Thursday, 31 March 2016

French Foreign Legion Fort Presented by Beano Boy


 A Lonely Outpost where the howling wind is often stirred up into a fateful Desert Song. The sand driven hard by such a wind of change stung well the faces of those that once saw fit to guard such a place as this. It was Service at a price. It was Duty, and a Mind Set of determination that often would lead to an Ultimate Price being made.




Above stands one remaining chimney and part of the walls of the Blockhouse at Boudenib.

Below the Blockhouse still stands in the Fort,and in the distance another keeps watch, but where is this place?




                                  Southern  Morocco near the Algerian Border

It was here in the Fort above on the cold night of the 1st day of  September 1909 that forty defenders fought off  over 400 Arabs for near on two days in a battle to hold this place. A key position guarding the approaches to Boudenib , and such actions as this one have inspired writers and movie makers throughout the years since to produce moving tales of the tough regulated life and actions of the French Foreign Legion. Often such men fought to the last man and the last bullet.Why? Because they had no other choice.

             


The Plan above reveals three  pieces of field artillery most probably French 75mm Guns,two to the west and one to the east thereby providing extra fire power to defend the outer Blockhouse and the Fort  where the fighting was  ferocious  to say the least. As in most cases these Forts were it seems kept way under strength and there are desperate accounts of Legionnaires throwing explosives over the walls as the Rif tribesman tried to scale them.                                                                                                                   



The thing i found most strange looking at all the evidence shown in the modern photo`s is the total lack of any remaining roofing materials.





Having shown the mud brick forts of OMAN,i thought to show what is left of these Legion Forts in North Africa. A friend kindly remarked such pictures can inspire and determine future scratch builds.
                                            _____________________________________
                                                               
                                                                     OTHER FORTS


1908  Morocco here the Legion is shown with the wrong color sash it should be one of blue. 

The French arrived in Algeria in 1833 and were soon building up Forts.


It might seem strange for the Well to be outside the walls of this unnamed place,but often was the case a new Well needed digging after this Fort was built and saw actions of rigid military life.

Looking above at the damaged section of wall i realised that there had been quite an explosion here and near a third of that building had gone.


                                  A Breach in the wall ,i wonder if there was a desperate fight here.



The high-point of this Fort is not all that clear on the first glance of the picture,but to the bottom right the low road or desert track can be seen below. So this was a good well thought out vantage point of defence,and with plenty of firing slits built into the walls.
I chanced upon information that the French used aircraft during the Great War and after to support these Forts. One account mentions water supplies being dropped in the form of blocks of ice. After suffering a number of defeats the French finally blew up most of the Forts that the Legionnaires had built by 1927.


 With  all the roofs long ago blown sky high in all these hard fought over places their ruins remain today just rugged solitary places that`s for sure. With only the passing shadows and the desert wind for company.



______________________________


TOY


This is the AIRFIX FORT that Paul Converted. Paul`s Bods!

                              Below a scratch built model Fort made for the gaming table.




Below a welcome rest from the beating sun and time to catch the shade.


The remains of a French built Block House. The people themselves help set the scale of the place well.



                                                     
                                                       Name Unknown


                                    Like a Sentinel this French built Block House stands on Watch.


                                                                        MOROCCO


                                               

                                       As they march along captured in this tiny point in time.

That`s All Folks.  

 BB

11 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Phil,although not castles by any stretch of ones imagination these little Forts have had many an adventure played out within their mud rendered brick walls.
      Nice of you to comment. BB

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Ray,they do hold a certain fascination as far as i am concerned. Nice of you to come visit and comment too.BB

      Delete
  3. Love the pictures and the history BB!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Francis Lee,being unable to paint at present has released a little time out for other things.As for the history of such places and of the men who served i aim only to place a whisper of them here,and leave lots to others imagination. Thanks for commenting Francis,it helps keep the candle-wick burning at a difficult time. BB

      Delete
  4. Great pictures and history of these forts. That box of Airfix is lying in my man cave asking to be assembled and painted. But at the moment no time for that!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Greetings
    Peter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Peter,slowly these not so old places; these Forts will be no more because mud bricks in due course of time crumble back into the very dust that helped form them.
      Don`t let Paul know where your AIRFIX FORT is because he might nip in quick and convert it into something else.
      Thanks for commenting buddy it helps. BB

      Delete
  5. I BET THEY USED THE ROOF MATT. FOR OTHER THINGS AFTER THE FORT WAS TAKEN OR ABANDONED ...FIRE WOOD ....OR JUST THE FACT THERE ARE NO LUMBER OR SHOULD I SAY TREE IN THE AREA ...WOOD WOULD BE LIKE MONEY..MAYBE...THANKS FOR POSTING WHAT A RUFF LIFE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John,how are you getting along after your move? BB

      Delete
  6. Hi John,nice of you to drop in. Glad you found this little place. BB

    ReplyDelete