.........In July of 1942, Leutnant von Leipzig
started the ambitious Unternehmen Dora
as a reconnaissance operation in what is today Niger and Chad to determine how the important Allied supply route between the Gulf of Guinea and Port Sudan on the Red Sea could be interrupted. One of Leipzig’s teams arrived in the Tassili n’Ajjer mountain region of southeastern Algeria, established a camp there, they terrified the (free) French , and then withdrew to Libya after a skirmish with the dumbfounded French who did not know how to deal with strange soldiers in French uniforms who spoke fluent French. ...................
Stabsgefreiter Besemer noted in his diary:
"When Feldwebel Stegmann decided to return to Marzuq (in Libya, ed.) we were dumbfounded. There we were, in the heart of Africa, surrounded by friendly tribespeople who urged us to stay on and help them fight the French. Since the days of Leo Frobenius no German had set foot here; we were looked upon as half gods (Halbgoetter, ed.).
We were perfectly well organized. We had a few British Bedford lorries, Norton motorcycles and other captured vehicles, our own arms and the guns taken from the French at Barzai. Petrol arrived in barrels on camel back from Faya Lardeau; food was abundant, and we still had quite a stock of pastis and red wine supplied by the French, plus their horrible cigarettes.
When Stegmann decided to withdraw rather than face the French, several of us protested. Why not hide in the mountains, burying our German uniforms and dressing in local costumes? Our outpost would be invaluable once Rommel had defeated Colonel Stirling and General Alexander and could send the three divisions necessary to occupy the western Sudan, as Stegmann had calculated.
From our base in the Tibesti we would be able to undertake reconnaissance missions to Khartoum, to Ndjamena and Moundou – thus exploring the central part of the Allied trade and supply route. Stegmann was not swayed by our arguments. But he decided that those who volunteered to stay should stay on and follow their own strategy until the Afrika-Korps would expand southbound and catch up with us. That is why eleven of us decided to remain here and establish our camp in the Tibesti."