Legion Pulp: The Medal

November’s pulp story comes from the 15 December 1927 issue of Adventure.  Written by J. D. Newsom it takes place just after the Great War when American veteran Alexander Sutton discovers his French war bride he takes back home is a vindictive shrew with a slight mustache he never noticed before.  He takes her back to France and gladly leaves her with her family (and almost all of his money).  Down and out in the gutter he is almost robbed of his last 16 francs by another vagabond called Armand Cabillot, a former postal officer and embezzler who is on the run from the Gendarmes.  Together they decide that the Foreign Legion is the answer to all their problems.  For Sutton, enlisting in the Legion is merely something to do that would provide room and board but for Cabillot it is all about redeeming himself by fighting and sacrificing himself in battle for France.  Of course, this being a J. D. Newsom tale, there is plenty of action to make up for some weak characterization and slightly stereotypical accounts of the Legion and the French in general.

The Medal

NOTE:  Sorry again for not being as active on this blog as I used to be.  I feel guilty for not posting here–like I’m cheating on a long time girlfriend.  My Affaire d’amour this past month is actually submarines.  Yep, I’m guilty! I’ve been neglecting the Foreign Legion for a while as I have been reading and researching American WWII submarines in the Pacific for the past several weeks.  But I assure you this is only a passing fling and my attentions will soon return to the forlorn corps of foreigners fighting for France in far-flung desert fortresses.

About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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8 Responses to Legion Pulp: The Medal

  1. William says:

    A great many thanks for this pulp tale! Your blog is a literary gold mine in the parched desert of the internet!


  2. Peter says:

    Your site is great, what ever you post a lot or a little.


  3. Arend de Wit says:

    No problem Jack, sometimes it’s good to take some time off and divert your attention to something else. But indeed, don’t forget the FFL and keep on posting. We don’t want to miss you and all you have to report about it.


  4. WW2 US submarines in the Pacific are quite a long step away from the Foreign Legion, but I bet they’ve been interesting to read about – hope you’ve enjoyed it! 🙂


  5. Alex Stankanov says:

    You probably have it, but if not, “Silent Victory” by Clay Blair, Jr. contains at least a summary of every war patrol by a US submarine in WWII. It also discusses the role of subs in the major battles, the discovery of our craptastic torpedoes, and Ultra (code breaking). It is one of the best books on naval warfare I’ve read.


    • Jack Wagner says:

      By coincidence I just got to the chapter “End of the War” in Silent Victory about 15 minutes ago. It was a good stopping point and I’ll finish the book tonight or tomorrow. You are right. Definitely a good book that pulls everything together into a tightly packed chronological accounting. Even at 800 pages or so it never got boring. I learned lots of stuff I never knew before such as how extensive the destruction of Japanese vessels were towards the end and the tragic sinking of so many Hell Ships.


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