The 97th Foreign Legion Divisional Reconnaissance Group (GERD 97) also attained glory during the 1940 debacle. It was probably the only all-veteran North African outfit of the Legion regiments in France. GERD 97 had been organized from the 1st Foreign Legion Cavalry Regiment, the Legion horse cavalry outfit that had been raised in Africa in the 1920s from the remnants of White Russian General Baron Pyotr Wrangel's cavalry, which had been all but destroyed in the civil war against the Bolsheviks. Mechanized and outfitted with obsolete armored cars, GERD 97 carried out reconnaissance missions, but its scouting days came to an end when it ran into the powerful German Mark III tanks. In typical Legion style, GERD 97 threw itself against those monsters without hesitation, fighting rear-guard actions to cover the retreating French. GERD 97 managed to survive until June 9, when a final, suicidal charge against the panzers left all the Legion vehicles burning. There were no known survivors.
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