Over the Top with the Americans in the Foreign Legion

This article appeared in Volume III of “True Stories of the Great War”.  (I believe there is a total of six Volumes in this series and most of those can be read/downloaded from the Internet Archive.)  The narrator is Donald R. Thane, an American who had served in the Legion and was “invalided” out of service after being wounded and gassed in one of the many actions that the 1er Régiment de Marche de la Légion Etrangère participated in.  It’s pretty short but describes some of the early trench fighting in some detail.  Thane mentions several fellow legionnaires including Alan Seeger.  He describes a polyglot outfit of volunteers from literally all over the world.  No draftees here.  Many were idealistic but some were from the old-school Foreign Legion.   Perhaps these African veterans had some influence on the new legionnaires for Thane concludes this article by describing the drunken escapades of three English speaking volunteers on leave.  They would have fit right in at Sidi Bel Abbes.  (Note: the pictures above did not come from this article)

Over the Top with the Americans of the Foreign Legion

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About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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