View Full Version : Red beret and green beret
17th October 2010, 14:54
Can someone tell me why the Legion have a red beret and a green beret? Has it always been green for parachutists in the Legion?
17th October 2010, 14:59
The Legion uses only green berets.
corvee de chotte
17th October 2010, 19:59
use the search function..............In 1944 the "Red Beret" was awarded to the SAS Brigade, of which 1 and 2 SAS were British, 3 and 4 French, and the 5th Belgian. The old North Africa British SAS hands much preferred to keep their fawn colored berets, while the French (and I presume Belgians) took to the Red Beret. When France ended WWII they had the 1st RCP wearing a dark blue beret, the two SAS Regiments wearing their maroon berets, and the "Choc" battalions wearing the Black beret. The first French airborne unit into Indochina was Commando Ponchardier, a multi-service unit outfitted mostly by the Brits, who wore the British style beret among other headgear. It was replaced by the SAS, who arrived wearing their red or maroon berets. (I believe claret might be the correct term for the colour). After the SAS Demi-Brigade finished its two year tour, it returned to France to constitute the cadre of what became the Colonial Paratroops and adopted the red "SAS" beret to mark their origins. With the widening war, a Metropolitan Demi-Bgde was sent to Hanoi, which wore the blue beret. While blue and red berets became the standard headgear for the Paras, and Black for the commandos of North Vietnam, the Legion adopted a green beret for all troops in 1948. While Para legionnaires may have worn the beret in the field (photos show more bushhats), on parade they Legion wore their kepis. The birth of the parachutists as an arm, and the steadily rising requirement for even more paratroops in Indochina, blurred the line between the Metros, Colos, and Commandos, and even within the Legion para battalions, many officers and NCOs had non-Legion origins. Then when Indochina ended, the red beret was adopted for all Army parachute troops except the Legion. The Sword of St. Michael cap badge (or "macarone" - Glaive de St. Michel) was universal to the Army paratroops by the end of Indochina and during the early years of Algeria. When the Colonial troops reverted to "Troupes de Marine" in 1958, the Marine Para units opted to develop a new "macarone" incorporating the fouled anchor. Initially enclosed in a circle a la the Metro cap badge, it was later redesigned to emphasize a gold or bronze wing and anchor. And yes, it is worn on the right for the simple purpose of distinguishing the French paras from the British. During WWII, the French were not so punticillious. Look in Paul Gaujac's Histoire des Parachutistes Francais and you will see WWII photos of cap badges worn on both the right and left sides, and even photos of Indochina era paratroops in the same formation with the WWII veterans of British service wearing their cap badges ver the left eye, with SAS and Free French "Operational" parachute wings on their chests. The Navy (la Royale), being more traditional, wears their cap badges over the left eye to commemorate their WWII service with the British Commandos. Air Commandos follow the Army model and wear the badge to the right.
17th October 2010, 21:10
Phewwww....Thank fcuk for cut n' paste eh Corvee LOL :-)
So the moral of the story is that since 1948 the Legion has sported only the beret vert and the Kepi ?
corvee de chotte
17th October 2010, 23:45
The thread is on here m8, they wore a sand coloured beret at some point ,mite have been ww2
18th October 2010, 00:26
The Béret vert also supposedly has a connection with the British Commandos.
18th October 2010, 14:19
The Béret vert also supposedly has a connection with the British Commandos.Yes. But this is another unit : les fusiliers marins, some of them having a "commando" qualification (hence the name Fusiliers Marins Commandos or Commandos Marine). They wear a green beret, with the cap badge over the left eye (let's call it "the British way" for convenience) as, members of the Free French forces, they were originally trained by the British in Achnacarry. The original French "Commando Marine" unit in WW2 was the 1er Bataillon de Fusiliers Marins Commando aka "Commando Kieffer" (from the name of their commander, Philippe Kieffer) which participated in the D-Day landing at Ouistreham (Sword beach).
19th October 2010, 09:05
Captain Phillippe Kieffer was part of a fascinating WW2 commando unit- 10 (Inter Allied) Commando. There was a French Troop, a Belgian Trp. a Dutch and Norwegian Trp. Finally there was an entity of other commandos within 10 IA Cdo comprising Austrians, Germans, Greeks, Hungarians, Czechs and Yugoslavs. They worked for SOE and were commanded by Capt. Brian Hilton Jones. An assassination team went to Prague to deal with Reinhard Heidrich. They were the dirty tricks teams.
Reverting to Kieffer, he provided Nos.1 and 8 Trps and a K-gun Section of No 9 Trp of the Commando proper. Their first action was at the Dieppe fiasco, where 15 officers fought as interpreters and guides. Thereafter they participated in small scale raids of 1943/4. By 1944 there were 180 Frenchmen attached to the Commando. At D Day two Trps landed with No.4. Army Commando and with great panache seized the casino at Ouistreham. PM D.Day until 26th of July they were in the Orne line near Amfreville, they then moved on to the right of the line s/west of Bavent. On the 19th of August the crossed the flooded fields of the Dives Valley attacking the Germans on the high ground. On the 26th they linked up with the French resistance near Breuzeville and by the 6th September they were making recces towards Honfleur and Paris.
Returning with the Brigade back to the UK, they returned to Europe, late October landing at Flushing again with No.4 Army Commando and 46 RM Commando. They participated in raids on the Scheldt river islands and their last Unit operation being a raid on Overflakkee in January 1945. Over 400 men had served in these Commando Troops (the 1er Bataillon Fusilier Marin) by the end of the end of the war.
A detachment served in Berlin 1945/6 and others trained the new French army's Commandos.
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