First, the French Foreign Legion

The 350 troops who landed at Beirut's port at dawn on Saturday belong to one of the most decorated units in the French army: the Foreign Legion's Deuxième REP (Second Foreign Parachute Regiment), whose history goes back to 1948, when, as the Second Foreign Parachute Battalion, it was sent to Cambodia to maintain internal security. In 1954, as Viet Minh guerrillas tightened their siege of the French base at Dien Bien Phu, 700 members of the battalion were dropped into the camp at night as last-minute reinforcements. Although the French were eventually defeated, the legionnaires fought heroically.

Like other troops in...

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