Another month gone…and good riddance to winter. Here are some interesting Foreign Legion related links, pictures, articles and other tidbits.
1. Another Photo Album. Posted by Simon F. at the Gentleman’s Military Interest Club was an interesting photo album entitled “French Foreign Legion Cambodia”. This post was back in 2009 but I only discovered it recently. There are 22 photographs of Legionnaires in various poses in the field as well as an award ceremony. Good comments to read as well and the owner of the pictures was a former sailor from the German Kriegsmarine.
2. At the Edge of the World Review. Here is a nice positive review of this recent book about the colonial era Foreign Legion. Pretty short but to the point. I saw no reviews yet on Amazon but that is probably due to the fact that it is not available until 4 April. I did get an Advance Reading Copy last month and found parts I sampled were nicely balanced between “big picture” colonial history and ground level insights and anecdotes of the classic Legion. More to follow on this book. NOTE: My “reading” copy did not include maps or illustrations so don’t be tempted to pick up one of these because they are suddenly cheap. Wait for the final edition.
3. Imperial War Museum’s Oral History: Edmund “Eddie” Murray. This web page provides an embedded sound file of an interview conducted with former Foreign Legionnaire and one-time body guard for Winston Churchill (as well as the author of the above book). It’s a bit hard to understand him at first (I turned the volume up pretty high) but once you get going his voice becomes very enchanting and he tells a wonderful series of stories about his Legion exploits. The file actually consists of 33 parts which is quite a long interview.
The Object Description on the right side of this page lists Murray as …British légionnaire and NCO served with 1st (Headquarters) Regt French Foreign Legion in Algeria, 1937-1940; NCO served with 5th Regt French Foreign Legion in Indo-China and China, 1940-1945, including period in transit with Alessandri Column, 1945; officer served with Special Operations Executive Inter Service Liaison Department in India, 1945-1946; served with Metropolitan Police S Division in GB, 1948- 1949; served with Special Branch in GB, 1949-1965, including period as bodyguard to Winston Churchill, 1950-1965. Below this is a lengthy Content Description that summarizes the entire interview and some highlights include “bars in Sidi Bel Abbès”, “journey from Sidi Bel Abbès, Algeria, to Saigon”, “story of Battle at Lang Son” and “survival skills learned from courtesan”.
4. Strelets Arab Revolt Figures. Strelets has produced two new plastic soldier releases in 1:72 scale for the WWI Arab Revolt. The first set was released as 115 Lawrence of Arabia. PSR reviewed them here. The second set is M127 Arab Revolt Foot Rebels and you can see the masters here. These figures are going to be very popular for all sorts of colonial and pulp gaming. Historical accuracy be damned–these figures are tailor made for launching frontal assaults on the Saharan clay forts of the Foreign Legion.
5. Press Releases. Here are a couple of press releases from the Foreign Legion. One is about a Change of Command of the 13DBLE (with some history and notes on the recent transition of the unit) and the other is a 2016 Bastille Day Parade item. I come across these types of modern Legion publications every now and then and thought some folks might be interested. In addition to the Kepi Blanc magazine some of the Legion regiments publish their own magazines and I’ve collected several digital versions of these. As I sort them out I’ll post them here as well.