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The Rif War Volume 2: From Xauen to the Alhucemas Landing, and Beyond, 1922-1927

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The Rif War in rugged northern Morocco is remembered for romantic novels and films about the French Foreign Legion, such as Beau Geste. In reality, the French intervention of 1925-1926, although very important, was late and secondary in importance to that of the Spanish. Spain had been fighting in Africa since 1909 and had suffered disasters such as Barranco del Lobo and victories such as the cavalry charge at Taxdirt. Madrid had to face enemies such as El Mizzián, El Jeriro, and the famous El Raisuni, made famous by the film The Wind and the Lion. Later, Abd-el Krim's revolt caused 8,000 Spanish deaths at Annual in 1921, and then loomed over French Morocco, leading to another 5,700 casualties. This war was not only a campaign of attacks by Rif guerrillas upon isolated forts and columns, but degenerated into trench warfare in some sectors and saw the use of tanks, artillery, gas, aviation, and an amphibious operation that would go on to be closely studied by the Allies in the Second World War. All of this forced an effective collaboration between generals Philippe Petain and Miguel Primo de Rivera who, as allies, finally crushed the rebellion after gathering some 250,000 soldiers and 300 aircraft against some 30,000 to 40,000 Rifians.

This series of books addresses the organization of the Spanish and Rifian armies, and of the air forces and their operations, including those of an incipient and frustrated Rifian aviation. Also, in the case of Spain, the Rif War saw the birth of its air forces in combat. The war also saw the Spanish Army completely reformed, reaching new levels of effectiveness with the founding of the Spanish Legion and the recruitment of Moroccan soldiers of the Regulares. These troops, together with a plethora of commanders who made their combat debuts here, such as Franco, Mola, Queipo de Llano, Varela, Yagüe and Kindelán amongst others, would later fight in the Spanish Civil War. These commanders would be called the "Africanistas" (Africanists) and would constitute the hard core of the military that rose up against the government in 1936.

Volume 2 of The Rif War covers the Spanish reconquest of the positions lost after the Disaster of Annual in the Melilla Sector, the near disaster of Xauen in the Western zone of the African Protectorate, the Rifian attack in French Morocco, the Landing at Alhucemas and the Spanish-French offensive, with the capture of Abd El-Krim and the destruction of his forces, and the final campaigns in the Gomara region to pacify the Protectorate.

ISBN-13: 9781804512043

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Helion & Company

Publication Date: 05-31-2023

Pages: 88

Series: Africa@War