3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment
|3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment
(3e Régiment étranger d'infanterie)
Regimental badge of 3e REI
|Active||11 November 1915 - present|
|Garrison/HQ||Kourou, French Guiana|
|Colors||Green & Red|
|March||Anne-Marie du 3e Etranger|
|Engagements||World War I
World War II
First Indochina War
*Battle of Route Coloniale 4
*Battle of Na San
*Battle of Dien Bien Phu
|Francois Marie Guyot|
|Beret badge of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment|
The 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment (French: 3e Régiment étranger d'infanterie, 3e REI) is an infantry regiment of the French Foreign Legion. The regiment is stationed in French Guiana, protecting the Centre Spatial Guyanais.
World War I
When World War I started France received a stream of foreign volunteers that wanted to fight for France. This allowed the creation of four "march regiments" of the Foreign Legion.
In November 1915 the Legion units remaining on the Western Front were reorganised into a single "march regiment" designated Foreign Legion Marching Regiment (French: 1er Régiment de Marche de la Légion Étrangère, RMLE).
The Legion records that 42,883 men served on the western front in the March Regiments of the 1st and 2nd Foreign Regiment and the RMLE. It suffered 5,172 killed in action and around 25,000 wounded or missing, a total of 70% casualties over the course of the war. When the war ended it was the second most decorated regiment in the French Army and the most decorated regiment in the French Foreign Legion.
A battalion of the RMLE was moved to Morocco, and with two Mounted Companies reformed the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment in November 1919. The regiment took part in the pacification of Morocco from 1919 to 1934.
World War II
With the fall of France the regiment remained in Morocco under Vichy control. In November 1942 the Allies landed in Morocco and after some resistance the French Army of Africa joined the Allies. In January 1943 a unit entitled 3eREI de Marche saw action with heavy losses against Axis forces on the Djebel Mansour. After the Allied victory in North Africa a new RMLE was formed from 2eREI, 3eREI, 4eREI and 6eREI in July 1943. Alongside 1er REC the regiment joined the Allied invasion of Southern France in September 1944. They saw bitter fighting in Alsace and into Germany, ending the war in the Arlberg Mountains in May 1945.
The regiment was posted to Indo-China with the 1st and 2nd Battalions arriving in April and the 3rd Battalion in June 1946. The 3rd Battalion was wiped out at the Battle of Route Coloniale 4 (RC4) in October 1950 and after being reformed it was again wiped out at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
The regiment has several roles. The first is to guard the Guiana Space Centre (French: Centre Spatial Guyanais, CSG). From 2008 it has been tasked with fighting against illegal gold mining operations. Thirdly it provides a standby force for operations in the region such as in Operation Carbet, Haiti in 2004. It also runs the French Jungle Training Centre (French: Centre d'entraînement en forêt équatoriale, CEFE) at Regina. Founded in 1986 it has trained more than 35 000 troops from various countries.
- Compagnie de Commandement et de Soutien (CCS) - Command and Support Company
- Compagnie de Combat d’Infanterie (2e CIE) - 2nd Infantry Company (3 combat sections and a support section)
- Compagnie de Combat d’Infanterie (3e CIE) - 3rd Infantry Company (3 combat sections and a support section) (reformed 2010)
- Compagnie d’Appui (CA) - Support Company (air defense) (on 4-month tours)
- Compagnie de Réserve (4e CIE) - Reserve Company (formed 2010)
- Cameróne 1863
- Artois 1915
- Champagne 1915
- Bataille de la Somme 1916
- Les Monts de Verdun 1917
- Picardie-Soissonnais 1918
- Vauxaillon 1918
- Maroc 1921-34
- Djebel Mansour 1943
- Alsace 1944-1945
- Stuttgart 1945
- Indochine 1946-1954
- Cross of the Légion d'honneur
- Médaille militaire
- Croix de guerre 1914-1918 with 9 palms, allowing the double fourragère in colours of Légion d'honneur and croix de guerre
- Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with 3 palms, allowing the 1939-1945 olive on the aforementioned fourragere
- Croix de guerre théâtre d'opérations extérieures with 5 palms, allowing the fourragere in colours of medaille militaire with the TOE olive.
- Mérite militaire chérifien (Morocco)
- Ordem Militar da Torre e Espada (Order of the Tower and Sword - Portugal)
- Medalla de les voluntars catalans (Catalonia)
- Distinguished Unit Citation with RHINE-BAVARIAN ALPS mention (USA)
- Médaille de vermeil of the CNES (France, but, as a civilian decoration, worn after foreign decorations).
The regimental song of the 3rd is "Anne-Marie du 3e Etranger (Mein Regiment, mein Heimatland)," sung in the original German.
Similar Operating Historical Units
- Kuwait 25th Commando Brigade; during Koweït 1990–1991
- Lebanese Commando Regiment; during Lebanon 1982-1984.
- "Les missions du 3e régiment étranger d'infanterie". Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- Windrow, Martin (1999). French Foreign Legion 1914-1945. p. 8.
- Windrow, Martin (1999). French Foreign Legion 1914-1945. p. 12.
- Windrow, Martin (1999). French Foreign Legion 1914-1945. pp. 34, 35, 36.
- Windrow, Martin (1996). French Foreign Legion Since 1945. p. 20.
- Windrow, Martin (1996). French Foreign Legion Since 1945. pp. 31, 32.
- Windrow, Martin (1996). French Foreign Legion Since 1945. p. 45.
- "Les unités du 3e régiment étranger d'infanterie". Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- Camerone is a Battle Honour shared by all Foreign Legion Regiments, no matter when it was formed.
- Porch, Douglas. The French Foreign Legion. Harper Collins, New York, 1991. ISBN 978-0-06-092308-2
- Windrow, Martin (1996). French Foreign Legion 1914-1945. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-761-9.
- Windrow, Martin (1996). French Foreign Legion Since 1945. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-621-3.
- Tu Survivras Longtemps, Antoine Mattei
- Official website - 3e Régiment étranger d'infanterie