Other books byMartin Windrow
French Foreign Legionnaire 1890-1914
Following the close of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) and the establishment of the Third Republic, France embarked upon a new wave of colonialism, acquiring addition territories in Southeast Asia, including Tonkin and Annam which, together with Cambodia and Cochinchina, formed French Indochina. In North Africa their influence increased, with Tunisia acquired as a protectorate in 1881, until by the turn of the century much of North, West and Central Africa was under their control. France needed and army to police these new territories, and one of then most important elements of their colonial establishment was the French Foreign Legion. Originally founded in 1830, the Legion saw some its finest hours in North Africa and Indochina in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and it is this period of the legions' history that has been immortalized in popular culture in works such as Beau Geste. Drawing on memoirs and other period sources, this book covers a wide range of environments and types of action and will be a valuable reference to any scholar of the legionnaires.
The Last Valley
Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam
In December 1953 French paratroopers, who had been searching for the elusive Vietnamese army, were quickly isolated by them and forced to retreat into their out-gunned and desolate jungle base-a small place called Dien Bien Phu. The Vietnamese besieged the French base for five long and desperate months. Eventually, the demoralized and weakened French were utterly depleted and withdrew in defeat. The siege at Dien Bien Phu was a landmark battle of the last century-the first defeat of modern western forces by an Asian guerilla army.The Last Valley is the first new account of the battle since the 1970s. The author has incorporated much new material from French and Vietnamese sources, including veteran interviews, making this the most complete account to-date. And Martin Windrow has received widespread praise from top historians such as John Keegan and Max Hastings (below), as well as reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Our Friends Beneath the Sands
The Foreign Legion in France's Colonial...
Thanks to countless films and books, an entire mythology surrounds the French Foreign Legion and the anonymous, desperate men who fought and died under the desert sun. But the reality is far richer, and Martin Windrow describes it in gripping detail, including the colonial missions in North Africa and Vietnam, the imperative to build empire, and the impact of Islamic fundamentalism.
The French Foreign Legion
It is arguable that no group of fighting men in the history of European arms has been so misrepresented by ill-informed publicity as the French Foreign Legion. Though initially conceived in 1831 as a means of drafting recently discharged foreign soldiers to Algeria, the Legion has developed into a sophisticated force of motorized infantry, airborne troops and light armor. In this book, acclaimed French Army expert Martin Windrow examines the history and uniforms of the French Foreign Legion, from its service in the Carlist War of 1835-36 to World War II and beyond, debunking many of the prevalent myths surrounding this formidable force.