Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Royal Moroccan Army During the War in the Western Sahara

  1. #1
    Member patton1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tel-Aviv
    Posts
    570

    Default Royal Moroccan Army During the War in the Western Sahara






  2. #2
    Banned user
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Blue Devil Nation
    Posts
    129

    Default

    Moroccan Soldiers captured by Polisario




    [LEFT]The Air War over Morocco [SIZE=1]
    [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=1]by Raul Colon[/SIZE][/LEFT]
    Maybe one of the lesser cover conflicts of the past fifty years, the Moroccan campaign of the mid to late 1970s, proved to be one of the most important events in the contemporary history of North Africa. It all started in 1974, when the Spain withdrew from the Spanish Sahara in Morocco. After the event, both, the Moroccan government and Mauretania agreed in principle, to the partition of the just-vacated territory. In 1975, the Moroccan military took official control of all the Western Sahara territory. Unfortunately, not all the players involved in the Sahara region agreed with the plan and the Moroccan execution of the terms.

    The main adversary to the treaty was the Algerian backed and based, Polisario (Popular Front for the liberation of Seguiet el-Hamra and Rio de Oro). Fighting over the disputed sector commenced in the spring of 1974. By 1976, the first elements of a major French armament augmentation effort began to arrive. A few months later, the French government approved the deployment of several combat air platforms. Initially, French operated Jaguars and Mirage F-1s were deployed from the former French base at Dakar. The units were sent there in an attempt to bolster the Moroccan Air Force’s (MAF) obsolete fleet of Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jets, F-5s and their own Mirage F-1s. The MAF main operational base was located at Kenitra where most of the MAF’s air-worthy inventory rested. Kenitra was also the main combat operation base for much of the action against the Polisario.
    The MAF’s F-5As and Es, supplemented by a squadron of obsolete Magisters, were the first aircraft involved in the fighting. The main objective of the MAF, and later on, the French; was to interdict and cut off the Polisario supply lines and set up camps that sometimes were out of the reach of the regular Army. Over a three years span, the MAF pounded the rebels without much opposition. The Polisario, although well organized, lacked any type of organized air defence weapons to implement a coherent defence strategy. But that changed in late 1977 when the Polisario began to receive advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems such as the Soviet-made SA-7 and in the late 1978, the SA-6.

    The introduction of SA-7s and 6s batteries changed the air dynamics over the Western Sahara area over night. Polisario’s ground forces were now able to shoot at incoming Moroccan and French fighter/bombers. Between the summer of 1978 and the spring of 1987, the MAF lost fourteen F-5As to SA-7 batteries. The French force flew mostly reconnaissance missions, although some interdiction operations were also carried out and suffered the “sting” of the newly arrived SAM batteries. In fact, an alarming number of Jaguars were shot down by SA-6s, Anti Aircraft Artillery and even small calibre fire such as heavy machine guns and rifle fire. In 1987 alone, two Moroccan F-5As were shot down and two others barely made it back to Kenitra. The same happened in 1987 when two F-5s and four Mirage F-1s were downed. French losses for those years amounted to six Jaguars downed or damaged beyond repair.

    [*******#000000][FONT=Trebuchet MS]In the early 1980s, in an effort to restore its former advantage, the MAF commenced a major overhaul of its air-worthy inventory. New models such as the new and improved version of the Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jet, the E model. Twenty four of these advanced trainers/light attack aircraft were purchased by the Moroccan government. In addition, in 1981, the United States made good on its 1978 promise of assistance by sending six refurbished Rockwell OV-10 Broncos, which had the distinction of still having its operational status almost thirty years after they were introduced to the theatre.

    [/FONT][/COLOR][*******#000000][FONT=Trebuchet MS]Even the new hardware could not stop the Polisario hit and run attacks and by the fall of 1989, both parties began negotiations towards ending the dispute. After two years of on and of talks, the parties, with the assistance of the United Nations, finally agreed to a cessation of hostilities. A new state of affairs was implemented over the region. Twenty eight years later, the uneasy truce achieved in 1991 still prevails.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    http://www.century-of-flight.net/Avi...ge/morocco.htm



    [SIZE=4]The War in West Sahara[/SIZE][SIZE=4]
    [*******#000000][FONT=footlight MT light]The rift between the King Hassan II and the FARM lasted not too long, however. Already one year later, the King took care the air force to be modernized and enlargened by more modern aircraft. As first no less but 19 Lockheed C-130H Hercules were acquired, needed in order to standardize the Moroccan transport fleet of miscelaneous aircraft. Two years later, no less but 40 Aérospatiale SA.330 Pumas, 12 AB.205Bs, eight AB.206As, and five AB.212s were bought, followed by seven additional F-5As from Iran. The most serious order of the time was issued in 1975 to Dassault for 25 Mirage F.1CH interceptors (this order included an option for 50 examples more), which started arriving from 1978. This order was foremost influenced by continuous confrontations with Algeria, but also because in 1974 the war in West Sahara broke out. [/FONT]

    [FONT=footlight MT light]Namely, in that year Spain declared ready to pull-out of its overseas Province of Spanish-Sahara, and it was planned that a referendum under the control of the UN would then decide about the future of the country, which was to be controlled by Morocco and Mauretania in the meantime. The developments took another course, however, as there were considerable foreign interests in Spanish-Sahara, known to be rich in phosphates and both – Moroccan and Mauretanian governments – decided not to wait for any referendums of the local population. By November 1975 negotiations between Madrid and Rabat resulted with the Spaniards – completely ignoring the representants of the locals, especially the People’s Front for Liberation of Saguiá el Hamra and Rio de Oroa (FPOLISARIO) – placing the country under Moroccan control.[/FONT]

    [FONT=footlight MT light]The Algeria-based FPOLISARIO – usually simplified to “POLISARIO” – had already an armed wing, the Armeé de Liberation Populare Sahraoui (ALPS), which was well armed with weapons of Soviet origin and numerous vechiles, and this was swift to start an insurgency against the Moroccans and Mauretanians. As neither country’s armed forces were trained in any kind of counter-insurgency warfare in the following months both were to suffer several blows in clashes with excellently-trained and highly mobile guerilla, which operated over hundreds of kilometers of empty desert. [/FONT]

    [FONT=footlight MT light]Even before the Spanish completed their pull-out, on 27 January 1976, also Moroccan and Algerian troops clashed near the Ambala Oasis and then problems rose in Mauretania. The Mauretanian Air Force had only six Briten-Norman BN-2A-21 Defenders, two of which were shot down early during the fighting against the Sahrouis. By 1976, the FARM was left with 15 F-5As, three F-5Bs, and two RF-5As, all of which were stationed in Kenitra, as well as the Fouga CM.170 Magisters and an increasing number of helicopters. Many of these were forward deployed to El Aouin airfield in West Sahara, so to shorten the ranges over which they need to operate. [/FONT]

    [FONT=footlight MT light]Meanwhile, by June 1976 the Mauritanian Army units in West Sahara suffered several defeats on the hand of the ALPS, which finally ended with the Sahrouis marching towards Nouakchott, Mauritanian capital. The French were supportive for Mauritanians and Moroccans and only waited the moment they could deploy their forces in the area as well. In May 1977 the ALPS attacked the City of Zouerate, and later in the same year also captured eight French citizens. Already in summer of the same year, Paris started deploying troops and few Jaguar As of the EC.3/11 to Dakar, in neighbouring Senegal and these were later reinforced by two C.160 Transalls of the ET.61, as well as a single Atlantique of the 24F. Mirage IVR of the French Air Force also started flying reconnaissance sorties over Western Sahara and Mauritanian, helping the French troops to consolidate the defenses of the country. [/FONT]

    [FONT=footlight MT light]On 15 December 1977 a column of ALPS attacked the train between Zouerate and Nouadhibou, and elsewhere also eight French citizens were captured, and Paris now found the reason for reaction: the Jaguars of the EC. 3/11 attacked an ALPS column with napalm- and phosphor-bombs, and destroyed 25 vehicles. In early January 1978 more Jaguar As of the EC.1/11 arrived in Dakkar, and the attacks against the guerilla were reinforced. The FARM also flew some strikes at the time, but on 18 February lost an F-5A, shot down over Aguerguer. The French aerial operations were not followed by corresponding operations of the Mauretanian army, and most of the rebels managed to get away. On the contrary: after another series of French air strikes, on 3 May 1978 a Jaguar A of the EC.3/11 was shot down by a SA-7 fired by the Sahrouis. Meanwhile, the Mauretanian losses in men and material were so severe, that unrests spread within the country, which lead to the ousting of Presiden Ould Daddah, in July 1978. Subsequently the Mauretanians pulled out of West Sahara, and the POLISARIO was swift to take over all their bases in the south of the country. [/FONT]

    [/COLOR][/SIZE][*******#000000]
    [/COLOR][SIZE=4][*******#000000][FONT=footlight MT light]The situation now became so serious for the Moroccans, that they requested an immediate delivery of their Mirages ordered from France. The Dassault could not follow any such request, so instead it was agreed the French to supply some of their own Mirage F.1Cs to FARM if this would be needed, while a group of Moroccan pilots was sent to Orange AB, in France, where they were re-trained on Mirages, so the F.1CHs built for Morocco to become operational immediately after their delivery, in February 1978. In addition, 14 more Mirages – all belonging to the doppler- and in-flight-refueling probe equipped F.1EH version – were ordered, to be delivered between December 1979 and June 1982[/FONT][/COLOR][*******#00FF00][FONT=footlight MT light]. [/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=4]
    [/SIZE]
    http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_352.shtml
    Last edited by BJH; 03-08-2013 at 10:25 AM.

  3. #3
    Member patton1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tel-Aviv
    Posts
    570

    Default

    Moroccan T54






    M151




    Puma Helicopter


    EBR 175


    OT-64






    T54






    EBR175


    Puma helicopter


    T54


    AB205





    Unimog




    AB205










    munitions captured after battle of Amgala


    SA7 captured after the Batlle of Amgala








    M101 ?






    AML20


    D44 85mm




    Puma




    M109 A1B




    The moroccan Wall
























    AB205 with rocket pods






    AML90






    Puma








    M109A1B












    RASIT Radar








    M113A1 Tow






    M167




    M113A1


    C130H


    M109A1B


    Mirage F1 ( 80's )




    AMX F3


    The Wall






    Mirage F1












    Sk105




    VAB VTT


    VAB VCI


    VAB VTT



  4. #4

  5. #5
    Banned user
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Blue Devil Nation
    Posts
    129

    Default




    Uploaded with ImageShack.us



    Wreckage of a FARM Mirage F.1: during the war against the ALPS the Moroccans lost at least seven Mirage F.1CH and F.1EH, while six others were lost in different mishaps. (via Jesus Perez)










    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Between June 1981 and January 1983 Morocco received a total of 16 F-5Es and four F-5Fs.The F-5Es were serialled 79-1920 thru 79-1925, and 79-1932 thru 79-1941, and the (7)91291 was the second example delivered to Morocco. It is seen here during transit in France.... (via Tom Cooper)







    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    ...and here what was left of it after the "91921" was shot down over Western Sahara, in 1985. (via Jesus Perez)

  6. #6

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Member patton1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tel-Aviv
    Posts
    570

    Default





Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •