Legion Forts: The Forts at Hassi Inifel

About a month ago I started to dig around on the internet for more information about a French fort built in southern Algeria just before 1900.  I had the name as Fort Hassi Inifil but I was not finding much information.  However, when I changed the name to Fort Inifel I quickly came across this great website about French Saharan forts.  Probably the best I’ve seen so far on the topic yet there are still many links that are in construction.  What’s neat is that the site has small maps of the general layout of many of the forts and bordj’s and also some historical information and pictures about the location.  It’s in French but you can use Google Translator for some of the text.  If you back track the URL you will find the home page that has lots of other information about the Saharan Desert and North Africa in General.  The link: Saharas.

So for what it’s worth, here is my little internet research project on Fort Inifil and Bordj Delion.  It turns out that there are two structures in this area.  Another fort, described as a bordj, was built on the western side of the river in 1920.  I’m not sure this fort was ever garrisoned by the Legion since what I read seems to reference Captain/Major Henri LaPerrine and his Compagnies Saharienne operating in this area.  But it is of the type found in the northern Saharan Desert that was manned by the Legion.  It was one of three forts built after the French moved into the Tuat oasis area in 1893/94.  UPDATE: I also forgot to mention that this fort is the Saharan fort setting for the fiction book Atlantida (L’Atlantide) by Pierre Benoit.  The book begins “Hassi-Inifel, November 8, 1903” and describes the isolation and futile purpose of being stationed there before moving to more imaginary settings.  A good review of this work is here.

Forts at Hassi Inifil

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About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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