The Best Books On The French Foreign Legion

The Books I Picked & Why

In the Foreign Legion

By Erwin Rosen

In the Foreign Legion

Why this book?

This is the ultimate in precise, deliberate, and informed military nonfiction writing. I related to the protagonist as he is a young german who is curious to see the world in 1905. He makes the fateful decision to join the legion and lives through the horrors of service therein, all the while describing the glory, valor, and traditions of this mysterious corpos. The author manages to describe very real events, organize them in a compelling manner, and elucidates a special moment in history.


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Mouthful of Rocks: Modern Adventures in the French Foreign Legion

By Christian Jennings

Mouthful of Rocks: Modern Adventures in the French Foreign Legion

Why this book?

This book was a very compelling read and resonated with me, as the author was a professional and idealist who was drawn into a war that he was not in control of. His casual and all matter of fact style of writing made it a pleasure to read, while still hitting home with his underlying theme. Jennings is an Englishman with few prospects for a prosperous future so he throws his lot in with a motley bunch of foreigners in the service of france. He writes with hilarity and frankness that I was immediately drawn to.


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The Making of a Legionnaire: My Life in the French Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment

By Bill Parris

The Making of a Legionnaire: My Life in the French Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment

Why this book?

This tome was the size of a phone book but it has relevance even today. It's one of the slightly obscure classics but it speaks to the profound spiritual questions that transcend time. Parris was an idealist Englishman who served in the legion in the early 90s. but this was not a story of glory and medals. Parris saw action in Chad and had to spill blood. This chilling act never left him and he was haunted by his actions for years to come. The author passed from illness but dedicated the book to his son.


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Legionnaire no. 31022

By Thomas Cushny

Legionnaire no. 31022

Why this book?

Cushny wanted to join the royal air force but was barred due to his eyesight. Instead he joined up with the French foreign legion in Algeria. He barely escaped with his life after serving in one of the fiercest moments in its history, the 1920 wars against moroccan separatists and berbers. It paints a shocking portrait of service in the legion.


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Legionnaire: Five Years in the French Foreign Legion

By Simon Murray

Legionnaire: Five Years in the French Foreign Legion

Why this book?

This is the gold standard for legion memoirs. It was written by a well bred English youth who was bored with life and decided to seek adventure in the foreign legion. He served with distinction during the Algerian push for independence. He writes in a diary style, which is jarring at times, but ultimately ives this book a certain warmth and relevance that will have readers gripped and wondering about the legion for generations to come.


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