Following her defeat in the Spanish-American War of 1898, Spain shifted her colonial focus to her Protectorate in northern Morocco. When Spanish conscripts began to fight and to die by the thousands, political fallout forced the government to create a new unit of professional soldiers. This unit would serve the dual function of providing fighting men for Moroccan service, while sparing the lives of conscripted men. Under its founder, José Millán Astray, and his deputy, Francisco Franco, the Spanish Foreign Legion would quickly become the spearhead for Spain's army in Africa. This is the story of the creation, organization, and combat role of the Legion in its formative years from 1919 to 1927.
Men from all over the world have left their pasts behind to start a new life as elite soldiers in the French Foreign Legion. Director/Producer Elisabeth Nord has been granted unprecedented access to follow this legendary defence force from the inside. The Foreign Legion Tougher than the Rest looks beyond the myths and brutal reputation of the French Foreign Legion, portraying the legionnaires and their lives within the Legion. This exploration reveals the true face of one of the most famous, mysterious and secretive fighting forces in the world. Step into the secretive world of the French Foreign Legion. Venture into the secretive world of the French Foreign Legion and discover what it takes to become a soldier in one of the world’s toughest and most famous fighting forces. This three-part series meets the legionnaires – made up of men from many countries – and follows them from France to Africa as they battle through gruelling training regimes, undertake tricky peacekeeping missions and make preparations for the annual Camerone Day, a celebration of the Legion’s most heroic battle.