The French Foreign Legion - The World's Most Legendary Fighting Force is a companion historical documentary that accompanies Chapter 16:Tales of Innocence in The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones. It appears on Disc 1 of Volume 3. It has a run-time of 28 minutes, 22 seconds.
For almost two hundred years one group of fighting men has held an unrivaled grip on the world's imagination. Shadowy pasts have made them outcasts. Glorious victories have made them heroes. And bitter defeats -- often in hopeless battles to the death -- have transformed them into legends. They are the men of the French Foreign Legion. Today, the mystique that surrounds these unusual soldiers still fascinates, still draws young men to enlist in their ranks.
This documentary covers the history and traditions of the French Foreign Legion, with interviews of two American former legionnaires and a military historian. It discusses how the Legion started in 1831, as a way to both clear out unwanted potentially disruptive foreigners seeking refuge in France and build military troops needed for colonization efforts around the world, and how the mystique of the Legion built up through their acceptance of only foreigners, despite their pasts, and the hard posts they occupied, especially in Algeria. Their legend grew with fiction and movies about the Legion. Training in the Legion is brutal, with corporal punishment still allowed. Unique traditions include the Kepi Blanc (the white hat), the commemoration of their near total loss on Camerone Day (when 60 Legionnaires died fighting 2,000 Mexican troops in Camerone, Mexico) with the parade of the wooden hand of Captain Danjou, and their slow march and songs. The role of the Legion in mutinying against France when France left Algeria, the home of Legion's headquarters, is also discussed. Life in the modern Legion is examined as well as some of their roles in the late 20th century, including as UN peacekeepers.
Interviews include two former Legionnaires who have written books about their experiences, and a military historian who has written about the Legion.