I was asked to post this here by some people on another SubReddit.. Apologies if you've seen it.
It was a long time ago in Africa...
The stories... What we thought was funny would horrify people today so probably not a good idea to post stuff on line.
So here goes.
I was serving in a commando peleton attached to the Escadron du Reconnaissance of the 13DBLE. We were driving around in the dust in the Upper Riff Valley when a radio dispatch informed us to return to our patrol base.
The threat level had gone up and the commander of all French forces in Africa wanted his personal residence to have more security. We had to add a supplemental guard to the French Admiral's residence, a mansion in a walled compound in an urban area near the capital.
Dave and I were in the first vehicle to be dispatched and on arrival we were told to walk recon perimeter around the exterior wall of the estate before the rest of the unit arrived and make note or deal with any security issues. We checked weapons and comms with the existing security team and went out to survey the outside of the wall.
A local "gangster" had an arrangement with the previous security people (not Legionnaires) where they paid him a bribe to not cause any shit locally.
The boss gangster walked up to us, preening to his crew and made his demands to Dave to keep the peace during our tour there. Gangster was a bit arrogant in his manner. he also went for the big eye-crazy look with a few throat cutting gestures to terrify us unless we paid his demands. This was was probably a bad idea as Dave was a bit grumpy that day.
With no word or warning Dave hit Gansta in the face with his rifle butt as his reply. It was a pretty solid hit. Gangsta dropped like a stone and began gushing bright red blood from his face. I'm 6'4" and Dave, a former Brit Para, was 6'3" and he had a pretty good drive on him with a rifle butt.
Less than pleased by Dave's unannounced move, I drew a bead on his gangster's crew and worked out who I would need to shoot first if they had a go.
They didn't shoot but there was loads of screaming and shouting. They dragged their guy away and we heard later from the local shop keepers that he died of sepsis a week later.
We finished our tour of the wall and reported no incidents. Apparently this event was recorded on the security CCTV and the Admiral's staff saw it.
Dave was told by our RSM to try not to annoy any more locals. But the RSM (Sergeant Major) had a way of letting us know he wasn't unhappy with the result.
The local shop keepers thought we were great because these idiots had been extorting them for money and goods too. We would get free coffee in the mornings during our two week rotation there.
I miss that mindset and clarity for dealing with annoying idiots.
thanks for reading. Stay safe....
A photo of me and Dave: French Foreign Legion 1980's Africa. I am second from the left. : Military (reddit.com) I believe/hope this is allowed as I understand Rule 4.