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Voices of the Foreign Legion

The French Foreign Legion has gained a reputation as one of the most formidable of military institutions. Accepting volunteers from all parts of the globe, the Legion has acquired an aura of mystery – and a less than enviable reputation for brutality within its ranks. Voices of the Foreign Legion considers how recruits are selected and trained, where they come from and why they seek a life of hardship and danger.

This is the real story of the Legion, featuring many, superb first-hand narratives from the men who have served in its ranks. It ranges from the conquest of France’s colonies in Africa and the Far East, through the horror of the two world wars to the bitter but ultimately doomed battles to maintain France’s imperial possessions. The story in brought up to date with accounts and anecdotes from those legionnaires who continue to fight for French interests around the world.


'Voices of the Foreign Legion is a profound, life-changing experience.'

Publishers Weekly

'These compelling stories of the Foreign Legion, sometimes brutal, are imprinted on the page. It is impossible to remain unmoved.'

The Times

'Gilbert's book is characterized by the original testimonies of the legionaries. Interesting reading, and not just for enthusiasts.'

Military History

“Military history is not really my thing, but this book grabbed me at the first chapter and I read the whole thing in the course of a day.”

Stephen Rees

“This is the real story of the Legion, featuring many, superb first-hand narratives from the men who have served in its ranks. An extremely enjoyable read… I learned so much.”

Janet’s Book Corner

“I was enthralled by this book. One of the most interesting I have ever read.”

Marie Angel (Reviewer)

“This book is very interesting, insightful and there is a lot of horror and death. I found it easy to read, well written, and God bless every one of these men for fighting for a better world.”

Cherie Homan (Reviewer)

“Author Adrian Gilbert opened up an unknown world for me in this book. My thoughts about the Legion before reading this incredibly well-written history were of mystery and intrigue. Now, that secretive world has been cracked open through testimonials from actual Legion members themselves. A fascinating read!”

Char Jones (Reviewer)

"Fascinating and moving accounts of soldiers that have served in the Legion."

Peter Coxall (Reviewer)

"I always thought the Foreign Legion attracted a rough bunch, and this intriguing book confirms that plus so much more. Totally engrossing!"

Literary Soirée (Reviewer)

"I really enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would… it is like reading a work of fiction and you just have to keep on reading to see what will happen next."

Finishing Touches

"The French Foreign Legion is unique among the world's militaries. Its use of only non-French in its ranks makes for difficult situations during many conflicts. Loyalty to the Legion usually overcomes conflicts but during World War II the Legion was divided between Vichy and Free French. This book delves into those conflicts and many more using first-hand accounts over the lengthy history of the Legion. Gilbert uses solid narrative to tie the diary entries together. This book is highly valuable to all students of today's military."

Craig Pearson (Educator)

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