Books for 2023

Here are several books related to the Foreign Legion that I’ve noticed are available this year.

1. Line in the Sand: Foreign Legion Forts and Fortifications in Morocco 1900 – 1926 (From Musket to Maxim 1815-1914) by Richard P. Jeynes.  This is an interesting work by an author who generously corresponded with this blog some time ago about his  archaeologic expedition to Morocco.  The purpose of the research was to explore French fortresses in that country during the French conquest of Morocco and the Rif War–roughly between 1900 and 1926.  The trip was done on motorcycles and the group basically roughed it over the desert to visit several former French forts near both Bou Denib and in the northern (Rif) region of Morocco. The book, which is coming out in Spring, can be found at Helion Books or pre-ordered at Amazon. 84 pages 20-25 photos, 2 maps, 4 diagrams

About the Author: Richard Jeynes studied Archaeology and Landscape Archaeology at Durham and Leicester Universities before attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.  After service in the Intelligence Corps he trained as a teacher eventually becoming Head of several schools.  In 2004 he set up his own company, Trailquest, specializing in organizing and running expeditions to a variety of remote locations around the world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and has lectured widely on his travels and research. He has written articles for numerous magazines.

2. Collecting French Foreign Legion Insignia, Volume III – Part 1 by Andrew J. Mitchell.  This is a print on demand book available at Blurb Books.  This is the author’s very latest publication in this very nice series (I noted in a previous post his two earlier releases are available: Volume I covers the insignia of the 1st Foreign Regiment and Volume II coveres insignia related to the 2nd Foreign Regiment.  It should also be noted the author has published Tigers of Tonkin and A Pictorial History of the French Foreign Legion in Indochina, 1927-1945 which are also available viaAmazon and Blurb respectively.  Mr. Mitchell’s facebook page is also a veritable fountain of information on the Foreign Legion and their insignia.

Book Description: This third fervently anticipated volume detours slightly from the path which the previous two volumes took. Insomuch that it delves into the battles undertaken by the paratroopers with the first English language histories of the 1er BEP, 2e BEP, 3e BEP and 1er REP. With supplementary information on the more obscure legion airborne units and commandos. The author uniquely combines the often fragmented history together with unpublished photos from private collections and documents from the Drago files. Additionally, the most complete array of Legion paratroop insignia has been laid out for enthusiastic collectors to diligently study, including some of the official restrikes.

3. The Englishman” Series by David Gilman.  This is a series that flew under my radar until I noticed an ad for Resurrection.  The Englishman is a thriller series introducing Dan Raglan, a contemporary knight errant who served in French Foreign Legion.  I’m not sure how much “Foreign Legion” flavor is in these books but the third in the series at least takes place in the Sahara.  These are all available at Amazon but only in paperback and hardcover.

About the Author: David Gilman has had an impressive variety of jobs – from firefighter to professional photographer, from soldier in the Parachute Regiment’s Reconnaissance Platoon to a Marketing Manager for an international publisher. He has countless radio, television and film credits before turning to novels.  Gilman is also the author of the 7-book Master of War series as well which is a Medieval setting.

4.  French Foreign Legion Commando by Harry Dobson.  This looks like a very interesting addition to the long and venerable line of Foreign Legion memoirs written by former Legionnaires. The book is available again via Amazon.  You can also find more information about Dobson and see some cool pictures at his web page.

From the description: French Foreign Legion Commando is a memoir written by Harry A. Dobson after his 5-year term of service to the French army. During his time he completed a total of 3 tours of duty in Mali, North Africa.  Harry was accepted into one of only two elite commando units within the French army. With the GCM – ‘Groupement Commando Montagne’ (mountain commandos) Harry served his last 2 tours and fought in a number of high-profile missions, many of which made it to Front-page French newspapers.
The book outlines the many trials life in the French Foreign Legion presents, the highs as well as the lows. Harry describes all the fascinating characters he met along the way and the bonds of friendship he formed with men brought together by a unique institution.
Apart from the conflict of Mali, the book also covers the rigorous training French commando’s undergo and the complications Harry had to face as a non-French speaker and Legionnaire within that elite group. Finally, the book aims to provide an insight into what life as a Legionnaire is like and the effect that the organization has on the men serving within it. You are seldom likely to stumble across such a story twice.

5. The Compleat Beau Geste by Frank Thompson.  A previous post here promoted the kickstarter for this book but you can now purchase your hardback copy directly via Amazon.  My book is on the way and once it shows up on my door step I’ll be sure to provided you a review.

From the Description: A heavily illustrated examination of all adaptations of P. C. Wren’s 1924 novel “Beau Geste” — film, television, stage, radio, comics, and much more.

About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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6 Responses to Books for 2023

  1. sgoodluck says:

    Nice hearing that


  2. Ralph Wagner says:

    I am interested in the Bea book


  3. richardpjeynes says:

    Hi Jack

    Thank you for the review of Line in the Sand – much appreciated. If you can supply a postal address I will be happy to send you a copy once if is finally published.

    Best wishes



  4. David Hennen says:

    Frank Thompson’s book, “The Compleat Beau Geste” boasts a coverage of this popular genre with text and color and black and white photos and illustrations as vast as the Sahara Desert itself. Whether you consider yourself to be an adventurer or always wanted to be one, now’s the time to obtain this just published book, open it, read it, or just enjoy viewing the pages. You’ll be so glad you did. “I promise you!”


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