French Foreign Legion POWs

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Daniel Ezra

French Foreign Legion POWs

Postby Daniel Ezra » Mon May 04, 2009 9:54 am

A question out of interest:

In 1940, when France capitulated what happened to British members of the Legion?

Were they classed as French pows, or British?

Likewise what happened to Spanish & German Legion POWs?

I have read that after some Legionaires were taken by the Germans, the Vichy Legion got quite good at sending vulnerable troops to far away places where the Germans couldn't get them.



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steve stanley
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Postby steve stanley » Wed May 06, 2009 4:36 pm

Yes,deep into the Sahara,or to Indochina........Of course,a lot had lied about their nationality......And a lot weren't POW's as such as the units went under Vichy control.......
Steve


"Give me a tent and a kettle
Snowshoes and axe and gun
Send me up in Grand River
Steering by star and sun".
- Labrador Trapper's Song

Tim the Gunner
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Re: French Foreign Legion POWs

Postby Tim the Gunner » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:12 pm

In fact they also fought for the Free French in North Africa. Many were german,austians etc who were against Hitler.....in fact Rommel had about 80 or so as POW and Hitler ordered them to be shot as Partians but Rommel disobeyed his orders not sure what happern to them after that...mmmm the history buff in me

Tim


"Bonjour :) Do u speak english ? " (dodgy french voice) "here can hold my little toy.???" run like silly person approx 10 metres or so....bend over put fingers in ears.
Look puzzled..."Bonjour.why not go bang ??"

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Re: French Foreign Legion POWs

Postby Tim the Gunner » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:17 pm

The Foreign Legion played a smaller role in World War II, though having a part in the Norwegian, Syrian and North African campaigns. The 13th Demi-Brigade was deployed in the Battle of Bir Hakeim. Reflecting the divided loyalties of the time, part of the Legion joined the Free French movement while another part served the Vichy government. A battle in the Syria-Lebanon campaign of June 1941 saw legionnaire fighting legionnaire as the 13th Demi-Brigade (D.B.L.E.) clashed with the 6th Regiment Etranger d'Infanterie at Damas in Syria. Later, 1,000 of the rank and file of the Vichy Legion unit joined the 13th D.B.L.E. of the Free French forces as a third battalion. Following the war, many former German soldiers joined the Legion to pursue a military career with an elite unit, an option that was no longer possible in Germany. Germans still constitute a strong presence in the Legion.

Soz I am a geek lol

Tim


"Bonjour :) Do u speak english ? " (dodgy french voice) "here can hold my little toy.???" run like silly person approx 10 metres or so....bend over put fingers in ears.
Look puzzled..."Bonjour.why not go bang ??"

Daniel Ezra

Re: French Foreign Legion POWs

Postby Daniel Ezra » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:42 am

Dear Tim

I did know about the inter-Legion battle in Syria. At Bir Hakim something simillar happened, in that those men Rommel was told to have shot were deployed as an infantry unit, and fought there.

It is, really, 13 DBLE I am interested in. I do know that there where a lot of Spaniads in it, but I would like to know whether there where Brits as well (if so that is what I would portray).

The 13eme is unique in the Legion, for being undisbandable. All other units can be disbanded (as per 1eme Legion Para), or amalgmated, but 13eme is sacrosanct.



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Re: French Foreign Legion POWs

Postby steve stanley » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:38 pm

Didn't 13DBLE have an English Female Driver....?...Something Travers...?
Unlike WWI,I can't think off-hand of any references to Brits in the WWII Legion....Which doesn't mean anything,of course............On the Afrika Korps,the Ex-Legionairres went into Inf.Regt 361.(see your geek & raise you.......)
Steve


"Give me a tent and a kettle

Snowshoes and axe and gun

Send me up in Grand River

Steering by star and sun".

- Labrador Trapper's Song

Daniel Ezra

Re: French Foreign Legion POWs

Postby Daniel Ezra » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:12 pm

I see your geekishness and raise you.

Yes the 13DBLE did have an English lady as a member, the only woman to serve in the Legion. She was living in France in 1940, and worked, I think, as a nurse, and became the driver to Gen Koeneg (and more than just a driver). She was the lead driver at the break-out of Bir Hakim, and for her services was awarded (as only right and proper) the Cross of the Legion.

She had lost touch with Koeneg, until the actual award of said medal, as it was he who pinned it on.

No I can't remember her name, but she died only a couple of months ago.

She makes me proud to be a Francophile Englishman :-).



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Re: French Foreign Legion POWs

Postby Sasha » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:20 am

Daniel Ezra wrote:No I can't remember her name, but she died only a couple of months ago.


Suasan Travers....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8271773.stm

Pearl Cornioley is one of my favourites from wartime...("There was nothing civil about what I did." 8-) )


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Daniel Ezra

Re: French Foreign Legion POWs

Postby Daniel Ezra » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:12 pm

Must get her book.

Mdm Travers managed to both very English, and very French.

And a hero. Which, I suppose brings us back to that thread on F & G.

"Hero" is not the wrong word here.



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wurzul
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Re: French Foreign Legion POWs

Postby wurzul » Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:22 pm

Very interesting. Thank you for sharing that story. The book will make a great Xmas present for someone I know.



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Re: French Foreign Legion POWs

Postby the real lord duvet » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:40 am

Daniel Ezra wrote:Must get her book.

Mdm Travers managed to both very English, and very French.

And a hero. Which, I suppose brings us back to that thread on F & G.

"Hero" is not the wrong word here.



pedantically unless she hiding something - it was the wrong word.




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