A second-hand M1, 40 years later

In March 1978, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon or UNIFIL was authorized and one of the first “blue berets” on the ground in the DMZ were French with Warrant Officer François-Xavier Roch, a military photographer, arriving at Beirut airport before the French contingent deplaned to capture the moment for history. As the area was not exactly secure (over 300 UN peacekeepers have been killed as part of UNIFIL, not counting the horrendous casualties by the U.S. Marines and French paratroopers in 1983), Roch picked up a M1 steel pot he found kicking around and painted it blue, later applying a “Presse” placard to the front like the newsmen of old.

Now, with the “interim” UNIFIL still very much a thing (comprised of 10,500 peacekeepers from 41 countries), Roch presented the helmet to the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, during his visit to Lebanon last week.

Roch retired from the French Army after 20 years at the rank of Captain.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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