Jump to content

2nd Foreign Legion Infantry Regiment


Recommended Posts

After the Indochina war the 2 REI was sent to North Africa. The previous Regimental badge had a Dragon on it, obviously more related to Indochiona and not having a lot to do with the Mounted Infantry role of the regt in the Sahara. The 2 REI badge does not have a Horse Shoe, it is a Mule shoe. New arrivals are informed of this difference when getting a brief history of the regiment... It is a badge with SEVEN holes.

 

The new badge was created in 1957 by Colonel Goujon, regimental commander.

 

 

This is the badge by "LR" a company founded in 1959 by an ex officer named Jean Lemaire. Apparently LR are the initials of his mothers maiden name.

 

LR badges are relatively new, the detail is superb. The pebbling on the badge can even be seen at the bottoms of the Mule shoe! I am a bit on the fence with this, such fantastic detail... but obviously using technology that the Older badges did not.. Very 3 dimensional flames on the grenade... As a traditionalist who loves things created by an artisan, the LR may just be "too perfect"...LR.jpg.30b400561ee5ce003e30ac86bfc24d5b.jpgLR1.jpg.305723f120ec786b5bb41eed0b088d4d.jpg

 

J. Balme Saumur was the standard badge for sale at the regiment in the early 90s, a pity because it is not a nice badge at all.. the detail is bad, compare the detail to the LR above... At some stage there was a really strange variation, no pebbling and 6 holes! According to some sellers this "error" is highly sought after by collectors... but there seem to be more than enough to go around. I am guessing none of those made it to the regiment and were probably dumped directly into the surplus stores and militaria dealers. to try and get rid of them. Balmes can be found with needles or the loops for the split pin. The 6 hole ones have loopsbal1.jpg.1a2cde8dcb32a4c4de63eb9e132296f5.jpgbal2.jpg.3932e483a0458f1dbb905fb78643170b.jpgbal3.jpg.e1f8c2dc540b4e908726fa25b3eeec80.jpgbal4.jpg.835386eaf7f13529d2d158f3b51c0ab3.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Pocket badges are nicknamed a "Pucelle", which is French for Virgin. noone agrees why they were given that name.

Usually they are worn on a leather Fob. There are hundreds and hundreds of different fobs. Each badge has its own shape. Legion ones are green with red stitching. puc2.thumb.jpg.5e8034d3c81b6ee5299569f3fe4758f1.jpgpuc1.thumb.jpg.265aca54614506c930b7d2f48c35e3ed.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Two more not so nice ones... on the left Destree, on the right Pichard, which may just be the most "I can not be bolloxed" production you will ever find.... No wonder Pichard and Balme (above) joined companies ..... Pic1.jpg.2ef986e46bb90162b05aa6991a1c117d.jpgpic2.jpg.ae058da4ab444ba1ba289955cad23f56.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

The downfall of French Medal/Badge making.....

Traditions firm DRAGO was bought by the Arthus Bertrand Group... The AB Group has factories in the far east...

Pichard, who made the worst 2 REI badge joined with Balme... to form Pichard - Balme .... Then Pichard-Balme bought the Arthus Bertrand Group (including DRAGO.... so the superior Bertrand and Drago makers were swallowed up by a firm of lesser Quality makers... All can be seen on the bag holding these regt badge Cufflinks.....picbal.thumb.jpg.ed745a927fdf28cccd9b896356dcdab4.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I really like this maker... Andor, from Le Cannet...

 

In the pic you see a really old school DRAGO badge (the one with the Golden Tint) ... veeeeery similar to Andor, although Andor goes an extra step and even the surface of the Mule shoe looks as if it has been hammered... the flames are flat and not so 3 dimensional as the later badges are... compare it to the old Drago which also has flat flames.... Drago and Andor were very close in design... the firm apparently existed from 1964-2007... Andor has regular pinbacks, and also real silver... with split pins... on the one you see the silver stamp in the middle, on the other you can see it below the loopAND1.thumb.jpg.9075578f1d0d59e8d9ef1c690c573af0.jpgand2.jpg.e52f09769b3e8d75bd3cc5e4e104db27.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

So whats going on with Arthus-Bertrand? One of the most traditional makers... who bought DRAGO, and were then swallowed by Pichard-Balme... you can see from the catch that these are pretty modern... the first one has flat flames and good detail, the one in the middle is a strange bird... produced for Editions Atlas, a dick move to make badges for a company who sells collectibles, so basically a "fake" although somewhere there a few guys wearing them as they are the same as the previous ones from the front... and the last one... the horseshoe and grenade has jumped from a DRAGO rip off to a Balme clone.... Bertrand has made badges for decades and made the regiments badges before WW2 already... I don't remember seeing any of their badges in this 2 REI model until these very new ones came out... The world would not be a poorer place if they had not joined in... although my collection would be 3 badges lighter...AB1.thumb.jpg.e2c17df30c02aa0befd3984150640c91.jpgAB2.thumb.jpg.b5ec8ab74475dc59c371b6e69901dfe8.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

What could have been... while some makers are getting their badges made in China.... AIXIA, a "boutique" or artisanal makes enjoyed a short run in the early 90s.... They made the El Moungar" and the X-Mas 1991 version of the badge, made the 3rd Company commemorative for operation Baumier... and a bunch of different badges for the Cavalry regiment for  Cambodia... and then faded away. The product was expensive, mostly cast out of silver and hand finished, everyone a little different.... here is a numbered Officers one for presentation Noel 1991, as well as an El Moungar one numbered 001! and a 150 birthday of the regiment table medal, and the 3rd Company ones for Op Baumier... and a couple of test strikes for the Noel 1991 badge... unfortunately the company did not last long... and Balme and other companies with ugly, cheap badges, some made in China! cornered the badge market...aixia3.thumb.jpg.3ee0df035512f63c0444cb8e7d47ea55.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Blog Comments

    • Sounds great other than the Orange & Mango squash only because I prefer cran-pomegranate juice.
    • "(...) disgusting herbal concoction (...)" I took note of this description, to enrich my otherwise limited, English "Wortschatz"...
    • At work the standard indian tea such as PG tips is referred to as chimp tea. This goes back to the days when we had a Spanish girl working for us whose command of the English language was extremely limited. One lunch she said she was going to the shop could she get anything. I asked if she could get a pack of tea bags. She returned with some disgusting herbal concoction. I tried to explain what was required but without success. I then remembered PG tips had a picture of a chimpanzee on the packe
    • When I read Lapsang Souchong i decided to post something about these Tea . Many years ago I dont  know about Lapsang until I read James Michener book Centennial and the description of the savour of the Lapasang as a mix of tar and salt & smoked made me proof . It was exact ! and i liked it since then .
    • I have been known to drink Lapsang Souchong and Tea, Earl Grey, Hot... both "without pollutants". I normally have one mug of coffee in the morning, then spend the rest of the day drinking Orange & Mango squash (by the pint). Then evening comes and it's a pint, followed by red wine with dinner and sometimes a drop of Laphroaig afterwards.
×
×
  • Create New...