(ARTICLE): Forts of the French Foreign Legion ( WORLD ARCHEOLOGY- 2012)

Nickfury

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FORTS OF THE FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION - (World Archeology 2012)
Tales of the French Foreign Legion in the deserts of North Africa have fired the imagination of many an adventurous school boy.
Richard Jeynes was one. Now, as a (grown-up) archaeologist, his investigation of an abandoned fort of the French colonial empire, is bringing those stories to life.

http://www.world-archaeology.com/features/forts-of-the-french-foreign-legion.htm


 

Nickfury

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Interesting article and good photos, but the site isn't so great as they didn't label the photos well and it is hard to quickly and easily see the whole group of photos at the bottom. Would have been nice if they had laid it out better and connected photos with a map of the area. Maybe throw in some drone footage as well. :)

Now I'm just getting picky. But these old forts are fascinating, would be great to see a more detailed study with a detailed and easy to view photo montage. :D
 
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Who remebers the forts at Moussoro and Biltine in Chad? Are there any pics? Think it was 2e Cie of 2e REI who built the tower/entry poste de garde and 1ère section, 1ère Cie did the finishing.
 
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Rapace

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Who remebers the forts at Moussoro and Biltine in Chad? Are there any pics? Think it was 2e Cie of 2e REI who built the tower/entry poste de garde and 1ère section, 1ère Cie did the finishing.
Here is one. There are others... The Legion marching in képis blancs in the desert, in front of a fort... You hardly could make it more "cliché"... I think I've spotted Beau Geste on the second rank! :D

1524311149412.png
 
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Hi Andy, was there an airstrip next to fort Moussoro?
Yes, and a détatchment de l'Armée de l'Air with all the radar and stuff. Got a few pics of that time there. I was in Moussoro twice. The entrance was something like out of this time. Arabic influence with turrets either side. If I had a better phone I would post them here.
Joe, use the entry as a reference. G.N.(gendarmerie nationale) is East, approx and the 2e REI patch is approx West. The air strip, was approx 1 km behind the entrance. Planes landed east to west / take off west to east. During my time there a Transall needed to do an emergency landing somewhere, not too far from the strip but in the middle of nowhere or somewhere nowhere, if you prefer.
Biltine was something from another age. In Abéché we got hit by a desert storm (saw it coming from a far distance, it filled the whole horizon). When it hit the camp, corruageted roofs, timber and any thing lose flew in all directions. The
clean up... VLRAs weapons optics trans and my lugs and nostrils were infested with sand.

Here is one. There are others... The Legion marching in képis blancs in the desert, in front of a fort... You hardly could make it more "cliché"... I think I've spotted Beau Geste on the second rank! :D
I did my bit building this. Notice on the left, the insigne of 2e REI. We are actually on a hill and looking forward from the entrance the village of Musso, mud brick houses. We would go down to the village for bricks and gravel, needed for the construction in the camp.
When in these out of the way places, your time is divided between : patrols, one section (platoon) at a time and some section de commandement... and a few tourists from other detachments, Armée de l'Air (Air Force) for example. We showed them the way we do things. Another section will do the service, like back in regiment : garde / intervention etc camp is big, so it takes nearly the whole section to assure it. A third section gets detached to the adjudant de compagnie for building or whatever and offloading cargo supplies from the planes.
Every time the plane landed we were like big kids... Whoopi! Mars bars and Kro. Someone with skills in the building trade previously, bricky, plumber, electrician that's where and when you will get noticed (all good for the career). Notice how I didn't mention painters, that's because we are all artists.
 

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Thanks Andy, I thought the name of the fort sounded familiar. Yes I went there for ten days with one of the sections. I had to drive a GBC8 KT to collect the rubbish around the fort and at the commandants villa. Two local Chadians loaded it up. I only worked in the mornings so I had all afternoon off. As a caporal-chef, I had no corvées or guard or interventions.
There was an open gym there and I'd go for a run along the airstrip and then go to fort's popote. Good times.

They were cut short when I was detached with another section to escort a fuel truck up north. One evening I was out at the local market buying fruit for the section when the escort with the radio got the message for us to return to the section's camp. When we got there everyone was packing up their kit as we had to leave that night to fly out to Central Africa. The rebels were getting out of hand, so to speak.

The regulars took over the escort, only two days left, but they looked p*ssed off.
Anyway, I could talk about Chad for a long while, but then it is Sunday...
 

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