As France emerged from the Franco-Prussian War she embarked on a period of active colonialism, acquiring territories in South-East Asia and Africa. By the turn of the century much of north, west and central Africa was under French control. In order to police all of these territories, the French needed an army and so the French Foreign Legion was born. In this book, world-renowned Legion expert Martin Windrow analyses what it would have been like to be a member of the French Foreign Legion and how the experience, equipment, tactics and training of the Legion developed in the 80 years between their foundation and the outbreak of the First World War. He investigates their glory years in North Africa and Indochina, and draws extensively on memoirs from two British legionnaires, peppering the text with extraordinary first-hand accounts of the French Foreign Legion.
Martin Windrow was born in 1944 and educated at Wellington College. Since the 1970s he has worked in book publishing as a commissioning and art editor specializing in military and aviation history. He is a series editor at Osprey and an authority on the French Foreign Legion. He is the author of the highly successful Men-at-Arms 300: French Foreign Legion since 1945 and Men-at-Arms 322: The French War in Indochina 1946-54. He is an Associate of the Royal Historical Society and of the Foreign Legion Association of Great Britain. In 2004 his major study The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam was published to critical acclaim in Britain and the USA. Peter Dennis was born in 1950. Inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK.
Introduction /Chronology /Recruitment /Training /Appearance /Life in peacetime /Belief and belonging /Life on campaign /The experience of battle /The aftermath of battle /Museums /Select bibliography /Index