Legion Fort: Bir Moghrein (Fort Trinquet)

Bir Moghrein is a dusty little desert town situated in the Northwest corner of Mauritania in the 12th Region known as Tiris Zemmour.  The fort located in this town was also known as Fort Trinquet (named after COL Trinquet who commanded French troops in the area in the 1930’s) .  It is located about about 80 miles W/SW from Ain Ben Tili (25°59’40.35″N  9°33’12.19″W)–another French fort previously featured on this blog.  A small fort built by the Spanish is located just over the Western Saharan border down the road from Bir Moghrein.  Fort Trinquet is one of the last Saharan forts built to control tribal unrest in the area in the late 1930’s.  It facilitated long range patrols in this area by motorized transportation and Foreign Legion units and specialized Saharan detachments.  It’s a medium sized structure, rectangular in shape with two towers (one in the NW corner and another in the SE corner).  I took the liberty again to scour the internet for pictures and also utilized Google Earth to look closer at the fort from four directions.   Mauritania became part of French West Africa in 1920 and gained independence in 1960.  In the 1980’s this town and fort played a key role in the ethic conflicts that occurred in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Like many of the forts now in possession of Mauritania Fort Trinquet seems to have fallen into disrepair.

Bir Moghrein

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About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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