Legion Fort: Ain Ben Tili

This weekend I’ve been hot on the historical trail of several old Foreign Legion/Saharan forts.  The first I will post about will be the fort at Ain Ben Tili in northern Mauritania.  This was built in 1934 in the tri-border region of Western Sahara, Algeria and Mauritania.  It was mentioned by Martin Windrow in the last chapter of his book Our Friends Beneath the Sands.  It is in remarkable shape and was last besieged in 1976 by POLISARIO Front rebels . The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has been using the fort during their patrols and has graciously keep up the grave site of  Legionnaire Tison of the 1st Legion Cavalry Regiment.

Legion Fort at Ain-Ben-Tili

About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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4 Responses to Legion Fort: Ain Ben Tili

  1. Jean-Pierre SALESSE says:

    Hi, I’m a french officer and I spendt 6 months in Western Sahara in Bir Lahlou Team site, near the fort of Ain Ben Tili. During the patrols we conducted I took a lot of pictures of the fort and the brigadier (corporal) Tison’s grave. If you want I can send you these pictures.


    • Ed Dowgiallo says:

      I am trying to create scale models of the Legion forts. I would be very appreciative if you could send me copies of your photos. If the photos are detailed enough, and you would like one, I would be happy to provide you with a model.


      • Jack Wagner says:


        Help yourself to what you find on this site. These photo’s of Ain Ben Tili were graciously provided by a French officer who visited this abandoned fort.
        There are many other forts that I have featured on this blog and I post the highest resolution of forts that I can find. There are many other forts that I’ve not gotten to that can be seen on some of the links I provide such as Saharan Desert Forts (Sahararyo).
        I would be very interested in seeing your final results. Are you trying to create historical copies or something for war games? If you are not interested in historical accuracy you should look at some of the Legion Movies I’ve posted on. I provide some screenshots of the movie sets and any “forts” used in the film.



  2. Pingback: Legion Forts: Ain Ben Tili (2) | Mon Legionnaire

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