"Le Roum", le spahi du Général De Gaulle

#1
Below a link to a recently published biography, of Nicolas Roumiantzov, aka “le Roum”, a Russian aristocrat who joined the Legion after graduating from St. Cyr Military Academy. He served in 1er REC, as an officer "à titre étranger", fought in Morocco, Tunisia and Syria (under the French Protectorate), then in the 1940 France campaign when he was wounded and captured. He managed to escape, joined the Free French and was assigned to the 1er Régiment de Spahis Marocains. This regiment (under the name of 1er Régiment de Spahis is stil active and located in Valence, south of Lyon). 1er RS and 1er REC are the two light cavalry regiments of the 6e BLB (Brigade Légère Blindée, Light Armoured Brigade), equipped both with AMX 10-RC (to be replaced by the EBRC “Jaguar”) as part of program Scorpion.
Roumiantzov was made a Compagnon de la Libération (a decoration created by Gen De Gaulle, to reward the most meritorious Free French fighters) and ended his career as a General with 22 citations.


Le Roum, le spahi du Général De Gaulle
His short bio on the Ordre de la Libération web site (in French)
 
#3
Yes, some famous Legion officers in this class of 1926. Dimitri Amilakvari of course, KIA at El-Alamein as a Lt-Col commanding the 13e DBLE, no need to elaborate. Jean Olié who spent most of his career in the Legion and another, less known, foreigner, Guy de Cros de Péronard of Danish nationality, although he has a French (*) (aristocratic) name. After graduating from St. Cyr, he started a career in the Danish Army, resigned after a dispute with his father and joined the Legion as a private. He became an officer and, as a Lt at 5e REI, was KIA in Cambodia (at that time part of the French Indochina) in Jan 1941, in the Franco-Thai war. Very few people, even in France, know that France and Thailand, were briefly at war, when the Thais decided to take advantage of France's weakening, after the defeat of 1940 against the Germans, to recover portions of the Laotian and Cambodian territories lost to France some decades before.
Interesting also to notice that Edmond Jouhaud, who ended his career as an Air Force general, was part of that class too (at that time, there was no Air Force Academy per se, Aviation officers initial training was done at St. Cyr). Jouhaud was one of the four “retired generals” (as De Gaulle called them) who launched the Algiers putsch in April 1961, where the 1er REP had an instrumental role, as everybody knows...


(*) By the way the Queen of Denmark's husband who recently passed away was also French.
 

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