This pulp story comes from the June 1931 issue of The Popular Magazine. It was written by former soldier turned journalist and fiction writer Captain Leighton H. Blood. In early 1928, Blood was reporting on the still tense situation in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and spent time with men of the 4th Regiment of the Foreign Legion (4REI). He clearly used this experience in his pulp fiction writing and this story is set in Morocco just north of Taza when the Rif were surging across the border and the desperate French forces depended heavily on the several Foreign Legion battalions to stem their advance.
In true pulp fashion, Blood crafted an epic “last stand” tale where the hero, aging Captain Tricot, somehow loses two battalions of the Bat D’Af, a battalion of the Chasseurs d’Afrique, a Zouave battalion, 500 Senegalese infantry and three depleted companies of the Legion. Severely wounded, Captain Tricot is found by the relief force manning a machine gun alongside the one remaining Senegalese and a lone “zephyr“. Three men apparently remaining from a Brigade sized task force of what would have been over 3,500 troops. Wow, thank goodness this is fiction! It is a good story nonetheless with lots of praise given to the “Legion’s Way” of doing things. C’est la Légion!
NOTE: Thanks to the original scanner, Richard, who shared this magazine.