Dutch & Spanish

Spanish Foreign Legion

The Spanish Foreign Legion was created in 1920, in emulation of the French one, and had a significant role in Spain’s colonial wars in Morocco and in the Spanish Civil War on the Nationalist side. Unlike its French model, the number of non-Spanish recruits never exceeded 25%, and most of these were Latin Americans.


Though not named “Foreign Legion”, the Dutch Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indische Leger (KNIL), or Royal Netherlands-Indian Army (in reference to the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia), was created in 1830, a year before the French legion, and had a similar recruitment policy. It stopped being a foreign legion around 1900 when recruitment was restricted to Dutch citizens and to the indigenous peoples of the Dutch East Indies. The KNIL was finally disbanded on 26 July 1950, seven months after Indonesian independence.

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