Review of "In the Foreign Legion"

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Rosen.JPG In the Foreign Legion by Erwin Rosen, published 1910 by Duckworth & Co., London

A young German with much wanderlust leaves his native country for America. After working labor jobs, such as picking cotton in Texas and learning to ride horses, he finds himself in California. Having gotten his break by translating press dispatches, he enjoys a career in journalism. His new profession brings him to both coasts of America, Cuba and Central America. He had acquired his taste for adventure.

He returned to the Fatherland to be a journalist, editor and novelist. Then a woman came into his life. It was to be his downfall. With new love often comes the loss of that love, which was the case with Rosen. With this change of direction in his life, everything became harder. A hopeless despair came over him, and life didn’t seem worth living. But he never forgot the lust for adventure within.

He enlisted as a soldier in the French Foreign Legion in 1906.

From there the stage is set to his brutal introduction to the Legion, his transport to Africa, boot camp and the many trials and tribulations it was to be a foot solider of La Legion in the early 20th century.

The Legion of this time was truly a “march or die” system. Any foot soldier unable to complete a march was 100 percent likely to die to the elements, or worse yet, tortured and killed by ruthless Arab women in the vast scrubland of northern Africa. Even simple medical care was a challenge for Legionnaires, as doctors either had no medicines, or worse, usually accused soldiers of malingering. Compounding the misery was their wage making 5 centimes per day. Soliders could choose either buy cleaning material, wine or tobacco – just one of them.

All too often, soldiers, cafard demoniacs, would go crazy and desert with no plans, resources, or logic and either succumb to the environment or be picked up and sent to penal servitude, which would only prolong their misery as the penal battalion time did not count towards their five-year contracts.

This amazing, extremely well written, self-aware and honest book ends with Rosen’s amazing escape to Oran and a boat to Marseilles and eventually freedom and a life back in Germany.

This book is in public domain and therefore free. I was able to acquire this book for my Kindle at no cost.
 

Surfguy

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Thanks for that , if you like Legion history read this

Edit Rosen`s "escape" kind of tell`s you his tale will be embellished to say the least , George Ward Price was a writer and not a Legionnaire , his account of Legion life in the 30`s comes across as being very honest .
 
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Joined
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Thank you
Thanks for that , if you like Legion history read this

Edit Rosen`s "escape" kind of tell`s you his tale will be embellished to say the least , George Ward Price was a writer and not a Legionnaire , his account of Legion life in the 30`s comes across as being very honest .
Thanks for the tip, Surfguy. Looks like an awesome book. I will see if I can get my hands on a copy here in the States.
 

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