France: Exit Beau Geste

At its headquarters in the Algerian city of Sidi-bel-Abbès, the French Foreign Legion last week awaited the sound of Taps. On the surface nothing was changed.

In the Legion Museum lay the wooden hand of one-armed Captain Jean Danjou, who died with 39 other Legionnaires in a last-ditch stand against 2,000 Mexicans in 1863. In the courtyard surrounded by the pink-walled barracks stood the Monument to the Dead—a bronze terrestrial globe guarded by four bigger-than-life statues of Legionnaires. Sentries in white kepis still stood guard before the gate bearing the inscription...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!