Hodgepodge for August 2015

In addition to the uniform prints that I’ve been all fired up about (and will post many more shortly) I did stumble on other items relating to the Foreign Legion this month.

Legion Etranger 19441.   French Foreign Legion in WWII.   Here (and below) is an interesting video on the weapons, uniforms, and equipment used by the French Foreign Legion in WWII.  There is a good article here HistoryNet that discusses the role and actions of the French Foreign Legion in WWII.  Not only was the Legion defending part of the Maginot Line when the Germans invaded France but there were detachments still holding down the forts in North Africa and a significant number who participated in the Norway campaign with the 13th Demi-Brigade.  Fighting later shifted to Africa and the middle east where the Vichy French Foreign Legion detachments fought against the Free French Foreign Legion in Syria.  NOTE:  I already posted about this article last year in June but thought this video would supplement it well.

2.  A Sociology of the Total Organization: Atomistic Unit in the French Foreign Legion.  Here is an “academic” work that addresses the social and ethnographic organization of the Foreign Legion.  The synopsis, in the mumbo-jumbo of egghead speak reads….”this book takes its theoretical point of departure in the notion of the voluntary total organization; that is to say, an institution that constitutes a geographically delimited place of residence and work in which inmates are voluntarily separated from the outside world, leading an enclosed, formally administered life. Informed by a modified version of Goffman’s original concept of the total institution, A Sociology of the Total Organization untangles the Foreign Legion and the ways in which different kinds of social orders interplay there.” The author, Mikaela Sundberg, is an Associate professor of Sociology and a senior lecturer at the Department of Sociology, Stockholm University. She is also the author of the best selling blockbuster Parameterizations as Boundary Objects on the Climate Arena.  More info can be found here where you can also order your copy for a mere $107.96.  The first chapter is available as well.


Digging around the web for Miss Sundberg I stumbled on this thread comparing the 2nd REP to the British Para Regiment.  Says Condottiere “If she did fieldwork, bet she was offered a lot of individual attention in her research.”

3.  The Goon Show: Under Two Floorboards – A Story of the Foreign Legion.  To lighten things up a bit here is a hilarious Goon Show skit from 25 January 1955 that utterly mangles the story of Beau Geste.  The Goon Show was a British radio show that was blessed with a cast consisting of Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine among others and lasted from 1951 to 1960.  Script can be found here or you can download your own mp3 here.


About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
This entry was posted in Articles, Books, Hodgepodge, Radio Play. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Hodgepodge for August 2015

  1. Peter Lyderik says:

    I have read the book “A Sociology of the Total Organization: Atomistic Unit in the French Foreign Legion”, and yes, it is full of egg-head lingo, but still very good and informative. 🙂


    • Jack Wagner says:

      I would buy it in a nanosecond if I could afford it but for now it’s at the bottom of my wish list. I’m sure there is some good information in there but I’ve always considered sociology the true “dismal science”.


  2. Peter Lyderik says:

    Get it from a library like I did, if possible 🙂

    And a great site you have. Keep up the good work 🙂


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