Saudi-Yemen war in 1934

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Billy
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Saudi-Yemen war in 1934

Post by Billy » 18 Sep 2006 03:44

Hello everyone, does anybody have information, pictures, orders of battle etc. on the border war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen in 1934? Or for that matter on skirmishes between Yemeni and British forces at the border with British Aden? All i could find out there was a very, very brief description of it and the text of the Treaty of Taif that ended it. This war is a subject that one almost never hears about so any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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freefrench
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Post by freefrench » 27 Oct 2006 07:34

Well from a book I've read on King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, this was a really brief war between the Mutawakilite King of Yemen (Yahya I think) and Ibn Saud, who after conquering the Hedjaz and Asir also had intentions for North Yemen. Of course, the North Yemeni army was nothing compared to the big Saudi Ikwan army.

See this map for more on the period: http://www.terra.es/personal7/jqvaraderey/190523ar.gif

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Post by Animal » 30 Jul 2007 06:39

I'd like to find out more about this conflict too, as well as information about the forces involved. Of course I believe that the weapons used on both sides would've been WWI surplus of British, German, and Turkish origin. And considering that the Saudis had adopted the Mauser rifle, they would've possibly bought other weapons, vehicles, and equipment from Belgium and/or Czechoslovakia.

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Post by Animal » 06 Aug 2007 06:42

According to this site, the Saudis had acquired some Vickers Mk. II Light Tanks in 1933 and also had some Vickers Carden Loyd Mk. VIb tanks.

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Post by Animal » 22 Aug 2007 03:20

Here's some more info on the Yemeni Army;
A Backwater of World War I

Using tribal levies, the Ottoman Turks created four battalions of gendarme and three cavalry regiments. In 1906, the Italians recruited thousands of Yemeni and gave them military training in their colony of Somalia before sending them to Libya to fight the Sanussi insurgency of 1911. It would be a combination of these forces that held stronger ties to tribe that would rebel against Ottoman rule in Yemen in World War I. Aware of the gains made by the Hashemites to the North and their Arab Revolt, Yemeni tribes began their own attacks on Ottoman forces. Although not as famous as the revolts involving T.E. Lawrence, the Yemeni revolt led to the withdrawal of Turkish units by 1918 and the establishment of an Imamate under the Imam Yahya.

Yahya kept a cadre of 300 Ottoman officers and soldiers to train the Imamate Army. They divided the Yemeni forces into several formations:

* The Al-Muzaffar Army--This was the tribal levy begun by the Ottomans and diverted to Imam Yahya in 1919. A fascinating element is that each tribe included a retainer who reported on the behavior, awards, and misdeeds of members of his tribe. If a member of the tribal levy stole, or left without permission, the retainer and tribal chief compensated the Imam for the loss.

* The Defensive Army--Created in 1936, it was a draft of all able-bodied men capable of bearing arms. The difference was that each person was given six months training and the draft included urban Yemenis. They received periodic training for 10 years. This was a primitive form of reserve army that trained 15,000 per year.

* The Outback Army--This was an exclusive fighting force in which Zeidi tribesmen, of the same religious sect as the Imam, brought their own rifle and provisions. This irregular infantry and cavalry force served for one to two years and then another soldier was provided by the Zeidis. They numbered 50,000 at any given time.

* Special Imamate Guard--Specially selected for their absolute loyalty to the monarch, they were called the "Ukfa" and numbered about 5,000.

Military Training Missions

Yemeni officers who undertook failed coup d' etats in 1947 and 1955, before the successful 1962 coup, all received advanced military training in Iraq, Syria and Egypt. These officers were in awe of the great cities of Cairo, Damascus and Baghdad. They lamented the backwardness of their own nation and received heavy doses of Arab nationalism, ideas on how civil-society functioned, and much more. Some listened to the methods by which Nasser and his free officers overthrew the monarchy of King Farouk, and dreamt of doing the same in Yemen.

Italy provided six tanks, 2,000 rifles, four anti-air guns and communications gear in 1926. Iraq provided rifles and communications equipment. Four officers and noncommissioned officers along with four cannons, six heavy machine guns, 12 light machine guns and 20 rifles came from Egypt in 1954. Throughout 1956 and 1957, Soviet freighters brought the largest infusion of modern weapons into Yemen. It included tanks, artillery, planes, armored cars, submachine guns, and small arms, many of which were left boxed in crates.

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Post by Animal » 22 Aug 2007 05:02

More info on the Saudis;
Armed Forces: At the time of the Second World War, the armed forces of Saudi Arabia had changed little since the time of the First World War. The majority of troops were camel-raiding bedouin tribal levies, called-on in time of war or serious emergency. These troops were very experienced at desert warfare and survival, but their equipment was immensely outdated while their loyalty was also at times questionable. These desert warriors were employed frequently in the Saudi wars of aggression of the 1920's (against Hejaz and Asir) and 1930's (against North Yemen), but they were being increasingly more replaced by western-armed regular troops. In the 1940's, the total number of levies ready to go to war at the king's call was ~ 15 000. At the same time, the regulars numbered only a few thousand personnel and performed mostly policing and other security functions. These regular troops were much better armed than the levies and were garrisoned all over the country at forts and major cities and towns. The air force was in the embryonic phase of development. Since 1943 Saudi Arabia began receiving financial credits for the expansion and modernization of its arsenal, as part of the Lend - Lease military - economic assistance package granted by the U.S. government. The armed forces of Saudi Arabia did not participated in WWII.

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Billy
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Post by Billy » 19 Oct 2007 04:50

Thanks Freefrench and Animal. I wonder if they looked sort of like the Transjordanian Arab Legion uniforms of the time period.

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Post by Animal » 23 Oct 2007 06:30

I guess we'll have to see if Sean RR has any info on those.

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Post by Animal » 23 Oct 2007 19:16

Animal wrote:I guess we'll have to see if Sean RR has any info on those.
Well here's a Saudi uniform anyway;

Image

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