Une colonne de La Legion Etrangere (1er REC song)

1er Régiment Etranger de Cavalerie

1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment

The law of August 5th 1920 authorized the creation of a Foreign Cavalry Regiment.
This regiment was formed in 1921 in Saida before taking its first quarters in Tunisia.
Placed under the patronage of the "Royal Etranger" (1659-1791) the golden sun on a field of azure recalls the standard of this regiment, the green and red colors of the epaulets of the legion complete the enameling of the field.

Arrival in Algeria :
On November 26, 1956, the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment left Sousse and disembarked on November 27 in Philippeville.
After being stationed in the East Algerian zone, rear base in Aumale, the regiment moved on October 15th 1957 to Bou Saada.
On March 13, 1958, a new mission led it to the region of Tébessa, Bir El Ater.
In October 1957, the regiment exchanged its AM 8's for EBRs and formed 3 identical mixed EBR and light motorized infantry squadrons.
Employed in combined arms actions upon its arrival in Algeria, the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment inaugurated the first heliborne operations.
From March to December 1958, it was in charge of the "portcullis" on the Tunisian frontier, then it was again employed in combined group operations: "Binoculars", "Precious stones", etc., or in support of specific sector operations.

"Isolated" in Colomb Béchar after the putch of 1961, it was again responsible for border surveillance but on the Moroccan border to finally ensure the withdrawal of French forces until 1964.
On December 1, 1958, the 1st Foreign Regiment of Cavalry, a "reserve intervention regiment" of the Constantine Army Corps, moved to Khenchela.
After the failure of the putch carried out on April 21, 1961, the regiment was transferred to Colomb Béchar on June 21, 1961.[The second Squadron I was in, was stationed in Hassi el Houari about 90 KM south of Colomb Bechard]
As a general reserve regiment, on August 9, it was placed at the disposal of the Oran Army Corps and settled in Saida and its surroundings.
In Janary 1964 the regiment made a last movement to Bou-Sfer near Mers El Kebir where it remained until 1967.
The regiment included:
4 EBR squadrons and one EBR squadron of the ECS (EBR = Engin Blindé de Reconnaissance)(ECS = Escadron Commandement et Service)

The 1er Régiment Etranger de Cavalerie left Algeria in 1967 and is now stationed in Camp Carpiagne near Marseille

Commanders of the 1er REC : - 1956 : Lieutenant colonel SPITZER; - 1958 : Lieutenant colonel de BLIGNIERES; - 1960 : Lieutenant colonel de la CHAPELLE; - 1961 : Lieutenant colonel de LANNURIEN; - 1962 : Lieutenant colonel de MONTPLANET; - 1964 : Liuetenant colonel de BROISSIA.


Lt. Colonel of 1st REC

Lieutenant Colonel de la Chapelle was much respected by his Legionnaires.

Colonel Charles-Gilbert de La Chapelle passed away in Saint Ythaire on April 15, 2000 at the age of 86. "My honor is called loyalty".
All his life, the colonel was the living expression of this great motto of the Foreign Legion, by his conduct under fire, his moral authority and his spirit of initiative.
Commander of the 1st REC. "My ideal and my vocation, I chose them at the age of twenty when I enlisted.
Only there will one find the motives for my action: let's not look for them elsewhere.
Son and grandson of soldiers, born in 1914 in the middle of the war, I can say that I learned on my mother's knee the feelings of honor and Country... For me there is no doubt.
I followed the path of honor, and today this path passes through the prisons... A policy is judged by its results.

Godmother of 1st REC

Countess Ladislas du LUART (1898 - 1985), is the Godmother and honorary Master Caporal of the First Foreign Cavalry Regiment
Countess Ladislas du LUART is Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, Grand Officer of the National Order of Merit, holder of the Second World War Cross and the Military Valor Cross.
She has received six commendations, including three at the army level.
Born in St. Petersburg on February 6, 1898, Leila Hagondokoff came from a princely family of the Caucasus.
Her father, General Hagondokoff, was a military governor and commander-in-chief of the imperial forces in the Far East, Ataman of the Love Cossacks.
At the age of 17, she served as a nurse for the Russian army.
After marrying an officer of the Imperial Guard, the Bolshevik revolution forced her to flee to China where her husband died.
She returned to the United States and then to France, where she married the Count du Luart in 1934.
During the Spanish Civil War, she set up a mobile surgical unit to assist the wounded.
Tirelessly pursuing its mission of assistance with its surgical unit, she participated in the front line of the Tunisian campaign.
In October 1943, the 1 R.E.C., equipped with American material, was in the vicinity of Rabat in the Mamora forest, Colonel Miquel asked her to accept to be the godmother of the regiment: first class legionnaire on 11/1943, she was appointed Brigadier on 01/01/1944, then Brigadier-Chef on 25/12/1944.
She was present during the campaigns in Italy, France and Germany.
In Algeria, she created a rest and relaxation center in the port of Algiers, and the Chenoua, in Chenoua-Plage where the legionnaires of the 1 R.E.C. came to spend their vacations.

This great lady of the Foreign Legion honors the 1 R.E.C. with her presence on each important date of the regiment.

The Countess du Luart died on 21 January 1985 at the age of 87, Her funeral took place in the Saint Louis des Invalides church.
She was buried in the Russian cemetery of Sainte Geneviève des Bois, in Paris.
A stele in her memory was inaugurated on January 21, 1989, in the Labouche district, in Orange.
Every two years, the Royal Etranger Cavalry organizes in Paris, on January 21, a day of remembrance in memory of Marraine: after a military ceremony in the Russian cemetery of Sainte Geneviève des Bois where the Countess du Luart is buried, a religious service is held in the Saint-Louis des Invalides church.
On December 4, 2001, Colonel Yakovleff, commanding officer of the First Foreign Cavalry Regiment, inaugurated the new "memory room" of the brigadiers-chefs in the Quartier Labouche, dedicated to the Countess du Luart.
Stele of Godmother. Quartier Labouche. Orange

Marraine Du 1er REC

I had the honor to meet personally with our Godmother in Algiers Algeria 1962.
I am sure that she will be sadly missed by all Anciens du 1er REC

Article below provided by:

Foreign Legion Info - History of the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment

Operation Etincelle (July)
– it occurred in the Hodna region

Operation Ariege (October)
– it occurred in the Khenchela region

Generals’ Putsch in Algiers
– in April, 1er REC joined the putsch in Algiers
– the putsch was aimed against French president Charles de Gaulle
– 1er REC participated in, together with 1er REP (ex-1er BEP)
– the putsch failed
– then 1er REC’s commander, Lieutenant colonel de La Chapelle, was arrested

– in June 1961, 1er REC left Khenchela
– it was based in the Sahara, in the Colomb-Béchar region
– part of the regiment was based at Hassi El Haouari

– in August, 1er REC was based at Quartier de Sairigné of Saida
– its squadrons were born there in 1920-21
– part of the regiment moved to Ain-El-Hadjar, a village nearby Saida

– in September, 1er REC deployed to guard the northwestern border of Algeria
– squadrons of the regiment were based at various places
Eugene-Etienne, Marnia or Sidi Zaher

– in March, Algerian War officially ended
– Évian Accords treaty, signed on March 18, ended the Algerian War
– on July 5, Independence of Algeria was declared
– however, military operations were conducted until September 1962
– on September 25, the Algerian republic was established

– in June, 1er REC left Saida, as the last Legion unit
– the Legion units were based in Saida since the 1860s

– in July, 1er REC was based at Mécheria, western Algeria
– its detachments were based at Ain El Hadjar, Kreider, Naama

– also in July, dissolution of 2e REC
– 2e REC squadrons consolidated with 1er REC
– they became its new 5th + 6th Squadron

– during the Algerian War, 1er REC lost 45 officers, NCOs and legionnaires



1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment 1962-2014

– 5th + 6th Squadron (ex-2e REC) were disbanded

– in January, 1er REC was based together with 2e REP (ex-2e BEP) at Bou Sfer
– Bou Sfer was a military airbase near Mers El Kébir, northwestern Algeria
– Mers El Kébir was an important port town with a large French military naval base

– 1st + 2nd Squadron received AMX 13 tanks

1964 – 1967:
– reorganization and modernization of 1er REC


A more detailed history of the 1ere REC article above.

I did participate in this operation/J'ai participé à cette opération

Bilder von Horst