Just a quick post today on a neat article that appears on the Askari Miniatures web page on how to build a Berber Ksar. I’m not sure how I missed this since I’ve been on their site dozens of times before. The idea of building one of these imposing mud brick desert castles always seemed pretty daunting but this article makes it seem easy. This is definitely one type of structure that the Foreign Legion has experience in dealing with. The primary method the French used to subdue an enemy occupied Ksar was prolonged artillery bombardment. High explosive rounds would make short work of the mud walls and the enemy would quickly retreat. Ksar type fortresses dotted the Moroccan and Algerian hill terrain and oases along the northern edge of the Saharan desert. The one shown on the Askari page and in the photograph above is the 17th century ksar at Ait Ben Haddou–one of the largest and better preserved specimens.
Another reason to check out the Askari site is their extensive collection of French Foreign Legion (both vintage and inter-war) 28mm miniatures as well as other French colonial forces such as Zouaves, Tirailleurs, Spahi, Colonial Infantry (with Seneglese Tirailleurs), and Chasseurs Alpines. They also carry a full complement of enemy Berber and Tuareg warriors to fight your French forces. If the harka is too powerful or you need to take down a ksar don’t forget to check out Askari’s artillery line by downloading their nice .pdf catalog.