Muscat & Oman during the Second World War uniform information

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Muscat & Oman during the Second World War uniform information

Post  Billy Paul on Mon 16 Mar 2009, 1:45 pm

Yesterday I was wondering what uniforms of the military of Muscat & Oman (present-day Oman) looked like during WWII. From what I gathered Muscat & Oman had a protection agreement with the U.K. but still had its own royal guard (from Gwadar in Baluchistan) and tribal levies. During the Second World War the sultan made agreements with the British to help improve his country's defence and the British had some of their Indian Army cadres begin a training programme for what they called the Muscat Infantry. Reading further I found out what the Muscat Infantry's uniforms looked like: "(6) Equipment & Clothing.
Equipment is in good condition. Due to the delays in receiving supplies from India the clothing situation became so critical that it was difficult to find sufficient uniform to dress the ordinary guards."
http://books.google.com/books?id=Hu2TNFl-LqgC&pg=PA264&lpg=PA264&dq=Bait+Al+Falaj+Fort&source=bl&ots=i3IwXCezY0&sig=uc06dCm89v-TBeAchJrUcLaNejo&hl=en&ei=L4W8SaP9B4mytwfelfj4Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result#PPA12,M1

So supply problems notwithstanding it would appear that the British Indian-trained Muscat Infantry were kitted out from British Indian Army uniform stocks. Tribal levies on the other hand if I had to guess I would think might look not much different from this photo of Omani levies in 1957, wearing a djellebah (sp.?) and turban:
http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?contractUrl=2&language=en-US&family=editorial&p=oman%20soldiers&assetType=image&src=quick#3
(look on the second-to-last photo at the bottom of the page)


After all, if they looked like that more than a decade after the war then I would think it more likely than not that they would look similar or the same in 1939-'45.

Billy Paul

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Re: Muscat & Oman during the Second World War uniform information

Post  Sean on Sun 19 Apr 2009, 4:57 am

I have wondered the same thing, about the various military units of the area.
Certainly where the British were intimately involved, their uniforms took precedence (namely the Aden levies) but they also equipped other forces including the Bahrain Local Forces, Omani troops (Trucial Omani Levies), Muscat Infantry and others. British dress was used, and the Indian connection cannot be underestimated. Interestingly many Mid East troops were recruited in British India as more reliable than the locals, even into the 1960s.
I have a few illustrations that will have to wait a British Middle East CD I'm afraid

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Re: Muscat & Oman during the Second World War uniform information

Post  Billy Paul on Mon 27 Apr 2009, 5:07 pm

"Certainly where the British were intimately involved, their uniforms took precedence (namely the Aden levies) but they also equipped other forces including the Bahrain Local Forces, Omani troops (Trucial Omani Levies), Muscat Infantry and others. British dress was used, and the Indian connection cannot be underestimated."

Great! Thanks for the information Sean, I didn't even know that there were separate Trucial Omani Levies and Bahrain local forces in those protectorates. I find out something new every time I come here.

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Oman

Post  wfrad on Mon 27 Apr 2009, 10:38 pm

This may be a totally useless reply but!
During the late sixties and early seventies the Soldier Magazine ran several stories on that area.
Finding said mags and stories is another problem altogether but there may just be someone out there who may be able to help,
Regards
WF

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Re: Muscat & Oman during the Second World War uniform information

Post  Billy Paul on Thu 30 Apr 2009, 4:18 pm

Thanks, and there are no useless replies to me at least. I'll see if I can find something online about this magasine.

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