2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment

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2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment
(2e régiment étranger d'infanterie)
2rei.jpg
Regimental badge of 2ème REI
Active3 Apr 1841 – 1 Apr 1943
1 Aug 1945 – 1 Jan 1968
1 Sept 1972 – Present
Country France
AllegianceFlag of legion.svgFrench Foreign Legion
BranchFrench Army
TypeInfantry
RoleMechanized infantry
Size1,300 men
Part of31e Brigade
(1981-1984)

6th Light Armoured Division
(1990-1991)
6th Light Armored Brigade
(1999-present)

3rd Division
Garrison/HQNîmes, France
Nickname(s)2e Étranger (2nd Foreign)
Motto(s)Être prêt ("Be ready")
ColorsGreen and Red
MarchAnne-Marie du "2"
Mascot(s)Tapanar (mule)
AnniversariesCamerone Day (April 30)
El-Moungar day (September 2)
Engagements
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Stève Carleton
Notable
commanders
de MacMahon
de Canrobert
de Chabrières
Carbuccia
Insignia
Insignia of the 2nd Foreign Infantry RegimentInsigne de béret du 2e RE Type 3.jpg
Abbreviation2ème REI

The 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment (French: 2e Régiment Étranger d'Infanterie, 2e REI) is an infantry regiment of the French Foreign Legion. The regiment is one of two mechanized infantry regiments of the 6th Light Armoured Brigade.[1]

Since the regiment's arrival from Bonifacio in 1983, it has been stationed at Quartier Colonel de Chabrières; named in honor of Colonel de Chabrières who was shot in the chest while leading a charge of the regiment. Quartier Colonel Chabrières is situated in Nimes, a historical Roman city, in the south of France.[2]

An armored infantry regiment, equipment includes more than 135 Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé (VAB) and Véhicule Blindé Léger (VBL), to provide armoured protection of personnel during combat. The regiment also has the Véhicule blindé de combat d'infanterie (VBCI). The Regiment has responsibility for field testing new equipment for the French Army as a whole.[3]

The regiment benefits from a long tradition of conflicts and interventions. Recent engagements, from the Balkans to Afghanistan while passing by the Ivory Coast and the Central African Republic added additional experiences for the regiment.

History[edit]

Under the first restoration, the Bourbons only retained the Swiss, in souvenir to their loyal service rendered to France during four centuries, and with them also, four foreign regiments out of which one colonial, formed of Spanish and Portuguese. The eight reorganized foreign regiments by Napoleon at the hundred days formed in 1815 the Royal Foreign Legion (French: « Légion Royale Etrangère »), which became the Hohenlohe Legion (French: « La Légion de Hohenlohe »), then in 1821 the Hohenlohe Regiment. Licensed in 1830, the latter contributed to form the Twenty First Light, then the French Foreign Legion (French: La Légion Étrangère). The Swiss regiments of the restoration disappeared in 1830, nevertheless, the Swiss joined the French Army again from 1855 to 1859 under the successive denomination of 2nd Foreign Legion (French: « La Deuxième Légion Etrangère ») and 1st Foreign Regiment (French: 1er Régiment Etranger).

Foreign Legion since 1831[edit]

On March 10, 1831; the French Foreign Legion was created.[4]

On April 1 1841, the Legion was split in two formations. The 2nd Regiment was organized at Bône, on April 13 1841, provisionary at two battalions of the 1st Foreign Regiment; the 4th battalion was sent to Algiers and the 5th battalion was garrisoned at Bône. The regiment consisted, just like the other Line infantry regiments of the époque, a formation of 3000 men. The 3rd battalion was formed in the following month of May.

The regiment was quartered at Constantine in Algeria, with garrisons held at Bône, Bougie, and Djidjelli. Colonel Senilhes was the first regimental commander. The first regimental flag was received in 1848 by colonel Jean-Luc Carbuccia.

In 1854, Napoleon III decided to create a 2nd Legion, composed uniquely of Swiss. However, with a reduced form of recruitment, the two units, which were engaged in Crimea, were dismissed at the end of the conflict and regrouped to form the 2nd Foreign Regiment, which re-departed to Algeria in 1856.

On January 1 1862, the two foreign regiments merged under the title of the Foreign Regiment.

As part of a reorganisation of the Armee d'Afrique, the regiment was retitled the Foreign Legion (« Légion étrangère ») on March 13 1875. It numbered 3018 men. On January 1, 1885, the 2nd Foreign Regiment was reformed. The 1st and 2nd battalion remained in Algeria. The 3rd battalion was assigned to Tonkin and the 4th battalion was sent to Formosa in 1884, then returned to Tonkin.

2nd Regiment of the 1st Foreign Legion in 1855[edit]

  • On April 3, 1841; the 2nd Regiment of the Foreign Legion (2ème R.L.E) was created at Bône and commanded by Colonel Sinelhes,[4] constituted of 2240 legionnaires and organized in 3 battalions stationed in Bone, Bougie and Djidjelli respectively starting from 1842.[4]
  • From 1841 to 1857 : the 2nd Regiment (2ème R.L.E) participated at the conquest and campaigns of Algeria.[4]
  • From 1854 to 1855 : the 2nd Regiment (2ème R.L.E) took part in the Crimean War in the Battle of Alma and the Siege of Sevastopol.[4]
  • On January 17, 1855: the 2nd Regiment (2ème R.L.E) became the 2nd Regiment of the 1st Foreign Legion (2èmeR.1èreL.E)[4][5]

2nd Foreign Regiment in 1856[edit]

Foreign Regiment of the 1st Foreign Regiment in 1862[edit]

Each year, the French Foreign Legion commemorates and celebrates Camarón in its headquarters in Aubagne and Bastille Day military parade in Paris; featuring the Pionniers leading and opening the way.

Foreign Legion of the 1st Foreign Regiment in 1875[edit]

Sudan Campaign and Dahomey Expedition[edit]

On August 29, 1907 a regiment de marche was created from the 2nd Foreign Regiment (2 RE) in Morocco.[4]

Pacification of Algeria[edit]

From 1841–1907 legionnaires from the 2nd Regiment were deployed in Algeria. In the early twentieth century, France faced numerous incidents, attacks and looting by uncontrolled armed groups, in the newly occupied areas in the south of Oran (Algeria). Under the command of General Lyautey, the French army's mission was to protect these areas newly seized in the west of Algeria, near the poorly defined Moroccan boundaries.

On 17 August 1903, the first battle of the South-Oranese campaign took place in Taghit, where French Foreign legionnaires were assailed by a contingent of more than 1,000 well-equipped Berbers. For 3 days, the legionnaires repelled repeated attacks of an enemy more than 10 times higher in number, and inflicted huge losses on the attackers, forcing them finally into a hasty retreat.

A few months after the Battle of Taghit, 148 legionnaires of the 22nd mounted company, from the 2ème REI, commanded by Captain Vauchez and Lieutenant Selchauhansen, 20 Spahis and two Mokhaznis were escorting a supply convoy, when they were ambushed at 9:30 am on 2 September by 3,000 Moroccans marauders. The half-company had halted to eat, no sentries had been posted and only a few cavalry pickets had been placed.

The first volleys wounded or killed half of the detachment. Both officers and most of the non-commissioned officers were killed in the first stage of the fight. At 10:30 am, Quartermaster Sergeant (sergent-fourrier) Tisserand, who commanded the survivors, sent two spahi cavalrymen to Taghit for reinforcements. They immediately left.

About forty survivors of the French force gathered on a nearby hill and under a scorching sun, on hot sand and without water, fought off the enemy for more than eight hours. Near the end of the battle, Tisserand, wounded, gave over command to Corporal Detz; the highest ranked man still able. At 5 pm, they were relieved by Captain de Sulbielle, who rode from Taghit with his Spahis. At the sight of the approaching French cavalry, the Moroccans retreated in small groups.

On November 1908; the Marching Regiment of the 2nd Foreign Regiment (R.M.2èmeR.E) was dissolved .[4]

On August 7, 1914, following the outbreak of World War I; the 1st Marching Regiment of the 2nd Foreign Regiment (1er R.M.2èmeR.E) remained in Morocco with the formed combat company and the 2nd Marching Regiment of the 2nd Foreign Regiment (2èmeR.M.2èmeR.E) took arms at the fronts in mainland France; receiving 5 citations at the orders of the armed forces. In September 1915, the 2nd Marching Regiment of the 2nd Foreign Regiment was dissolved and the components were merged with the 2nd Marching Regiment of the 1st Foreign Regiment to form the Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion (R.M.L.E) created November 11, 1915.[4] During the interwar period, combat in Morocco persevered from 1919-1934 and the regiment received 7 citations at the orders of the armed forces.[4]

2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment in 1922[edit]

  • In 1922, the 2nd Foreign Regiment (2èmeR.E) became the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment (2èmeR.E.I).[4]
  • On April 1, 1943, during World War II; the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment was dissolved and its components were transferred to the Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion, (R.M.L.E) from 1943-1945.[4]

Far East Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion in 1945[edit]

  • On August 1, 1945; the Far East Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion (or R.M.L.E/E.O. for Régiment de marche de la Légion Etrangère d'Extrême-Orient) was formed.[4]

2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment in 1946[edit]

  • On January 1, 1946; the regiment was renamed the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment (2èmeR.E.I).[4]
  • From 1946 to 1955 : the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment took part in the First Indochina War and receives 9 citations at the orders of the armed forces.[4]
2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment (2ème REI) during the Dien Bien Phu order of battle
  • From 1955 to 1956 : the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment rejoined Tunisia, then Morocco.[4]
  • From 1956 to 1962 : the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment participated in combat operations during the Algerian War.[4]
  • From 1962 to 1967 : the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment was placed at the disposition of central command of military sites in the Sahara.[4]
  • On January 1, 1968; the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment was dissolved.[4]

2nd Foreign Regiment in 1972[edit]

On September 1, 1972; the recreation of the 2nd Foreign Regiment took place in Corsica.[4] While in Corsica the regiment was garrisoned in Corte (basic training unit) and Bonifacio.

2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment in 1980[edit]

  • On July 1, 1980; the 2nd Foreign Regiment became the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment.[4]
  • From 1982 to 1984 : the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment filled the ranks of the Multinational Force in Lebanon. During the deployment of the regiment to Lebanon in 1983; the men took part in several training and combat peacekeeping missions while also finding out that they will not be seeing Corsica again and will return to Nîmes, the new garrison of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment as of November 11, 1983, while the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e REP), moved to Calvi.[4]
  • In 1986, elements of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment were deployed to Chad as part of Operation Sparrowhawk (Opération Epervier).[6]
  • The regiment has also participated in several recent conflicts, most notably in the Gulf War (1991), in Bosnia, Chad and other parts of Africa.[2]
  • Since 2001, the regiment took part in the global War on Terror. In 2006, the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment deployed as part of the French contingent of the ISAF.[6]

Organization[edit]

The regiment is composed of around 1230 men organized into 10 companies, making it the largest regiment of the Foreign Legion and one of the largest infantry regiments in the French Army.[1]

  • Compagnie de Commandement et de Logistique (CCL) – Command and Logistics Company
  • Compagnie d'Administration et de Soutien (CAS) – Administrative and Support Company
  • 1re Compagnie de Combat (1re Cie) – 1st Combat Company (4 combat sections)
  • 2ème Compagnie de Combat (2e Cie) – 2nd Combat Company (4 combat sections)
  • 3ème Compagnie de Combat (3e Cie) – 3rd Combat Company (4 combat sections)
  • 4ème Compagnie de Combat (4e Cie) – 4th Combat Company (4 combat sections)
  • 5ème Compagnie de Combat (5e Cie) – 5th Combat Company (4 combat sections)[7]
  • Compagnie Antichar (CAC) – Anti-Tank Company (4 sections)
  • Compagnie d'Eclairage et d'Appui (CEA) – Reconnaissance and Support Company (3 sections)
    • Section de reconnaissance régimentaire (SRR) – Regimental Recce Section (VBL)
    • Section antichars (SAC) – Anti-Tank Section (Milan)
    • Section de tireurs d'élite (STE)Sniper Section (PGM 12.7mm)
  • 8ème Compagnie de reserve (8e Cie) – 8th Reserve Company

Traditions[edit]

Insignias[edit]

Regimental Colors[edit]

Regimental Colors of the 2nd REI with Honneur et Fidélité.
Recto of Regimental Colors

Regimental Song[edit]

Chant de Marche : Anne-Marie du 2ème REI in the German language featuring:[8]


-I-
 Anne-Marie, wo geht die Reise in,
 Anne-Marie, wo geht die Reise in,
 Sie geht in’s Städtelein
 Wo die Soldaten sein.
 Ein, zwei, drei
 Junge, junge, junge Anne-Marie

 -II-
 Anne-Marie, heute wollen wir lustig sein,
 Anne-Marie, heute wollen wir lustig sein,
 Wir wollen tanzen gehen
 Und uns im Kreise drehen.
 Ein, zwei, drei
 Junge, junge, junge Anne-Marie.

Decorations[edit]

The standard and regimental colors of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment is heir to 28 citations at the orders of the armed forces.[4]

Personnels of the regiment are authorized to wear the fourragère with colors of the Croix de guerre des Théâtres d'Opérations Extérieurs.

Honours[edit]

Battle Honours[edit]

In the XIX century, the colors of the 2nd Foreign Legion Regiment were inscribed with the following battles and campaigns:

Regimental Annual Celebration[edit]

The annual celebration of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment is the second Campaign of Madagascar, which took place on September 2, 1903. The regiment honors that day with a parade commemorating and presenting hommage to the old combatants and anciens.

Regimental Commanders[edit]

Regimental Colors of the 2ème Étranger on the best preserved Roman temple, the Maison Carrée.

2nd Foreign Legion Regiment Tenure
2e Régiment Etranger de la Légion étrangère(2èmeR.E.L.E)
Tenure ( 1841 - 1855 )[11]

2nd Foreign Regiment Tenure
2e Régiment Etrangère(2ème R.E.)
Tenure ( 1856 - 1875 )

  • 1856 - 1859 : de Chabrières
  • 1859 - 1856 : Signorino
  • 1859 - 1862 : Mathieu Butet
  • 1862 - 1862 : Jeanningros
  • 1862 - 1866 : Jeanningros
  • 1866 - 1867 : Guilhem
  • 1867 - 1870 : Deplanque
  • 1870 - 1875 : de Mallaret

Foreign Legion Tenure
Légion Etrangère(L.E.)
Tenure ( 1875 - 1884 )

  • 1870 - 1875 : de Mallaret
  • 1881 - 1883 : de Négrier
  • 1883 - 1884 : Grisot

2nd Foreign Regiment Tenure
2e Régiment étrangère(2ème R.E)
Tenure ( 1885 - 1922 )

  • 1885 - 1886 : Hugot
  • 1886 - 1888 : Letellier
  • 1888 - 1889 : Vincent
  • 1889 - 1893 : Gillet
  • 1893 - 1895 : Oudri
  • 1895 - 1896 : Gosse Dubois
  • 1896 - 1900 : Béranger
  • 1900 - 1902 : Bruneau
  • 1902 - 1906 : Desorthes
  • 1906 - 1908 : Schlumberger
  • 1908 - 1908 : Branlière
  • 1908 - 1908 : Alix
  • 1908 - 1911 : Brulard
  • 1911 - 1914 : Passar
  • 1914 - 1915 : Bourgeois
  • 1915 - 1915 : Plande
  • 1915 - 1915 : Arque
  • 1915 - 1916 : Deville
  • 1916 - 1917 : Donneve
  • 1917 - 1917 : Chartier
  • 1917 - 1918 : Arrieu
  • 1918 - 1920 : Hottenger
  • 1920 - 1922 : Martin

1st Marching Regiment of the 2nd Foreign Regiment Tenure
1er Régiment de Marche du 2e Régiment Etranger (1er R.M.2èmeR.E)
Tenure( 1907 - 1918)

  • 1907 - 1907 : Brulard
  • 1908 - 1909 : Szarvas
  • 1909 - 1912 : Forey
  • 1912 - 1913 : Vandenberg
  • 1913 - 1914 : Girodon
  • 1915 - 1916 : Crobière
  • 1916 - 1916 : Theveney
  • 1916 - 1917 : Tisseyre

2nd Marching Regiment of the 2nd Foreign Regiment Tenure
2e Régiment de Marche du 2e Régiment Etranger (2èmeR.M.2èmeR.E)
Tenure ( 1914 - 1915 )

  • 1914 - 1914 : Passard
  • 1914 - 1915 : Lecomte-Denis
  • 1915 - 1915 : De Lavenne de Choulot

2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment Tenure
2e Régiment Etranger d'Infanterie(2èmeR.E.I)
Tenure ( 1922 - 1968 )

  • 1922 - 1923 : Martin
  • 1924 - 1925 : Marty
  • 1926 - 1928 : Genmeau
  • 1928 - 1930 : Debas
  • 1930 - 1934 : Richert
  • 1934 - 1938 : Gerard
  • 1938 - 1940 : Girard
  • 1940 - 1943 : Flan
  • 1945 - 1947 : Lorillot
  • 1946 - 1946 : Babonneau (deputy command)
  • 1947 - 1948 : Courcelle-Labrousse
  • 1948 - 1948 : Nicolas
  • 1949 - 1949 : de la Sausserie
  • 1949 - 1950 : Thevenot
  • 1950 - 1951 : de Borde
  • 1951 - 1953 : Daigny
  • 1953 - 1956 : Jacquot
  • 1956 - 1958 : Goujon
  • 1958 - 1959 : Thevenon
  • 1959 - 1961 : de Seze
  • 1961 - 1963 : Romet
  • 1963 - 1965 : Le Vert
  • 1965 - 1967 : Kopf
  • 1967 - 1968 : de Monferrand

2nd Foreign Regiment Tenure
2e Régiment Etrangère(2èmeR.E)
Tenure( 1972 - 1980 )

  • 1972 - 1974 : Servranckx (*****)
  • 1974 - 1976 : Gilbert
  • 1976 - 1978 : Mougin
  • 1978 - 1980 : Liege
  • 1980 - 1980 : de Montlebert

2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment Tenure
2e Régiment Etranger d'Infanterie (2èmeR.E.I) Tenure( 1980–present )

  • 1980 - 1982 : de Montlebert (**)
  • 1982 - 1984 : de Lajudie
  • 1984 - 1986 : François
  • 1986 - 1988 : Laffly
  • 1988 - 1990 : Soubirou (****)
  • 1990 - 1992 : Derville (**)
  • 1992 - 1994 : de Richoufftz de Manin (***)
  • 1994 - 1996 : Lecerf (****)
  • 1994 - 1996 : Verna (****)
  • 1998 - 2000 : Bontoux (**)
  • 2000 - 2002 : Bras (***)
  • 2002 - 2004 : Margail (****)
  • 2004 - 2006 : de Reviers de Mauny (**)
  • 2006 - 2008 : Gillet (**)
  • 2008 - 2010 : Durieux (**)
  • 2010 - 2012 : Fouilland
  • 2012 - 2014 : Ozanne
  • 2014 - 2016 : Putz
  • 2016 - 201* : Carleton

(**) Officers whom were nominated to Général de brigade. (***) Officers whom where nominated to Général de division. (****) Officers whom were nominated to Général de corps d'armée. (*****) Officers subsequently promoted to Général d'armée. Officers nominated to Marshals of France (Insigne maréchal armée française.svg)

2nd Foreign Gallery[edit]

19 century


20th century

Notable personalities having served in the 2nd Foreign Regiment[edit]

  • Captain Marie Louis Joseph Vauchez
  • Lieutenant Colonel Henri Gaston Louis Victor Grosdidier 1895-1923 Knight of the Légion d'Honneur with Palmes. Croix de Guerre
  • Général Félix de Vial as lieutenant in 1905 at Tiaret, Laghouat.
  • Général Charles Alexis Vandenberg as colonel in 1912, in Morocco.
  • Caporal-chef Fred Samuel 1939
  • Général de division René Lennuyeux, regimental commander (lieutenant-colonel) of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment in Morocco from 1946 to 1949.
  • Pierre Segretain
  • Pierre Jeanpierre
  • Peter J. Ortiz

Alliances[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Structure du régiment". 2e Régiment étranger d'infanterie (in French). Ministère de la Défense. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b "2rei". Archived from the original on 2010-02-14. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
  3. ^ Koelher, Charles (31 March 2006). "LEGIO PATRIA NOSTRA: THE HISTORY OF THE FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION SINCE 1962" (PDF). U.S. General Command and Staff College. p. 85. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment, Historique du 2 REI, La Creation (Creation)
  5. ^ [1] Official Website of the 1st Foreign Regiment, 2nd Foreign Regiment Timeline Formation
  6. ^ a b "Les campagnes du 2ème REI". 2e Régiment étranger d'infanterie (in French). Ministère de la Défense. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  7. ^ "De nouvelles unités pour la Légion étrangère". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  8. ^ Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment, Historique du 2REI, Le chant du 2ème REI
  9. ^ a b c Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment, Historique du 2e REI, Le drapeau du 2ème REI
  10. ^ "Édition Chronologique n° 45 du 29 octobre 2010".Le Ministère de la Défense instruction n°1515/DEF/EMA/OL/2 du 23 septembre 1983, modifiée, sur les filiations et l'héritage des traditions des unités; décision n°010318/DEF/CAB/SDBG/CPAG du 15 juillet 2008 portant création d'une commission des emblèmes. Art 1er. L'inscription "Koweït 1990-1991" est attribuée aux drapeaux et étendards des formations des armées énumérées ci-dessous. 2e R.E.I, 1er R.E.C, 6e R.E.G, 3e R.I.Ma, 1er R.P.I.Ma, 11e R.A.Ma, 4e Régiment de dragon, 1er Régiment de Spahis, 6e Régiment de Commandement et de Soutien, 1er R.H.C, 3e R.H.C, puis les formations de l'Armée de l'Air les 5e, 7e, 11e escadre de chasse, la 33e escadre de reconnaissance et les 61e et 64e escadre de transport. Le présent arrêté sera publié au bulletin officiel des armées, Hervé Morin.
  11. ^ Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment, Le Chef de corps, Les anciens chef de corps

References[edit]

  • 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.

External links[edit]