Here is a recapitulation of the odds and ends I found last month on the net related to the French Foreign Legion…
1. The Good Soldier. This article appeared in the recent September Rolling Stone Magazine. It is a pretty good story about Lieutenant Lawrence Franks, the West Point graduate who deserted his Army platoon to join the Foreign Legion in 2009. Franks later turned himself in to the Army a day after he fulfilled his five year obligation to the Legion, knowing he would have to face the music. I’m not a fan of the loony leftist Rolling Stone but every so rarely they have some decent reporting and this one was very informative. It would have been much better if the author didn’t try so hard to scandalize the U.S. Army’s actions in dealing with Franks. (Leftists always have to have a CAUSE don’t they?) Make your own judgements after reading this.
Personally, I think Franks should have got a lighter sentence and some medical attention/evaluations while he serves out his time in the brig. He’s not ignorant about his condition and stated that he will never use medication which he fears might make matters far worse. Yet, he did desert after all and will probably have to pay back the government for his schooling at West Point. I’m also glad his service in the Legion seemed to help him overcome his personal demons and this alone is inspiring in several ways. I really hope he writes a book about his whole experience that might be some sort of help to fellow soldiers–American, British, French or any nationality–who also might suffer with similar bouts of depression. For another take on Franks you should check out this good piece.
2. Some Videos. Here are two videos worth watching. The first is some 2003 action footage from the Foreign Legion operations in the Ivory Coast / Cote d’Ivoire. The other is another motivational video.
3. Fighting for the French Foreign Legion. Here is a good book review of Alex Lochrie’s memoir of his time in the Legion. Originally published in 2009, it is a great account of life in the 2REP (2nd Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment) during the 1990’s.
4. Follow that Camel. It appears this wargaming thread over on Lead Adventures may have run it’s course with the concluding battle playing out on the last four pages of comments. The whole thread provides some excellent terrain building tips and gaming ideas not to mention visually stimulating photographs. It’s nice to see how it all comes together.