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Volume :2 Issue : 5 1976      Add To Cart                                                                    Download


Auther : Sultan Naji

         This study discusses in details the various forms of the army in Yemen during the reign of Iman Yehya, and deals with the way these armies were created the circumstances which surrounding their creation, the various kinds of weapons they used and the tasks of each one of them.  The writer refers most of the information to a unique document which he came upon, and which deals with this subject.
         After the withdrawal of Ottoman Turkish forces from Yemen, Imam Yahya exploited the experience of the Turkish officers and soldiers who remained, and created the first formal army in Yemen, which came to be known later on as the Triumphant Army. To fulfill this aim, the Imam obliged every tribe to send a certain number of its members to join this army.  The size of the Triumphant Army in 1938 was estimated at twenty five thousand men, the main task of this army, as the document said, was to quench the rebellion of the tribesmen in the various districts of Yemen.
         The Imam, however, felt that the formal army was unable to face the foreign intervention, which threatened the country during the first half of the 30’s.  Moreover, the formal army had fulfilled its tasks of quenching the rebellion of the tribes.  Therefore, the Imam created a new army which was called the Defensive Army, or the Militia of Imam, and which consisted of all those citizens capable of holding arms.  Large number of this army, however, dead during a military campaign sent by Imam Yahya to Tu’az as a first step towards invading some protectorates of the beginning of world war II.
         Being afraid of a rebellion on the part of the formal army, Imam Yahya intended to keep it weak and inactive. To achieve this aim he depended largely on a third army called “Al-Jaish Al-Barram”, which he intended to make as a rival to the formal army.  Al-Jeish Al-Barrm from the viewpoint of Imam Yahya had the paucity because it was the traditional Yemeni army, which supported the successive Imams in Yemen.  This army consisted of those tribesmen who were unwilling to serve as the formal army because of their disgust with regard to laws, orders and exercises.
         The writer also discusses the structure and laws of each type of these armies, and then deals with the improvements of each these aspects underwent as a result of training Yemeni officers by Iraqi experts.  Those officers became later on the nucleus of the more modernized army in Yemen.
         The weapons these three armies used included various kinds of rifles, guns and machine guns, which came from four major sources:

1.      The remains of the Turkish Army.

2.      Austrian Jewish firms via their Zionist resident agents in Yemen.

3.      Germany, via a Syria agent.

4.      Italy, which sent to Imam Yahya a large amount of arms at the renewal of Italian-Yemeni friendship agreement in 1936.

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Dec 26, 2021

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