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French Foreign Legion - Page 8

post #106 of 144
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A military organization that will allow any healthy male 18-45 to join, 17 with parent permission. From any country at any time for most reasons any man can walk into one of their recruiting stations and join up.

A Legionnaires' life is a difficult one, for the only starting contract you can sign is a five-year contract with a 60-day probation period where you can leave at any time. Most can't take the life and desert, for it is not a life of guns and glory, you'll spend more time behind a mop then behind a rifle.

And in response to the common misperception that the Legion will accept all sorts of criminals and miscreants, that is not true at all. At least, not anymore. A full background check is made on you, including a full check by Interpol so if your some deranged axe murderer they'll find you, then they'll turn you over to the police.

If you do join up, you'll either serve in mainland France or if you become a paratrooper in Corsica. Serving in the Legion means serving overseas, and you'll see Africa from the eyes of Djibouti and Algeria. If France is involved in a foreign war its the Legion that gets sent first.

The French Foreign Legion does not cater to criminals, so if your a psychotic axe-murderer you won't be let in, instead you'll be detained and sent to the police. They do perform a full background check on you, one that runs through Interpol and the largest police agency from your home country. So if your from America like me, the FBI will be contacted.

And as you bash France for its lack of military victories, the French Foreign Legion operates outside the French military, and has performed excellently when Legion affairs are left in Legion control.

From the instant you join from, providing you don't desert, the instant you leave, the Legion will always have your back. A man I knew inside was caught with cancer during his service, they paid for all his medical bills, paid for his family to fly across the continent to see him, paid for all of them to fly home, and paid for the funeral and had several officers there in attendance.

And a few things of advice for potential Legionnaires, when you go to the recruiting station, don't bring anything you can't live without, do bring a few locks to guard your stuff, and make sure you can march 10 miles and run 2 miles at the drop of a hat.

Best of luck if you do join.
interesting
post #107 of 144
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Originally Posted by crazyquik View Post
Probably blown out of proportion. They get the crappiest gear/hand me downs of the French military, and are stationed in the worse cesspools of the world, on the edge of civilization. In the last several decades, they've rarely engaged a "regular" fighting force (instead rebels, insurgents, etc). That's not good for anyone's mental health.

Yes ,but you get to stage Coup de ta and overthrow small governments of small nations rich in minerals...
post #108 of 144
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Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
fair enough. I would say it falls in the top 20.

This is not as incredible an assertion, so I could probably agree with this one.
post #109 of 144
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Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
fair enough. I would say it falls in the top 20.

but, thinking about it, I would say that the IDF hasn't done anything as revolutionary as the long bow, or nepolians use of field artillary, or the german blitzkrieg, or the US amphebious landings in wwii - the IDF has developed some very strong models, as well as creating some great systems for training and, communication and battlefield leadership - but that is probrably better discribed as evelotionary rather than revolutionary. in my opinion.
post #110 of 144
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Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
but, thinking about it, I would say that the IDF hasn't done anything as revolutionary as the long bow, or nepolians use of field artillary, or the german blitzkrieg, or the US amphebious landings in wwii - the IDF has developed some very strong models, as well as creating some great systems for training and, communication and battlefield leadership - but that is probrably better discribed as evelotionary rather than revolutionary. in my opinion.

All of those are evolutions. The bow had been around for a long time, and gamesmanship was as responsible for the longbow as anything else. Amphibious landings were commonplace, think of the Vikings. Your mention of Napoleon has to do with technique, which is far more conducive to this discussion. In that case I will certainly say that he did indeed revolutionize conventional combat in the early modern era. IDF developed battle techniques, which is what I'm talking about. Armies generally don't develop weapons, they use them. The weapons are products of evolution, and every now and then a revolution, so you can't necessarily credit the leadership nor the army itself with scientific advancement. Tactics and strategy, that's a different thing altogether.
post #111 of 144
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Originally Posted by SField View Post
All of those are evolutions. The bow had been around for a long time, and gamesmanship was as responsible for the longbow as anything else. Amphibious landings were commonplace, think of the Vikings. Your mention of Napoleon has to do with technique, which is far more conducive to this discussion. In that case I will certainly say that he did indeed revolutionize conventional combat in the early modern era. IDF developed battle techniques, which is what I'm talking about. Armies generally don't develop weapons, they use them. The weapons are products of evolution, and every now and then a revolution, so you can't necessarily credit the leadership nor the army itself with scientific advancement. Tactics and strategy, that's a different thing altogether.

yes and no - the british longbow, used the way it was in the late middle ages was a revolution in arms, it meant that a relativly cheap weapon, used by people who didn't devote their whole lives to arms could take on knights in armor on horseback. ditto the knight in armor was revolutionary, as was the legion, the macedonian phalyx, the greek phalynx, etc. they all changed the way war was fought.

granted, each of those included an element of tehnology (except possibly the change between the macedonian and greek phalyxes, but not sure about that), but they could all be coinsidered revolutionary.

if you look at it that way, and I think it is a valid, but not the only valid, way of looking at it, then the IDF is not revolutionary.
post #112 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
yes and no - the british longbow, used the way it was in the late middle ages was a revolution in arms, it meant that a relativly cheap weapon, used by people who didn't devote their whole lives to arms could take on knights in armor on horseback. ditto the knight in armor was revolutionary, as was the legion, the macedonian phalyx, the greek phalynx, etc. they all changed the way war was fought.

granted, each of those included an element of tehnology (except possibly the change between the macedonian and greek phalyxes, but not sure about that), but they could all be coinsidered revolutionary.

if you look at it that way, and I think it is a valid, but not the only valid, way of looking at it, then the IDF is not revolutionary.

Yea but that is a technological advantage, and not exclusively a tactical. Also, longbowman were very skilled archers. The ones at Argincourt could hit faraway targets with deadly accuracy.
post #113 of 144
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Originally Posted by SField View Post
Also, longbowman were very skilled archers. The ones at Argincourt could hit faraway targets with deadly accuracy.

but they weren't knights. longbowmen very often had careers in something else, and didn't train their whole lives to be warriors. this was revolutionary. also, a bow cost maybe 1 % of what a set of armor cost
post #114 of 144
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Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
but they weren't knights. longbowmen very often had careers in something else, and didn't train their whole lives to be warriors. this was revolutionary. also, a bow cost maybe 1 % of what a set of armor cost

Globe, I know this. I did several semesters of british history in college. Yeoman did in fact train many hours a day to get that good so it wasn't joe blo off the streets.
post #115 of 144
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Originally Posted by SField View Post
Globe, I know this. I did several semesters of british history in college. Yeoman did in fact train many hours a day to get that good so it wasn't joe blo off the streets.

fair enough
post #116 of 144
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Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
fair enough

I'm sure you did archery as a kid. Let's see you hit a target with no sights or stabilizers at 80 to 100 meters. It's fucking hard. It's amazingly difficult TODAY with the amazing equipment they have now. Imagine back then...
post #117 of 144
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Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
but they weren't knights. longbowmen very often had careers in something else, and didn't train their whole lives to be warriors. this was revolutionary. also, a bow cost maybe 1 % of what a set of armor cost

I would second the opinion that the longbow required constant training, so much so that various English kings forbade participation in other sports so that men could keep practicing their archery.

It has been argued that the longbow in skilled hands was always a more formidable weapon than the muzzleloading musket. However, it was much, much easier to train a man in the use of a gun than the longbow, which is why in the 15th and 16th centuries the gun, primitive though it was in those days, pretty thoroughly displaced the longbow.
post #118 of 144
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Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
Thing is, LK, you have to be a grunt before you can be a general.
In most military you go to an officers' training school and spend little to no time as a pure grunt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
I would agree, well fed is a good thing. but the IDF is really not that rich a military, and a lot of creature comforts have to go.
That actually matches a lot of what I hear from my friend in the French military. In most countries in the world, even in most developed ones, the military has budget shortages the US military can only have nightmares about.

My friends also have that strange pride in how well they are able to function despite the shortages, similar to what you describe for the IDF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
yes and no - the british longbow, used the way it was in the late middle ages was a revolution in arms, it meant that a relativly cheap weapon, used by people who didn't devote their whole lives to arms could take on knights in armor on horseback.
Cheap indeed, but requiring constant training. That's why the model was not instantly picked up by other European powers. I agree with your judgement about the IDF ranking.
post #119 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
but, thinking about it, I would say that the IDF hasn't done anything as revolutionary as the long bow, or nepolians use of field artillary, or the german blitzkrieg, or the US amphebious landings in wwii - the IDF has developed some very strong models, as well as creating some great systems for training and, communication and battlefield leadership - but that is probrably better discribed as evelotionary rather than revolutionary. in my opinion.

This is where I was going with my original post. I am no historian (apparently, I am a loser middle manager), so my statements were really more the product of a hobbyist's interest in military history, and not from any technical knowledge. When I think of some of the "guerilla" tactics adopted by Washington's army, or even the fact that a rag tag band of farmers were able to prevail over Hessian mercenaries and the British military, which was one of the most powerful in the world at the time, I think they need to be considered one of the most effective in history for that reason alone.
post #120 of 144
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Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
I would second the opinion that the longbow required constant training, so much so that various English kings forbade participation in other sports so that men could keep practicing their archery.

It has been argued that the longbow in skilled hands was always a more formidable weapon than the muzzleloading musket. However, it was much, much easier to train a man in the use of a gun than the longbow, which is why in the 15th and 16th centuries the gun, primitive though it was in those days, pretty thoroughly displaced the longbow.

I wasn't arguing that it didn't take skill - I think I remember reading that the practice and training actually altered the shape of the shoulder bones, and I also read how boys would spend hours holding wieghts up to build the muscles needed to fire a bow.

what I said was that it was revolutionary in that men who were not knights were able to best knights - my understanding was the longbowmen were closer to the way soldiers are today - not born to it, and they didn't spend their whole lives as bowmen - they would train part of the week while growing up, and then spend a few years doing it, and then they would have other jobs, like farmers or (I believe more commonly) craftsmen. knights spent their whole lives fighting or training to fight, were part of a caste of warriors, and had arms that would be worht hundreds of thousands of dollars in todays understanding of value.

that is what I meant. not that it is on topic, but I stand by it.

and, yes, I understand that both the crossbow and the musket were inferior, but much easier to train with.
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