Arabs pounced as soon as the column was in sight of the fort. It took few
casualties at first. The water drilling crew got off a rounds or two before
jumping in the truck and heading towards the perceived safety of
the legion square. The regulars quickly organized themselves into an all
Legion was quickly surrounded.
Pepe le Ponse's platoon resisted leaving the fort even
as a sizable Arab force advanced on the commissariat in an attempt
to rescue El Zahiras brother.
The head of the Legion column went into a skirmish line
and tried to break through to the commissariat but were held off by rifle
fire from the roof tops ahead of them. The column was then flank attacked
on its left with the Tirailleurs taking the brunt of the assault.
Tirailleurs (left) were charged but did prevail, however only only three
men remained standing at the end of the assault. The right flank held out
and the second platoon under Lt. Devaux pushed up to the Commissariat relieving
it from the Arab assault.
this time only two policeman and Gerrard D'Escargot were left on their
feet. They fought back several assault and repulsed the Arabs back over
the walls before being relieved by the columns right flank under Lt. Devaux.
The Red Shadow kept up a constant skirmish throughout
the game and repelled one mounted attack from the head of the column after
defeating its chief in personal hand to hand combat.
Chasseurs sallied from the fort and were immediately fell upon by Arab
mounted attacks from both flanks.
Several skirmishes were fought between the fort and the
commissariat with heavy losses taken by both sides after theArab camel
unit went berserk on hte death of their chieften.
The Chasseurs received supporting fire from the quick
firing 75 mm gun and eventually prevailed but by this time there were only
three surviving troopers.
All the civilians from the well site were either killed
or wounded. Adjutant Vucks loaded all the wounded onto the truck and it
made a dash for the fort. It broke through and charged up the center road
and was almost at the gates. The platoon in the fort had left had formed
a skirmish line to support the approaching truck. At this point, back at
the supply column, the head of the column, supported by the the MG
was charged by the Arabs and virtually wiped out.
Eene was killed in this attack and the assault culminated with a wounded
Ted Hofstedter and Adjutant Vucks surrounded by the last 7 Arabs who all
engaged this famed Sergeant Major. Living up to his reputation he defeated
them to the last man in bloody hand to hand combat. (see the photo at the
top of the page).
Lt. Devaux has sworn to recommendhim for the Legion of
The final assault from the Arabs came as the truck almost
arrived at the fort. The assault was counter charged by Le Ponse's platoon
and the gun team crew who had now run out of ammunition. This final valiant
stand by the French was wiped out to the last man. The few surviving Arabs
fell upon the truck killing the wounded civilians but were too weak and
exhausted to exploit their victory.
The few remaining French plus Lt. Devaux's platoon which
had take very few casualties made it to the Fort.
Arabs spent, all the pack animals made it and the final score was a marginal
victory for the French.