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Author Topic: La Legion Etrangere: discussing the why and what  (Read 6588 times)
Mad Russian
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« on: 18 October 2009, 14:11:19 »
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Okay.

Whatever those who join the Legion consider themselves, the definition of a mercenary is a person that fights for a country other than their own. If the soldiers in the Legion aren't French they are mercenaries by definition.

The fact that people fight for money is as old as humanity. Everybody does something for a living.

That's not the question I  have about the organization.

What I don't understand is why FRANCE has mercenaries.

Normally a country that hires soldiers either:
1) doesn't have a citizen base that wants to fight for itself or
2) they are sending soldiers into battle where their own soldiers either don't want to go or their government doesn't want to send their own troops.

From looking at the history of the Legion on the outside it would appear that France falls into the second category.

The interesting part of France being the only major nation that has mercenaries since WWII is again why? Where do the French need troops that they aren't willing to send their own? And WHY is that?Huh?

Good Hunting.

MR
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Mad Russian
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« Reply #1 on: 18 October 2009, 14:20:19 »
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In my experience most who join the Legion Etrangere do NOt considder themselves as mercenaries.People join for many reasons and I can tell you it is not for the pay.


From my experiences, with the men I've known from the Legion, you're right. They don't consider themselves mercenaries, they consider themselves free men. Because, if they weren't in the Legion, most of them would be in prison in their home countries.

That has nothing to do with the situation of France using such a force in the first place. As an ex-soldier I have  very huge issues with hiring throw away soldiers.

The Legion are not French. France loses nothing, except your training time and experience, if you don't come home. That situation is unacceptable to me.

Whether, or not, you yourselves look at yourselves as mercenaries, or not, is irrelevant. You don't decide your own missions and support. The French Government does. It's how they look at you that matters. They control your fate and they have no allegiance to you as soldiers.

Good Hunting.

MR
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Koen
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« Reply #2 on: 18 October 2009, 17:27:40 »
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I split the topic since it turned into a discussion.
The original post's intension was an inside view on the French Legion.

Discussing the French Legion can be done here.

Koen
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Mad Russian
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« Reply #3 on: 18 October 2009, 18:46:34 »
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Why do people think that the Legion is an escape from justice.As I have stated joining the Legion to escape prison is GONE. If you are wanted for a crime in your own country and the Legion find out you will be arrested and sent home.


Why do people think that the Legion is an escape from justice?Huh?

Maybe you need to do a little research on the history of the organization. It has always been that way and if it's not now that is a recent situation from what those that served there in the past have told me.

Good Hunting.

MR
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Rattler
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« Reply #4 on: 18 October 2009, 22:06:17 »
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What a load of merde. If most would be in prison in their own country the Legion would NOT have them. The days of escaping prison by joining the Legion is GONE

Yes, since long time they own´t let you join if you have a record.

Why do people think that the Legion is an escape from justice.As I have stated joining the Legion to escape prison is GONE. If you are wanted for a crime in your own country and the Legion find out you will be arrested and sent home.


I think it is like any urban legend, stupid but repeated, you hear it everywhere even today: "You got a problem with your nation´s justice? Join the (French) Legion! They will cover your ass, change your name, give you a new identity paperwise!"

Try and google it you will see the majority of posters still believe that to be true.

FWIW,

Rattler
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Mad Russian
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« Reply #5 on: 19 October 2009, 01:18:20 »
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Why do people think that the Legion is an escape from justice.As I have stated joining the Legion to escape prison is GONE. If you are wanted for a crime in your own country and the Legion find out you will be arrested and sent home.


Why do people think that the Legion is an escape from justice?Huh?

Maybe you need to do a little research on the history of the organization. It has always been that way and if it's not now that is a recent situation from what those that served there in the past have told me.

Good Hunting.

MR

Why do I have to do any research mate are you taking the piss. You are the one saying that the Legion taken criminals I am telling you they do not Ok. Now if it is an argument you want you have pick the wromg bull. I have done my time I do not need to do any research.I am being nice at this time.


My comments were not to pick on a bull. I was asking questions and going by what I already know/knew of the FFL. Apparently things have changed.

That works for me. It's just not what I"ve known about them from the past.

As you say you are on the inside. I'm on the outside looking in.

Maybe this is a good place to clear up some of the misconceptions that may exist about the modern Legion. In the past a person could join with no concern to his situation with justice. The only restriction I ever knew of is that the Legion restricted membership immediately after WWII to exclude members of the SS. From what you are saying the Legion has far stricter qualifications for membership now.

Mine were just comments and questions about the use of the Legion by France. Nothing to infer anything about those serving. As I said before, everybody does something for a living, and I've served as well, although not in the FFL.

Thanks for the OOB you posted on the Legion. It will go along way to fill in information that isn't readily available.

If you would like to discuss the way the Legion works, as well as the actual units, that might be very beneficial. I'd really like the opportunity to learn more about them.

Can anyone join the FFL?

You stated that the recon unit is made up mostly of Brits and Germans is that the norm in the FFL?

I see from your posts that they also have tanks. That surprised me too, as I thought it was an all infantry unit. You also surprised me that you said only a portion of the FFL was airborne qualified (I think was your comment). I was under the impression that the entire unit was. The FFL has one of the most distinguished fighting records of any unit in any nations army.

Good Hunting.

MR
« Last Edit: 19 October 2009, 01:43:37 by Mad Russian » Logged
Mad Russian
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« Reply #6 on: 19 October 2009, 13:52:46 »
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I would be surprised again if the FFL units aren't France's most elite units.

Is that the case?

Good Hunting.

MR
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Mad Russian
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« Reply #7 on: 20 October 2009, 13:18:30 »
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La Legion Etranger has Regiments


Yes I know.

Quote
1ere REC

This Regiment is situated in Orange South Eastern France.Part of their role is to service and maintain the tanks (the AMX 10) etc, They were used extensively in the first Gulf War and proved reliable.
The REC forms part of France's Force d'Action Rapide along with 2eme REI and 6 REG.


Your comment about the AMX 10 being a tank caught me by surprise. I had in my mind that it was a light vehicle system. So, I pulled out some reference books and the AMX 10 RC is a very interesting piece of equipment.

AMX 10RC which is a wheeled vehicle mounting a 105L58 gun with 38 rounds. This vehicle crosses the conventional thinking of tanks being tracked nd Armored Cars having wheels. Developed from the AMX 10P.

The AMX 10P is a fully tracked infantry fighting vehicle which  mounts an M693 20 mm automatic cannon. The vehicle can carry up to 8 passengers.

The entire AMX 10 series of vehicles includes:

AMX-10P/Milan: ATGM launcher vehicle, with two launchers
AMX/HOT: ATGM launcher vehicle (Toucan II turret, 4 launchers)
AMX-10 TM: Mortar carrier towing 120-mm RT-61 mortar
AMX-10 PAC 90: Fire support/AT variant with Giat 90mm gun
AMX-10P Marine: Improved swim variant w/ 12.7/25/90mm gun
AMX-10 PC: Command variant with varied command stations
AMX-10 RC: Wheeled (6 x 6) fire support vehicle with 105mm gun.

While the system is older and at least the AMX 10RC is no longer being produced these vehicles are relatively light and airtransportable. That should keep them active with units like the FFL regiments into the foreseeable future.

Do the regiments of the FFL use all of the AMX 10 variants?

Good Hunting.

MR
 
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Mad Russian
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« Reply #8 on: 20 October 2009, 14:58:19 »
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In past times the FFL was mainly made up of soldiers born outside of France. Is that still the case?

Also, in times past they were lead by French born offices. Is that still the case as well?

Good Hunting.

MR
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the_13th_redneck
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« Reply #9 on: 29 October 2009, 16:37:58 »
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No a very large portion are actually French but they will refer themselves as another Francophone nationality.  For example four Frenchmen in the Legion might include one going as a Belgian, one going as a guy from Switzerland, another from Canada (Quebec) and another from Seychelles.
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Rattler
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« Reply #10 on: 29 October 2009, 16:42:08 »
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anybody deleted the original posts supplemented by  reddevil ´s?

Rattler
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stoffel
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« Reply #11 on: 29 October 2009, 16:49:30 »
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Steve,

In my reserve unit we have an American( former marine and former legionair)
Since he has a Dutch pass as well he was able to join our army.
So you can say he served with 3 different armies, I dont think there are much others who can say that as well.
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Koen
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« Reply #12 on: 29 October 2009, 18:47:17 »
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anybody deleted the original posts supplemented by  reddevil ´s?

Rattler


no
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Mad Russian
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« Reply #13 on: 29 October 2009, 20:04:32 »
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I know an Australian that served two tours in Vietnam with the Australian Army. Married a US Nurse and moved to the United States. Got drafted and sent back to Vietnam as a US soldier.

He's the extent of my dealings with army hoppers. The legionaries I know don't talk much about either the legion or their associations with it.

Good Hunting.

MR
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