Legion Pulp: The Hand of Danjou
Mon Legionnaire » Pulp Fiction
by Jack Wagner
2M ago
Here ‘s the pulp story I was supposed to post back on Camerone Day but I had too many things on my to-do lists back then so it had to wait.  (Yes, I have multiple lists; one big one that my wife gives me and my own.)  This one appeared in the May 1948 issue of Adventure.  Fictional last stand battles of the French Foreign Legion are a specialty of the author, Robert Carse, so it was interesting to see how he approaches this historical last stand. The story begins in the maelstrom of the battle at Camerone and crusty old Legionnaire Waldemar Karig, slightly wounded and taking pul ..read more
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Legion Pulp: Cold Steel
Mon Legionnaire » Pulp Fiction
by Jack Wagner
3M ago
This Georges Surdez story appeared in the 01 August 1932 issue of Adventure.  It’s a nice concise tale of what happens when a long-serving Legionnaire butts heads with a prideful officer of the Native Infantry (better known as the tirailleurs algériens or simply Turcos).  Legion Adjutant Forbach comes up with a clever way to deal with newly arrived Lieutenant Lavoine who imposes his authority on a small garrison of Legionnaires as a way to exact a twisted sort of revenge on behalf of his Regimental Commander.  Ultimately, his petty punishments and discipline levied on the Legion ..read more
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Legion Pulp: Kismet in Picardy
Mon Legionnaire » Pulp Fiction
by Jack Wagner
4M ago
This month’s Foreign Legion pulp story is from the 10 December 1928 issue of Short Stories Magazine.  The author is Don McGrew (or Donald Francis McGrew, 1886-1955), an early and fairly prolific author for the pulps and other magazines who draws upon his personal life of world wide adventure and experience as a soldier who served in the Philippines, along the Mexican border and in France during WWI as an artillery officer.  Many of his stories are military related and take place in areas he is familiar with. Kismet in Picardy is a good, fast moving tale of a wayward American, Vance R ..read more
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Legion Pulp: Haunted Mountains
Mon Legionnaire » Pulp Fiction
by Jack Wagner
5M ago
Here’s another story of the Hell’s Angels squad of the French Foreign Legion penned by Warren Hastings Miller.  It appeared in the October 1932 issue of Blue Book Magazine.  The squad appeared regularly in this pulp for several years after beginning in 1927 with the story Loot.  The squad features Sergeant Texas Ike, Corporal Criswell from Michigan, Anzac Bill, Mr. Dee (Count di Piatti), Calamity Cyclops (the one-eyed sharpshooter and Mora the Spaniard. The command element (often the foils to the squad) is Commandant Knecht and Lt. Hortet, This story has some eerie elements con ..read more
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Legion Pulp: Strictly Private
Mon Legionnaire » Pulp Fiction
by Jack Wagner
7M ago
This story appeared in the September 10th, 1930 issue of Short Stories and was written by J. D. Newsom–a prolific pulp writer with many Foreign Legion stories to his credit.  It’s one of his tales where the fighting takes place between the legionnaires and not against the restless tribes.  The sub-title sums up the story best—You Can’t Bully Legionnaires–Not Even if You’re Commanding Officer of a Little Desert Outpost on the Edge of the Great Sahara.  Strictly Private ..read more
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Legion Pulp: A Question of Faith
Mon Legionnaire » Pulp Fiction
by Jack Wagner
7M ago
This older story from Georges Surdez, four years into his pulp writing career, appeared in the 08 Oct 1926 issue of Adventure.  It’s a 34 page precursor to his 1931 novel, The Demon Caravan.  It took some doing to expand this short story into a 250 page book. It looks like some of the names are different but the basic plot involving restive Arab tribes, spies, subterfuge, dancing girls the unforgiving Saharan Desert and a contingent of the French Saharan Camel Corps remains.  It’s not a Foreign Legion story but enjoyable nonetheless. A Question of Faith ..read more
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Legion Pulp: The Devil’s Own
Mon Legionnaire » Pulp Fiction
by Jack Wagner
7M ago
Here is another Panther paperback from the 1950’s offered up in lieu of a pulp fiction story for this month.  The author of The Devil’s Own is Alex Stamper which was a house pseudonym used by James McCormick for several of the books he wrote for Panther’s Foreign Legion series. Other Foreign Legion titles with the Alex Stamper byline include Desert Glory, Halfway to Hades, Glory Squad, Fort Terror, Sand and Sudden Death, Aux Armes, Legionnaires of France, Guns of the Legion, Traitor at Al Kida, Revolt at Zaluig (Arthur Kent), Lost Patrol, Blood on the Flag, The Devil’s Captain, This Legi ..read more
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Legion Pulp: The Deserter
Mon Legionnaire » Pulp Fiction
by Jack Wagner
7M ago
The Deserter is a short story by Georges Surdez that appeared in the April 1943 issue of Adventure Magazine.  Surdez again displays his masterful understanding of wartime France and (Vichy) N. Africa and of course the French military and Foreign Legion of the time.  This story is about Jean Koppel, an old veteran Alsatian Legionnaire, content in his life as a night watchman in Oran, Algeria until a stranger arrives–the deserter.  Compelled by the Legion’s code he helps conceal the identity of the dispirited American who goes by the fake name of Lorenzo Diaz.  A persistent p ..read more
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Legion Pulp: Lances in the Dust
Mon Legionnaire » Pulp Fiction
by Jack Wagner
7M ago
For this month’s pulp fiction story I’m running a substitute…a pinch hitter so to say that is technically not a story from the old pulps but has all the trappings of one and comes in at 144 pages.  Published in paperback format in 1955 by the UK’s Panther Books, Lances in the Dust is a Foreign Legion story written by Harry Holton, an author I’m not familiar with and can’t find any information on (so I think it’s very likely a pseudonym).  The cover was illustrated by Derek A. Stowe.  Panther books from this time period are very hard to find and fetch high prices in the book mark ..read more
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Legion Pulp: The Deserters
Mon Legionnaire » Pulp Fiction
by Jack Wagner
7M ago
Here’s a short story that appeared in Adventure Magazine in the 01 December 1931 issue.  The author is listed as Claude Farrère which is a pseudonym of French author Frédéric Charles Pierre Édouard Bargone (1876-1957).  Looking at his bio on Wiki it appears he would know much about the French colonies and the ever-simmering conflicts within having been a naval officer lived in Indochina and various other postings abroad. The story relates the background of two Germans who desert their own army to serve in the Foreign Legion in the late 1800’s.  It’s told by the first French offi ..read more
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