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|There are numerous military forts built across the Sahara (mainly by the French but also by the Italians) during the last century and a bit. The following has been written with the assistance of Colonel Michel Vallet.|
Pacot (at Chirfa, north of Bilma) The French
colonial troops set up an administrative zone at Bilma in January 1907. A few
months earlier, Commandant Gadel (not to be confused with Gardel) set out from
this oasis to explore Djado. On arriving there, he learnt of the presence of
raiders 40 km to the North West. He went there and battle was engaged at the
Orida well. 27 were killed, including two French, Sergeant Pacot and a native
The French occupied Djado in 1913 and built a fort which was later transferred to Chirfa, abandoned in 1914 and then reoccupied after the War. It was this fort which bore the name Fort Pacot.
Photo © Christer Wilkinson
Pierre Bordes (at Tin Zaouaten) A decision to build
a small fort was taken in 1909 by Colonel Laperrine at the time he went to sign
the Niamey Convention. However, the Citroën mission which passed through
Tin Zaouaten in 1922 mentions the well and a detachment of camel troops from
the Tidikelt Company, but does not mention the fort.
The present fort was apparently built in 1929 after the creation in 1927 of the annexed Hoggar territory and of the Saharan Company of the Hoggar, housed in the new Fort Laperrine. A lieutenant of this company committed suicide at Tin Zaouaten in 1930 because of delayed supplies and fear of rebellion among his troops. His grave still lies near Fort Pierre Bordes. Tin Zaouaten and the Adrar des Ifoghas depended for administrative purposes on the Hoggar Annexe. Pierre Bordes was the Governor General of Algeria who decided in 1928 to send a mission to the Hoggar, including the scholar Reygasse and the painter Paul Elie Dubois, whose paintings were exhibited in the colonial exhibition in Paris.
|Fort Saint (north of Ghadames) was built from 1924 to 1927 on the orders of the Resident General of France in Tunis, Lucien Saint, to mark the permanent presence of France in southern Tunisia.|
|Fort Leclerc is the name given by the French when Sebha in Libya was taken from the Italians in 1943 at Fort Elena. That same year they renamed the Italian Fort Emanuel in Ghat as Fort Duveyrier.|
|Fort Lallemand (south of Ouargla) was created in 1894, at the same time as Fort Macmahon and Fort Miribel. Lallemand was the name of an officer who in 1862 signed the Treaty of Ghadames between the French and the Amenokal lkhenoukhen. (Also mentioned are the better-known names of Commandant Mircher and Captain de Polignac.|
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