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Roger Faulques

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Allegiance  French Army
Service/branch  French Foreign Legion
Years of service  1944-1964
Roger Faulques Roger Faulques
Nickname(s)  "L'homme aux milles vies" ("The Man of a Thousand Lives")
Rank  Battalion Chief (Commander)
Commands held  Platoon ranking students (PEG) of 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion (BEP)
Other name  "L'homme aux milles vies" ("The Man of a Thousand Lives")
Similar  Bob Denard, Jean Schramme, Rolf Steiner, Moïse Tshombe, Conor Cruise O'Brien
Died  6 December 2011 (aged 86) Nice, France

Born  14 December 1924 (age 86) Zweibrücken, Germany

Roger (René) Faulques, born 14 December 1924, died 6 November 2011 at Nice, was a French Army Battalion Chief, a graduate of the École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr, and a paratrooper officer of the French Foreign Legion.


Roger Faulques Crmonies de Camerone le grand retour du commandant Roger

The world's best known mercenary - has died at the age of a hundred


Roger Faulques French mercenary Roger Faulques French West Africa Pinterest

Roger Faulques was a maquis resistance fighter in 1944 and took part in the last battles of World War II in the French First Army. As a Corporal he received the Croix de guerre at the age of 20. Noted for his fighting spirit and sense of command, he was admitted to the Military School of Saint-Cyr, which had changed its terms of recruitment to overcome the lack of officers in the French army at the end of World War II. In 1946 he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and was assigned, at his own request, to the Foreign Legion, within the 3rd Régiment Etranger d'Infanterie (3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment).

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Faulques served in Indochina as a Lieutenant with the 1st BEP (Foreign Parachute Battalion) and participated in the struggles of this unit until its destruction in October 1950. On 26 February 1948, in command of a group of legionaries, Faulques was ambushed on Route Coloniale 3. Having lost half of his legionaries, Faulques led his men in hand-to-hand fighting until wounded in both feet by a machine gun bullet. His legionaries evacuated Faulques in extremis from the line of fire. Repatriated to the mainland for treatment, at the age of 23 Faulques was a appointed a Chevalier of the légion d'honneur and held five citations.

Roger Faulques fncv federation nationale combattants volontaires france association

After recovering from his wounds, Faulques saw action in the Battle of RC 4, when he was placed in command of the training platoon of 1st BEP, which lost nearly 80% of its force during the evacuation of Cao Bang in September and October 1950. Seriously wounded four times during this battle (right shoulder shattered by bullets, chest opened by a volley, left elbow and right femur shattered by bullets), he lay on the ground for three days, left for dead. Having survived, Faulques was captured by the Vietminh who, judging him mortally wounded, released Faulques to the French authorities with other gravely injured prisoners. Mentioned in dispatches Faulques was made an Officer of the légion d'honneur for exceptional services and was again repatriated to France. His injuries required him to spend several years in the Val-de-Grâce military hospital.

Roger Faulques Roger Faulques une figure de la Lgion lt 456 httpsde

Ending the war in Indochina with six wounds and eight citations, Roger Faulques then served in Algeria as an intelligence officer of the 1st REP during the Battle of Algiers. He participated in the torture practiced in Algeria and was the architect of the dismantling of several networks of the FLN.

Faulques and Captain Yves de La Bourdonnaye were given leave by army minister Pierre Messmer, to provide support to the Katanga rebellion in the former Belgian Congo, Faulques did not participate in the coup of April 1961.

In December 1961, UN troops launched an offensive against Katanga. The defense plan was designed by Faulques. UN aviation attacked the mercenaries, who were also shelled by mortar. Swedish peacekeepers entered Elizabethville, followed by the Indian brigade of General Raja, and the Massart camp, where the Katanga forces were, was attacked by the United Nations. Faulques' men, well informed by the local population, fought back effectively. On December 21, a cease-fire was signed in Kitona.

Having left the army, Faulques began a mercenary career, alongside his friend Bob Denard, first in North Yemen from August 1963 to the end of 1964, in support of MI6 (British intelligence), then in Biafra on behalf of the French government. According to David Smiley in Arabian Assignment (page 156), the French and Belgian mercenaries alternated in the early 1960s between the Yemeni and Congo theaters since in the Congo they had women and alcohol at will but were rarely paid, while in Yemen they are paid but were deprived of women and alcohol.

Faulques served as a model for certain characters in the novels of Jean Lartéguy, Les Centurions, Les Prétoriens (The Praetorians) and Les Chimères Noires (The Hounds of Hell) and in Declan Power's The siege of Jadotville.

In 2010, Commandant Faulques was honored at the Foreign Legion's Camerone ceremony.


  • Grand Officier de la Légion d'honneur (Decree of 16 April 2004. Commandeur, 19 July 1960)
  • Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with 1 citation (bronze star)
  • Croix de guerre des TOE (Croix de guerre for Theatres of External Operations) with 8 citations (5 bronze palm, two silver stars, bronze star) (Indochina)
  • Croix de la Valeur militaire with 3 citations (2 vermeil stars and silver star) (Algeria)
  • Croix du combattant
  • Insigne des blessés militaires (Medal for wounded military) with 6 red stars
  • Médaille coloniale (Colonial Medal with "EXTREME-ORIENT" campaign clasp(Indochina)
  • Médaille commémorative (Commemorative Medal) 1939-1945
  • Médaille commémorative de la guerre d'Indochine (Commemorative Medal of the Indochina War)
  • Médaille commémorative des opérations de Suez (Commemorative Medal, Suez Operation)
  • Médaille commémorative des opérations de sécurité et de maintien de l'ordre en AFN (Commemorative Medal for security operations in North Africa (Algeria)
  • Foreign Decorations

  • Officer of the Lao Order of the Million Elephants and the White Parasol
  • Officer of the Taï Order of Civil Merit
  • Thai Military Merit decoration
  • Indochina Cross of Valour with 1 citation (bronze star)
  • References

    Roger Faulques Wikipedia