Northern Africa 1913: French invasion of the Tibesti

Political map of Northern Africa on 14 Mar 1913 (Scramble for Africa: French invasion of the Tibesti), showing the following events: Ottoman evacuation of Tibesti; Italian invasion of the Dodecanese; First Balkan War; Treaty of Ouchy; Spanish Morocco; French invasion of the Tibesti.

The Anglo–French Treaty of 1899 placed the Tibesti Mountains (in the central Sahara) within French borders. This claim was disputed by the Ottoman Empire, but when the Ottomans were defeated by Italy in Tripolitania in 1911–12, they were compelled to abandon the region. The French took the opportunity to invade the Tibesti the following year, where they now faced and defeated the Senussi, but were in turn forced to withdraw during the desert revolts of World War I. It would not be until 1929–30 that the French would finally pacify the region.

Main Events

Apr 1912–Mar 1913 Ottoman evacuation of Tibesti

In spring 1912, following the Italian invasion of Tripolitania, the Ottoman Empire evacuated its forces from Tibesti and Borku. While most headed north, the Ottoman lieutenant at Ain Galakka traveled to Ennedi and, reportedly under orders, declared a protectorate over the region; he remained there until late March 1913 when ninety French riflemen arrived and dislodged his wikipedia

27 Apr–19 May 1912 Italian invasion of the Dodecanese

In late April 1912 forces of the Kingdom of Italy began landing in the Dodecanese Islands, part of the Ottoman Empire. The main battle took place on Rhodes, where around 10,000 Italian troops landed on 4 May, forcing the surrender of the Ottoman garrison on 16 May and ending 390 years of Ottoman wikipedia

8 Oct 1912–30 May 1913 First Balkan War

In October 1912 the countries of the Balkan League—Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, and Montenegro—attacked the Ottoman Empire, overwhelming the numerically inferior Ottoman forces in Europe. In the ensuing months, the League captured almost all of the Empire’s European territories, including Macedonia and Adrianople (Edirne). The war ended with the Treaty of London, which recognized most of the League’s gains as well as agreeing to the creation of an independent wikipedia

18 Oct 1912 Treaty of Ouchy

The Kingdom of Italy signed the Treaty of Lausanne/Ouchy with the Ottoman Empire at Ouchy, in the south of Lausanne, Switzerland. The treaty ended the Italo-Turkish War, with the Ottomans agreeing to withdraw from Trablus and Benghazi vilayets (Libya) in return for the Italian withdrawal from Rhodes and the other Aegean islands it had occupied during the war. Italy failed to follow through on this last point and instead kept control of Rhodes, in part because of the outbreak of World War I two years wikipedia

27 Nov 1912 Spanish Morocco

In November 1912 the French and Spanish heads of state signed the Treaty Between France and Spain Regarding Morocco, establishing a Spanish protectorate over the regions of Morocco already recognized as being in Spain’s zone of influence. The northern part, based in Tetuan, became the Spanish protectorate of Morocco, while the southern part was attached to the Spanish Colony of Rio de Oro to form the Spanish Southern Zone. Tangier was placed under international administration, with its status left wikipedia

? Jan 1913–7 Aug 1916 French invasion of the Tibesti

In early 1913 forces from French Equatorial Africa advanced into Borkou and Ennedi, assaulting and capturing the Senussi defensive post at Ain Galaka in the Tibesti in November. In December they captured Gouro, the former Senussi headquarters, completing their expulsion of the Senussi from Borkou and Ennedi by February 1914. However, the French position remained tenuous and, when revolt broke out in the Sahara in 1916, they hastily evacuated the region, not to return until the late wikipedia