Author Topic: Here are Some Ideas for a British 'Foreign Legion'  (Read 3190 times)

Offline kengeorge

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Here are Some Ideas for a British 'Foreign Legion'
« on: April 10, 2018, 07:06:48 AM »
1) Name / Title?

2) Location for Base of Operations. Preferably Offshore? (Isle of Man / Isle of Wight / Channel Islands / Belize?)

3) Force composition? French Foreign Legion has 8,900 men in eleven regiments and one sub-unit, So would the British 'Foreign Legion' be a simularly organised?

4) Do I include a Para capable force as well?

5) Small Arms? Anything but the L85 (More like FN SCAR-H / H&K HK417 / H&K G36 / Suggestions?)

6) Armour? Standard, Re-furbed FV430 series (Bulldog) Non-standard, LAV-25 / Boxer / M1128? What are the advantages / Disadvantages between Tracked v Wheeled Armour?

7) Air support? Limit to either Rotary Wing Vertical Assault and / or Gunship, or rely on AAC

8) Can any one think of anything I've missed

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Here are Some Ideas for a British 'Foreign Legion'
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2018, 11:08:32 AM »
 1 - Ministry for/of Foreign Missions. Sounds diplomatic enough...
 2 - Pre-1962, Jamaica after that, Belize. Gibraltar for Europe/N. Africa/Near East. Hong Kong for the Far East, Diego Garcia for the Indian Ocean, southern Africa and the Falklands.
 3- Probably more ships & planes.
 4 - Yes!
 
 For vehicles and weaponry, a small but significant number of enemy combatant weapons, like AK-47s and BTR-40s/BRDM-2/BTR-60-BTR-80

Offline Geoff

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Re: Here are Some Ideas for a British 'Foreign Legion'
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2019, 02:34:43 AM »
Gibraltar, Falklands, Fiji, HK, Aden, Cyprus.

Make it airmobile and like "Fireforce" all members jump qualified.

Used as a rapid reaction force.

Light armour (I think??)

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Here are Some Ideas for a British 'Foreign Legion'
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2019, 10:10:28 AM »
Historically, control would come from the Foreign Office or Colonial Office with that control moving to the Ministry of Defence in the mid-60's.

I'd look at somewhere like Malta as your primary base, with training & HQ facilities (up to independence in 1964), then moving its HQ & training to mainland Britain (as the Légion étrangère did to France from Algeria in the mid-60's), with bases in Ceylon, Hong Kong, Belize/Guyana, BWI, etc., up to the mid-60's then shrinking to "missions" or "detachments" attached to (but not part of) embassies/consulates.

Force composition/size would probably also follow the French model as the Empire shrinks post-WW2.

Realistically you'd be issuing standard British small-arms & equipment but;

Rifles: My personal choice is the FN SCAR family, preferably -H but -L will do.
Handguns: I'm a .45 fan but a decent .41 (10mm) will do, probably Colt for either.
Machine-guns: You can't go past the ever reliable FN MAG/L7.

Vehicles: Standard British, Landrovers, Stalwarts, etc.

AFV's: you're probably looking at Cav units, not armoured, so British, again, FV100-family (Scimitars, Scorpions, etc.) & FV430-family (Bulldogs, Abbott SPG, etc.), with, maybe, a few non-Brit specialist vehicles thrown in for some variety (LAV-25/LAV-III, etc.)

Air: either/or for AAC/RAF or integral but, if integral, all helo's (Lynx, AH-1, CH-47, etc.) with RAF for heavy lift support.

I'd make the whole of the modern organisation pretty-much air-mobile with Rapid Deployment air & naval forces attached as required for heavy equipment.
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Here are Some Ideas for a British 'Foreign Legion'
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2019, 06:38:10 AM »
For a name, how about beginning with something based on the WWII SOE -- Special Operations Executive-Volunteer (SOE-V), SOE-Foreign Legion (SOE-FL), or some such? Another possibility would be International Legion (à la Garibaldi).

kengeorge didn't give a start date for his foreign legion. As with the Légion étrangère, I'd envision only slight variations on standard British Army kit in the early days. That would likely begin to change in the late '50s? Eg:

 - Stirling (L2A3/Sterling Mark 4 and suppressed L34A1/Mark 5)
 - L1A1 mod (with a Para folding stock and Trilux sight mount)
 - L4A3 Bren conversion
 - L7A2 GPMG (joining but not eclipsing L4A3)
 - L111A1 (12.7 mm Browning M2)

Then, in 1963/1964, perhaps follow the SAS example to replace L1A1s with US AR-15 rifles. Those would joined a decade later by the L110A2 LMG (Para version of Minimi, replacing the Brens).

I'm with Old Wombat on the AFVs. Maybe add FV721 Fox recce car to the mix. Possibly anticipate the Sabre by putting Fox turrets on FV101 hull from the start ... 'FV101FL Scorpion-30' or 'Rarden-Scorpion'?
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Offline kim margosein

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Re: Here are Some Ideas for a British 'Foreign Legion'
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2019, 11:50:42 AM »
Okay, I'm American so I don't have any political dog in this fight, but I think it would be a good idea for the US.  For the UK, I would restrict membership to UK and Commonwealth citizens only.  Now, to digress a bit.  The military is there to hurt people and break things pursuant to their country's foreign policy.  That is, and should be, their mindset.  This separate establishment would NOT be military.  These are the people you send in for peacekeeping, or or keeping the violence down.  3rd world commonwealth citizens with language and people skills are preferred.  Their training is street police training, not military.  Small arms in the open, heavier stuff like 12.7 mm is not hidden, just not displayed openly.  This legion would be part of the Foreign Ministry.

Offline kim margosein

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Re: Here are Some Ideas for a British 'Foreign Legion'
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2019, 11:51:48 AM »
Then, this is probably OT and I am being politically naive.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Here are Some Ideas for a British 'Foreign Legion'
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2019, 10:21:47 PM »
Yep, you're being naive. Foreign legions are the ones you send in when you want to be able to hurt people badly, then blame the foreigners for "over-reaching their Rules of Engagement" if it all goes mammalian-glands up. They're the hard b@$t@rds, who give no quarter.

See the history of the Légion étrangère (LE) for references.

So, for a British Foreign Legion, yes, Commonwealth citizens could apply but so could other nationals (the LE has always been full of ex-soldiers from losing armies & from the socially & economically dispossessed/isolated/disadvantaged, regardless of nationality & including French citizens).

Given a world with multiple foreign legions then the one that paid the best, had the best conditions & offered the best opportunities for combat would have the pick of the crop, with the others getting various layers down according to the stated benefits.
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Here are Some Ideas for a British 'Foreign Legion'
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2019, 09:29:15 AM »
Post war the Légion étrangère (LE) was full of ex-Nazis.  It was sent to Indochina and served there at Dien Bien Phu as well as elsewhere.   They were all a right mob apparently.   It was the only place where they were accepted after WWII.   After Indochina, many went onto Algeria and other places in Africa.

I served in the Australian Army for a brief period towards the end of his career with Felix Fazekas, when he was an Officer of School Cadets and I was a lowly digger as a member of staff.   Fazekas was famous for serving in Indochina, then migrating to Australia and serving in Vietnam (twice) as an officer of AATTV (Australian Army Training Team Vietnam) and nominating  Warrant Officer Second Class K A (Dasher) Wheatley for a Victoria Cross.  He was also less famous for being the only Australian Army officer to ever wear an Iron Cross on parade and get away with it (apparently the RSM was not pleased).   

Interestingly, my uncle is buried beside him in the Centennial Part Cemetery in southern Adelaide.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Here are Some Ideas for a British 'Foreign Legion'
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2019, 08:55:20 PM »
It would have been a possible destination for many Rhodesians, though I imagine there would have been some pretty hard feelings on both sides.