See also:levy of citizens marching out en masse to war, like the
See also:citizen-army of any other
See also:primitive state . As Rome came to need more than one army at once and warfare
See also:grew more complex, legio came to denote a unit of 4000-6000 heavy
See also:infantry (including, however, at first some
See also:light infantry and at various times a handful of
See also:cavalry) who were by
See also:political status
See also:Roman citizens and were distinct from the "
See also:allies," auxilia, and other troops of the second class . The legionaries were regarded as the best and most characteristic Roman soldiers, the most trustworthy and truly Roman; they enjoyed better pay and conditions of service than the " auxiliaries." In A.D . 14 (
See also:death of
See also:Augustus) there were 25 such legions: later, the number was slightly increased; finally about A.D . 290
See also:Diocletian reduced the
See also:size and greatly increased the number of the legions . Throughout, the dominant features of the legions were heavy infantry and Roman citizenship . They lost their importance when the
See also:Barbarian invasions altered the character of
See also:ancient warfare and made cavalry a more important
See also:arm than infantry, in the
See also:late 3rd and 4th centuries A.D . In the
See also:middle ages the word "
See also:legion " seems not to have been used as a technical
See also:term . In
See also:modern times it has been employed for organizations of an unusual or exceptional character, such as a
See also:corps of
See also:volunteers or mercenaries . See further ROMAN ARMY . (F . J .
H.) The term legion has been used to designate regiments or corps of all arms in modern times, perhaps the earliest example of this being the Provincial Legions formed inFrance by
See also:Francis I . (see INFANTRY) .
See also:Napoleon, in accordance with this precedent, employed the word to designate the second-
See also:line formations which he maintained in France and which supplied the Grande Armee with drafts . The term " Foreign Legion " is often used for irregular volunteer corps of foreign sympathizers raised by states at war, often by smaller states fighting for independence . Unlike most foreign legions the "
See also:British Legion " which, raised in
See also:Great Britain and commanded by
See also:Sir de
See also:Evans (q.v.), fought in the Carlist
See also:wars, was a regularly enlisted and paid force . The term " foreign legion ' is colloquially but incorrectly applied to-
See also:day to the Regiments (drangers in the French service, which are composed of adventurous
See also:spirits of all nationalities and have been employed in many arduous colonial
See also:campaigns . The most famous of the corps that have
See also:borne the name of legion in modern times was the
See also:King's German Legion (see Beamish's
See also:history of the corps) . The electorate of Hanover being in 18o5 threatened by the French, and no effective resistance being considered possible, the British
See also:government wished to take the greater
See also:part of the Hanoverian army into its service . But the acceptance by the Hanoverian government of this offer was delayed until too late, and it was only after the French had entered the
See also:country and the army as a unit had been disbanded that the formation of the " King's German Regiment," as it was at first called, was begun in England . This enlisted not only ex-Hanoverian soldiers, but other Germans as well, as individuals . Lieut.-Colonel von der Decken and Major
See also:Colin Halkett were the
See also:officers entrusted with the formation of the new corps, which in
See also:January 1805 had become a corps of all arms with the title of King's German Legion . It then consisted of a
See also:dragoon and a
See also:hussar regiment, five batteries, two light and four line battalions and an engineer section, all these being afterwards increased .
Its services included the abortive German expedition of
See also:November 1805, the expedition to
See also:Copenhagen in 1807, the minor sieges and combats in
See also:Sicily 1808-14, the Walcheren expedition of 18o9, the expedition to Sweden under Sir
See also:Moore in 1808, and the
See also:campaign of 1813 in
See also:north Germany . But its title to fame is its part in the
See also:Peninsular War, in which from first to last it was an acknowledged corps d'elite—its cavalry especially, whose services both on reconnaissance and in
See also:battle were of the highest value . The exploit of the two dragoon regiments of the Legion at Garcia Hernandez after the battle of Salamanca, where they charged and broke up two French infantry squares and captured some 1400 prisoners, is one of the most notable incidents in the history of the cavalry arm (see Sir E .
See also:Wood's Achievements of Cavalry) . A general officer of the Legion,
See also:Charles Alten (q.v.), commanded the British Light Division in the latter part of the war . It should be said that the Legion was rarely engaged as a unit . It was considered rather as a small army of the British type, most of which served abroad by regiments and battalions while a small portion and
See also:depot units were at home, the
See also:total numbers underarms being about 25,000 . In 1815 the
See also:period of service of the corps had almost expired when Napoleon returned from
See also:Elba, but its members voluntarily offered to prolong their service . It lost heavily at
See also:Waterloo, in which
See also:battalion of the light infantry distinguished itself by its gallant defence of La Haye Sainte . The strength of the Legion at the
See also:time of its disbandment was ltoo officers and 23,500 men . A
See also:short-lived " King's German Legion " was raised by the British government for service in the
See also:Crimean War . Certain Hanoverian regiments of the German army to-day represent the units of the Legion and carry Peninsular battle-honours on their
See also:standards and
See also:colours .
LEGHORN (Ital. Livorno, Fr. Livourne)
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