In the 1920s
and 1930s Andre Citroen put his marketing expertise to
use by sponsoring two expeditions meant to show off the
marriage of his body design with Kegresse's
track system, as well as to demonstrate the ability of a
half-track to cross extremely inhospitable land.
The first expedition
(1922-1923) involved 12 people
crossing the Sahara Desert from Toggourt, Algeria, to
Timbuktu, Mali. It was the first exploration of
that desert by motorcar.
The second, also known as La Croisiere Noire, traversed Africa from north to south,
beginning on October 28th, 1924, and ending on June 26th,
The third, and most famous expedition, known both
as the Citroen-Haardt Expedition and La Croisiere Jaune,
commenced on April 4th, 1931 in Beirut, Lebanon, and
followed Marco Polo's Silk Road route to Beijing, while
seven other half-tracks left the Yellow Sea City of Tianjin to
meet them part-way. The expedition was covered by publications
such as National Geographic. The half-tracks survived
Russian bureaucracy, arrest, bandits, rebels, severe
weather, and the death of Georges-Marie Haardt, who
succumbed to pneumonia at the end of the journey, but
finally arrived in Beijing on December 2, 1932.