Legionnaire

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Legionnaire (1998)


Legionnaire is a 1998 war film set in the year 1925 and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as Alain Lefevre, a French boxer on the run from the Marseilles Mafia for refusing to fix a fight. Lefevre then joins the French Foreign Legion to escape the assassins who are trying to kill him. The decision puts Alain into the middle of the Rif War in French Morocco. The battles shown in the film are based upon real events. Abd-El Krim (Kamel Krifa) was a real life leader of the Rif/Berber rebels who were trying to force the French out of North Africa. Though the film ends with Abd-El Krim victorious, in real life, after early defeats, the French and Spanish ultimately threw a quarter of a million troops at him and his rebels, and Abd-El Krim was defeated and exiled after a bloody 10 month campaign.


The following weapons were used in the film Legionnaire:

Contents


Handguns

Mle 1892 Revolver

An Mle 1892 Revolver is carried by Capt. Rousselot (Kim Rømer), Lt. Charlier (Anders Peter Bro) and also given to Legionnaire Luther (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) as protection as he tries to sneak through enemy lines.

Modele d’Ordonnance Mle 1892 Revolver - 8x27mm SR
Luther (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) has a drink, while his Mle 1892 Revolver sits at his side. Note the cylinder swung out to the right, one of the few revolvers ever to be designed so.
Lt. Charlier (Anders Peter Bro) is shot during a battle at the oasis, he is wielding his Mle 1892 Revolver

Colt New Service

Sgt. Steinkampf (Steven Berkoff) and several other characters carry what appears to be a Colt New Service revolver, though this is uncertain.

Colt New Service Revolver - .45 LC. The military version of this revolver is the M1909 (also chambered for .45 Long Colt)
Sgt. Steinkampf (Steven Berkoff) fires what appears to be a Colt Revolver (right) Sgt. Steinkampf (Steven Berkoff) reacts to being wounded in the side, his Colt New Service revolver is visible in his right hand.

Rifles

Lebel 1886

The Lebel 1886 rifle is the standard service rifle of the French Foreign Legion. Every Legionnaire carries and fires one, with the exception of officers. Although during the First World War all the colonial troops were equipped with Berthier rifles, the French Foreign Legion demanded and obtained in 1920 to be re-equipped with the Lebel rifle.

Lebel Model 1886 Rifle - 8x50Rmm
A Legionnaire fires his Lebel Model 1886 Rifle during a battle.
Mackintosh (Nicholas Farrell) struggles to reload his Lebel 1886 rifle in a good closeup of the action - 8x50Rmm
Mackintosh (Nicholas Farrell) aims his Lebel 1886 rifle during a patrol in the desert - 8x50Rmm
Exhausted Legionnaires after a forced march. Visible are stacked Lebel 1886 rifles - 8x50Rmm
Pvt. Alain Lefevre (Jean Claude Van Damme) fires his Lebel 1886 rifle during the final battle - 8x50mm

Gewehr 98

The Berber Horsemen mostly carry German Gewehr 1898 Rifles with a few other types of bolt action rifles of the period mixed in. Most obviously Abd-El Krim (Kamel Krifa) carries one throughout the film.

Mauser Gewehr 1898 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Abd-El Krim (Kamel Krifa) looks on at the end of the first battle with his Gewehr 98 rifle - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Vast majority of the Berber Horsemen use and fire Gewehr 98 rifle - 7.92x57mm Mauser

Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk.3 SMLE

Berber Horsemen are also seen using Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk.III SMLE rifles, sometimes in close combat.

Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk.III* - .303 British.
Rif/Berber horseman shoots a wounded Legionnaire with his Lee Enfield No 1. Mk III rifle - .303

Machine Guns

Lewis Gun

Lewis Guns are used in Legionnaire training and mostly by Legionnaire Mackintosh (Nicholas Farrell) during the battles. Pvt. Alain Lefevre (Jean Claude Van Damme) also uses one at the end of the film.

Lewis gun - .303 British
An NCO grins as he fires the Lewis gun over the heads of low crawling recruits during a brutal training session - .303 British
Legionnaire Mackintosh (Nicholas Farrell) fires his Lewis Gun while Luther (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) fires his Lebel 1886 Rifle.
The Lewis gun lies by a dead legionnaire, just seconds before Alain Lefevre (Jean Claude Van Damme) runs to pick it up to use in the final battle.

M1914 Hotchkiss Machine Gun Hotchkiss

A M1914 Hotchkiss Machine Gun is shown being demonstrated by Pvt. Alain Lefevre (Jean Claude Van Damme).

M1914 Hotchkiss Machine Gun with Tripod
Pvt. Alain Lefevre (Jean Claude Van Damme) fires a M1914 Hotchkiss Machine Gun during training.

Vickers-Maxim QF 2.95 inch mountain gun

A Vickers-Maxim QF 2.95 inch mountain gun (aka Pack Howitzer) was used by the Berber Tribesmen during the siege of the French Foreign Legion outpost. The Vickers-Maxim QF 2.95 inch mountain gun was used by the British Colonial forces (but not the British Army itself) in Africa, and by the American forces in the Philippines.

A Vickers-Maxim QF 2.95 inch mountain gun is rolled up by the Berber rebels.
A line of Vickers-Maxim QF 2.95 inch mountain guns as the artillery troops bombard the French outpost.

Other

81mm Mortar

A (to be determined) Mortar is used by the French Foreign Legion to emulate the French copy of the successful Stokes Mortar of World War 1. Since the events of the film are set in 1925, any munitions from the Great War are possible. (Note: It is NOT a U.S. Mortar, so it is one of the European versions).

L-MortarA.jpg
L-MortarFire2a.jpg


Trivia

Prologue to the film:

At the height of its glory, the French Foreign Legion was made up of men widely regarded as the scum of the earth.
It was a mercenary army posted to colonies in Northern Africa and Southern Asia...
but its soldiers swore no allegiance to France, only to the legion and to each other.
The legion asked no questions about a man's past ... nor did it offer much hope for his future.
It was a hard way to get a second chance in life...



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