The Bey of Tunis' Army

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The Bey of Tunis' Army

Post  Sean on Sat 30 Apr 2011, 3:07 pm

I am not sure of organisation or strengths but here are some early 20th century postcards of the Bey's army.

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The uniforms follow the French zouave pattern, not unusual given France's influence in that part of North Africa.

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Re: The Bey of Tunis' Army

Post  Raja on Sat 11 Jun 2011, 8:07 pm

Very interesting photos Sean, would these photos show soldiers of the "Beylical Guard"?

As with Morocco the only "independent" Tunisian unit permitted by the French.

Any idea of the uniform colour? I wonder if this uniform was worn during WW2?

At independence in 1956 the Beylical Guard had a strength of about 850.


Ranjit.

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Re: The Bey of Tunis' Army

Post  buistR on Sun 12 Jun 2011, 6:53 pm

Hello Raja - yes Sean's photographs are of the Beylical Guard. While there were Tunisian spahi and tirailleur regiments during the period of the French protectorate (1881-1956), these were part of France's regular "Army of Africa" and not in any sense independent national units. The Tunisian National Army created in 1956 consisted initially of about 1,300 officers and men released from French service plus the 850 members of the Beylical Guard that you mention. About 4,000 Tunisians continued to serve with the French armed forces.

Re the uniforms of the Beylical Guard as shown in the photos:
- red/crimson chechia (fez) with black tassel
- bronze insignia on chechia
- dark blue zouave style jacket with red braiding
- ditto for waistcoat
- medium blue waist sash
- red trousers

In short an essentially zouave uniform except (i) a red star and crescent appeared on each side of the jacket above the tombeaus (false pockets) and (ii) the red trousers were of the pre-1914 French line infantry style. That is to say fairly baggy by modern standards but not the vast sarouel model favoured by the zouaves, tirailleurs and spahis. This uniform continued to be worn by the Beylical Guard as parade dress until 1956.





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Re: The Bey of Tunis' Army

Post  Raja on Tue 14 Jun 2011, 7:37 pm

Hello buistR,
thankyou for the uniform colours, Ranjit.

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Re: The Bey of Tunis' Army

Post  oblongz on Tue 18 Feb 2014, 9:21 pm

Hello,

apart from the coloured parade/ceremonial uniform , would the Beylical guard have worn khaki/khaki drill uniforms 1920s- WW2 ?


Ken.

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