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Books - France
French Destroyers 1922-1956, John Jordan & Jean Moulin. A splendid study of the French Torpilleurs d'escadre and Contre-Torpilleurs (large 'super destroyers') of the interwar period, impressive warships that had limited wartime careers. Covers both the technical features of the ships and their service careers, supported by excellent plans and contemporary photographs. I can’t imagine anyone every publishing a more detailed book on this topic in English. [read full review]
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French Foreign Legionnaire, 1890-1914, Martin Windrow. A study of the French Foreign Legionnaire in the quarter of a century before the outbreak of the First World War, a period that saw them fight in North Africa and Vietnam. Looks at the recruitment, training, daily life and combat experience of one of the most famous and most notorious of military units. [read full review]
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Marshal Vauban and the Defence of Louis XIV's France, James Falkner. A biography of the famous French military engineer, whose fortifications dominated many French towns for centuries after his death. Vauban was both a builder and besieger of fortifications, and this biography looks at both his defensive work, where he created a strongly defended border, and his military career, where by his own count he was involved in over fifty major sieges. [read full review]
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French Foreign Legion 1872-1914, Martin Windrow This is an excellent little book although only 48 pages long (standard size for osprey men at arms books) it covers a wide ranging period of this legendary military unit. Packed with colour plates of uniforms and equipment as well as line drawings, contemporary photographs and maps it’s a great introduction to both this famous unit and the French colonial wars. The book covers from 1872 up till the start of World War I so covers a wide range of conflicts in South East Asia (including Vietnam which was to be such a graveyard of French forces after World War II) and North and West Africa. [read full review]
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Fighting for the French Foreign Legion: Memoirs of a Scottish Legionnaire, Alex Lochrie. A valuable account of life in the Legion during the period when it became an official part of the French armed forces, covering the selection process, training, and the Legion's involvement in peacekeeping in Africa and Bosnia as well as Operation Desert Storm. [read full review]

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