IN STOCK. Limited to 1750 pieces. The WWI French Foreign Legionnaire R.M.L.E. Figure Features:
30-point, fully articulated body
Greatcoat, Pantalon-Culotte Trousers, Khaki Puttees, Boots, Blue Waist Sash, Adrian Helmet, Leather Belt, Buckle and Y Straps
Lebel Rifle, Epee Bayonette & Frog, Ammo Pouches, Haversack, 2-Liter Water Bottle in Khaki Cloth Cover, Tin Mug, Shelter Half and ARS Gasmask Canister
When the First World War began in 1914, French military leaders quickly realized that they would need all the manpower they could find. In addition to regular army formations, a wide variety of colonial troops and elements of the Legion Etrangere--the famous French Foreign Legion--were brought together in France to stop the German invasion. In short order, foreigners who were sympathetic to France began looking for a way to join in the fight. Non-Frenchmen were not permitted to join regular French army regiments, but in the ranks of the Legion Etrangere - men from neutral countries such as the United States, Switzerland and Sweden could take up arms on behalf of the Allied cause. The French Army in that era had a system under which established units--including the Legion Etrangere--could be supplemented by temporary battalions or regiments "de marche." So many foreigners volunteered at the beginning of the war, the Legion formed four regiments de marche, and was able to maintain a presence not just in North Africa, but also on the Western Front and in the Dardanelles Campaign in 1915.
The Legionaries suffered huge losses in the early part of the war, particularly at Artois and Givenchy. Then in 1915, many of its members from Italy, Belgium and Russia were released so that they could go serve in the armies of their homelands. As a result, the 3rd and 4 Regiments de Marche were disbanded and the remaining two were consolidated into the Regiment de Marche de la Legion Etrangere" (R.M.L.E.).