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by Leslie Aparvary

Download A Legionnaire's Journey eBook
Leslie Aparvary
Leaders & Notable People
Detselig Enterprises; First Edition edition (1989)
324 pages
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A Legionnaire's Journey. Select Format: Paperback. ISBN13: 9780920490938. Release Date: March 1989.

Diary of a Legionnaire: My Life in the French Foreign Legion. Fighting for the French Foreign Legion: Memoirs of a Scottish Legionnaire. Obviously the other gear was just for the train journey and for the benefit of the general public so that they would not feel they were traveling with convicts, because that is now what we look like. Haviing been a soldier in the US Army if i went through that i would have cracked. Much respect to any man that fulfilled his 5 year service.

A Legionnaire (French: Un de la légion) is a 1936 French comedy adventure film directed by Christian-Jaque and starring Fernandel, Robert Le Vigan and Daniel Mendaille. In the film's plot, a hen-pecked husband finds his life turned upside down when he is accidentally enlisted in the French Foreign Legion and sent to fight in Algeria. The film's sets were designed by the art director Pierre Schild. Fernandel as Fernand Espitalion. Robert Le Vigan as Leduc. Daniel Mendaille as Charlin. 1 2 3 4 5. Want to Read. Are you sure you want to remove A Legionnaire's journey from your list? A Legionnaire's journey.

At the age of 27, Hungarian Leslie Aparvary was sold to the French Foreign Legion for 600 francs and began a two-year odyssey with what has been called the world's toughest army where the value of a life is tantamount to zero. Much of his enlistment was spent fighting in Indochina (Vietnam). Leslie's journal is a gripping account of a Hungarian youth driven away by persecution and deprived of a home and country.
  • Ariurin
This book really put me to sleep. I read it after reading Simon Murray's Legionnaire, there is no comparison. I reasoned becuase of the exoticism of the locale, southeast asia, and the intensity of the war this book would be even better. I was badly dissapointed.
Entire pages of dialogue between legionnaires consist of "You are ugly" wich elicits the response, "Well you're stupid" It may be accurate but it is not interesting reading.
I give it 2 stars becuase the author shows the shameless way the French government tricked eastern european refugees into joining the legion. The book also shows the southeast asian's bitter hatred for the french occupiers. Beautiful vietnamese girls who flirt with the author and his freinds one minute turn around and try to poison them the next. The author spends a good deal of the book recovering from this attempted poisoning or other tropical diseases which also makes it drag along.
If there is anything compelling about the book it is it's depiction of how the author is caught between an indifferent French government that sent him halfway around the world to maintain it's empire on the cheap and a malice-filled civilian population that at best wishes he and his comrades would just go away.
If you know anyone who is thinking of joining the legion have them read this book . It will change their mind.
  • Buzalas
This book took a while to review because of one simple reason. It's not very engaging. It's an OK read. My father read it over a weekend, but I on the other hand tried reading the book three times before I started to make any real progress in reading it.

The concept of the book is fascinating. A Hungarian soldier looking to avoid the Russians seeks shelter among friends who can get him safely out of the country. The problem was he was sold into the Foreign Legion! They got him out all right, they got him a new name, a new country, and more than he ever bargoned for. Eventually, he becomes a paratrooper and serves in South East Asia during the early portion of the Vietnam war.

Things I didn't like about this book concern the writing style. One minute it's as dry as sand. The next it's quite interesting. He writes of going on patrol, but provides little detail as to why they went or what they did when they got there. He spends a lot of time explaining how he decorated his room with a new stolen table and other fine details regarding the Cognac they drank in vast abundance.

What I did like was the sense of humor the man has. Let's face it, the guy had a raw deal being sold into the Legion along with a murdering thug, an illegal abortionist, and the basic scum of the refuge market. They had a wickedly brutal sense of humor. They gave the abortionist the nickname "Fetus."

Anyway, I almost always find something redeeming in a book. And while this one didn't totally catch with me, I enjoyed the theme dramatically. As my dad said of his service, "My time was nothing like this." Dad was right about that.

But if you're looking for a classic tale of the Legion I would suggest reading A Soldier Of The Legion - by A.M. Williamson, With the French Foreign Legion in Syria by John Harvey. But both are out of print from the 1920s. For more modern reading, I would suggest, Legionnaire: Five Years in the French Foreign Legion and The Naked Soldier: A True Story of the French Foreign Legion.
  • Kea
Great accounting of time spent in the Foreign Legion in Indochina. Not a whole lot of action but enough to make it an interesting read.
  • Thiama
France was in a desperate position at the end of the Second World War. Five years of German occupation had reduced France from one of the "Great Powers" to a lesser state desperatly trying to hold onto its colonial empire. With the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Ho Chi Minh and his Viet Minh seized their opportunity and declared Indochina to be an independent nation. An exhuasted France had to respond to this challange if it had any hope of remaining a major world power. The Foreign Legion was one of the institutions France turned to in this desperate hour.

France needed soldiers quickly and a devestated Europe was a rich source of willing recruits. German ex-soldiers, Spanish socialists and Eastern European refugees all poured into the ranks of the Foreign Legion. Leslie Aparvary, a poverty stricken Hungarian, fearful of being forced to return to the Eastern block was typical of the Legion recruits of this period. He was hastily trained, poorly equipped and shipped off to Indochina. "A Legionnaire's Journey" is an account of the two years he spent fighting the Viet Minh.

Aparvary wrote this book as a retiree. He wanted his family to know what he had experienced as a young man. This distance from his time in the Legion gives this book a level maturity and reflection that is very rare in Legion memoirs. He was no hero in the Simon Murray tradition. Aparvary was an ordinary foot soldier fighting in a war he did not understand. It is this sheer "ordinariness" combined with Aparvary's basic decency which makes this a compelling story.

The Legion has had many great moments but for me the period from 1945-62 is the most dramatic period of Legion history. "A Legionnaire's Journey" is one of the few English language accounts from this period and deserves an honorable mention in the Legion memoir tradition.