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Royal Moroccan Army: Wikis

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The Royal Moroccan Army forms is a branch of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces.

Contents

Origins

During the period of the French Protectorate (1912 - 1956) large numbers of Moroccans were recruited for service in the Spahi and Tirailleur regiments of the French Army of Africa. During World War II more than 300,000 Moroccan troops (including goumier auxiliaries) served with the Free French forces in North Africa, Italy and France itself. During the First Indochina War large numbers of Moroccans formed part of the French Expeditionary Force from 1946 to 1954. The French preference throughout their period of dominance was to recruit amongst the rural Berber population.

The Spanish Army also made extensive use of Moroccan troops recruited in the Spanish Protectorate, during both the Rif War of 1921-26 and the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. Moroccan Regulares, together with the Spanish Legion, made up Spain's elite African field army. A para-military gendarmerie, known as the "Mehal-la Jalifianas" and modelled on the French goumieres, was employed within the Spanish Zone.

With the end of the Protectorate in 1956, fourteen thousand Moroccan personnel from the French Army and ten thousand from the Spanish Armed Forces transferred into the new FAR. This number was augmented by approximately 5,000 former guerillas from the "Army of Liberation" (see below). About 2,000 French officers and NCOs remained in Morocco on short term contracts, until crash training programmes at the military academies of St-Cyr, Toledo and Dar al Bayda produced sufficient numbers of Moroccan commissioned officers.

Army of Liberation

The Army of Liberation (French: Armée de Libération, Arabic: جيش التحرير‎) was a force fighting for the independence of Morocco. In 1956, units of the Army began infiltrating Ifni and other enclaves of Spanish Morocco, as well as Spanish Sahara (today Western Sahara), to claim them as part of Morocco. Initially, they received important backing from the Moroccan government. In the Spanish Sahara, the Army rallied Sahrawi tribes along the way, and triggered a large-scale rebellion. In early 1958, the Moroccan king reorganized the Army of Liberation units fighting in the Spanish Sahara as the "Saharan Liberation Army".

The revolt in the Spanish Sahara was put down in 1958 by a joint French and Spanish offensive. The king of Morocco then signed an agreement with the Spanish, as he asserted control over the rebellious southern border areas, and parts of the Army of Liberation was absorbed into the Moroccan armed forces.

Nationalistic Moroccans tend to see the Army of Liberation battles in Western Sahara as a proof of Western Sahara's loyalty to the Moroccan crown, whereas sympathizers to the Polisario Front) view it only as an anti-colonial war directed against Spanish. Sahrawi veterans of the Army of Liberation today exist on both sides of the Western Sahara conflict, and both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic celebrate it as part of their political history. Parents of the founder members of Polisario have all been members of the Army of Liberation, most notably the Father of Mohammed Abdelaziz the president of Polisario and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, who is living in Morocco and is a member of CORCAS.

Forces today

The Royal Moroccan Army performs annual training exercise called "African Lion" with the United States Marine Corps. The exercise is a regularly-scheduled, combined U.S. - Moroccan military exercise designed to promote improved interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's tactics, techniques, procedures, unit readiness and enhancing foreign relations.[1] The Royal Gibraltar Regiment ran an exercise with the Moroccan 2e Brigade d'Infantere Parachutiste (2e BIP) in late 2008.[2]

The T-72BVs are in service with a brigade which is called the 'Russian brigade' with which the material Russian is in use (AT-11 amongst others). The brigade is stationed in part near the Algerian frontier, and may be designated the '6eme BRB'.[3]

Equipment in 2007

Source is the INSS Israel's Middle East Military Balance.[4]

  • Total: 871
  • Total: 9427
  • Total: 2605
  • Total: 424
  • Total: 338

References

  1. ^ http://www.marines.mil/searchcenter/Pages/results.aspx?k=morocco&s=Photos
  2. ^ 'African Adventure,' Air International, January 2009, p.58
  3. ^ http://www.air-defense.net/Forum_AD/index.php?topic=8464.105, accessed 28 October 2007 (UTC)
  4. ^Morocco” (Middle East Military Balance - INSS Israel).
  • John Keegan "World Armies" ISBN 0-333-17236-1
  • R. Hure "L'Armee d' Afrique 1830-1962"

Further reading

  • Anthony Cordesman, 'A Tragedy of Arms'
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