Picture Id: 452692
View of a French soldier, part of the 13th Demi Brigade of the French Foreign L egion dressed for desert warfare. The soldier carries what appears to be a sha rp shooter's rifle. According to the photographer's captions, "the 13th Demi B rigade ofthe French Foreign Legion--about 1,200 men strong--is situated astride the entrance to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean at Djibouti. Of the 9,000 French Army sol diers stationed in Africa, the Legion is the most colorful and the most highly trained. Legion officers say the unit's mission is to stop an invasion from the nearby S oviet-allied Ethiopia and South Yemen--both hostile governments that could thre aten the Suez Canal and western oil interests. Beyond this mission, the 13th D emi Brigade train s six days a week to intervene on behalf of French interests elsewhere in Africa. The Demi Brigade, which was the first unit to join De Gualle's army i n England in 1940, dispells many stereotypes." DATE OF PHOTOGRAPH: 8/31-9/1/88 .
WITH THE FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION, DJIBOUTI.
STEVE RAYMER/National Geographic Creative