Régiments de marche de volontaires étrangers

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Régiments de marche de volontaires étrangers, also known as RMVE or Regiments of Foreign Volunteers were temporary formations of the French Foreign Legion organized from Foreign volunteers during World War II . These regiments were formed on 16 September 1939:

On September 16, 1939, the war minister decided to form special corps of foreign volunteers independent of the Foreign Legion, presumably to avoid the sort of conflict that had occurred in 1914. To make certain that these unit of foreign volunteers would be in no way confused with the "real" Legion, which wanted to distance itself from them, they were assigned numbers superior to 20 from February 1940 and so became the 21E, 22E and 23E régiment de marche des volontaires étrangers (RMVE).[1]

These regiments, despite the best effort of the French War Ministry and the Legion itself were assigned Legion cadres, crests carried the Legion Colors and celebrated Christmas and Camerone day. These regiments had large numbers of refugee Spanish Republicans, Jews and other refugees from Nazi Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia. These men were considered volunteers for the duration and many who escaped the fall of France were allowed to join their respective national armies before the Liberation.

They achieved a mixed success, but like many units during the Fall of France were overwhelmed by the German blitzkrieg. Their regimental honors live on in the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment.



  1. ^ Porch, Douglas. The French Foreign Legion: A Complete History of the Legendary Fighting Force. p. 445.