Oath of Kufra

Oath of Kufra

First battle won by French troops since the call of June 18, 1940, the taking of of the Kufra oasis to the Italians has a strong symbolic repercussion.

Appointed Troop Commander of Chad in November 1940, Colonel Leclerc, intrepid, decides to prepare the Kufra attack, right in Libyan desert, 2000 km away.


W15 T Laffly truck from 1937 kept at the Berliet Foundation

He gathers the available vehicles in Fort Lamy: About 120 motorized vehicles including a hundred trucks (4x2 Citroën, Chevrolet, Laffly), about fifteen planes, a 75mm gun, a 81 mm mortar, four machine guns and 26 automatic rifles. Only half of the vehicles reach Faya-Largeau 1000 km north of Fort Lamy. The ingenious strategy of Leclerc allows him to besiege the fort of Kufra with 400 men equipped with this heteroclite equipment poorly suited for the desert. After 10 days of siege, the Italians surrender on March 1st. The next day, the French flag is hoisted on the fortress while Leclerc makes, with his men, the oath to continue the fight until the French flag floats again on Metz and Strasbourg. This promise is held on the 23rd of November, 1944, when Spahi Lebrun, of the 1st Moroccan Spahi walking Regiment, sends the French colours at the top of the Strasbourg cathedral, realizing by that "the oath of Kufra".

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION :

Book : Raymond Dronne, Leclerc et le serment de Koufra, J’ai lu, 1970.

Video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=74&v=1F9YjilCnqM