{Authors note: The history up till 1986 is (I hope) an accurate portrayal of the history of the Foreign Legion's paratroop units. However after this point it becomes a fictional account working from the Twilight 2000 and 2300 AD timelines}

After the Twilight, the French Peace
The Colonial Era
The end of the French Peace
Kafer War


The first Légion Étrangère parachute unit was a company formed from platoons drawn from three legion infantry units in Hanoi on the 1st of April 1948 and was designated the Compagnie Parachutiste du 3e REI. Although operationally they were attached to the metropolitan paratroops of the III/1e RCP. They saw their first firefight on the 5th of May and operated widely in the north of Tonkin near the Chinese border. In the meantime at the Legion's depot in Algeria a parachute school was established on the 13th of May.

On the 1st of July 1948 the first of the major Legion para units formed, as the 1e Batallion Étranger de Parachutistes under Captain Pierre Segrétain came into being. It was followed by the 2e BEP in October of the same year. A 3e BEP was formed the next year as a transit and holding unit. There were few Legion officers to begin with as an officer and NCO cadre was provided from existing Metropolitan and Colonial para units. However the men were all volunteers from the Legion's infantry and cavalry units, and many were already veterans of the fighting in Indochina. Some had combat experience from the 2nd World War, including many German soldiers rumoured to be former Waffen-SS troopers.

In October of 1948 1e BEP embarked for Haiphong, followed by the 2e BEP setting sail for Saigon in January of the next year. Both battalions were soon heavily engaged in the fighting as the French commanders used their airborne forces as fire brigades rushing to relieve besieged garrisons. Often the légionnaire-paras would arrive only to find the garrisons overrun and killed to a man. Later the 1e BEP were involved in the Battle of RC 4 attempting to save the men from exposed outposts retreating from overwhelming Viet Minh attacks. Over the course of 9 horrific days of October 1950, led by the legendary Captain Jeanpierre only 41 légionnaire-paras from 499 who entered the fighting survived the destruction of 1e BEP in close in jungle fighting.

1e BEP was reformed officially on 1st of March 1951, received 400 replacements from 3e BEP on the 13th and was back in the fighting on the 18th. 2e BEP operated initially in the quieter southern sectors of Indochina but were soon brought north and only escaped the fate of 1e BEP on RC 4 because of bad weather. However both battalions were to take a full part in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu that broke French control of Indochina. The légionnaire-paras were used as a reserve, and launched many bloody and often futile counter-attacks.

It is likely that only around 100 légionnaire-paras survived the battle to go into captivity, but even fewer survived their stay with the Viet Minh. Neither battalion was officially disbanded being kept alive by a cadre of rear echelon personnel. 2e BEP was brought up to strength by 3e BEP taking on its identity, whilst 1e BEP was strengthened by veterans returning from injury and replacements from North Africa. Both battalions were to return to Algeria in 1955.

At the end of 1955 all of the BEP were renamed as Régiment Étranger de Parachutistes, the designation that they have retained to this day. From 1955 until 1962 the REP were involved in the bitter struggle against Algerian independence. They were most often used as elite airmobile light infantry in search and destroy operations against the ALN guerrilla companies or katibas in the arid interior of Algeria. The long operations, highly skilled soldiers and experienced officers were an important factor in interdicting guerrilla supply lines and destroying large formations. In fact 1e REP in the period up till the death of Colonel Jeanpierre in May 1958 could be considered one of the finest battalion sized combat formations of all time.

In November of 1956 the men of 1e REP were part of the French contribution to the Anglo-French occupation of the Suez Canal. The desert hardened French paras impressed their British counterparts with their professionalism. Whilst the British officers were often frustrated by their inability to pick out the French officers who dressed identically to their men. For the operation 1e REP was given an attached tank company from the 2e Régiment Étranger de Cavalerie, which it retained on it return, although the crews normally fought as infantry.

The success of the légionnaire-paras in the bled was also matched by their success on the streets of Algiers in 1957. Terrorist incidents mounted and organised from the rabbit warren of the casbah had led the French to deploy General Massu's 10e Division Parachutiste (including the 1e REP) into the city. Given virtual carte blanche the paras routed out the terrorist network and killed or captured several ALN leaders. However this success was achieved at the cost of the widespread use of torture on suspects and led to international opprobrium and damaged French morale.

The realisation the President de Gaulle was going to recognise the Algerian claim for independence came as a bitter blow for many of the paras. They had fought hard and well and believed that they had the ALN on the run and were disgusted that so many of them had died just to hand over Algeria on a politician's say-so. The 1e REP were a leading force in the failed putsch that attempted to overthrow de Gaulle, and were disbanded on 30th of April 1961. The soldiers, unbowed, sang the Edith Piaf song 'Je ne regrette rien' as they marched from their base at Zéralda, and were dispersed throughout the Legion. To de Gaulle they were 'les paras perdus', the Lost Paras.

With the 1e REP disbanded the last Legion para unit was the 2e REP whose morale was at rock bottom. The arrival as CO of Lt. Col. Caillaud (who as a Lt. was the first man posted to 2e BEP on its formation) brought around a major change in the unit's fortunes. Caillaud's vision was to change the 2e REP from a fairly conventionally organised airborne infantry unit into a highly skilled para-commando unit on the cutting edge of France's new foreign policy in Africa. When the 2e REP moved to its new base at Calvi in Corsica in 1967 it's fortunes had already transformed with retention rates excellent and able to pick and choose its recruits.

True to Caillaud's ideas the 2e REP transformed itself. Whilst still retaining its hard charging qualities each of its four companies gained a speciality. These were night, anti-tank, and urban warfare. Mountain warfare. Amphibious warfare. And sniping and demolition. In addition the regiment had two tactical headquarters capable of commanding any number of companies whilst deployed anywhere in Africa.

The 2e REP became a force that was perhaps unique at the time, bridging the gap between true special forces, such as the SAS or Delta Force, and merely crack units like British Parachute Regiment or Royal Marines and the American Rangers. As the spearhead of the 11e Division Parachutiste and the newly formed Force d' Action Rapide the 2e REP was often the first French unit to be deployed and saw action in Djibouti, Zaïre, Lebanon and frequently in Chad until 1995.


The French stayed out of the Twilight War, withdrawing along with their Belgian allies from their NATO commitments. France believed that Germany was again making a mistake of historic proportions and the Anglo-Saxon nations had been blinded by anti-Communist rhetoric in supporting them. Whilst not involved in the major fighting on the central front, French forces were heavily engaged protecting her own interests.

Half of the 2e REP had been deployed in rotation to Djibouti since 1995 in support of operations against communist backed Somali and Ethiopian guerrillas launching attacks into the French supported territory. However the other half of the unit was kept in France at a high state of alert, and was responsible for neutralising several Soviet (and allegedly some NATO) sabotage missions aimed at French military and port facilities. However as the conflict progressed the whole of 2e REP was gathered in France.

After the nuclear exchange refugees flooded into France causing the French government to create a buffer zone to keep the refugees out. Along with the other units of the 11e Division Parachutiste the 2e REP was involved in the occupation of the Dutch and German Rhineland and Luxembourg. 2e REP in particular spearheaded the drive of II Corps to Köln, brushing aside the light resistance from German Territorials and Border Guards and clearing refugees from the roads to clear the roads for the tanks of 5e Division Blindée. The légionnaire-paras then undertook the rooting out of several nascent resistance groups in the occupied zone.

The 2e REP undertook these duties successfully, if somewhat resentfully, as fully half of the regiment were either German, British or American soldiers who really wanted to be fighting the Soviets. The performance of these counter-guerrilla operations by the unit were deemed by the French high command to be not up to the standard of other French and Belgian units given the task. Consequently when a threat to French interests arose in Senegal and Mauritania early in 1998 the 2e REP was the first unit to be deployed out to Dakar.

Away from Europe the 2e REP returned to its normal hard fighting ways, routing the rebels on every meeting. Reinforced by Marine Infantry the French soon had full military control over these territories, and a series of harassing raids into Guinea and Mali were launched by the 2e REP. An daring airborne raid on the Conakry was particularly successful with the légionnaire-paras accounting for a pair of refuelling Soviet Bear aircraft, as well as destroying warehouses' full of arms and materiel. Before being flown back to Dakar direct from the airstrip.

In August of 1998, with the situation in west Africa well in hand the regiment was moved across to the middle-east along with the bulk of the FAR. The 2e REP was flown into Kuwait City to prepare the way for the arrival of the 9e Division de Marine, who they had worked so successfully alongside in Senegal and Mauritania. The situation in Kuwait City was chaotic with many different factions vying for power and the Kuwaiti army backed into a corner. The French troops quickly restored order, with the légionnaire-paras proving as adept at irregular warfare amongst the modern skyscrapers of Kuwait City as there forebears had in the crowded casbah of Algiers.

The 2e REP remained based out of Kuwait for several years undertaking a range of special operations as well as backing up the 1e RPIMa training the pro-Western Marsh Arabs. In this role one company usually remained on standby at Kuwait City airport ready to parachute to the aid of exposed bases.

It was in this role that the 2e REP became involved in the Battle of Al Amarah in December 1999 when the 2e Cie parachuted to the aid of a forward base manned by the Marsh Arabs and their 1e RPIMa advisors. Over the course of 48 hours the rest of the regiment parachuted into join the fight. After facing wave after wave of infantry attacks, backed by armoured support the unit fell back to Al Amarah where pro-French forces were massing. A follow up attack was easily fended off, in fact so mauled was the Iraqi Republican Army's III Corps that they withdrew soon afterwards. A remarkable victory against some 10000 soldiers had been bought at the cost of 134 killed and wounded.

After the Twilight, the French Peace

The end of the Twilight War, through exhaustion and collapse of the nations fighting it rather than any treaties had little effect for the men of the 2e REP who continued their service in the heat of the Persian Gulf. However the chaos brought about by both the physical damage of the war and the collapse of the global economy was widespread and only France had the resources left to try and start a recovery. However all this required troops, and the French people soon tired of sending their sons to the shattered lands in the East to fight bands of warlords. Instead the Legion was called upon once more.

In June of 2003 the Legion formed the 1e Batallion Étranger de Parachutistes de Marche in the occupied Rhineland. The battalion was composed of soldiers and ex-marauders from throughout Europe who had travelled to France, tiring of the struggle to survive in the east. They were to a man bitter, traumatised, desensitised to violence and required a very disciplined NCO and Officer cadre to command them. Yet there were also some highly skilled soldiers amongst them, with a strong representation of former German paratroopers.

The 1e BEPM was deployed to the enclave of Gdansk in Poland where it was thrown straight into the task of suppressing the very marauder bands some of the soldiers had belonged to. These new légionnaire-paras soon proved their worth, prosecuting the marauders with absolute ruthlessness, a policy that the marauders reciprocated reserving some exceptionally unpleasant tortures for any prisoners from 1e BEPM. The battalion was rarely called upon to make any combat jumps but was used as assault troops, the soldiers bitterly remarking that they did all the fighting whilst the follow on French troops got all the glory.

The success of the battalion saw the creation of the 2e BEPM in August of 2004 which would be transferred to provide security for the French relief mission in Prague. Like its sister battalion it was quickly in the thick of the action keeping open the roads into southern Germany, a thankless and often deadly task. A 3e BEPM was formed in 2007 which also served mainly in Czechoslovakia, mainly as a reserve in the area around Brno. For the campaign against the so-called 'Duke of Warsaw' in 2008 the 1e Batallion Étranger de Choc de Marche was formed from volunteers from all of the Legion's Batallions de Marche in Eastern Europe. However the men and officers of the BEPM were the most conspicuous in the ranks of this specialist urban assault formation which took murderous casualties in the fight for Warsaw.

In 2009 the 2e REP left the Middle East for the first time in more than a decade, as the unit was called in to take part in the French military expedition to Algeria. The French intervened to protect the secular governments that controlled the coastal cities from the Islamic guerrilla armies of the interior, after intense domestic political pressure from the French-Algerian population. The 2e REP took part in several bitter skirmishes around Oran and Sidi-bel-Abès once site of the Legion's depot, before returning to Corsica. However the 2e REP would be called frequently back to Algeria until the 2050's.

The 2e REP's return to its home was cut short by the outbreak of hostilities in the Arabian Peninsular in 2010. The unit was rushed out and worked effectively as a mobile, jeep borne anti-tank force alongside British Paratroopers. As the situation stabilised they were frequently called upon to make raids behind the Iranian lines, once more often working in co-operation with the March Arabs. The 2e REP would now remain in the Middle East for many years as part of the strategic reserve, often deploying throughout Africa and Asia shoring up what became known as the French Peace.

In Eastern Europe the BEPM and BECM continued to hold down the armed insurgents whilst France attempted to rebuild these nations. However they were becoming increasingly controversial in role as the European press began to recover. The French left wing press was particularly scathing, referring to 'Murderers Policing Murderers'. With the end of the campaign in Czechoslovakia the 2e and 3e BEPM were disbanded with the troops being transferred to the 1e BEPM and 1e BECM in Poland. Shortly after this the 3e REP was formed in Corsica to act as the depot for all of the Legion paras.

As the 2020's continued political pressure within France caused many of the Batallions de Marche in Eastern Europe to be wound up. Politicians asked for how long 'campaign battalions' could be in being. However the need for these soldiers had not greatly diminished and the Legion was forced to bring these units within its old regiments, with regiments once again gaining more than one battalion. However these separate battalions would very rarely meet, and the 2e Batallion's were often seen as second class citizens within the Legion. The 1e BEPM and 1e BECM, the most controversial of units, were to become the 1e and 2e Batallions respectively of the reformed 1e REP. The resurrection of this unit was a non-too subtle slap in the face for the Gaullist opposition who had lobbied for the changes.

The character of the 1e REP was substantially different from that of its sister unit which at the time continued to be predominantly western European. The 1e REP no longer had a majority of Germans within its ranks but was dominated by Poles, Czechs, Slovaks but with a large minority of soldiers born in Russian cantonments in Eastern Europe who had now effectively become disenfranchised as these states reformed. The 1e REP also operated in a style very different to the para-commandos of 2e REP, being much more of a straight assault infantry unit with consequently higher casualty rates.

In 2030 the 2e REP was stood too as France confronted Indonesia over its attempted annexation of Indochina. Along with other para units the regiment deployed to the British enclave of Hong Kong, where it enjoyed the hospitality of this rebuilding trade port. The regiment would later travel once more to Hanoi, where it would engage in a variety of exercises with Vietnamese paratroops and special forces.

The end of the final military campaign in Poland and the reestablishment of a unitary Polish government in 2031 saw the requirement of the 1e REP diminish and the 2nd battalion was disbanded (with the 1st battalion remaining as I/1e REP) and the unit returned to France as part of the European reserve. There the battalion worked on its skills, and many of the older less flexible soldiers transferred from the unit, a conscious attempt was made to increase the skills of the I/1e REP to a similar level as the 2e REP and cross-postings were made. Traces of the East/West European split between the units remain today however.

For the next 30 years both units had a chance to settle down and enjoy the peace. Although frequent deployments to Africa in support of expanding French interests were commonplace. The next major conflict to involve the légionnaire-paras was the Russo-Ukraine War that broke out in 2065. French involvement was initially limited to provision of advisors and securing rear areas. Consequently the I/1e REP deployed with other elements of the 25e Division d' Intervention to Crimea early in the war. Later the unit would see action against Russian infiltrators before going on the offensive in 2071 wrecking havoc in the Russian rear areas. 2e REP wasn't deployed to the warzone, but many of its soldiers did tours with their sister unit.

Slowly the world became more peaceful and the recovery from the devastating nuclear exchanges began to take hold. France was still the guarantor of peace and stability, and so the légionnaire-paras still had a role to play. In fact the importance of the highly skilled operators from the regiments increased, 2e REP especially becoming increasingly specialised. By the 2090's it was common practise to have to serve a tour with I/1e REP before being allowed to attempt to join 2e REP. That regiment in particular widened its skills, gaining an increasing slice of the non-metropolitan counter-terrorist brief.

The Argentine embargo of the ESA colony on Tirane changed everything for the Legion and the paras in particular. Until this time the long years of peace, Africa's quite development and the expectation of humankind's utopian expansion into the stars had started people questioning the need for the Legion and France's high defence spending. Argentina's action and French public opinion reinforced a cynically nationalist tendency in French political society. During the crisis it was rumoured that French sabotage parties had been behind the torching of Argentine owned businesses throughout Europe.

The Colonial Era

The end of the Alpha Centauri War saw Tirane opened up for colonisation, but the lesson of the War was still fresh in the mind of the ESA governments. So along with the colonists they sent soldiers. The Legion provided a brigade group to garrison part of the new colony, dubbed Nouvelle Provance. The Groupement Operational Légion Étrangère de Tirane (GOLET) included the I/1e REP in its ranks, which was to be used as a central reserve. The threat of continued conflict with the Argentineans never materialised but the légionnaire-paras were to find themselves a new role countering dangerous local fauna.

The outlying colonial settlements were threatened (although much was due to panicking colonists) by animals of the Babocarnés family. The I/1e REP companies were dispersed around the settlements and acted as a rapid response unit and providing firepower for hunting parties. In particular they were responsible for hunting down several aggressive and wily packs of Meute Meurtrière, an often dangerous task. Most notably (and covered in the media) were their exploits in hunting down several of the majestic Fon, which strongly resembled the Terran T-Rex. Whilst today these animals are protected at the time the soldiers were providing a vital service in buttressing the morale of the settlers.

To replace the unit deployed to Tirane in the Earth based reaction forces, the II/1e REP was again formed in 2170. The 2e REP was also being deployed further and further away from Earth, often acting as trouble-shooters for the French colonial administrators. In this role the regiment was often split up into its component companies which would rarely come together as a full unit. Obviously the 2e REP was to change its training once again, taking on an increasingly technical aspect required to operate from spaceships and in hostile environments.

However the II/1e REP was to remain a conventional airborne infantry, and was often deployed to Africa as the French domination of much of Africa became unpopular in some quarters. A revolt of the Tutsi in the east of France's Zairian Departement in the late 2190's caused the II/1e REP to be deployed to Kigali where it became involved in one of the most controversial counter-insurgency campaigns for many years. The légionnaire-paras were frequently accused of undertaking reprisals that verged upon atrocity, especially after a Rwandan Liberation Front attack on a Zairian Tirailleurs unit left over 50 soldiers dead. The II/1e REP and their CO Lt. Col. Rives became the bête noire of the international liberal press.

In 2203 the II/1e REP were brought into action in the Sudan when a mineral exploration outpost from a major French corporation was taken over by South Sudanese Christian guerrillas fighting for freedom from the Muslim-dominated UAR. The local UAR commander made a botched attempt at a rescue, he was repulsed and with reports that the guerrillas had started executing prisoners the French acted. The II/1e REP was one of the closest units based at Kigali some 700km from the siege site and more importantly was on stand-by and also out from under the eyes of the media. Whilst some recce troops of the 13e RDP were nearby in Observation Posts it was to be the légionnaire-paras who did most of the fighting.

Lt. Col. Rives' plan was a simple one and was to be the first battalion parachute assault by French airborne troops for nearly a century. The légionnaire-paras were dropped close to the besieged compound in the middle of the night, and swiftly deployed cut-off groups and two main assault parties. The first assault group secured the overgrown landing strip for follow on forces flying in directly from France. The second, main assault group with Rives very much leading from the front, stormed the compound. The fight was bloody, but quick with the guerrillas soon overwhelmed. Some attempted to escape from the compound but were cut down by the cut-off machine gunners and snipers. No guerrilla was taken alive, and rumours persist of summary executions after the soldiers discovered the bodies of several hostages. The II/1e REP was flown with the surviving hostages back to Paris in triumph.

The continuing expansion of the French colonial holdings had given rise to the requirement for another Legion para unit. Consequently the III/1e REP was formed allowing the 8e RPIMa to deploy to the newly established colony at Beta Canum Venaticorum. In addition 1e REP's I Batallion returned to Earth after its long vigil on Tirane and was replaced by the II Batallion. All three battalions were to rotate through service on Tirane every three years from this point onwards. 2e REP continued to be the most 'glamorous' of the units having long become a dedicated special operations unit.

The next addition to the family of Legion paras came when a company of BH-18 combat walkers was formed and attached to the I/1e REP. These early French CPB were primitive and unreliable when compared with those in use in Japanese and Manchurian service, but provided valuable experience in operating these machines. Soon all three 1e REP battalions had these companies, and an experimental CPB platoon was operating with the 2e REP as well.

The end of the French Peace

The next major war for the légionnaire-paras didn't occur until 2282 when hostilities between Russian and Manchuria occurred over the Central Asian Republic. Initial operations by the I and II/1e REP were alongside other units of the 10e Division d' Intervention in the southern borders of the CAR, aiding the fight against Iranian backed insurgents. However with the entry of Manchurian and French heavy forces into the fighting the légionnaire-paras were brought onto the main front. The two battalions were heavily involved in the Battle of Alma Ata clearing Manchurian commandos and stay behind parties from the CAR capital.

A year into the war the CPB companies had been withdrawn from all Legion para battalions and grouped into the Batallion Étranger de Parachutistes de Chasseur à Pied Blindée de Marche (BEPCPBM). This unit was used to conduct several space-borne raids with the MSIF on inhospitable Manchurian outposts on the Chinese Arm. Although often let down by the level of fleet support, especially in the Xiuning operation, the unit proved remarkably successful. The 2e REP saw out most of the war on stand-by providing an anti-terrorist capability on several worlds on the French Arm, and some of its detachments saw service against Manchurian sabotage teams.

On Earth the full mobilisation of all of Manchuria's resources to the war threw the Franco-Russian forces onto the back foot. Mobile Manchurian columns continuously outflanked their heavier enemies and several mass surrenders of conscript units occurred. An attempt to hit back with a raid by the II/1e REP went badly wrong, the unit had used the same tactics once too many times and the Manchurians had set a trap. Surrounded by the best part of an armoured brigade the légionnaire-paras were pounded for a day, loosing 200 casualties before having to surrender. Only 15 soldiers made it back to Allied lines, the Battle of Lima 7 was the biggest debacle the Legion had faced since Dien Bien Phu.

The I/1e REP was also separated from its division in the rout of 2286, and it fought its way to safety and across the Caspian in the company of the Russian 103rd Guards Airborne Division. The entry of Japan into the war on the Allied side was decisive, and from their defensive lines around Moscow the Allies broke out, with the I/1e REP involved in many of 10e DINT's deep strikes using Japanese satellite intelligence. The end of the war thankfully saw the repatriation of many of the paratroops taken prisoner in the Battle of Lima 7.

The French military learned many vital lessons from the Central Asian War, and the military government was quick in carrying them out. Of most importance to the légionnaire-paras was the decision to create new formations to carry out raids with the MSIF as well as serve as rapid response units outside the Core. Each Brigade d' Intervention was to be composed of two light infantry battalions and one CPB battalion. They were to be manned only by elite troops from the RPIMa, Para-Commandos or REP.

The 1e BI was to be composed entirely of légionnaire-paras, and brought about a substantial re-organisation. The III/1e REP was renamed the II Batallion of that regiment, and along with the I Batallion was to undergo a long training period to prepare it for its new role. The BEPCPBM was renamed the II/2e REP and re-equipped with the modern BH-21, whilst the old 2nd REP became the I/2e REP. This was a much resented changed and they still refer to themselves as the Deuxieme Rep and the CPB battalion as the Vingt-Deuxime Rep.

The I/2e REP was not involved in the reorganisation remaining in its free-floating special forces role. They found itself in a bitter conflict in the 61 Ursae Majoris system as the colony of Elysia attempted to gain independence from France. The légionnaire-paras attempted to calm the situation whilst removing the ring leaders of the leaders of the revolutionary movement. Aided by huge financial and practical backing from the German colony the revolutionaries continued to gain the initiative. Eventually the French forced by the incipient crisis with Germany on Earth to recognise the colonies independence. But whilst the majority of the French units left Joi most of the légionnaire-paras remained behind with the collusion of the British colonial authorities.

The re-unification of Germany included the annexation of Bavaria to the disgust of their French allies, and a 'phoney war' occurred through most of 2291 with both countries mobilised. Eventually tiring of negotiations the Germans struck and broke through the French left in a lightning armoured thrust and soon forced an armistice. The short duration of hostilities allowed only limited fighting away from Earth but all of the légionnaire-paras managed to get into the action.

On Joi, the I/2e REP put into practise their long held plans to gain some revenge on the German colony that had supported the Elysian revolutionaries. Sabotage parties destroyed the German embassy at Esperance, and the business district of Raumhafen suffered a wave of arson attacks. In a direct action attack a German barracks was hit by mortar fire causing some 50 casualties. Whilst some firefights occurred most of the attackers got clean away from their missions. The war ended before a second wave of attacks could begin.

The 1e BI was stationed at Tirane when the war broke out and remained in-system to watch the direction the Bavarian colony of Garten was going to take. Very rapidly in spite of German efforts to counter the move, the colony declared its independence from any form of control from Earth. Renaming itself Freihaven the leadership of the new nation invited the French in to prevent any German reprisals. The 1e BI was the first unit to deploy and suffered from several low level attacks from pro-Unification groups. However the légionnaire-paras retained their discipline and the pro-Unification faction settled down to contesting the upcoming elections.

The I/2e REP was involved in an embarrassing incident on Beowulf in 2296. The British and French colony's on this world had long been in dispute over the division of the planets resources. This had caused continuing low level clashes, which both the British and French, close allies on Earth, had cause to try and keep to a minimum. However in 2296 a recce team from I/2e REP had been caught on the wrong side of the border, and the incident leaked to the Alician press. A French government spokesman blamed a glitch in the satellite navigation data, seemingly a common occurrence on Beowulf.

Kafer War

Humankind first discovered the Kafers in the Arcturus system in 2295 but making contact proved immensely difficult. In 2297 contact was lost with the French outpost in the system, and two companies and a tactical HQ from I/2e REP moved to Aurore. The 4e Cie. skilled in zero-G warfare was on board the French cruiser Suffren as she and her sister ship De Grasse prepared to travel to Arcturus to discover fate of the outpost. The two French cruisers were lost with all hands when they encountered a Kafer squadron raiding the Eta Bootis system. The légionnaire-paras on board were the first to die in the fighting with the Kafers. They would not be the last.

The 2e Cie. was moved up to Aurore to reinforce the 3e Cie. just in time for the Kafer assault in 2298. For the remainder of the year the légionnaire-paras were at the forefront of the French resistance. The militia and colonial troops were willing, but relatively inexperienced. The men of the I/2e REP provided the hard core of the fighting troops as well as providing a special forces capability. They quickly became legendary in the colony, their commander Lt. Col Beaufre gained political influence far beyond his rank. But it was bought at a steep cost in lives, in the three months of fighting over 250 of the 300 paras fell casualty.

The return of the human fleet and massive French reinforcements gave respite to the colony, and after a period of acting as advisors for regular units unused to fighting the Kafers the légionnaire-paras were brought back to BCV-4. Their debriefing and experiences was to provide the backbone of the first organised training programmes for the indoctrination of troops prior to deployment on Aurore. The unit rebuilt with drafts from the 1e REP. The next unit to go to Aurore was the II/2e REP where their BH-21's were put to good use until replaced by the I/8e RPIMa.

The 1e BI moved up to BCV on standard rotation in January of 2301, and the I/1e REP began to build up for a now routine tour on Aurore later in the year. All plans were put on hold as the Kafers launched a massive invasion. The 1e Co. of the I/2e REP was on Aurore attached to the 2e FUMARCO when the invasion came and would remain there undertaking rear area reconnaissance tasks for the strong French forces on that world.

The 1e BI was swept up with Admiral Rochemont's squadron as the MSIF's 3e Division de Débarquement came up to BCV. The unit would tend to follow around the warships as Rochemont attempted to get through to Aurore, but spent most of their time kicking their heels on Vogelheim where they were joined by troops from many nations. For the troops of the I/2e REP (including the rebuilt 4e Cie.) their time was substantially busier, as they were used as Rochemont's eyes and ears on the occupied worlds and many formed stay behind parties on worlds expected to fall. Rochemont would later give these légionnaire-paras a glowing testimony in his biography, a rare compliment from this man.

As the tide of the war turned Rochemont ambushed the Kafer fleet above Joi, and the 1e BI prepared to land to destroy the Kafer landing parties. However they were denied their chance, as the job went to the Joint Vogelheim Brigade, and the légionnaire-paras grumbled about Rochemont playing politics. In fact the somewhat disgruntled soldiers complained so much that Rochemont frequently referred to them as 'les grognards', a title once bestowed on Napoleon's Old Guard. (Whilst some in 1e BI were secretly pleased, others complained that this only showed the heights of Rochemont's towering egotism.)

The 1e BI were to get their chance in April of 2302 when Rochemont revealed his plans to take BCV-4 back from the Kafers. He intended to land the légionnaire-paras and the US 4th Marine Interface Brigade on the French Continent and destroy the occupying garrison. Both brigade commanders complained, saying they faced overwhelming odds, Rochemont replied by saying he would give them so much orbital fire support the would not actually have to do any fighting. Unconvinced but desperate to get into the fighting the commanders reluctantly agreed.

Their way prepared by the resistance led by men of I/2e REP, the light human forces streamed down on to the world. Their planetary landing went almost flawlessly, with only sporadic Kafer resitance, regrouped they commenced their march to Premiere. For a time it was almost as easy as Rochemont had suggested, any Kafer forces were hammered from orbit and whilst the mopping up was sometime heavy the advance continued apace. At times it became almost a procession as French civilians emerged from hiding to cheer their liberators. However on the 10th of April, six days into the operation a massive Kafer fleet entered the system and forced out Rochemont's fleet. The armchair ride was over.

Themselves facing sporadic orbital bombardment and stiffening Kafer resitance the 1e BI and 4th MIB began a retreat to the coast. They got in contact with the surviving British and German forces across the straits in New Africa, who prepared an evacuation and seized a beach-head on the coast of the French colony. The légionnaire-paras and the US Marines fought a bitter running defensive action to get out of the 'Cauldron' and to the coast. Lacking anything but light equipment the human forces were often forced to sacrifice their rear-guard detachments in order to buy time for the bulk of their forces to escape. Few of these rear-guards escaped or were taken alive.

Badly depleted, both brigades finally reached the British perimeter where they were swiftly flow back to New Africa to regroup. The 1e BI had suffered badly, the I/1e REP mustered only one company of infantry, the II/1e REP one and a half and the II/2e REP had but 10 combat walkers. The unit rapidly rebuilt with brigade staff and dismounted CPB pilots bulking up the combat units, volunteers flocked to the unit and suitable candidates were weeded out into Compagnie de Marche. Under the new Combined Operations command the 1e BI was given the role of co-ordinating raids on the French continent and was given operational command of the French recruited Commandos and Chasseur Battalions of the New African Legion.

Whilst many légionnaire-paras gloried in the role as it allowed them to hit back at the Kafers many saw it as wasting their recovering combat power. However in July Rochemont returned to 'liberate' BCV-4 once more and land three more brigades of troops. These light forces massed together with the mixture of battered Légionnaires, Americans, Germans and British forces to hit at the main Kafer concentrations on the German continent.

The 1e BI, including the 4th and 7th NAL Chasseur Batallions, were given the task of attacking the Kafer supply dumps supplying the siege of Kahl. This mission they succeeded in with remarkable alacrity, and were then ordered to hold at all costs. The presence of the brigade drew the Kafer mobile units into desperate attempt to counter-attack. The dug in légionnaire-paras and colonial Chasseurs were supported by British and German armour on their flanks and orbital fire-support. The fight was to be known as the 2nd Battle of Uethan, and it lasted a mere 48 hours, but it destroyed the bulk of the Kafer's remaining armour. But once again the 1e BI suffered heavy losses, with nearly 500 casualties within a very small perimeter. But to the soldiers there to say they had fought at Zelburg was to be part of a very modern myth within the Legion.

The 1e BI's fighting didn't stop after Zelberg as they were involved in dozens of mopping up actions. But in September 2302 they were finally withdrawn to Beowulf where fresh drafts of soldiers waited to fill their ranks and mountains of decorations waited for them. The remnants of the much dispersed I/2e REP that could be found were also swept up and taken to Beowulf to regroup. Whilst the Kafer threat remains and French soil remains occupied it is likely that the légionnaire-paras will be in the forefront of the liberation effort.