Legion Pulp: The Knapsack

This short story comes from Adventure and was found in the May 1st issue of 1933.  The author, Pierre Mille, was a fairly well known French writer and journalist, born 1864 in Choisy-le-Roi, died January 12, 1941 in Paris.  “His name remains attached to the Pierre Mille Award for Best Report, awarded by the Syndicate of the French Press of Overseas and intended to reward a journalist of the written or audiovisual French-speaking press.”  Mille is also the author of several books and many stories featuring his fictional hero of the French colonial wars– Barnavaux of the Colonial Infantry (Troupes Coloniales, later known as the Troupes de Marine).  Much in the same way that Legionnaire Thibaut Corday retold stories of his strange adventures for pulp writer Theodore Roscoe, Barnavaux is used to communicate Mille’s take on French colonial misadventures in foreign lands.  He had many short stories published in Argosy, Adventure and other pulps but was mainly featured in the New York Tribune and magazines of the very early 1900’s such as The Smart Set, Century, and Ainslees.  I’m not sure if Mille wrote directly for these publications or simply had a smart agent who was able to peddle translations of his stories to eager markets in New York where were always looking for stories of French origin to add sophistication to their fiction line-ups.

At lease two of his Barnavaux books have been translated into English and are available at the Internet Archive–Barnavaux (here) and Louise and Barnavaux (here).  I read some stories from both books and found them interesting but not full of many military insights.

The Knapsack


About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
This entry was posted in Books, Pulp Fiction Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Legion Pulp: The Knapsack

  1. andyinsdca says:

    Hah! Perfect read about the Legion.


  2. Bevis Benneworth says:

    A great read.I notice that the complete run of Luck Of The Legion is now online at


    • Jack Wagner says:

      Thanks for the link. I was just on that site but somehow missed that one.


      • Bevis says:

        I’ve scanned the “Luck Of The Legion’s Desert Adventure” novel and put it up on Mega at https://mega.nz/#!xE0BkCyI!ZE2i73yMD45fCZvQ3lB2LmkPMXVNUbK7UIy5OcZYrUM
        I figure that as it has never been reprinted no one should get too upset at any copyright issues.


      • Jack Wagner says:


        Thanks for sharing this one as well as the Luck of the Legion comics. This is hard to come by and I’ll be adding this to the library of this blog. My entire house is in disarray as I’m relocating furniture, desks, books, entertainment centers, and boxes upon boxes of book. I’ve been away from this blog for a while as I slowly work through this project. …it is like some real-life version of those plastic slide puzzles.


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