Jump to content
News Ticker
  • I am now accepting the following payment methods: Card Payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal
  • Latest News

    Very interesting legion group...

    Chris Boonzaier

    Recommended Posts

    Very interesting. A German serving in the Legion in Indochina and getting his good conduct certificate in 1950. Normally this means he signed up in 1945, which suggests demobbed Wehrmacht (I have a few of these groups in my collection with both German and French medal certificates). However this guy is entitled to the Liberation bar of the WWII War Medal. This suggests he was a German in the Legion prior to 1945 and fighting in France against his own countrymen !

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your remark about this german-born legionnaire is understandable.

    One has to keep two things in mind about the Foreign Legion.

    1. When a man signs up for a contract to serve with that unit, his past is his own business.

    2. No legionnaire whose original country (real or pretended) is at war with France has ever been sent to fight it. On the other hand, if he feels like doing so, he can volunteer. That again is his own business.

    When serving with the Regiment in 1944-45, the driver of the Jeep I was assigned to was German. He had served for 14 years with the Legion and been in the Reichwehr before that. He had fought the British and the Free French in Syria, the Germans in Tunisia. He was fighting the Wehrmacht again in France and did so as far as we went, the Aarlberg.

    No one would have dreamt asking him why he was there. A better war comrade you could not have ! LEGIO PATRIA NOSTRA.

    When dealing with this Unit, you can let your imagination go. But you will never know how right you are in your assumptions, except what the official papers say. That is also why you will never get the service papers of a legionnaire from the Legion. Only the man himself will furnish them or his descendants ... if they feel like it.

    That is also part of the contract.

    Happy New Year !


    Edited by Veteran
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Although from this guys age, he does not look to have been a pre war recruit. badenhausen is also a looooong way from the border.

    I assume there must have been an interesting story as to why and how he joined.

    That Pre war german Legionnaires were kept I knew before, but it is unusual to take a member of a belligerent nation on DURING the war.

    And WHERE could he have been recruited if the war had already broken out?

    I guess with the servicenumber it could be roughly worked out when.



    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    • 2 months later...

    What makes this sooooooooo interesting?

    :rolleyes: ...it was indeed the fact that this german legionnaire must have been recruited during WW2 and must have fought against the Wehrmacht...

    I haven?t been able to find anything out about this legionnaire but hopefully there might be something to tell...


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The Foreign Legion has a firm tradition : no man ever was ordered to fight against his own people.

    In two instances, a legionnaire might be fighting against his native country :

    1. He volunteered to do so. I personnally have known several Germans who fought on the Western Front against the Wehrmacht. They sometimes served under names that did not sound german.

    But only three units were engaged in active operations during that period : R?giment de Marche de la L?gion ?trang?re, R?giment ?tranger de cavalerie & 13e Demi-Brigade. Most of the other units were serving in areas where actvie fighting against the Germans or the Italians never occured.

    2. He enlisted as a national of an other country than Germany or Italy and did not wish to change anything about that. In such a case he may have been selected for one of those three regiments, or joined directly in France, which was an other way of volunteering.

    If he changed his mind, he could just have requested an interview with his commanding officer who would have seen that he would be sent to another unit.

    Simple as that !



    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Born in 1920, he could have joined the foreign legion since ~1937 (even if he would not have been very old...) so before the war.

    @Camerone54: units did not participate in active fighting only in Nord-Africa, Syria or Europe. He could have fought in Ethiopia against Italian in 1941 or in Indochina against Japanese (but in this case, I am ot sure he would have received the bar "Liberation").

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Take PST as an example...



    Finished studies in Germany in 43, wanted to cross into France to join the Army, then decided to join Tito, captured by the Gestapo... then in 1945 in Indochina.

    Lets assume Grosch did 5 years.... he would have joined in January 1945, maybe an Alsatian (inspite of where he was born?)

    Whatever, it must have been an interesting story....

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    • 1 month later...

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
    • Create New...

    Important Information

    We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.