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- 08 -142015

In Honour and by Victory, neinth episode : the 13th Foreign Legion Half-Brigade

Bren Gun Carriers of the Foreign Legion, near Bir Hakeim. Libya, May 1942 © the Musée de l’Ordre de la Liberation / All rights reservedIn June 1940, the 13th Foreign Legion Half-Brigade (13e DBLE) was withdrawn to Great-Britain from Norway along with the remaining troops of the Franco-British Expeditionary force. Over one thousand legionnaires, half of the men serving in the Brigade, chose to continue the fight by joining the Free French Forces, thus forming its core.

The Brigade was sent to Dakar in Senegal, took part in the fighting Homs, Syrie, 19 octobre 1941, le général Catroux remet le drapeau de la 13ème DBLE au lieutenant-colonel Amilakvari © musée de l’ordre de la Libération / DR during the Battle of Gabon in November 1940, went on to fight against the Italians in Eritrea (March-April 1941) and against the Vichy troops in Syria, in June 1941. During the Battle of Bir Hakeim, in Libya, the Brigade fought in very harsh conditions while resisting against the attacks led by the Germans and the Italians during the months of June and July 1942. In October 1942, it took part in the decisive Second Battle of El Alamein, in Egypt.

Alsace, 1er  février 1945, les légionnaires de la 13ème DBLE en passe d’atteindre le Rhin © musée de l’ordre de la Libération / DRAfter the Tunisia Campaign, in May 1943, the 13e DBLE was assigned to the 1st Free French Division in April 1944, where it distinguished itself on several occasions. In August 1944, it participated in the landings of Provence and fought with distinction for the liberation of France, from Toulon to the Alsace region. After a journey of 90,000 kilometres, the 13th BFL ended the war in the Alps.

96 Companions of the Liberation served in the 13th Half-Brigade of the Foreign Legion.

Credits : © the Musée de l’Ordre de la Liberation / All rights reserved

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