Aubagne Bound

jonny

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Anyway, Sexpert, I’ll upload a couple of photos from Algeria to give you an idea of what makes a good soldier.

3AC1A223-2282-48A0-92C0-1FD0717E6F0E.jpeg E60498E8-43A6-4AF5-BDAF-2C2CFEBE09D6.jpeg 0866D04D-D2B8-4502-B195-B97749029DF1.jpeg 4B824082-0258-4D4D-8310-788C1B52EFF9.jpeg DDEBE220-3790-47B5-B8E2-97B64A46AB17.jpeg
 

Ex-Pongo

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Anyway, Sexpert, I’ll upload a couple of photos to give you an idea of what makes a good soldier.
I know there is a bit of b1tching going on here, but those are impressive photos. Respect to both the surviving and to the fallen.
F@ck war.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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No problem, I reckon. I have been cheesing off a few airline staffs myself, with a few beers inside me. I’m kind of proud of that, actually, because they pissed me off first, trying to stop me from being served any more beer, or smoking, and someone had to put them in their place!

Mind you, my wife didn’t agree with me and tried to shut me off as well.

But never mind, I’ll grow up eventually. Starting on my 80th year on this planet next week, perhaps (yes, I know I have been warning you all before).
That reminds of the time when I came back from France to go to Hao, which is where the 5 RE was based. My mate 5/5 pronounced cinq sur cinq, had the great idea that we buy a bottle from the duty free. Before I go on, I should tell you why he was called 5/5. Every time someone would ask him ça va (how's it?) he would answer cinq sur cinq, which was the old radio message to say “all is good” or “all is clear”.
In those days the Casa ( a kind of mini Transall) would wait until the legionnaires and the few regulars who were based at Hao arrived to take us with them. I swear the pilot of the casa refused to take us. We were both completely blitzed. The rumors have it that he saw us on the tarmac and said that there was no way he was going to allow us on board. You have to be in uniform to travel on the military flight so we rushed past every and were getting changed in the toilets when the PMs came in (there was a leave centre in Papeete, hence the PMs). One pr*ck looked at me getting into my uniform and called me a disgrace to the Legion. I'd never come across this guy before, however the second PM I knew him from Calvi. Luckily he grabbed his mate and said a few words in his ear.

I won't keep you much longer as I'm going to have a sieste and then get ready to go on leave. Did I mention that I am going on leave tonight? 😍
Anyway we had to wait 2 days until the next flight. Straight in front of the captain, who blamed me as a képi noir for not keeping 5/5 on the straight and narrow, who had the original idea of getting a bottle from the duty free. We were both consigné for 10 days (not allowed to leave the barracks), which is nothing as we were both caporaux-chefs (CCH). However... we were also forbidden to enter the foyer or the CCH popote.

No. I'd had a run in with the president of the CCHs who was one of the two PMs on the atoll, so I wasn't his best friend. However my boss was Major Falco who was well known. At the time he was running the service général. He had 35 years of service, was an ex-boxer and generally no one gave him any hassle. He was two minutes before me into the captain's office and came out like 30 seconds afterwards. After work he told me he'd be waiting for me in the CCH popote. I said I was consigné, so I wasn't allowed in. He didn't even acknowledge that he had heard me and off he went.

That evening I walked into the popote and the Major was there and ordered himself a beer and pointed at me. We were having a laugh and chatting away when the two PMs walked in. As soon as they saw me they started towards me. Major Falco looked at them and said I was allowed in here and in the foyer and carried on his conversation with someone. “Yea we've heard it all before, you're so good” ... blah blah.
My mate 5/5 was caught just before me in the foyer and got 10 days in jail. Which considering he was a garde punis at the time, didn't go down well.
 
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In many people's eyes that would make him an alcky, however, when you've worked all night and want a quiet beer or two, why not.
Where I'm working at the moment most would consider me carré, they should see me here while I'm waiting to go on leave ...tonight!!!
Yeah but the guy was a piss head Joe. Would drink all night & come to work for a 12-hour day shift and expect people to cover him while he slept it off. Was a fud as wee cpl would say. Drink controls weak minds.
 

Ex-Pongo

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I used to knock off after night shift and have a couple. Never did it til some old bird told me she did it. It only made sense once she explained the totally obvious point of that was the end of our work day. So why not? and her tits were nice.. anyway :D
 
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No problem, I reckon. I have been cheesing off a few airline staffs myself, with a few beers inside me. I’m kind of proud of that, actually, because they pissed me off first, trying to stop me from being served any more beer, or smoking, and someone had to put them in their place!

Mind you, my wife didn’t agree with me and tried to shut me off as well.

But never mind, I’ll grow up eventually. Starting on my 80th year on this planet next week, perhaps (yes, I know I have been warning you all before).
80 years young then coming up, well that calls for a celebration 🍾 pop some bottles with the miss and run through the streets naked yelling oui oui pee pee the most that will happen is you will get a few looks and maybe some social media celebrity status I would donate to that cause
 

jonny

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@jonny
Where and when these pics took place? Ancien para, béret rouge is asking. Tak.
Hi Capo,

All the photos were from eastern Algeria in the period 1958 - 1960, when the 2 REP had an operational base in Guelma, not far from the Tunisian border, with main base in Philippeville, now called Skikda.

The first pic was taken inside a small chapel at our Campe Pehaut in Phillippeville, after a bad day in the bush where we lost our company commander, Captain Bourgin, along with a young Austrian legionnaire. Inside the other 5 coffins are the remnants of a team of regular artillery soldiers that were blown sky high when their 4x4 hit a powerful land mine buried in a road that my truck was just about ready to drive down on as well. My first reaction was that a helicopter must have exploded because a lot of debris were flying around in the air. Then our truck, with Capitaine Bourgin in charge, set off down the exact same sandy road. I reckon we were all slightly worried about our gonads then.

The third pic shows the 3rd section of the Compagnie Portée in the summer of 1958, lining up to be heliported into the hills to deal with a unit of rebels that had been spotted crossing the electrified Morice line from Tunisia.

The fifth pic is a view of the Legion cemetary in Guelma, where the graves all contain the remains of Legion paras from 1st and 2nd REPs who had been killed during and after the ‘battle of the frontiers’, which mainly raged during 1957/58 along the Algerian border with Tunisia, when the FLN made a major push with their best troops into Algeria. They got such a bollocking that they never tried that stunt again! 😎
 
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I used to knock off after night shift and have a couple. Never did it til some old bird told me she did it. It only made sense once she explained the totally obvious point of that was the end of our work day. So why not? and her tits were nice.. anyway :D
Yeah that's normal but when it's daily drinking then it gets a problem. The guy i worked with löst his licence too. Was a d1ck when drunk, was drinking all night drove to work in his big jeep which stood out a mile. A german Cut him up so instead of driving on & keeping his mouth shut he started a fight with the guy. Police came licence gone for i think 10months. Had to do a phycologisch test. Germans Call it the "idiot Test". Got his face punched too a few times because he stared at people when drunk. Drink turns some people into assholes.
 

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All the photos were from eastern Algeria in the period 1958 - 1960, when the 2 REP had an operational base in Guelma, not far from the Tunisian border, with main base in Philippeville, now called Skikda.
It may be useful to specify that in the last picture we see (then) Major Marcel Bigeard. He wasn't a Legion officer (basic fact for those in the know, but maybe not for everybody) and the picture was probably taken in Indochina, since he's still wearing 4 stripes on his shoulders (rank of Major or Chef de bataillon in French). Bigeard later fought in Algeria and that's were he really became “famous”, as the CO of 3e RPC (Régiment de Parachutistes Coloniaux), then RPIMa (Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine).
 

jonny

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It may be useful to specify that in the last picture we see (then) Major Marcel Bigeard. He wasn't a Legion officer (basic fact for those in the know, but maybe not for everybody) and the picture was probably taken in Indochina, since he's still wearing 4 stripes on his shoulders (rank of Major or Chef de bataillon in French). Bigeard later fought in Algeria and that's were he really became “famous”, as the CO of 3e RPC (Régiment de Parachutistes Coloniaux), then RPIMa (Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine).
Also famous for ‘les crevettes Bigeard’ (dead rebels) that tended to disappear in Algiers, if I remember right. Not a man to mess with! Unless you fancy concrete boots, that is.

From Wikipedia:
L’expression « Crevettes Bigeard » désigne les personnes qui auraient été exécutées en étant jetées depuis un hélicoptère en mer Méditerranée, les pieds coulés dans une bassine de ciment, lors de la guerre d’Algérie (1954-1962) et plus particulièrement pendant la bataille d’Alger en 1957.

I included his photo as an illustration of my i initial comment only, but thanks for filling in the details, Rapace.
 

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This expression “les crevettes Bigeard” (litt. Bigeard's shrimps) was popularised by Paul Teitgen, the chief of staff of the (civilian) police in the Algiers region, who resigned in protest against the methods used by the paratroopers of Gen Massu's 10e DP during the battle of Algiers to dismantle the FLN terrorist cells. According him that was a method of summary execution widely used to eliminate captured terrorists who were no longer of any “use” (i.e. after they had confessed all they knew), but a number of historians are disputing the fact, as well as his evaluation of the number of summary executions perpetrated during this time. As for me, I'm also doubtful. If you want to kill someone and dispose of the body so that it cannot be found there are more “efficient” methods than putting his feet in a bucket of cement, waiting for the cement to dry, take him on board an helicopter and drop him at sea... Might have been used occasionally, I don't know, but probably not on a large scale. Moreover, these actions were wrongly attributed to Bigeard, while this sort of “dirty job” was more probably done by the team of Major Aussaresses who was much more discreet than Bigeard.
 

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