12th F.I.R. 12th Foreign Infantry Regiment



The 12 FIR under Lt-colonel Besson, get in contact with the enemy on June 6th 1940 at the reknowned "Chemin des Dames", a famous fight during WW1. The 2nd Batallion is completely decimated there. Then the 11th is called on the Aisne front and participate to the defence of Soissons. At cease fire it render arms on June 22nd, after an examplary combat.

When the survivors of the 22nd arrive in Saint-Amand-Mongerond in the Cher, only 1,200 are left. For its very important bravery, the 12th F.I.R. is cited at the Army's Order.
After the war the Captain Bailly who cammanded the 11th Company of the 12th FIR will testimony:
"Shall it be allowed to one of those who had the honour to combat in the ranks of this beautiful regiment to testimony of the devotion, the energy and courage of these legionnairs who engaged voluntary for the duration of the war, who got only a few months military instruction before they were sent to the proof of the fight..."
A monument had been erected in Neuilly-Saint-Front, in Aisne which recalls the memory of the heroic fights of the 12th F.I.R. 

Article from David Douvette, published in Notre Volonté N°2 Nouvelle Série (192) October-November 1989