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In my research I have heard varying figures for the size of the French
force. Some say it was 65 strong, others say 70, and others 72? Can
would you accept a statement from the French Embassy?
The French Foreign Legion has inherited the traditions of foreign
troops who have served France since the Middle Ages.
Every one has heard of the Scottish Guards of Charles the VIIth, the
Swiss Guards of the Bourbon Kings, and Napoleon's Polish Lancers.
Louis Philippe, "King of the French" created the French Foreign Legion
on March 10, 1831.
Composed exclusively of volunteers aged between 18 and 40, with or
without means of identification, the Legion was immediately involved in
the conquest of Algeria before passing under Spanish control in 1835.
A second Legion was then created which fought in Algeria, in Crimea
(1855), in Italy (1859) and in Mexico (1863). In Mexico, it won one of
its greatest titles to fame: on April 30, 1863, at the Camerone
Hacienda near Puebla, 3 officers and 62 legionnaires resisted 2,000
Mexicans. After a day of heroic fighting the last five survivors fixed
bayonets and charged.
This battle, whose name adorns every Legion flag, remains the symbol of
a mission carried out to the bitter end. " <more>