the arabs started to assault the wall, the Legion, still taking heavy fire
from the arab rifle unit, began to loose men. Lieutenant Devaux cursed
at the fact the Arabs were so obviously keeping away from the mined buildings,
after all the work they had invested in preparing them. Hofstedter pointed
out that now was a good time to try the few sticks of dynamite they had
kept in reserve.
ordered a few men from the south wall to reinforce the north and he, Devaux
and Hofstedter began hurling dynamite over the wall at the Arabs.
The effect was as devastating as it was unexpected.
The hard stony ground did nothing to absorb the blasts and the assault
rapidly withered as body parts started to litter the ground at the base
of the wall.
Both sword units disintegrated into the sands, but the
rifle armed unit, out of dynamite throwing range, continued to pour
fire up onto the walls, gradually taking its toll on the defenders.
El Zahira started to apply the pressure. Jaleel's
camel troop charged in from the west, the small scouting group in the police
station, realizing that they would be cut off, made a mad dash for the
next buildings. Jaleel's captured machine was following close behind with
the barrel of powder captured from the well site strapped to the top of
rifle fire from the camel troop only hastened the scouting parties retreat
to the next building. Most of the camaleers were armed with spears.
They spent a few moments at the building hiding the scouting party until
they realized the futility of spears against buildings. The determined
rifle fire form the legionnaires hastened their departure.
As they moved away from the building a terrible din form
the sky erupted to their rear and sent the camels into a horrified panic.
Froggles had arrived in his Bleriot aeroplane and flew almost directly
over the camels who began to flee. A few rounds from the QF75 mm
sealed their fate and they departed the battle area.
The legion scouts ran for the fort. Capitainne Froggles
made a few passes over the fort. Took a few pot shots at the Arabs but
didn't actually hit anything. His presence did however upset the
horses, whose riders spent most of their time trying to keep them under
Froggles dropped a message into the fort with the distressing
news that the relief column is still many hours away.
the aeroplane passed, El Zahira launched a new major attack on the now
weakened south wall. Again, two sword armed band but flanked on either
side with two more bands armed with modern rifles, courtesy of the their
deceased Spanish former owners.
The Arab rifles put a steady withering fire into the walls
of the fort.
It is at this point that Jaleel began his terror attack.
He revved his machine and headed directly for the sandbags and the position
of the Quick Firing 75 mm Gun. His intention being to burst through the
sandbag wall and blow up the gates of the fort in a suicide attack that
will surely bring victory. He got within a few yards of the sandbags when
his valiant effort was brought to a sudden anticlimactic ending as a single
piece of shrapnel blew off his head and the automobile drifted off
the road harmlessly out of control.
The Machine Gun position got off a few rounds into the
flanking rifle unit that was protecting the assault on the south
wall. The MG then pulled back into the relative safety of the fort along
with the scout party that had also reached the fort gates.
gun was pulled back towards the gates but the gunners disabled and abandoned
it as they realized they were not going to make it in time. The rifle
units to the north and south as well as El Zahiras guard were closing in.
Unexpectedly the Red Shadow came galloping in from the
west. Could this be the arrival of the relief column? He yelled to Lt.
Benoit from the scouting party that the column was still some hours away
and then attempted to reach the fort with his four guomiers. All
the guomiers were savagely cut down by enfilading rifle fire from the flanks,
and the Shadow received a great wound in the shoulder. Realizing
he was being cut off Benoit closed the door leaving the Shadow no option
but to turn and and try and save himself.
The Situation at Fort Les Miserable was now appearing
very desperate indeed.