Tuesday, February 24, 2009


30 April commemorates the historic battle between 62 French Foreign Legionnaires and 2,000 Mexican infantry 146 years ago. Could I be forgiven for not eating blood sausage and singing Le Boudin? - if even in the privacy of my home - 

On that morning so long ago, while on route of march, the legionnaires were attacked by 600 Mexican cavalry, who they rebuffed, while retreating to the Hacienda Camaron. 1,200 infantry reinforced the now dismounted cavalry and demanded the surrender of Captain Danjou, commanding the Legion. He swore to fight to the death and at the end of the day there were only five severely wounded legionnaires remaining. They were out of ammunition and mounted a bayonet attack. Two of the five survived.
The Mexican commander commented, "these are not men, they are devils".

On April 30th the wooden (prosthetic) hand of captain Danjou is paraded in a ceremony at the Legion's headquarters at Aubagne, France.

Au Tonkin, la Legion immortelle
A Tuyen-Quang illustra notre drapeau,
Heros de Camerone ed Freres modeles,
Dormez en paix dans vous tombeaux!

At Tonkin, the immortal Legion
At Tuyet-Quang we honored our flag,
The heros of Camarone and model brothers
Sleep in peace in your tombs!


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