Rif War (1920)

Rif War (1920)

conflict=Rif War, Interwar Period

caption=The Spanish troops landing at Al Hoceima Bay on September 8, 1925
date=1920 - 1926
place=Spanish Morocco
result= French-Spanish victory.
Dissolution of the Republic of the Rif
territory under combined French and Spanish forces=
commander1=Manuel Silvestre
Dámaso Berenguer
José Millán Astray
Miguel Primo de Rivera
Philippe Pétain
Hubert Lyautey
commander2=Abd el-Krim
strength1=465,000 soldiersFact|date=October 2008
strength2=15,000 irregulars
casualties1=31,000 dead or wounded
casualties2=50,400 dead or wounded

The Rif War of 1920, also called the Second Moroccan War, was fought between Spain (later assisted by France) and the Moroccan Rif and J'bala tribes.

As an outcome of the Treaty of Fez (1912) Spain gained possession of the lands around Melilla and Ceuta. In 1920 the Spanish commissioner, General Dámaso Berenguer, decided to conquer the eastern territory from the Jibala tribes. This, however, did not succeed, and in 1921 Spanish troops suffered a momentous defeat — known in Spain as the Battle of Annual — by the forces of Abd el-Krim, the leader of the Rif tribes. The Spanish were pushed back and during the following five years, occasional battles were fought between the two. In a bid to break the stalemate, the Spanish military turned to the use of chemical weapons against the Riffians.

In 1925, events took a new turn as the French joined the war on the side of Spain, and began showing a distinct advantage over their Rif opponents and their Spanish allies.Fact|date=August 2008

The Spanish army had adopted much from the French Foreign Legion and, as a result, a Spanish equivalent, the Tercio de Extranjeros ("Regiment of Foreigners", generally known in English as the "Spanish Legion"), was formed in 1920. The regiment's second commander was General Francisco Franco. Less than 25% of this "Foreign Legion" were, in fact, foreign. They were harshly disciplined and acquired a reputation for ruthless behaviour.

Superior manpower soon resolved the course of the war in favour of France and Spain. The French troops pushed through from the south while the Spanish fleet secured Alhucemas Bay by an amphibious landing, and began attacking from the north. After one year of bitter resistance, Abd el-Krim, the leader of both the tribes, surrendered to French authorities, and in 1926 Spanish Morocco was finally retaken.


*Steven Thomas, [http://www.balagan.org.uk/war/iberia/1909/index.htm 1911 - 1927 Rif War / Second Moroccan War]
* [http://www.onwar.com/aced/data/romeo/rif1919.htm The Rif War 1893] ("sic") on OnWar.com.
* [http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/legal/cw/cwindex.html Chemical Weapons: Tenth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the CWC 7-11 November 2005, The Hague, The Netherlands]

External links

* [http://www.historynet.com/historical_conflicts/3036686.html Rif war]

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