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Dream unit....


Chris Boonzaier
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I already have my dream Medaille Coloniale docs. One is in a group to the III/3 REI for Indochina (recipient served at Dien Bien Phu), the others are to members of the BEP who served at Dien Bien Phu. Of these, one got two Croix de Guerre (both bronze stars) while the second one got a Croix de Guerre with silver star since he was one of the volunteers who jumped in near the end as reinforcements despite not having para training. All are with the Extreme Orient bar.

:cheers:

Apart from these, it would be to get one to the Heavy Mortar Company of the Legion Paras or else to a BEP member who took part in the action on RC4 when they were wiped out.

Edited by Paul L Murphy
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Hi,

Airborne units in North Africa in World War 2? More likely during the Algerian uprising in the 50s.

Well, what about the Troupes Coloniales?

Regards,

Mike

French airborne soldiers on operations in North Africa certainly received the Colonial Medal. I have seen medal grous with the clasps for "Libye" and "Tunisie" on Colonial Medals, along with the paperwork, to members of 1?re Compagnie d?infanterie de l?Air, which was attached to the SAS and known as the French Squadron. One of these men had "Libye", "Tunisie" and, as a veteran of Indo-China in the late 1940s and early 1950s, also had the "Extr?me-Orient" clasp.

1 RPIMa was garrisoned in Beirut and Damascus in 1941, then at Kabret, on the Suez Canal in 1942. Members of the regiment were engaged on operations in Libya in 1942, attacking Axis airfields. The regiment was also deployed behind German lines in Tunisia in 1943. 1 RCP was on standby in Algiers during the summer of 1940 but not engaged in operations. the unit was garrisoned in Algeria in 1941 and Morocco in 1942 and 1943. Members of those units received Colonial Medals with the appropriate clasps.

As Ed Haynes says, the medals are unnamed. We are really talking about documents or, better yet, medals and groups with documents and other supporting paperwork and documents are hard to come by. The problem is that families either file them forever, which is fine, or throw them out when grandpa dies, and then sell the medals and badges for a pittance. They don't even imagine that the documents might be of interest to collectors.

PK

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Hi,

thanks for enlightening me. Campaign Medals are not my forte I must admit.

I was aware that the senior French Para regiments had been raised that early, but I was only aware of the Foreign Legion's stand at Bir-Hakeim.

Toujours en pointe!

Have a nice weekend!

Mike [WOULD-BE Legionnaire]

French airborne soldiers on operations in North Africa certainly received the Colonial Medal. I have seen medal grous with the clasps for "Libye" and "Tunisie" on Colonial Medals, along with the paperwork, to members of 1?re Compagnie d'infanterie de l'Air, which was attached to the SAS and known as the French Squadron. One of these men had "Libye", "Tunisie" and, as a veteran of Indo-China in the late 1940s and early 1950s, also had the "Extr?me-Orient" clasp.

1 RPIMa was garrisoned in Beirut and Damascus in 1941, then at Kabret, on the Suez Canal in 1942. Members of the regiment were engaged on operations in Libya in 1942, attacking Axis airfields. The regiment was also deployed behind German lines in Tunisia in 1943. 1 RCP was on standby in Algiers during the summer of 1940 but not engaged in operations. the unit was garrisoned in Algeria in 1941 and Morocco in 1942 and 1943. Members of those units received Colonial Medals with the appropriate clasps.

As Ed Haynes says, the medals are unnamed. We are really talking about documents or, better yet, medals and groups with documents and other supporting paperwork and documents are hard to come by. The problem is that families either file them forever, which is fine, or throw them out when grandpa dies, and then sell the medals and badges for a pittance. They don't even imagine that the documents might be of interest to collectors.

PK

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Hi,

thanks for enlightening me. Campaign Medals are not my forte I must admit.

I was aware that the senior French Para regiments had been raised that early, but I was only aware of the Foreign Legion's stand at Bir-Hakeim.

Toujours en pointe!

Have a nice weekend!

Mike [WOULD-BE Legionnaire]

The main Legion unit involved in Bir Hakeim was the 13 DBLE. The Legion paratroop units were not formed until after that.

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Hi

My "dream m?daille coloniale" would be a period medal and ribbon with a CONGO CENTRE AFRICAIN HAUT-OUBANGUI set of original clasps. Probably to an officer serving with the Infanterie coloniale or Artillerie coloniale detachment who went out to explore and conquer Central Africa.

Somewhat old-fashioned, I will admitt...

Greetings

Veteran

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Hi

My "dream m?daille coloniale" would be a period medal and ribbon with a CONGO CENTRE AFRICAIN HAUT-OUBANGUI set of original clasps. Probably to an officer serving with the Infanterie coloniale or Artillerie coloniale detachment who went out to explore and conquer Central Africa.

Somewhat old-fashioned, I will admitt...

Greetings

Veteran

Think you have it right, 'Veteran'. Admittedly, attribuition would be difficult/impossible, but . . . :jumping:

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Think you have it right, 'Veteran'. Admittedly, attribuition would be difficult/impossible, but . . . :jumping:

To play devils advocate here for a moment....

Although a name would of course make things "Nicer"... I would argue that an unattributed untouched medal with the bars is historically just as interesting as a named one to "Private X".... especially with such rare bars.

The way I see it.... a medal like that would open vistas of research concerning the campaign, and you would be able to read all about it in detail (More so than an unnamed medal with just a "Maroc" bar for instance). In that case the extra info knowing it was awarded to "Private Jean Henri" does not really add much.

I am after a set of docs to a Lt Col of the 3eme REI for Indochina.... that is a bit of a dream group for me ;-)

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Chris

The reason why I would rather have an officer's or an NCO's colonial medal with a CENTRE AFRICAIN is that it would then be a GOLD BAR. They are very, very scarce and they convey the story of adventures which, in their times, were as exciting as going to the moon in the 1970s.

But I can understand exactly your approach, which I also share. It was just .... if I had to contend with only one single colonaial medal

Regards

Veteran

Edited by Veteran
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Any "Bat'd'Af" medal would probably be quite a rarity..... these "bad boys" units were seldom used as operational troups, since their officers and NCOs could not trust them very far. One would not expect many of them to earn much recognition.

Cheers

Veteran

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Paul

Please don't parallel the Foreign Legion and the Bataillons d'Afrique.

They have NOTHING IN COMMON. Except possibly in the fuzzy mind of the missinformed .... and the fact that both types of military units served in North Africa.

The Foreign Legion has always been a crack unit in the French Armed Forces. Its members are all volunteers, from any nationality except Frenchmen, serving France on a contract basis. They are the successors of the Scot, Irish, Swiss, German, Italian, Hungarian, Croatian and Swedish regiments who served France from the XVth to mid-XIXth centuries.

The Bataillons d'infanterie l?g?re d'Afrique were a special unit in the French Forces, where serious offenders were sentenced to serve. No one ever volunteered.

If you are interested in military history and medals, the Foreign Legion certainly is the right choice.

Regards

Veteran

Edited by Veteran
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There is a crossing of the two though.

According to Porch, "The left wing Waldeck-Rousseau government of 1899, and its reforming war minister General Louis Andre, sought to end criticism of the penal Bat d'af by retaining only the most hardened criminals. Those whose records suggested a glimmer of rehabilitation were often deposited into the legion. General Trumelet-Faber was of the opinion that the legion had been corrupted by these men "... today it has become the refuge of all the outcasts of the Bataillons d'Afrique, of the Armee Coloniale and of the tirailleurs Algerians who, because of their deplorable records were refused reenlistment in their original corps. "

But the legion goes through recruiting cycles....

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Paul

Please don't parallel the Foreign Legion and the Bataillons d'Afrique.

They have NOTHING IN COMMON. Except possibly in the fuzzy mind of the missinformed .... and the fact that both types of military units served in North Africa.

The Foreign Legion has always been a crack unit in the French Armed Forces. Its members are all volunteers, from any nationality except Frenchmen, serving France on a contract basis. They are the successors of the Scot, Irish, Swiss, German, Italian, Hungarian, Croatian and Swedish regiments who served France from the XVth to mid-XIXth centuries.

The Bataillons d'infanterie l?g?re d'Afrique were a special unit in the French Forces, where serious offenders were sentenced to serve. No one ever volunteered.

If you are interested in military history and medals, the Foreign Legion certainly is the right choice.

Regards

Veteran

Veteran,

Do not worry, I would never mix the two. I know enough about French military history and Legion history to know the difference. Hence my continuing preference for Legion related documents rather than Bat d'Af. If I had to be bailed out of a tight spot I know which unit I would prefer to be doing the bailing.

Best regards,

Paul

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Hello Chris.

Impressive document. Lt.Col. Royer, name sounds very familiar but cannot place this officer any more precisely. But I believe that he later was in command of 3.REI. Perhaps Veteran can.

Signed by General Salan, he of the Armee Secrete "fame'"; here "commandant par interim". Have seen him once while lined up for Prise d'Armes while in Vietnam.

You are still lucky to have gotten what you did.

Bernhard H. Holst

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Sorry Bernhard I could not find an officer by the name of ROYER on the list of officers of the RMLE during the campaign in France & Germany 1944-45; the Regiment became the 3rd REI in July 1945, as soon as it was brought back to Algeria.

He probably joined from an other Legion unit wheh the 3rd REI was refitted for service in Indochina, or as a replacement later during the campaign there.

Congratulations to Chris for such a valuable M?daille coloniale document. They don't show up that often.

Regards

Veteran

Edited by Veteran
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