Moroccan Goumiers 1943

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Moroccan Goumiers 1943

Post  buistR on Sun 25 Jul 2010, 2:52 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]Attached is a photograph of a trio of Moroccan Goumiers (auxiliaries) employed by the French as a form of tribal police from 1908 to 1943 and thereafter in Italy and France itself against the Germans. They also saw service in Indochina and Algeria until Morocco gained its independence in 1956. Nominally they came under the control of the Sultan of Morocco but in practice the French administration used them as and when it chose during the Rif War of 1924-25 and the earlier "pacification" of 1908-13.

The most distinctive feature of their fairly informal uniform was the brown and grey striped djellaba or hooded coat shown. Unlike the regular Moroccan spahis and tirailleurs of the Armee d'Afrique, the Goumiers (200 goumiers = one goum or company) had only limited numbers of French officers and NCOs. In Italy during 1943-44 they acquired a bad reputation for outrages against the civilian population but proved highly effective at mountain and night fighting. The goumier at right with a knife in his mouth is an NCO, distinguished by the tab looped across his chest. The goumier at left has the long "sword-bayonet" carried by the French infantry on their Lebel rifles until 1916.

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Djellaba in color

Post  mconrad on Thu 11 Apr 2013, 9:24 am

From the Musee des Invalides collection.
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