Death in the Sahara

The Lords of the Desert and the Timbuktu Railway Expedition Massacre
Product Number: EB00743248
Released: Nov 19, 2018
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781510720169
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Please log in to view pricing


The desert explorer and author of Khartoum recounts the disastrous nineteenth century French expedition to establish a Trans-Saharan Railway. In 1880, the French government ordered a surveying expedition for a railway that would transport the fabulous wealth of Timbuktu to Paris-and spread French culture and morality among the Sahara Desert's nomadic tribes. Expecting to find riches for his country and immortal glory for himself, French Army veteran Paul Flatters led a crew of a hundred men into a horrifyingly deadly fiasco. Under-armed in hostile territory, and foolishly employing the enemy as guides, the expedition was ambushed and stranded without camels or supplies in the deserts of southern Algeria. Many were killed outright, and for four months the survivors were menaced by the Tuareg, the "lords of the desert," robbed, starved, and tricked into eating poisoned fruit. To escape, the men hid in the wastelands of the Sahara with little hope of finding food or water. They were finally forced to eat their own dead, or, worse, the merely weak. Only a dozen malnourished men lived to tell their tale of their harrowing, one-thousand-mile journey. With a "superb grip of narrative and uncanny ability to evoke battle scenes," historian and desert explorer Michael Asher has written an amazing true story that is as dramatic as it is frightening (The Guardian).

Author(s): Michael Asher, Dean King
Genre: History
Original Publish Date: May 17, 2008

Sign up for our email newsletter