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Hand of Captain Danjou: Camerone and the French Foreign Legion in Mexico, 30 April 1863

By Colin Rickards

ISBN: 9781861265876
PAGES: 488
BINDING: Hardback
SIZE: 234x156 mm
INSIDE: 8 page black & white section, 50 b&w photographs

On 30 April 1863, three officers and forty-six men of the French Foreign Legion fought nearly two thousand Mexicans at a hamlet called Camerone in south-eastern Mexico. Led by veteran Captain Jean Danjou, who wore an articulated wooden hand, the Legionnaires held out against the forty-to-one odds for nine hours.

Although the battle was inevitably lost, it is regarded as the classic battle of the Foreign Legion, such were the odds, and the bravery of those involved. In all, two officers and twenty-one other ranks died in the battle and eight more succumbed to their wounds. The wooden hand of Danjou, who was killed in the action, has become the Foreign Legions most sacred battle relic.

Colin Rickards has written the most complete account of the combat at Camerone ever compiled. Using all the available sources, including several previously unknown to scholarship, he has been able to reconstruct what happened in thrilling detail. But it does not end there, as the book takes the reader beyond that fateful day in 1863 to the creation of the Camerone legend and the celebration of Camerone Day right up to the present.

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