1947 to 1997) that are available for your online viewing at this link.  http://aaleme.fr/index.php/repertoire/legion-etrangere/comle/kb/xxd

Merci! Merci!

I also updated the two documents here as of 15 Jan 2014 by fixing the missing issues of 1958.

 

Posted in About this Blog, Kepi Blanc | 4 Comments