Visnews filmed Apl 30 at Sidi-Bel-Abbes - headquarters of the French Foreign Legion, Algeria - the solemn commemorative parade recalling a heroic Legion stand in 1863 at Camerone, Mexico.
SV.PAN. Entrance to Foreign Legion fortress, Sidi-Bel-Abbes.
SV. Defence Minister Guillaumat; Inspect. Gen. Gardy, Foreign Legion; Gen Challe, C-in-C Algeria, inspect the legionnaires.
LV. Monument in square.
LV. Troops arrive escorting casket.
SCU. Prince Napoleon in stand.
SV. Officer holds casket.
SV.PAN. From stand PAN to Legionnaires marching through street.
ANGLE V. Ditto.
REAR V. Ditto.
SV.PAN. Armoured cars and lorries pass.
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Background: Visnews filmed Apl 30 at Sidi-Bel-Abbes - headquarters of the French Foreign Legion, Algeria - the solemn commemorative parade recalling a heroic Legion stand in 1863 at Camerone, Mexico.
Legionnaires bore a casket containing a hand carved from wood of the hero of the battle - a captain who led sixty men against 2,000 Mexican troops. After an eleven-hour stand three Legionnaires remained to fight on, 300 Mexicans were dead.
The parade was reviewed by France's new Commander in Chief, Armed Forces, Algeria, General Marcel Challe; Defence Minister Pierre Guillaumat and 18 generals. Also present: Prince Napoleon, descendant of Napoleon III who ordered the names of the heroes of the stand to be inscribed on the walls of the Invalides, the national military shrine in Paris.
The citation of the battle said during the Mexican Campaign 1863-67 Legion troops turned an inn into a fortress to hold Mexican troops from a vital munitions convoy. The sixty renewed their oath to fight to death. Without food or water and in extreme heat, they engaged the Mexican troops. Six legionnaires were still fit to fight: each with one bullet left, they fired into the enemy, then charged with bayonets at close quarters. Three died. The three survivors were about to be killed when a Mexican officer interceded. The three surrendered on condition that their wounded comrades were taken care of. "Nothing could be refused to men like you," the Mexican officer said.
On the site of the combat is a monument: "They were less than sixty - against an army. Life not courage forsook these French soldiers." Since the erection of the monument in 1892, Mexican troops, in tribute, present arms to them.