French Foriegn Legion Essay

1037 words - 5 pages

During a time of foreign conquest and adventure there was a need for professional soldiers to protect a country's overseas empire. Of course that country had its own military, but that wasn't always enough for a safeguard of ones holdings. The English had great success in using natives of regions for protection of its empire such as the Gurkhas and Sikhs. The French came up with a concept that evolved into an elite fighting force that is world-renowned today. First, the French Foreign Legion was a way to get rid of foreigners and other unwanted people within France, Second it was a great way to defend it's overseas wealth, and last but not least is still today an instrumental piece of ...view middle of the document...

" Now do not get the wrong impression that the legion was just a hiding place for criminals or that they were not valued by France. From 1831 on they have had an impressive combat record. To defend an empire is no easy task. Although the legion protected French colonial possessions well. From 1830-1850 there was continuos fighting with Arab revolutionaries. In 1848 they experienced the worst of the uprisings when the French monarchy was overthrown and the second republic set up. Word reached Africa and the Arabs decided with the change of power in France that now was the time for Rebellion. Within time the insurrection was put down. The legion had a tough time in Africa. Any time they went somewhere it was usually on foot. One of there mottoes was and still is today "March or Die." French forces also adopted the policy of remaining cooped up in Forts until needed. This as you can imagine was very boring and many posts were out in desolate areas. But from 1831-1962 the legion lived and fought in Africa. They have been back since then. As late as the year 1997. They have helped Chad fight Libyan funded insurgents and still deploy to Chad today. The French government still has strong ties to its former colonies in Africa. The legion is known for its actions in Africa but also was influential in South East Asia. In 1857 the Opium wars were the excuse France needed to get a foothold in Indochina. The legion fought pirates, rebels, and was there along with other French forces to keep the peace. The French bombarded DaNang in 1858 and seized Saigon in 1859 on the pretext of punishing the Vietnamese for persecution of Catholic priests. By 1867 France controlled almost all of Vietnam and controlled all of Cambodia. It was the legion's job to control these places militarily. For the most part service in Vietnam was good. Being assigned there in the...

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