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Combat of Mont Louis, 5 September 1793

Combat of Mont Louis, 5 September 1793


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Combat of Mont Louis, 5 September 1793

The combat of Mont Louis (5 September 1793) was a minor French victory during the War of the Convention that prevented a small French army under General Dagobert from being trapped in the mountains and distracted Spanish attention from the more important fighting around Perpignan.

While the main French and Spanish armies operated around Perpignan General Dagobert and the small corps of the Cerdanya operated against the Spanish left, which ran up the Tet valley to La Perche and Mont Louis on the Cerdanya plateau. Dagobert advanced west from Olette on the Tet to Mont Louis. On 28 August he attacked the Spanish camp at La Perche, and then continued to move west, to Puigcerdà and Bellver on the plateau, then down the Reo Segra to la Seu d'Urgell. He then turned east, and by early September was planned to attack Camprodon, to the south-east of the Cerdanya, a move that would have threatened the Spanish rear.

The Spanish commander, General Ricardós, responded to this threat by sending General Vasco up the Tet at the head of 3,500 men. Vasco defeated Berthencourt's brigade at Olette, and forced it to retreat west up the valley. Dagobert was in danger of being cut off, and so he abandoned his plans in the south and rushed back to Mont Louis. There he combined with Berthencourt and a small force that had been watching Villefranche, giving him a total of 3,000 men. On 4 September Dagobert drove Vasco out of strong positions to the east of Mont Louis, taking 300 prisoners and capturing 14 guns.

This success secured Dagobert's communications with the north. It also had an impact on the fighting around Perpignan, because it convinced Ricardós that he needed to send more troops, under the Comte La Union, to the Cerdanya. It also meant that when, in the aftermath of the Spanish capture of Peyrestortes and the French posts along the L'Agly on 8 September, the Convention at Perpignan was looking for a new commander of the Army of the Eastern Pyrenees, it would be Dagobert who was appointed to that post.

Napoleonic Home Page | Books on the Napoleonic Wars | Subject Index: Napoleonic Wars


Saint-Maxime-du-Mont-Louis, Quebec

Saint-Maxime-du-Mont-Louis is a municipality in Quebec, Canada. Located in the administrative region of Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine and the regional county municipality of La Haute-Gaspésie, the municipality comprises the communities of Mont-Louis, Ruisseau-des-Olives, L'Anse-Pleureuse, Les Côtes-du-Portage and Gros-Morne.

The municipality had a population of 1,118 as of the Canada 2011 Census. [3]

The eponymous Mount Louis is one of two prominent hills that line the Bay of Mont-Louis (the other being Mount Saint-Pierre). The 465-metre-high (1,526 ft) hill was named after King Louis XIV of France. [1] [5]


7 Comments

To be honest, I have never heard of Mont Louis but it is interesting to know that it is the highest walled town in French Pyrenees. And the yellow train, you say it is famous but I don’t have much knowledge about that either! I love exploring UNESCO world heritage sites and this one would definitely make it to my list, it looks so charming.

I haven’t spent much time in the Pyrenees but this must have been quite a discovered to find a small town with so many accolades! Looks like a great place to unwind, those views in the background are beautiful.

This seems like the kind of town that I would wander around and wonder what it is like to wake up there every day with those views. It seems so sweet and quaint. And I love that it has played such unique roles in history.

I love such peaceful mountain towns and therefore French Pyrenees really looks appealing to me. The houses in Mont Louis, Pyrenees, France are beautiful and very photogenic too. Loved to know that this place was planned to host traders, craftsmen and middle class people as this sounds very historic. The citadel is also interesting and with a beautiful backdrop of nature.

I have always been fascinated by the beauty and history of the Pyrenees! Mon Louis looks like a great place to stay. Saint Louis Church looks like a fun, historical church to explore (we always seek them out when we travel). Saving this for future reference. I hope to travel there soon!

What a beautiful place! The solar furnace surprised me! I live in SoCal with plenty of sunshine but that area of the world never struck me as having anything solar powered. This looks like a great road trip from Barcelona!

What a beautiful mountain town! It’s very cool to learn about the solar furnace and cool that it powered the whistle for the Yellow Train. I love your photo of the solar furnace! I like the medieval look to the town as well, it would be nice to see the citadel too.

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Hi, I am Mijia Eggers!

Having worked in the travel industry for more than a decade, I decided to spotlight my own travel experience online. My blog mainly focuses on local guides, underrated places, and family activities from 50 countries.


French Foreign Legion history page. Well-ordered data mapping the whole history of the Foreign Legion, from its predecessors to nowadays. All important units, battles and campaigns included.

Foreign Legion History: Prior to the establishment

1481:
Swiss Hundred (Cent Suisse)
– Swiss Hundred was established by King Louis XI
– it was a company comprising 100 Swiss elite soldiers
– the main task of this elite unit was to protect the King and his family
– Swiss Hundred existed during the 1471-1792 and 1814-1817 periods

1616:
Swiss Guards (Gardes Suisses)
– Swiss Guards infantry regiment (2,400 men) was established by King Louis XIII
– its main task was to guard French royal palaces
– during military campaigns, the Swiss Guards served in the first line
– at the time of the establishment, there were another 11 Swiss regiments serving the French kingdom
– Swiss Guards were massacred during the French Revolutionary Wars in August 1792 and ceased to exist

1792 – 1793:
Free Foreign Legion (Légion Franche Etrangère)
– a Legion established in August 1792
– eventually composed of Dutch volunteers
– it fought in the French Revolutionary Wars
– as Batavian Legion, dissolved in October 1793

1802 – 1814:
Napoleon’s Army (Armée napoléonienne)
– tens of thousands of foreigners served the French Empire during the Napoleon’s Wars

April-May 1815:
Foreign regiments (Régiments étrangers)
– Napoleon’s decision to establish 8 foreign regiments within his Armée du Nord
– they would fight in Belgium (the campaign well-known for the Battle of Waterloo)
– however, only the 2nd Foreign Regiment (consisting of the Swiss) was combat-ready

September 1815:
Royal Foreign Legion (Légion Royale Étrangère)
– Royal Foreign Legion was established by King Louis XVIII
– it absorbed the Swiss and recruits from the recently disbanded eight foreign regiments
– the Royal Legion has strength of a full regiment
– besides that, six Swiss regiments served within the French Army at that time

Royal Guard (Garde Royale)
– in September 1815, the Royal Guard was established to protect the king
– two of the six Swiss regiments were part of the Royal Guard
– in August 1830, the Royal Guard, including the Swiss regiments, was disbanded

1821:
Hohenlohe Regiment (Régiment de Hohenlohe)
– in 1816, Royal Foreign Legion was renamed the Hohenlohe Legion (Légion de Hohenlohe)
– the unit was commanded by Colonel Louis Aloysius, Prince of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Bartenstein
– in 1821, Hohenlohe Legion (based in Bastia, Corsica) was retitled
– it became the Hohenlohe Regiment

January 1831:
– Hohenlohe Regiment was disbanded

First Foreign Legion 1831-1835

March 10, 1831:
Foreign Legion (Légion Étrangère, LE)
King Louis Philippe signed an ordinance
– the ordinance authorized an establishment of a new unit composed of foreigners
– the unit was named as the Foreign Legion
– the ordinance allowed foreigners to serve under a declared identity
– this condition of service is valid to this day

– the first French Foreign Legion was organized into a single regiment
– it would consist of seven battalions, devided into eight companies
– each company would consist of around 110 men
– each battalion would consist of men of specific nationality

1831 – 1833:
– Foreign Legion battalions:

  • 1st Battalion – consisting of Swiss and German veterans from the Swiss regiments and Hohenlohe Regiment
  • 2nd + 3rd Battalions consisting of the Swiss and German-speaking volunteers
  • 4th Battalion consisting of Spanish-speaking volunteers
  • 5th Battalion consisting of Italian-speaking volunteers
  • 6th Battalion consisting of French, Belgian and Dutch volunteers
  • 7th Battalion consisting of Polish volunteers

1834:
– 4th Battalion of Spaniards was disbanded
– its men were sent back to Spain, to join the Spanish Civil War (or First Carlist War)

1835 – 1838:
First Carlist War
– in June 1835, King Louis Philippe decided to send the whole Foreign Legion to Spain
– its around 4,100 legionnaires had to help Maria Christina, Regent of Spain
– in August 1835, the Foreign Legion left Algeria and joined the Spanish Army
– in August 1836, one another battalion was sent to Spain to reinforce the legionnaires
– in 1839, only around 220 men of the original Legion returned to France

New French Foreign Legion 1835-1855

1835 – 1840:
new Foreign Legion establishment
– on 16 December 1835, King Louis Philippe decided to create the new Foreign Legion
– in 1836, a battalion was formed
– however, it was disbanded and its men moved also to Spain
– in November 1836, a new battalion was formed
– in September 1837, the second battalion of the new Foreign Legion was formed
– until December 1840, three other battalions were established
– the battalions served in Algeria

October 1837:
Siege of Constantine
– a Foreign Legion task force participated in

May 1839:
Djidjelli campaign
– 1st Battalion participated in fierce fights

April 1841:
Foreign Legion Regiments
– on 30 December 1840, a decision to create two Foreign Legion regiments was made
– on 1 April 1841, the two foreign regiments were established

1st Foreign Legion Regiment (1er Régiment de la Légion Étrangère, 1er RLE) was organized in Algiers, the capital of Algeria
– Colonel Ch.J. de Mollenbeck took the leadership
– Colonel de Mollenbeck was a German officer
– he was a former member of the Hohenlohe Regiment

2nd Foreign Legion Regiment (2e Régiment de la Légion Étrangère, 2e RLE) was organized in Bône, Algeria
– Colonel J. F. Caries de Senilhes took the leadership

1841 – 1854:
Pacification of Algeria
– Siege of Kolea in 1841
– Conquest of Zibans in 1844
– Siege of Zaatcha in 1849
– Siege of Moulouya in 1852

1843:
– Foreign Legion moved to Sidi Bel Abbes
– in 1843, the first Legion elements moved to Sidi Bel Abbes
– Sidi Bel Abbes was the garrison made up by legionnaires
– Foreign Legion headquarters had been based in Sidi Bel Abbes up to 1962

French Foreign Legion: Crimean War 1854-1855

1854 – 1855:
Crimean War
– in 1854, the Legion was attached to the Orient Army of France
– both regiments deployed to Turkey to be based at Gallipoli
– Battle of Alma in September 1854
– Siege of Sevastopol in September 1855

– during the Crimean War, the Foreign Legion lost 1,625 men

1855 – 1856:
First Foreign Legion + Second Foreign Legion
– on 17 January 1855, a decree to create two Foreign Legions was issued
– the original Legion became the First Foreign Legion (1re LE)
– it consisted of the two original regiments fighting in Crimea

Second Foreign Legion
2e Légion Étrangère (2e LE)
– Second Foreign Legion was established in early 1855
– it was commanded by General Ochsenbein
– the new Legion was nicknamed Swiss Legion (Légion Suisse)
– it was composed of Swiss volunteers in the vast majority
– 2e LE would also fight in the Crimean War
– its first regiment was formed in 1855
– the second Swiss regiment existed only on paper
– finally, 2e LE didn’t join the war in Crimea

French Foreign Legion Reorganisation 1856

1856:
Foreign Legion reorganisation
– on April 16, a decree to reorganize Foreign Legions was issued
– the decree ordered to form two Foreign Regiments

1st Foreign Regiment (1er Régiment Etrangèr, 1er RE)
– in June 1856, the Swiss Legion (2e LE) was disbanded
– Swiss legionnaires formed a new Foreign Regiment
– 1st Foreign Regiment was established

2nd Foreign Regiment (2e Régiment Etrangèr, 2e RE)
– in July 1856, the original Legion’s regiments landed in Algeria
– in August 1856, they were disbanded and its legionnaires formed a new unit
– 2nd Foreign Regiment was established

Foreign Legion: Italian campaign 1859

April-July 1859:
Second Italian War of Independence
– in April 1859, both Foreign Regiments deployed to Italy
– Battle of Magenta on 4 June 1859
– during the battle was killed Colonel de Chabrières, the 2e RE commander
– Battle of Solferino on 24 June 1859

August 1859:
Military parade in Paris
– on 14 August 1859, the 2e RE legionnaires paraded in Paris
– for legionnaires, it was the first military parade in Paris

French Foreign Legion: North Africa 1859-1863

1859 – 1860:
1st Foreign Regiment in Corsica
– during the war in Italy, 1er RE suffered heavy casualties
– the regiment left the war to be based in Corsica in June 1859
– 1er RE left Corsica for Algeria in February 1860

September 1859:
operations in Morocco
– legionnaires participated in operations against Beni Snassen rebels

January 1862:
Foreign Regiment (Régiment Etrangèr, RE)
– in January 1862, the 2e RE was redesignated
– it became simply the Foreign Regiment (RE)
– in February 1862, 1st Foreign Regiment (1er RE) was disbanded
– its legionnaires consolidated with the RE

Foreign Legion: Mexican Campaign 1863-1867

March 1863:
French intervention in Mexico
– legionnaires landed in Mexico
– they took part in the French intervention (1861-1867)

April 30, 1863:
Battle of Camerone in Mexico
– 3rd Company led by Captain Danjou was involved in
– 3 officers + 62 legionnaires
– they fought against 2,000 Mexican soldiers, rebels and cavalrymen
– when the battle finished, only 3 legionnaires were combat-ready
– 40 of them were killed during the battle, including 2 officers
– today, the Legion commemorates this battle on Camerone Day
– Camerone Day became the most important day for the legionnaires

1864 – 1865:
– in June 1864, 2nd Battalion was involved in fights near Puchingo
– in December 1864, fights near Coutela
– in February 1865, legionnaires siezed the town of Oajacca

1866:
Battle of Santa Isabel
– on March 1, a battle at a hacienda located near Parras, northern Mexico
– two Legion companies (180 men) led by Major De Brian
– they were annihilated by 1,900 Mexicans, attacking the hacienda
– it is seen as the “second Camerone”

– also in March, 44 legionnaires resisted near Parras against 500 Mexicans for 3 days
– in July, 125 legionnaires defended the Hacienda De La Encarnacion against 600 Mexicans
– in December, 50 cavalry legionnaires fought off around 500 Mexicans in Parral

– in November 1866, the Mexican Campaign ended for the French

February 1867:
– Foreign Regiment left Mexico for Africa

– Foreign Regiment lost over 1,500 men in Mexico

French Foreign Legion 1867-1883

1867:
– in March 1867, Foreign Regiment landed in Algeria

1868:
– in February, operations in the Figuig region, Algeria

1870 – 1871:
Franco-Prussian War
– Provisional Foreign Regiment participated
– consisting of three battalions (1st + 2nd + 5th)
– they were mainly involved in fights in Orleans, France

1871:
Paris Commune
– in May, legionnaires fought against radical socialists occupying Paris
– legionnaires reseized Paris together with the regular French Army
– in June, the battalions left France for Africa

– in August 1871, the regiment received a provisional flag

1875:
Foreign Legion
– on 13 March 1875, Foreign Regiment changed its designation
– it became the Foreign Legion again

1881:
– operations in the South Oran region of Algeria

– first Mounted Companies (Compagnie Montée) were established
– they will become the elite units of the Legion

Foreign Legion: Tonkin Campaign 1883-1886

– in December 1883, General François de Négrier:

“You, Legionnaires, you are soldiers in order to die, and I’m sending you to where one dies!”

– these famous words were addressed to legionnaires leaving Algeria for Asia

1883 – 1886:
Tonkin Campaign
– in November 1883, first legionnaires landed in Indochina
– a peninsula in Southeast Asia
– to take part in military operations in Tonkin
– the northernmost part of today’s Vietnam
– as a reaction to Chinese attacks

– in Tonkin, legionnaires were involved in several campaigns and battles:
Son Tay Campaign (December 1883)
Bac Ninh Campaign (March 1884)
Siege of Tuyen Quang (December 1884 – February 1885)
Lang Son Campaign (February 1885)

1884 – 1885:
Sino-French War
– a conflict with China in Tonkin and Formosa
– the then title for today’s Taiwan
– the conflict was part of the Tonkin Campaign

January 1885:
1st + 2nd Foreign Regiments
– January 1, a new reorganization took place
– Foreign Legion was devided into two regiments again
– 1er RE and 2e RE were re-established

1886 – 1896:
Pacification of Tonkin
– military operations against rebels in Tonkin
– several Legion battalions participated

1887:
French Indochina
– that year, French Indochina was constituted
– it would be composed of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam
– French Indochina ceased to exist in 1954

French Foreign Legion 1887-1914

1892 – 1893:
Campaign of French Sudan
– Sudan is a former title for today’s Mali (West Africa)
– a Legion company took part in

1892 – 1894:
Second Franco-Dahomean War
– the expedition was part of the Second Franco-Dahomean War
– it took place near the Gulf of Guinea, in today’s Benin (West Africa)
– a Legion battalion was involved in (August-November)

1894 – 1895:
Second Campaign of French Sudan
– in February 1894, a 2e RE company left Algeria
– with a 1er RE company, they moved to French Sudan
– 2e RE company was sent to French Guinea
– in January 1895, the companies returned to Algeria

Battle of Bosse
– on July 1, 1894, a fierce battle in French Sudan
– it took place in the village of Bosse
– it was aimed at Alikari, the local king of Bosse
– a platoon of 1er RE took part in

1895:
Second Madagascar Expedition
– legionnaires took part in the French military intervention
– the Legion returned back to Madagascar in 1896
– legionnaires left the island in 1905

1903:
– on September 2, Battle of El-Moungar
– the battle took place in the South Oran region, Algeria
– 113 legionnaires of the 22nd Mounted Company/2e RE were attacked by 3,000 Berbers
– legionnaires fought off the Berbers for more than 8 hours
– with coming French reinforcements, the Berbers retreated
– 2e RE company suffered 34 dead and almost 50 severely wounded
– 2e REI commemorates the battle on El Moungar Day

1907 – 1934:
Pacification of Morocco
– since 1907, the Legion took part in the Pacification of Morocco
– in 1912, the French Protectorate in Morocco was established
– the Legion had 3 of its 4 infantry regiments of Africa based there in 1920-1940
– in 1934, the Pacification successfully ended

1908:
– in early February, Forthassa Disaster
– a tragedy taking place in then western Algeria
– a severe snowstorm surprised a Foreign Legion company
– near Forthassa Gharbia, in the Ain Sefra region
– 38 legionnaires were found frozen to death

Foreign Legion: First World War 1914-1918

July 1914:
World War I (First World War) started on July 28, 1914

September-November 1914:
four regimental combat teams were established
– these teams were provisional units

  • 2nd Regimental Combat Team of 1er RE (2e Régiment de Marche du 1er Regiment Étranger, 2e RM/1er RE)
  • 3e RM/1er RE
  • 4e RM/1er RE (consisted of Italian volunteers called as the Légion Garibaldienne)
  • 2e RM/2e RE (2e RM du 2e Regiment Étranger)

– their purpose had been to fight on the Western Front of Europe

December 1914 – January 1915:
– the regimental combat teams fought on the Western Front
– they participated in battles near Argonne, Somme, Craonne

1915:
– in March, 4e RM/1er RE (Legion Garibaldienne) was disbanded
– in May-June, the teams took part in the Battle of Artois on the Western Front
– in July, 3e RM/1er RE was disbanded
– in September, the Battle of Champagne on the Western Front

March 1915:
Foreign Legion Eastern Battalion was formed
– part of the 1st African Provisional Regiment (1er RMA)
– 1er RMA was composed of 3 battalions
– to fight in the Dardanelles Campaign (1915) and the Macedonian Front (1915-18)
the second Legion unit awarded with the fourragère
– in October 1917, it was reduced to a company
– 1er RMA’s Legion Company was deactivated in April 1919

November 11, 1915:
Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team (Régiment de Marche de la Légion Étrangère, RMLE) was established
– RMLE was formed by consolidating the remaining regimental combat teams (2e RM/1er RE, 2e RM/2e RE)
– RMLE participated in many fights and several fierce battles
– in July 1916, RMLE was involved in the Somme Campaign
– in August 1917, RMLE took part in the Battle of Verdun
– RMLE in 1916, as the first Legion unit, received a fourragère

1918:
– RMLE fought in several battles:
– near Hangard
– near Soissons
Second Battle of the Marne
Battle of St. Quentin Canal (Hindenburg Line)

November 11, 1918:
– World War I ended

– RMLE became one of the two most awarded unit of the French Army
– the regiment received 9 unit citations, mentioned in the name of the Army
– because of that, its legionnaires have been allowed to wear a double fourragère
– in 1919, RMLE left Europe for Africa

October 1918:
– in Russia, Foreign Legion Battalion of Northern Russia (Bataillon de la Légion Etrangère de Russie du Nord) was established
– the unit was administratively assigned to the Foreign Legion
– the battalion was composed of local volunteers, non-legionnaires
– its purpose had been to fight in Russia
– the battalion was disbanded a year later

French Foreign Legion 1918-1939

November 1920:
– RMLE became the 3rd Foreign Regiment (3e Régiment étranger, 3e RE)
4th Foreign Regiment was establisheded
– they were stationed in Morocco to participate in operations there

June 1922:
1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment (1er Régiment étranger de cavalerie, 1e REC) was established

– 1e RE, 2e RE, 3e RE and 4e RE were designated as the infantry regiments

  • 1er RE became the 1st Foreign Infantry Regiment (1er Régiment Étranger d’Infanterie, 1e REI)
  • 2e RE became the 2e REI
  • 3e RE became the 3e REI
  • 4e RE became the 4e REI

1925 – 1926:
Rif War (or Second Moroccan War)
– 2e REI, 3e REI were involved in

Great Syrian Revolt in today’s Syria and Lebanon
– 1er REC, 4e REI participated in the conflict

September 17, 1925:
Battle of al-Musayfirah (Messifré in French) in Syria
– a 10-hour-long battle in the early stage of the Great Syrian Revolt
– 5th Battalion of 4e REI + 4th Squadron of 1er REC fought against 3,000 Druze rebels
– legionnaires fought off the attackers

March 1928:
Foum Zabel Tunnel
– the road tunnel in Morocco was finished
– it took six months to dig the tunnel through the solid rock
– the tunnel has become the famous example of Legion pioneer’s skills

September 1930:
5th Foreign Infantry Regiment (5e Régiment Étranger d’Infanterie, 5e REI) was created
– it was organized in Indochina, in the Tonkin region
– 5e REI was nicknamed as the Tonkin regiment

April 30, 1931:
– the first public celebration of Camerone Day
– the first parade of the bearded Legion sappers at the head of a military parade

September 14, 1932:
1932 Turenne rail accident
– the worst accident in the Legion’s history
– tens of legionnaires killed

February 1933:
Battle of Bou Gafer
– the battle was part of operations in the Djebel Sagho valley, Morocco
– 1er REI, 2e REI, 3e REI participated in
– many legionnaires were killed

1934:
– Pacification of Morocco ended

July 1939:
2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment (2e Régiment Étranger de Cavalerie, 2e REC) was established
– it was based in Morocco

Foreign Legion: Second World War 1939-1945

September 1939:
World War II (Second World War) started

1st Foreign Volunteers Provisional Regiment (1er Régiment de Marche des Volontaires Étrangers, 1er RMVE) was established
– 1er RMVE consisted of foreigners, non-legionnaires
– it was administratively attached to the Legion
– in October, 2e RMVE was established in France

October 1939:
6th Foreign Infantry Regiment (6e REI) was established
– the regiment was stationed in Syria

November 1939:
11th Foreign Infantry Regiment (11e REI) was established in France
– 11e REI, 1er RMVE, 2e RMVE were formed to defend continental France

February 1940:
97th Infantry Division Reconnaissance Group (97e Groupe de Reconnaissance de Division d’Infanterie, 97e GRDI) was formed
– it was composed of elements from the 1er REC and 2e REC
– the group was involved in the Battle of France
– in September 1940, the 97e GRDI was disbanded

12th Foreign Infantry Regiment (12e REI) was established in France
– 97e GRDI and 12e REI were also formed to defend continental France

– 1er RMVE and 2e RMVE became the 21e RMVE and 22e RMVE

March 1940:
13th Foreign Legion Provisional Demi-Brigade (13e Demi-brigade de Marche de la Légion Étrangère, 13e DBMLE) was established
– it was organized in Algeria as a mountain warfare unit
– its purpose had been to fight in Scandinavia

April-June 1940:
Norwegian Campaign
– 13e DMBLE participated in, to fight against German forces
– two well-known battles were part of the campaign:
Battle of Bjervik
Battles of Narvik

May 1940:
– 23e RMVE was established in France

May-June 1940:
Battle of France

June 22, 1940:
Armistice was signed between France and Germany
– it ended the Battle of France

June-July 1940:
– 13e DBMLE, 11e REI, 12e REI, 21e RMVE, 22e RMVE, 23e RMVE were disbanded

– in England, Free French Forces of General de Gaulle were established
14e DBMLE became its first unit
– 14e DBMLE was formed by a half of legionnaires from the original 13e DBMLE

September 1940:
Battle of Dakar
– 14e DBMLE was involved in

October 1940 – May 1941:
Franco-Thai War
– in Indochina, 5e REI fought in the regional war

November 1940:
– 4e REI and 2e REC were disbanded

Battle of Gabon
– 14e DBMLE was involved in

January 1941:
– 14e DBLE became the 13e DBLE

February-April 1941:
Battle of Keren
– the battle took place in the Italian colony of Eritrea
– 13e DBLE took part in

June-July 1941:
Syria-Lebanon Campaign
– 6e REI of Vichy France faced the 13e DBLE of Free French Forces
– legionnaires did not fight each other in reality

August 1941:
– in Morocco, 4th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion (4e Demi-brigade de Légion Étrangère, 4e DBLE) was created
– 4e DBLE was sent to Senegal

December 1941:
– 6e REI was disbanded

May-June 1942:
Battle of Bir Hakeim in Libya
– 13e DBLE participated in

October-November 1942:
Second Battle of El Alamein in Egypt
– the first major offensive of the Allies against the German and Italian forces since 1939
– 13e DBLE participated in

November 1942:
British-American invasion of French North Africa (Operation Torch)
– landings in Morocco and Algeria on November 8, 1942
– all French forces in North Africa received an order to cease resistance
– on November 10, the French in North Africa joined the Allies

December 1942:
3rd Foreign Infantry Regimental Combat Team (3e REI de Marche, 3e REIM) was activated
– its task had been to fight against the Africa Corps of Marshal Rommel
– 3e REIM deployed to Tunisia

January-May 1943:
Tunisia Campaign
– 1er REIM (ex-4e DBLE), 3e REIM, 1er REC, 13e DBLE took part in
– in Tunisia, legionnaires were involved in several fierce battles:
Capture of Foum Es Gouafel (January)
Battle of Djebel Mansour (January)
Battle of Djebel Zaghouan (May)

June 1943:
– 1er REI, 3e REI, 1er REIM, 3e REIM were disbanded

– 2e REI was officially disbanded earlier, in March

July 1943:
Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team (RMLE) was established again
– RMLE consisted of legionnaires from the disbanded units
– its main purpose had been to fight in France next year

April-June 1944:
Italian Campaign
– 13e DBLE participated in

June 1944:
Mounted and Motorized Company Group (Groupement des Compagnies Montées et Portées, GCMP) was activated in Morocco
– it consisted of the mounted and motorized companies of 3e REI
– these units were active and still attached administratively to the 3e REI

August-September 1944:
Operation Dragoon
– the invasion of Provence, France
– 13e DBLE, RMLE and 1er REC participated in

October 1944 – May 1945:
Liberation of France and fights on the Western Front
– in France and on the Western Front, legionnaires were involved in several battles:
Battle of the Vosges in France (October-November)
Colmar Pocket in France (January-February)
– in January 1945, RMLE fought at Strasbourg, France (together with 13e DBLE)
– in February-May 1945, fights in Germany and Austria

May 8, 1945:
– in Europe, World War II ended

May-June 1945:
– 5e REI fought against the Japonese in Indochina
– in July, 5e REI was disbanded because of large losses
– the remaining legionnaires formed the Provisional Battalion of 5e REI (BM5)
– BM5 was disbanded in November 1946
– its legionnaires returned to Algeria

– RMLE was redesignated as 3e REI again

Far East RMLE (RMLE d’Extrême Orient, RMLE/EO) was established
– the unit was organized in Africa to be deployed to Indochina

Foreign Legion: First Indochina War 1946-1954

1945 – 1946:
First Indochina War started
– in Indochina, a conflict started between the French and Ho Chi Minh
– Ho Chi Minh led the Viet-Minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam)
– Viet-Minh was a nationalist and (later) pro-Soviet Union movement
– on 2 September 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared independence from France for Vietnam

January-April 1946:
2e REI (ex-RMLE/EO), 13e DBLE, 3e REI landed in Indochina

March 1946:
Saharan companies were established
1st Legion Saharan Motorized Company (1re Compagnie Saharienne Portée de Légion, 1re CSPL)
2nd Legion Saharan Motorized Company (2e CSPL)
– both CSPLs were stationed in Algeria

May-June 1946:
– 4e DBLE (4e REI in 1948) and 2e REC were re-established in Morocco

September 1946:
– GCMP became the Foreign Legion Moroccan Motorized Companies Group (GCPLEM)
– in 1947, it will become Foreign Legion Moroccan Motorized Group (GPLEM)

January 1947:
– 1er REC landed in Indochina

July 1947 – January 1952:
– Foreign Legion units were placed in Madagascar
– legionnaires from 4e DBLE, 2e REC and a sapper company
– they calmed down a local rebellion and maintained order

October-November 1947:
Operation Lea
– 3e REI was involved in

April 1, 1948:
Parachute Company of 3e REI (Compagnie Parachutiste du 3e REI, CP/3REI) was created
– it was the first airborne unit established within the Foreign Legion
– the unit conducted operations in Indochina

July 1948:
1st Foreign Parachute Battalion (1er Bataillon Étranger de Parachutistes, 1er BEP) was established
– it was organized in Algeria
– in November 1948, the 1er BEP landed in Indochina

July 25, 1948:
Battle of Phu Tong Hoa
Phu Tong Hoa was an outpost occupied by a company of 3e REI
– the company consisted of 103 men
– the outpost was attacked by three Viet Minh battalions
– legionnaires defended the outpost

October 1948:
2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion (2e BEP) was established
– it was organized in Algeria
– in February 1949, the 2e BEP landed in Indochina

February 1949:
3rd Legion Saharan Motorized Company (3e CSPL) was established
– the company was organized in Algeria
– its main purpose had been to serve in Libya
– it was the only Legion unit stationed in this country

April 1949:
6e REI was re-created to serve in Tunisia

June 1949:
– Parachute Company of 3e REI consolidated with 1er BEP

June-July 1949:
2nd Foreign Legion Transportation Company
3rd Foreign Legion Transportation Company
– Foreign Legion transportation companies were established
– formed to serve in the First Indochina War
– logistics support units
– they supplied French troops and legionnaires in Indochina
– the companies were dissolved in 1953

November 1949:
3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion (3e BEP) was established
– it was an airborne training and reserve battalion
– 3e BEP was stationed in Algeria

5e REI was re-created in Indochina

October 1950:
Battle of Route Coloniale 4 (RC4)
– the French units based along RC4 were attacked by six Viet-Minh regiments
– 3rd Battalion/3e REI and 1er BEP participated in
– they were devastated and ceased to exist
– the French lost about 5,000 men in the battle
– 1er BEP became the first French parachute battalion lost in combat
– only 29 men of 1er BEP survived the battle

February 1951:
1st Transportation & Headquarters Company
2nd Transportation & Headquarters Company
– 1re CTQG + 2e CTQG were established
– logistics support mixed units
– consisting of legionnaires, French regulars and local auxiliaries
– they supplied French troops and legionnaires in Indochina
– the companies were dissolved in 1954

March 1951:
– 1er BEP was re-created

November 1951 – February 1952:
Battle of Hoa Binh
– 1er BEP, 2e BEP and 13e DBLE participated in

March 1952:
– operations in Tunisia against regional rebels
– 6e REI, 3e BEP were involved in

April 1952:
Operation Mercure
– 1er BEP, 13e DBLE, 1er REC took part in

November 1952:
Operation Lorraine
– 1er BEP, 2e BEP and 2e REI participated in

November-December 1952:
Battle of Na San
– Na San stronghold was attacked by three Viet-Minh divisions (9 regiments)
– after two weeks of heavy fighting, Viet-Minh lost around 3,000 soldiers
– the French win the battle, Viet-Minh was defeated
– 3rd Battalion/3e REI, 1er BEP, 2e BEP and 5e REI were involved in

June 1953:
2nd Foreign Legion Mortar Mixed Company (2e Compagnie Mixte de Mortiers de la Légion Etrangère, 2e CMMLE) is created
– the unit will conduct operations in Indochina

August-October 1953:
Operation Brochet
– 1er BEP and 2e BEP participated in

September 1953:
1st Heavy Mortar Foreign Parachute Company (1re Compagnie Étrangère Parachutiste de Mortiers Lourds, 1re CEPML) was established
– it will participate in operations in Indochina

1st Foreign Legion Mortar Mixed Company (1re Compagnie Mixte de Mortiers de la Légion Étrangère, 1re CMMLE) was also established in Indochina

November 1953:
Operation Castor
– the largest airborne operation of the First Indochina War
– 1er BEP + 1re CEPML participated in
– they jumped over Dien Bien Phu
– the units helped to establish the main French stronghold there

April-May 1954:
Battle of Dien Bien Phu
– 1er BEP + 1re CEPML, 2e BEP, I/2e REI, III/3e REI, I + III/13e DBLE, 1re CMMLE and 2e CMMLE + volunteers of other Foreign Legion regiments and units were involved in
– the units were completly destroyed

May-June 1954:
– 1er BEP + 2e BEP were reactivated

August 1954:
– First Indochina War ended

– Foreign Legion lost more than 10,000 men in the First Indochina War

French Foreign Legion: Algerian War 1954-1962

1954 – 1955:
Algerian War started
– in North Africa, the local rebels started its military operations
– these operations took part in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria since the late 1940s
– they were aimed at French forces presented in these regions
– the main rebel force fighting the French was the National Liberation Front (FLN)
– in 1955, those operations escalated to the Algerian War

1954 – 1956:
Foreign Legion left Indochina
– since December 1954 until March 1956, the units landed in Africa
– they were stationed in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco
– their main purpose had been to maintain order there

August-October 1954:
Operation Kepi Blanc (August)
– 4e REI participated in this operation conducted in Fez, Morocco
– 6e REI participated in operations in Tunisia

June 30, 1955:
– 6e REI was disbanded
– its men consolidated with 2e REI

August-November 1955:
– operations in Morocco against local rebels
– 4e REI was involved in

August-September 1955:
– 1er BEP became the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment (1er REP) back in Algeria
– 3e BEP became the 3e REP
– 3e REP will become the shortest-lived regiment of the Legion

December 1955
2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e REP)
– a new airborne regiment of the Legion
– organized in Algeria
– formed with men of two freshly dissolved units
– 2e BEP + 3e REP

– a large operation in the Tebessa region, Algeria
– 1er REP + 21e CPLE participated in
– more than 200 rebels were killed

February 1956:
Foreign Legion Algerian Motorized Group (GPLEA) was created
– it grouped together 21e CPLE, 22e CPLE and 23e CPLE
– these were autonomous motorized companies serving in Algeria since late 1954
– in October 1956, GPLEA was disbanded
– 21e CPLE, 22e CPLE, 23e CPLE consolidated with 2e REI

March 1956:
Morocco and Tunisia gained its independence
– in March 1956, the French protectorates became independent
– in Tunisia, the last Legion unit (1er REC) left this country in December 1956
– in Morocco, the last Legion unit (4e REI) left this country in March 1957
– all units joined the Algerian war

November 1956:
– GPLEM was disbanded
– its units consolidated with 4e REI
– 3e CSPL left Libya for Algeria

November-December 1956:
Suez Crisis in Egypt
– an operation to regain Western control of the Suez Canal
– 1er REP + 2e REC tank squadron participated in the operation
– in December, the units returned to Algeria
– the tank squadron of 2e REC consolidated with 1er REP

January-October 1957:
Battle of Algiers
– 1er REP participated in the famous operation in the capital of Algeria
– it ended by the apprehension of Saadi Yacef in September
– he was one of the leaders of Algeria’s FLN front
– the second most wanted rebel leader, Ali La Pointe, was also eliminated by 1er REP
– the house in which he was hiding was bombed on October 8

June-July 1957:
– operations in the Messade and Zaccar regions, Algeria
– 1er REC, 1re CSPL, 2e CSPL, 3e CSPL and 2e REC took part in

October 1957 – March 1958:
Operation Ouragan
– the operation was part of the Ifni War in Mauritania and Spanish Sahara
– 2e GCP (ex-GPLEM) of 4e REI, along with the Spanish Legion participated in
– the operation was aimed against regional Saharan rebels

November-December 1957:
Battle of Timimoun
– a large operation launched near Timimoun, Algeria
– it took place at the 150,000 km2 (58,000 square miles) of a desert area
– 4e CSPL + 3e RPC (French paratrooper regular unit) participated in
– its main purpose had been to find and eliminate about 60 Méhariste deserters
– these deserters killed their French cadres and, later, also 6 members from 4e CSPL
– Méhariste units were a camel cavalry recruited by the French from local tribes
– at the end of the operation, more than 40 deserters were killed
– the rest fled to Morocco

1957 – 1962:
– most of Legion units guarded the Algerian border with Tunisia

May 1958:
Operation Taureau 3
– 1er REP participated in
– on May 29, the 1er REP’s famous commander Lt-col Jeanpierre was killed
– he died during the operation in a helicopter hit by rebels

– military operations in the Ksar El Hirane region
– 2e CSPL, 3e CSPL took part in

July 1958:
rescue of Bambi
– a lonely starving small donkey was rescued by Harka of 13e DBLE
– a photo of a 13e DBLE member carrying the small donkey on his back became world-wide known
– the small donkey was given a name, Bambi
– it became the mascot of 13e DBLE

1959:
– legionnaires took part in several important operations:
Operation Etincelle (July)
Operation Edredon (August-September)
Operation Jumelles (September)
Operation Emeraude (November)
Operation Turquoise (November)

1960:
– restoring order in Algiers (January-March)
– 1e REP, 2e REP, 13e DBLE took part in

Boulevard du Bechar (April-December)
– road construction in the Colomb Bechar region
– 4e CSPL built up a 45km (30 miles) long strategic road through the local mountains

– operation in the Bou Kahil and Bou Saada regions (September-November)
Operation Trident (October 1960 – April 1961)

Djebel Beni Smir (December 3)
– several units of 2e REI took part in operations in the valley
– Sergeant Sanchez-Iglésias + five legionnaires were attacked by a large group of rebels
– legionnaires didn’t surrender and resisted for more than 12 hours
– rebels were fought off with new reinforcement

1961:
– heavy fights in the Bou Kahil region (February)
– 2e CSPL and 2e REC were involved in

Operation Dordogne (February-March)

– in March, 2nd Company of BLEM landed in French Somaliland (today’s Djibouti)
– 2nd Company of BLEM became the first Legion unit ever stationed in this country
– the mission of 2nd Company had been to maintain order in the region

1961 Generals’ Putsch of Algiers (April 1961)
– the putsch was aimed at French President Charles de Gaulle
– de Gaulle was seen by putschists as a betrayal of France
– 1er REP + other Legion units actively participated in
– however, the putsch failed
– 1er REP was disbanded on April 30

1962:
– heavy fights in the Bou Kahil region (January)
– 1er ESPL, 2e CSPL and 3e CSPL participated in

– in March, Algerian War officially ended
– Évian Accords treaty, signed on 18 March 1962, ended the Algerian War
– however, military operations were conducted until September 1962

French Foreign Legion: Reorganisation 1962-1968

May 1962:
– reorganization of BLEM
– in Madagascar, the battalion was retitled as the Provisional Battalion of 3e REI
– in August, reinforced with 3e REI companies, it became the new 3e REI
– 3e REI was based in Madagascar until 1973

July 1962:
– 2e REC was disbanded in July
– its legionnaires consolidated with 1er REC

August 1962:
last French soldiers killed during the Algerian War
– on August 9, members of 1er ESPL (ex-1re CSPL) were attacked by local rebels
– Lieutenant Gélas + 3 legionnaires (Pepelko, Roncin, Locca) were killed

3rd Foreign Legion Task Force (3e BMLE) was established
– it consisted of 3 companies of the original 3e REI
– 3e BMLE was sent to France and Corsica to carry out construction tasks
– the task force was disbanded in 1964

September-October 1962:
Foreign Legion left Sidi Bel Abbes
– 1er RE (ex-1er REI), Legion’s HQ, left Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria
– Foreign Legion spent almost 120 years in Sidi Bel Abbes
– 1er RE was stationed at Quartier Viénot in Aubagne, France

13e DBLE was fully stationed in French Somaliland (today’s Djibouti)

March 1963:
Saharan Companies dissolution
– 1er ESPL, 2e CSPL, 3e CSPL and 4e CSPL were deactivated
– 1er ESPL + 4e CSPL consolidated with 2e REI
– 2e CSPL + 3e CSPL consolidated with 4e REI

May-October 1963:
– 5e REI legionnaires left Africa for Tahiti, French Polynesia (Pacific Ocean)
5th Mixed Pacific Regiment (5e Régiment Mixte du Pacifique, 5e RMP) was created
– 5e RMP consisted of legionnaires, marines, military engineers
– in November, the original 5e REI was deactivated

1964:
– 2e REP companies started to specialize themselves
– in February, 2e REP’s Parachute Training Center was established near Calvi, Corsica

– in April, 4e REI was disbanded

1967:
– in June, 2e REP left Algeria and was stationed near Calvi, Corsica
– in October, 1er REC left Algeria and was stationed in Orange, France

January 1968:
– 2e REI, as the last Legion regiment, left Algeria for France
– 2e REI was disbanded after its arrival in France

French Foreign Legion: 1968 – present

1969 – 1970:
Operation Limousin
– an operation in Chad to calm down local rebellion
– 2e REP + Foreign Legion Motorized Company (CMLE) participated in

January 1971:
61st Engineer-Legion Mixed Battalion (61e BMGL) was established
– it was composed of Legion sappers and French regular sappers
– the main task of 61e BMGL was to build the largest military camp in Western Europe
– the camp became Camp de Canjuers
– the battalion left Canjuers in 1978
– 61e BMGL was disbanded in 1982

September 1972:
– 2e RE (2e REI in 1980) was re-created
– it was based in Bonifacio, Corsica

August 1973:
Foreign Legion Detachment in Comoros (DLEC) was activated
– it was formed by retitling the 2nd Company of 3e REI
– DLEC was stationed on the Comoros, the islands located near Madagascar

– 3e REI left Madagascar for Guiana

September 1973:
– 3e REI was stationed in Kourou, French Guiana (South America)

1976:
– in January, 5e RMP is regrouped at Mururoa
– the regiment will protect a French nuclear test site

– on February 4, 1976 Loyada Hostage Rescue Mission
– 2e REP and 13e DBLE participated in a counter-terrorist hostage rescue mission
– the mission took place in Loyada (Djibouti-Somalia border town)
– legionnaires rescued French children hijacked by Somalian rebels

– in early 1976, DLEC moved to Mayotte (part of the Comoros under the French rule)
– on April 1, DLEC changed its title
– it became the Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte (DLEM)

Djibouti helicopter crash
– on May 24, six legionnaires of GOLE (part of 2e REI) died in Djibouti

– in October, GILE (Legion’s training group) left Corsica
– in November, GILE was based in Castelnaudary, France
– in 1977, GILE was retitled as RILE (training regiment)
– in 1980, RILE became the 4th Foreign Regiment (4e RE)

1978 – 1980:
Battle of Kolwezi
– in May 1978, 2e REP participated in the operation conducted in Zaire

Opération Tacaud in Chad
– 1er REC + 2e REP were involved in

1982 – 1983:
Multinational Force in Lebanon
– an international peacekeeping operation in Lebanon
– 2e REP, 2e REI, 1er REC, 1er RE took part in

1982:
Mont Garbi accident
– on February 3, an aviation accident in Djibouti
– 27 men from 2e REP + 3 members of 13e DBLE were killed

1982 – 1983:
Operation Manta in Chad
– 1er REC + 2e REP participated in

1983:
– 2e REI left Corsica in November
– it was stationed in Nîmes, France

1984:
– in July, the first engineer regiment was established
6st Foreign Engineer Regiment (6e Régiment Étranger de Génie, 6e REG) was created
– it was stationed in Laudun-l’Ardoise, France

– in July, 5e RMP became 5e RE in Polynesia

1986 – 1987:
– operations in Chad

1990 – 1991:
Gulf War
– 6e REG, 1er REC, 2e REI, 2e REP (commandos) were involved in

– in 1991, operations in Gabon and Zaire

1992:
– Rwanda, Cambodia and Somalia

1993:
– Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (ex-Yugoslavia)

1994:
– operations in Yemen and Rwanda

1995:
– Rwanda and Sarajevo

Operation Azalée
– in October, DLEM participated in the operation on the Comoros

1996:
– Central African Republic

– in French Polynesia, the French nuclear tests are terminated

1999 – 2010s:
– Kosovo and Macedonia (ex-Yugoslavia)

1999:
– in July, reorganization of engineer units
– 6e REG became the 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment (1er REG)
2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment (2e REG) was created
– 2e REG was stationed in Saint-Christol, France

2000:
– in July, 5e RE in French Polynesia was disbanded

2002 – 2012:
War in Afghanistan

2002 – 2003:
Operation Licorne in Ivory Coast

2004:
Operation Carbet in Haiti
– 3e REI participated in

2005:
– Ivory Coast and Indonesia

2006:
– Ivory Coast and Central African Republic

2011:
– in June, 13e DBLE left Djibouti
– in September, 13e DBLE was stationed near Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

2012:
– Chad and Central African Republic

2013 – 2014:
Operation Epervier in Mali
– the operation started in 1986
– in 2014, it was replaced by Operation Barkhane

2014 – present:
Operation Barkhane in the Sahel region of Africa
– that means operations in Mauretania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina-Faso

French Foreign Legion – On This Day

To see the Foreign Legion’s most complete database of historical events presented as On This Day, click the link or the image below: French Foreign Legion – Historical Events


Contents

Early life Edit

Louis Philippe was born in the Palais Royal, the residence of the Orléans family in Paris, to Louis Philippe, Duke of Chartres (Duke of Orléans, upon the death of his father Louis Philippe I), and Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, he was a Prince of the Blood, which entitled him the use of the style "Serene Highness". His mother was an extremely wealthy heiress who was descended from Louis XIV of France through a legitimized line.

Louis Philippe was the eldest of three sons and a daughter, a family that was to have erratic fortunes from the beginning of the French Revolution to the Bourbon Restoration.

The elder branch of the House of Bourbon, to which the kings of France belonged, deeply distrusted the intentions of the cadet branch, which would succeed to the throne of France should the senior branch die out. Louis Philippe's father was exiled from the royal court, and the Orléans confined themselves to studies of the literature and sciences emerging from the Enlightenment.

Education Edit

Louis Philippe was tutored by the Countess of Genlis, beginning in 1782. She instilled in him a fondness for liberal thought it is probably during this period that Louis Philippe picked up his slightly Voltairean [ clarification needed ] brand of Catholicism. When Louis Philippe's grandfather died in 1785, his father succeeded him as Duke of Orléans and Louis Philippe succeeded his father as Duke of Chartres.

In 1788, with the Revolution looming, the young Louis Philippe showed his liberal sympathies when he helped break down the door of a prison cell in Mont Saint-Michel, during a visit there with the Countess of Genlis. From October 1788 to October 1789, the Palais Royal was a meeting-place for the revolutionaries.

Louis Philippe grew up in a period that changed Europe as a whole and, following his father's strong support for the Revolution, he involved himself completely in those changes. In his diary, he reports that he himself took the initiative to join the Jacobin Club, a move that his father supported.

Military service Edit

In June 1791, Louis Philippe got his first opportunity to become involved in the affairs of France. In 1785, he had been given the hereditary appointment of Colonel of the Chartres Dragoons (renamed 14th Dragoons in 1791). [1]

With war imminent in 1791, all proprietary colonels were ordered to join their regiments. Louis Philippe showed himself to be a model officer, and he demonstrated his personal bravery in two famous instances. First, three days after Louis XVI's flight to Varennes, a quarrel between two local priests and one of the new constitutional vicars became heated, and a crowd surrounded the inn where the priests were staying, demanding blood. The young colonel broke through the crowd and extricated the two priests, who then fled. At a river crossing on the same day, another crowd threatened to harm the priests. Louis Philippe put himself between a peasant armed with a carbine and the priests, saving their lives. The next day, Louis Philippe dived into a river to save a drowning local engineer. For this action, he received a civic crown from the local municipality. His regiment was moved north to Flanders at the end of 1791 after the 27 August 1791 Declaration of Pillnitz.

Louis Philippe served under his father's crony, Armand Louis de Gontaut the Duke of Biron, along with several officers who later gained distinction afterwards. These included Colonel Berthier and Lieutenant Colonel Alexandre de Beauharnais (husband of the future Empress Joséphine).

After war was declared by the Kingdom of France on the Habsburg Monarchy on 20 April 1792, Louis Philippe saw his first exchanges of fire of the French Revolutionary Wars within the invaded by France Austrian Netherlands at Boussu, Wallonia, on about 28 April 1792, and then at Quaregnon, Wallonia, on about 29 April 1792, and then at Quiévrain, Wallonia, near Jemappes, Wallonia, on about 30 April 1792, where he was instrumental in rallying a unit of retreating soldiers after the victorious Battle of Quiévrain (1792) only two days earlier on 28 April 1792. Biron wrote to War Minister de Grave, praising the young colonel, who was then promoted to brigadier, commanding a brigade of cavalry in Lückner's Army of the North.

In the Army of the North, Louis Philippe served with four future Marshals of France: Macdonald, Mortier (who would later be killed in an assassination attempt on Louis Philippe), Davout and Oudinot. Dumouriez was appointed to command the Army of the North in August 1792. Louis Philippe commanded a division under him in the Valmy campaign.

At the 20 September 1792 Battle of Valmy, Louis Philippe was ordered to place a battery of artillery on the crest of the hill of Valmy. The battle was apparently inconclusive, but the Austrian-Prussian army, short of supplies, was forced back across the Rhine. Once again, Louis Philippe was praised in a letter by Dumouriez after the battle. Louis Philippe was then recalled to Paris to give an account of the Battle at Valmy to the French government. There he had a rather trying interview with Danton, the Minister of Justice, which he later fondly re-told to his children.

While in Paris, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general. In October he returned to the Army of the North, where Dumouriez had begun a march into the Austrian Netherlands (now Belgium). Louis Philippe again commanded a division. On 6 November 1792, Dumouriez chose to attack an Austrian force in a strong position on the heights of Cuesmes and Jemappes to the west of Mons. Louis Philippe's division sustained heavy casualties as it attacked through a wood, retreating in disorder. Louis Philippe rallied a group of units, dubbing them "the battalion of Mons" and pushed forward along with other French units, finally overwhelming the outnumbered Austrians.

Events in Paris undermined the budding military career of Louis Philippe. The incompetence of Jean-Nicolas Pache, the new Girondist appointee of 3 October 1792, left the Army of the North almost without supplies. Soon thousands of troops were deserting the army. Louis Philippe was alienated by the more radical policies of the Republic. After the National Convention decided to put the deposed King to death - Louis Philippe's father, by then known as Philippe Égalité, voted in favour of that act - Louis Philippe began to consider leaving France.

Louis Philippe was willing to stay in France to fulfill his duties in the army, but he was implicated in the plot Dumouriez had planned to ally with the Austrians, march his army on Paris, and restore the Constitution of 1791. Dumouriez had met with Louis Philippe on 22 March 1793 and urged his subordinate to join in the attempt.

With the French government falling into the Reign of Terror about the time of the creation of the Revolutionary Tribunal earlier in March 1793, he decided to leave France to save his life. On 4 April, Dumouriez and Louis Philippe left for the Austrian camp. They were intercepted by Lieutenant-Colonel Louis-Nicolas Davout, who had served at Jemappes with Louis Philippe. As Dumouriez ordered the Colonel back to the camp, some of his soldiers cried out against the General, now declared a traitor by the National Convention. Shots rang out as they fled towards the Austrian camp. The next day, Dumouriez again tried to rally soldiers against the convention however, he found that the artillery had declared itself in favour of the Republic, leaving him and Louis Philippe with no choice but to go into exile.

At the age of nineteen, and already a Lieutenant General, Louis Philippe left France it was some twenty-one years before he again set foot on French soil.

The reaction in Paris to Louis Philippe's involvement in Dumouriez's treason inevitably resulted in misfortunes for the Orléans family. Philippe Égalité spoke in the National Convention, condemning his son for his actions, asserting that he would not spare his son, much akin to the Roman consul Brutus and his sons. However, letters from Louis Philippe to his father were discovered in transit and were read out to the Convention. Philippe Égalité was then put under continuous surveillance. Shortly thereafter, the Girondists moved to arrest him and the two younger brothers of Louis Philippe, Louis-Charles and Antoine Philippe the latter had been serving in the Army of Italy. The three were interned in Fort Saint-Jean in Marseille.

Meanwhile, Louis Philippe was forced to live in the shadows, avoiding both pro-Republican revolutionaries and Legitimist French émigré centres in various parts of Europe and also in the Austrian army. He first moved to Switzerland under an assumed name, and met up with the Countess of Genlis and his sister Adélaïde at Schaffhausen. From there they went to Zürich, where the Swiss authorities decreed that to protect Swiss neutrality, Louis Philippe would have to leave the city. They went to Zug, where Louis Philippe was discovered by a group of émigrés.

It became quite apparent that for the women to settle peacefully anywhere, they would have to separate from Louis Philippe. He then left with his faithful valet Baudouin for the heights of the Alps, and then to Basel, where he sold all but one of his horses. Now moving from town to town throughout Switzerland, he and Baudouin found themselves very much exposed to all the distresses of extended travelling. They were refused entry to a monastery by monks who believed them to be young vagabonds. Another time, he woke up after spending a night in a barn to find himself at the far end of a musket, confronted by a man attempting to keep away thieves.

Throughout this period, he never stayed in one place more than 48 hours. Finally, in October 1793, Louis Philippe was appointed a teacher of geography, history, mathematics and modern languages, at a boys' boarding school. The school, owned by a Monsieur Jost, was in Reichenau, a village on the upper Rhine in the then independent Grisons league state, now part of Switzerland. His salary was 1,400 francs and he taught under the name Monsieur Chabos. He had been at the school for a month when he heard the news from Paris: his father had been guillotined on 6 November 1793 after a trial before the Revolutionary Tribunal.

Travels Edit

After Louis Philippe left Reichenau, he separated the now sixteen-year-old Adélaïde from the Countess of Genlis, who had fallen out with Louis Philippe. Adélaïde went to live with her great-aunt the Princess of Conti at Fribourg, then to Bavaria and Hungary and, finally, to her mother, who was exiled in Spain.

Louis Philippe travelled extensively. He visited Scandinavia in 1795 and then moved on to Finland. For about a year, he stayed in Muonio, a remote village in the valley of the Tornio river in Lapland. He lived in the rectory under the name Müller, as a guest of the local Lutheran vicar. While visiting Muonio, he supposedly sired a child with Beata Caisa Wahlborn (1766–1830) called Erik Kolstrøm (1796–1879). [2]

Louis Philippe also visited the United States for four years, staying in Philadelphia (where his brothers Antoine and Louis Charles were in exile), New York City (where he most likely stayed at the Somerindyck family estate on Broadway and 75th Street with other exiled princes), and Boston. In Boston, he taught French for a time and lived in lodgings over what is now the Union Oyster House, Boston's oldest restaurant. During his time in the United States, Louis Philippe met with American politicians and people of high society, including George Clinton, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and George Washington.

His visit to Cape Cod in 1797 coincided with the division of the town of Eastham into two towns, one of which took the name of Orleans, possibly in his honour. During their sojourn, the Orléans princes travelled throughout the country, as far south as Nashville and as far north as Maine. The brothers were even held in Philadelphia briefly during an outbreak of yellow fever. Louis Philippe is also thought to have met Isaac Snow of Orleans, Massachusetts, who had escaped to France from a British prison hulk during the American Revolutionary War. In 1839, while reflecting on his visit to the United States, Louis Philippe explained in a letter to Guizot that his three years there had a large influence on his political beliefs and judgments when he became king.

In Boston, Louis Philippe learned of the coup of 18 Fructidor (4 September 1797) and of the exile of his mother to Spain. He and his brothers then decided to return to Europe. They went to New Orleans, planning to sail to Havana and thence to Spain. This, however, was a troubled journey, as Spain and Great Britain were then at war. While in colonial Louisiana in 1798, they were entertained by Julien Poydras in the town of Pointe Coupée, [3] as well as by the Marigny de Mandeville family in New Orleans.

They sailed for Havana in an American corvette, but the ship was stopped in the Gulf of Mexico by a British warship. The British seized the three brothers, but took them to Havana anyway. Unable to find passage to Europe, the three brothers spent a year in Cuba, until they were unexpectedly expelled by the Spanish authorities. They sailed via the Bahamas to Nova Scotia where they were received by the Duke of Kent, son of King George III and (later) father of Queen Victoria. Louis Philippe struck up a lasting friendship with the British royal. Eventually, the brothers sailed back to New York, and in January 1800, they arrived in England, where they stayed for the next fifteen years. During these years, Louis Philippe taught mathematics and geography at the now-defunct Great Ealing School, reckoned, in its nineteenth-century heyday, to be 'the best private school in England'. [4] [5]

Marriage Edit

In 1796, Louis Philippe supposedly fathered a child with Beata Caisa Wahlborn (1766–1830) named Erik Kolstrøm (1796–1879). [2]

In 1808, Louis Philippe proposed to Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom. His Catholicism and the opposition of her mother Queen Charlotte meant the Princess reluctantly declined the offer. [6]

In 1809, Louis Philippe married Princess Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily, daughter of King Ferdinand IV of Naples and Maria Carolina of Austria. The ceremony was celebrated in Palermo 25 November 1809. The marriage was considered controversial, because she was the niece of Marie Antoinette, while he was the son of Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans who was considered to have played a part in the execution of her aunt. Her mother was opposed to the match for the same reason. She had been very close to her younger sister and devastated by her execution, but she had given her consent after he had convinced her that he was determined to compensate for the mistakes of his father, and after having agreed to answer all her questions regarding his father. [7]

After the abdication of Napoleon, Louis Philippe, known as Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans, returned to France during the reign of his fifth cousin Louis XVIII, at the time of the Bourbon Restoration. Louis Philippe had reconciled the Orléans family with Louis XVIII in exile, and was once more to be found in the elaborate royal court. However, his resentment at the treatment of his family, the cadet branch of the House of Bourbon under the Ancien Régime, caused friction between him and Louis XVIII, and he openly sided with the liberal opposition.

Louis Philippe was on far friendlier terms with Louis XVIII's brother and successor, Charles X, who acceded to the throne in 1824, and with whom he socialized. However, his opposition to the policies of Villèle and later of Jules de Polignac caused him to be viewed as a constant threat to the stability of Charles' government. This soon proved to be to his advantage.


The Bastille and the Great Fear

On June 12, as the National Assembly (known as the National Constituent Assembly during its work on a constitution) continued to meet at Versailles, fear and violence consumed the capital.

Though enthusiastic about the recent breakdown of royal power, Parisians grew panicked as rumors of an impending military coup began to circulate. A popular insurgency culminated on July 14 when rioters stormed the Bastille fortress in an attempt to secure gunpowder and weapons many consider this event, now commemorated in France as a national holiday, as the start of the French Revolution.

The wave of revolutionary fervor and widespread hysteria quickly swept the countryside. Revolting against years of exploitation, peasants looted and burned the homes of tax collectors, landlords and the seigniorial elite.

Known as the Great Fear (la Grande peur), the agrarian insurrection hastened the growing exodus of nobles from the country and inspired the National Constituent Assembly to abolish feudalism on August 4, 1789, signing what the historian Georges Lefebvre later called the �th certificate of the old order.”


Pretty village, stunning views

My family and I took the 'little yellow train' from Villefranche to Mont Louis (which was also fab). The views from the bottom of Mont. Louis are incredible. You can see for miles across a beautiful valley - it is stunning. The village itself does not have a great deal to offer. It is set within the fortified walls however the main fortress is not open to visitors (I think it is used as military training base). In addition you cannot visit the solar oven - only view it from a distance and there is no information about it. There are two little cafes, a pretty little boulangerie and a tourist shop. It is a nice place to stop and have a coffee as part of taking the little yellow train but I'm not sure it merits a visit in it's own right.

The is definitely worth a visit when you are in the Pyrennes. It is a charming Vauban fortified town, which just happens to be the centre for the training of French commandos. The town is withing the ramparts and has the usual shops and cafes you would expect in a tourist town. However a walk round the walls and ramparts is well worth the time and you also get a sight of the first ever solar oven beside the walls

We came rather unexpectedly to this impressive fortress, built at the very top of a particularly long and dramatic pass in the French Pyrenees. We immediately saw that it had been built by Vauban, who had also designed the two large fortresses in the valley at the end of the "Col de la Perche". As we were curious, we drove over the ancient moat and under the main gate into "La Citadelle de Mont Louis", where villagers go about their daily lives. A very interesting discovery!

Villefranche-de-Conflent is the starting point for Le Train Jaune (the yellow train) which reaches a height of 1,593 metres at its highest point. The spectacular journey follows a gorge for most of its route, criss crossing a river and passing through tunnels. During the winter months the higher stretches of the line will be above the snow line so it is used by skiers to get to the snowfields. The journey to La Cabanasse, a 15 minute walk away from Mont Louis where there is another Vauban fortress but this one is still occupied as a training base for French special forces, takes an hour and a quarter.

Tickets for the train are sold on a first come, first served basis and once the train is full no further tickets are sold, so get there early to ensure your seat! The best views are from the right hand side for the first two thirds of the journey and then the left hand side offers the best views. This would be a thoroughly enjoyable journey at any time of the year.

For those who don’t know Villefranche-de-Conflent it is a walled town much along the lines of Carcassonne, but whereas Carcassonne was rebuilt in the 19th Century, Villefranche was transformed by that great fortress builder Vauban in 1669. Also the entire town still lies within the fortress walls unlike Carcassonne which has spread well beyond the historic walled city.


Contents

The Bronze Age Edit

Belvédère lies immediately to the west of Mont Bégo, known as the sacred mountain in Mercantour National Park. For thousands of years, from the Stone Age till the Iron Age, the first inhabitants of Europe carved more than thirty thousand graffiti on the stones of the Vallée des Merveilles on the slopes of the mountain. There are some vestiges of ancient fortifications behind the current church, which represent the prehistoric beginnings of the village.

The Gauls Edit

In 500 BC the Gauls infiltrated the Ligurian coast and arrived in the mountains around. The inhabitants of Massalia (Marseilles) founded colonies along the coast: Antibes, Monaco, Nice. Farmers spread inland raising vines and olives without however reducing the independence of the mountain dwellers

The Romans Edit

The Romans crossed the Alps Maritimes to secure a passage to Nice & Marseilles and to fight in Spain. In 125 BC they annexed the inland areas to found the Roman province of Provence followed by the Alpine regions as far as Tyrol. Belvedere was occupied and noble Romans of Cimez (Nice) who spent summers in the area and developed the thermal baths at the nearby mountain village of Berthemont-les-Bains. Reputedly Conrelia Solenina wife of the third century emperor Galienus(c. 218 – 268) and mother of Valerian II, Saloninus, and Marinianus visited the baths. [4]

The Barbarian Invasions Edit

. In the 5th century, the Germans finally overwhelmed the Western Roman Empire. They disputed Provence with the Visigoths, then the Ostrogoths installed themselves, followed by the Lombards and finally the Francs, who organised and administered the region and repulsed the raiding Sassanids(Arabs) in the 7th & 8th centuries, whose attacks penetrating as far as the Vesubie.

Under the Counts of Provence Edit

At the dawn of the millennium during the chaotic period at the end of the Carolingian era the area was part the kingdom of Burgundy. Rudolf II (880–937), was ruler of Upper Burgundy (912–937), Lower Burgundy (Provence) (933–937) and also ruled Italy for nearly four years (923–926). In 926 the Italian nobility turned against him and requested that Hugh of Arles,Comte d'Arles, the effective ruler of Provence (or Lower Burgundy), rule them instead. Rudolf returned to Upper Burgundy, assuring Hugh's coronation as King of Italy.

The Counts would dominate the region for the duration of the Middle Ages. It was the feudal era with a lord or Seigneur for each village, but most areas maintained their autonomy and Luceram, Utelle and Saint Martin Vesubie, like Belvedere, administered themselves. After the death of Queen Jeanne (1382), Amadeus VII Count of Savoy, the Red Earl, taking advantage of a war of succession in Provence negotiated the succession of Nice to Savoy. Ruined by war, the inhabitants of Nice and the countries aligned themselves with the policy of John Grimaldi and accepted the protection of the House of Savoy through the Treaty of Saint Pons, known as the Revocation of Nice to Savoy.

The Princes of Savoy Edit

The Princes of Savoy were French by race and language and Belvedere remained a French village. But for the majority of the period from 1388 until 1713 the successors of the Red Earl, allied themselves with enemies of France. As a result, the "Pays Nicois" was crossed by hostile armies and subjected to incessant devastation, particularly following the battles between Charles V and Francis 1st (1494–1547). This unhappy situation continued off and on until after the war of Spanish Succession when at the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) Louis XIV of France and Philip V of Spain, on the one hand, and representatives of Queen Anne of Great Britain, the Duke of Savoy, and the United Provinces on the other and divided up Spain's European empire. Savoy received Sicily and parts of the Duchy of Milan, while Charles VI (the Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria, received the Spanish Netherlands, the Kingdom of Naples, Sardinia, and the bulk of the Duchy of Milan. The crown of Sardinia was awarded by the Treaty of The Hague to King Victor Amadeus II of Savoy to compensate him for the loss of the crown of Sicily to Austria and enabling him to retain the title of a king. The new kingdom with its capital in Turin included Sardinia, Savoy, Piedmont, and Nice. Belvédère remained part of the Kingdom of Sardinia until 1860.

Under the Sardinian Regime Edit

During this period Belvedere lived under a foreign flag: however, the Pays Nicois benefited from the general peace and progress. The beautiful countryside, mild climate, and verdant agriculture attracted, all along the coast, rich residents which benefited many of the villages. Cultural life developed, but villages like Belvedere stayed isolated and life remained primitive without passable roads or commerce. Belvedere, like its neighbours, retreated into itself and in effect formed a little independent republic. The French Revolution of 1789 brought a disruption, which the people supported without getting any benefits from it.

The Revolution and a return to France Edit

Situated just over the frontier of France, from which it was separated by the Var & the Esteron, the Nicoise region became a refuge and place of conspiracies for the French émigrés: nobles, royal officers & priests who hoped to re-establish the royal family in France. A French army crossed the Var in September 1792 and freed the country from the Comte de Nice. Many of the inhabitants, who were secret Francophiles and partisans of the republic welcomed the return to France. This would be the beginning of a bloody confrontation with the Austro-Sardinian armies, which pillaged and caused havoc in many of the villages in the hills and valleys like Belvédère.

In The high valleys of the Gordolasque and the Vesubie, the most important battles unfolded, interrupted only by winter and the difficulties of communication. Belvedere was occupied, requisitioned, bombarded, taken and retaken by the French and Austro-Sards alternatively.

……..in the case of Belvedere. On 2 March 1793,General Brunet republican troops based in Saint-Julien, assaulted the village: "the soldiers quickly climbed the escaladèrent terraces, planted with olive trees that made them immune artillery fire and musketry" the Sardinian troops were forced to retreat hastily to Saint-Blaise, Saint-Martin, the Col de fenestration and even Entracque. With Belvedere, the whole valley Vésubie who fell into the hands of Republicans. The success only lasted 6 months. In September 1793, the village suffered violent attacks from the Col de Raus the redoubts of Saint-Julien, Vesca Del Cairo and Saint-Sauveur was the scene of fierce battles. On September 8, Belvedere fell again, and it was not until April 1794, with the Vésubie, the village was retaken" [5]

The fall of Robespierre brought the fighting to an end in May 1794, but the comté de Nice was back in French hands. After the Austrians lost at Mondovi, which was fought on 21 April 1796 between the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte and the army of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont. The French won the battle and quickly forced King Victor Amadeus III to sue for peace. The Sardinians capitulated and at the treaty of Turin on 15 May 1796, Savoy and the comté de Nice were returned to France. Belvedere was back in France.

Under the 1st Empire Edit

The empire was accepted by Plebiscite. The Nice Arrondissement voted yes by 3,488 to 2 nos, while Puget Theniers had 2,818 yes to 3 no votes. The department was enriched by the addition of the arrondissement of San Remo ( Saorge, La Brigue, Perinaldo, Taggia, Ventimille and Bordighera)

In Belvedere the Raynardi family was en-nobled. Francois Felix Raynardi, comte de Belvedere. Capt in Regiment de Nice 1795, was created Baron of the Empire in 1810 and after the restoration created Marechal in 1816.

The peace that reigned there favoured peace and prosperity, but many of Belvederois men went to die on the battlefields of Europe

Return of the Sardinians Edit

Napoleon was defeated in 1815, the Sardinians represented by Victor Emmanuel 1st restored the ancient regime. However, the republican experience had borne fruits. Everywhere voices were raised claiming more liberty and reattachment to France. Victor Emmanuel dreamed of a united Italy and appealed to Napoleon III. Too weak to take on Austria the King of Piedmont allied with France to declare war in 1859.

The Austrians were definitively beaten at Vaincue at The Battle of Magenta on 4 June 1859 during the Second Italian War of Independence, resulting in a French-Sardinian victory under Napoleon III against the Austrians under Marshal Ferencz Gyulai. The Franco-Piedmontese coalition consisted in overwhelming majority of French troops (1,100 Piedmontese and 58,000 French). Their victory can, therefore, be considered as mostly a French victory. The French wanted to obtain what the Belvederois and the other inhabitants of the comte de Nice and wished for so long.

The empire strikes back Edit

By the treaty of Turin on 24 March 1860 the King of Piedmont ceded to Napoleon III Savoy and the Comte de Nice on condition of a favourable plebiscite. On 15 April there was a triumphant result for France. Of 89 communes, 79 replied unanimously in 10 only where there some nos. On 14 June the Sardinian flag was replaced by the French. Belvedere retrieved its nationality, lost in 1713, found in 1794, lost again in 1815 and retrieved definitively in 1860. There was one shadow, which was not removed until victory in WWII. Several communes in the high vesubie remained an Italian enclave for another 87 years until 1947 as a hunting reserve for his majesty the king of Italy. There is no war, which does not leave sad souvenirs. The Communes of Saint Sauveur, Isola, Rimplas, Valdeblore, Saint MartinVesubie and Belvedere were part of the southern side of a remarkable line of frontier forts of 1860. Belvedere had to accept the loss of territory of all of the north part of the Gordolasque valley from the Cascade du ray between the Cime de la Valette and the Celle du south Capelet. This territory was reserved for royal hunts until it was submitted by the Italians in 1947 and re-established under the title of the Commune of Belvedere.

The last occupation Edit

With the rise of fascism in Italy a new menace arrived at the frontier as the Italians, encouraged by Hitler, made their presence felt. Their occupation only was terminated by the final defeat of the German army.

In the spring of 1945 the Authion massif above Belvédère was occupied by the 34th DI and troops of German mountain brigade in a network of fortifications: Forca (2078 m), Three Communes redoubt (2080 m), Plan Caval (1932 m) and fort Mille Fourches (2042 m). On 10 April 1945 the French 1st free French division (MFO) (BIMP), Pacific marine infantry battalion units and mechanized elements of the 1st Regiment fusiliers sailors, supported by artillery and aviation, launched an assault on German positions from the South. After a difficult fight, the Mille Fourches fort fell on 11 April, followed by Forca and Caval. Finally on the 12th, the redoubt of Three Communes was taken by a tank supported by five volunteer soldiers. At the end of a perilous ascent, Corporal Césaire Le Mercier, a Breton belonging to the 1st BIMP made it into the fort and emerged with 38 prisoners. The entire German front collapsed on 24 April 1945.

Hundreds of soldiers from both sides lost their lives in this battle (273 killed, wounded 644), one of the last on French territory. It allowed French troops to continue to Piedmont following the orders of General de Gaulle's who wished to occupy territory with a view to obtaining border changes in future peace negotiations. This French attitude led to tensions and hostilities with the American allies, who were keen to prevent the dismemberment of the Italian territories by vengeful victors. Belvédère was at one point evacuated and then reoccupied.

The definitive return to France Edit

On 19 February 1947 the "Big Four" victors signed a peace treaty with Italy finally exorcising the Fascist regime. The relevant Communes regained their territory. Tende and Brigue returned to France. Belvédère returned definitively and completely to her motherland.

Arthur Koestler completed his world famous novel, Darkness at Noon, when he stayed just outside Belvédère on the road to old Roquebillière. He visited the area with his companion, Daphne Hardy Henrion, in the summer 1939 staying first at the San Sebastian Hotel and then renting a villa nearby until they were forced to return to Paris by the German invasion of France. He wrote about his experiences in the Vesubie valley in the first chapter of his novel, Scum of the Earth (book)

Darkness at Noon was rated one of the 100 most influential novels of the later half of the 20th century by Le Monde. [6] [7] It was also rated 8th in the modern library's 100 best books of the 20th century. [8]

Belvédère together with the Gordolasque valley was used as the location for the 1965 television series Belle et Sébastien based on the novel by Cécile Aubry about a six-year-old boy named Sébastien and his dog Belle, a Pyrenean mountain dog, who live in a small French Alpine mountain village on the French side of the border with Italy. The series was translated and broadcast by the BBC. [9] A Japanese anime version, Meiken Jolie [10] was made nearly two decades later and also a feature film in 2017. [11] The Glasgow based pop group, Belle and Sebastian, were named after the original TV series. [12]

Andre Laurenti (died 1609) Professor at the University of Montpellier, presented at court by Le comtesse de Tonnerre in 1589, appointed as doctor to the King. 1603 appointed chancellor of the faculty of medicine chosen as doctor to Marie de' Medici. 1606 appointed "Archiatre" (doctor to the King) of Henry IV

Honore Laurenti (died 1612) Royal Advocate General for 20 years amongst several important duties he gave a funeral oration for Marguerite of Austria, queen of Spain who died in Paris in 1611

Francois Felix Raynardi (died 1832) Comte de Belvedere. Fought at Massena (aug 1793) as general of a brigade. See text above.

Dick Rivers (born 1945) alias Hervé Forneris French rock star founder of the "Wild Cats"

The film Le Cas du docteur Laurent starring Jean Gabin was made in 1957 largely on location at the nearby town of Saint-Martin-Vésubie and many local scenes are used.


Guided tours organised by the Tourist Office

" Assault on the Citadel "

The visit tells the story of the fortress and its construction. During the visit, you will have access to the military fortifications and the Puits des Forçats (area forbidden to the public).

  • September to June (except Christmas holidays) at 11.30 am and 2 pm.
  • July and August: visit at 10.30 am, 11.30 am, 2.00 pm, 3.00 pm, 4.00 pm and 5.00 pm*.
  • *Visit at 5:00 pm on Monday and Thursday only.

"Mont-Louis through the centuries"

The visit of the village makes it possible to evoke through the streets and the various buildings (barracks, hospital, church) the urbanization of Mont-Louis from its construction until today. This visit is complementary to the visit of the Citadel.

  • Visit at 3:30 pm from September to June
  • Thursday and Saturday at 11.30 am and Monday and Thursday at 3.30 pm in July and August"Storming the Citadel"

This tour tells the story of the fortress and its construction. During the visit, you will enter the military compound and the Puits des Forçats area (not accessible to the public without a tour guide).


The clash of the pretenders

The clashes of 1830 and 1848 between the Legitimists and the Orleanists over who was the rightful monarch were resumed in the 1870s. After the fall of the Second Empire, a monarchist-dominated National Assembly offered a throne to the Legitimist pretender, Henri de France, comte de Chambord, as Henri V. As he was childless, his heir was (except to the most extreme Legitimists) Louis Philippe's grandson, Philippe d'Orléans, comte de Paris. Thus the comte de Chambord's death would have united the House of Bourbon and House of Orléans.

However, the comte de Chambord refused to take the throne unless the Tricolor flag of the Revolution was replaced with the fleur-de-lis flag of the Ancien Régime. This the National Assembly was unwilling to do. The Third Republic was established, though many intended for it to be temporary, and replaced by a constitutional monarchy after the death of the comte de Chambord. However, the comte de Chambord lived longer than expected. By the time of his death in 1883, support for the monarchy had declined, and public opinion sided with a continuation of the Third Republic, as the form of government that, according to Adolphe Thiers, "divides us least". Some suggested a monarchical restoration under a later comte de Paris after the fall of the Vichy regime but this did not occur.

Many remaining French monarchists regard the descendants of Louis Philippe's grandson, who hold the title Count of Paris, as the rightful pretenders to the French throne others, the Legitimists, consider Don Luis-Alfonso de Borbón, Duke of Anjou (to his supporters, "Louis XX") to be the rightful heir. Head of the Royal House of Bourbon, Louis is descended in the male line from Philippe, Duke of Anjou, the second grandson of the Sun-King, Louis XIV. Philippe (King Philip V of Spain), however, had renounced his rights to the throne of France to prevent the much-feared union of France and Spain.

The two sides challenged each other in the French Republic's law courts in 1897 and again nearly a century later. In the latter case, Henri, comte de Paris, duc de France, challenged the right of the Spanish-born "pretender" to use the title Duke of Anjou. The French courts threw out his claim, arguing that the legal system had no jurisdiction over the matter.


Watch the video: 5th September 1793: The Reign of Terror begins in France (May 2022).