Talk:Rif War

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Scoring the war?[edit]

"Spain suffered a 2-1 loss in favor of the Rif for most of the war, but the French achieved a 5-1 loss in favor of France." This language is more appropriate to sports than war. Are we talking about a ratio of deaths? - Jmabel | Talk 17:41, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

While there's no denying the marked superiority of the French army over the Spanish at that time (and, indeed, over almost every army in the world!) this comparison is rather questionable on many grounds. To my knowledge, the French entered the war only in 1925, when the Rif, battered and blasted by every weapon and tactic known to military and criminal minds (from tanks to scorched earth campaigns to aerial mustard gas attacks), were on their last leg. The Spanish army may have committed some of the worst mistakes and follies in its history during this war, but that's no basis for comparing losses incurred during a conventional military campaign lasting only a few months to those suffered over four years of bloody guerilla war.
In brief: unless it's put in context (which doesn't seem likely), "scoring the war," as you say, is bizarre and misleading. Albrecht 18:15, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
On this basis, I will simply remove this unless there is something better written and decently cited. - Jmabel | Talk 03:13, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I added it in because, despite the amazing fog of war, they were the most consistent I could dig up. Granted, the 2-1 margin for most of the war was largly against the colonial and conscripts used by Spain, who were largly, to quote a Portugese observer "given a rifle, some clips for it, a lecture on why Spain would not abandon its glorious future in Africa to "godless heathrens" (aproxamate translation, some varations do occur) and sent out to die. And die they inevitably did." The so-called "Foreign Legion" was better trained and equipped than their rank-and-file conterparts, but don't let its size on a map fool you; The Spanish Moroccan Protectorate was a very big desert, and the Legionarres could not be everywhere at once. The French easily gave their men better training, better equipment, and they had a firmer grasp of what was where (much of which was thanks to intelligence done in WWI in case Spain sided with the Centrals or discreetly aided the nationalist movements in the French area.)

Also, the margin did bring up some confusion, and to clarify this, it turns out that the source I talked to reffered the margin as a "constant" margin, not a "periodic" margin, which is more commonly known. The difference is the latter keeps track of data from time x to time y. For instance, an example would be that in Operation Bagraton in WWII, (for example purposes we will use the Soviet estimates) The Soviet forces scored roughly 4.5-1 kill/capture record against the German/Hungarian/Romanian forces in favor of the Soviets. However, that is the example of the periodic, once past a certain point of time, it stops, and does not measure the conflict as a whole, regardless of scale. A Constant, or organic, margin, would keep tract of the Entire Eastern Front From the first shots of Barbarossa to the mopping up while an anonymous Soviet soldier hoisted the Hammer and Sickle over the Reichstag. The measure, you would find, would be QUITE different.

Hence this, the 2-1 margin was weighed down by things that had happened far earlier, like the for-all-intents-and-purposes massacure at Annual. Towards the end of the war the Spaniards finally overturned the burdens and got around 3-1 as the final shots were fired.

The French, on the other hand, fought for only the final 1/6th of the war, and their better training and equipment allowed them to pretty much cut through the Rif on the large scale, dispite what problems units in isolated situations may have faced.

While I agree with you on all the essentials, I doubt the French campaign was at first the picnic you make it out to be. Considering that the French government, fuming over the string of defeats Krim handed them, went as far as to sack Marshal Lyautey, I'd imagine the problems were rather more than "units in isolated situations." The really impressive campaigning, incidentally, happened after Franco all but decapitated the Rif Republic at Alhucemas. Albrecht 04:22, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Lastly, the kills on the page seems kind of screwy, as there seems to be some confusion. For instance, the Spanish largly got their ***s handed to them despite their best efforts, in the early stages of the war, and thus Spanish officers were under high pressure to come up with positive reports, and many often only counted "regulars" and "forgot to mention" conscripts and colonial troops in the loss reports, while may have obscured Rif casualties. Natuarally, this is nothing terribly new, every army in every period of time has some, but you have to understand the situation they were in.

Like Ike said before D-Day, the "Eyes of the World" were fixated upon Spanish Morocco. Spanish commanders had been bamboozled, tricked, beaten, embaressed, routed, and outgeneraled by what must have seemed to the rest of the world as a backward backwoods tribesman (of course, THAT would be doing dishonor to Abd el-Krim's leadership, but the rest of the world only saw a colonial ex-great power that had conquered the Aztecs and Incas being schooled by a rebellious native who was outnumbered, out trained, and out teched) and they had been nearly driven from the protectorate, and there was strong urges to pull out. This was greeted by worriness in the West and Eagerness in the Facist and Communust movements in Europe, as a defeat would disenhearten the Spanish people, and disenhearted people are rebellious people who could be "influenced" to putting a "Fuher" or a "Comerade Chairperson" in power in Madrid, and the Fascist Portugese regime even considered retaking Galicia and part of Castile and Leon and the Asturas, which was where Portugese nationalists first gained independance by defeating the forces of the Kingdom of Castile, and the ultranationalists that were so commonly found in the Ditadura Nacional were all to eager for a chance to reconquer the "cradle or Portugal." So the Spanish officers were under exceptional pressure to come up with good news of various legitimacy.

Another point further obscuring the numbers is that not everyone who fought WITH the Rif fought FOR the Rif. Morocco was rife with Nationalist movements, and the Rif were merely the largest and most succesful of them, so several groups that did not recognize the legitimacy of the fledging quasi-independant Rif Republic fought with it anyway because it had the best prospects for driving the hated Spanish into the Sea, and with S[ain gone and North Morocco Secure, the French would be next. Thus, the smaller gorups often swallowed their pride and fought alongside the Rif, thought they would have done a 180 and stabbed them in the back as soon as it was convenient. These, alongside the usual "fog of war" make casualties hard to measure. If you don;t want it up there, fine by me, just thought it would be helpful. ELV

I don't know what is going here on, because my English is too bad to understand this discussion. But i think i understood something. Soring the rif war should be informative when telling the full story. But summarized numbers like 2-7 are not informative. One other thing that should be taken into consideration. The Rif was not fully colonized by Spain there was a part colonized by France. The part colonized by France was not strong like as the part colonized by Spain who had to fight the Ait Waryaghel: the biggest Riffian tribe.
The Rif-spain wars where on Riffian grounds, while the Riffians had to move out of Rif to fight with the frensh armies.Read3r 13:31, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Most of the casualties suffered by the Spanish were in the early stages when skilled fast moving Rif units tore apart badly organised and isolated conscript units in a few major surprise attacks, that is why there is such a disparity in the numbers. Krim was disingenous about his failure to attack Melilla - it was heavily fortified and defended and supplied from the sea. The tactics that worked in the interior would have been useless against a heavily fortified city; he was not equipped for such siege warfare and had no means to stop the resupply of Melilla from the sea.

Dubious sources[edit]

The first of the two cited sources is pretty weak in credentials (even if I think it is probably essentially accurate). It is the personal web site of a software developer; he starts out by saying, "haven't really got into this yet, but I've found some stuff and had some thoughts"; he gives no specific citations for any of the material, and his annotated bibliography is not exactly revealing of what material he got from where: his annotations are things like, "Fantastic photos" and "Amazing site for anyone who likes tanks." - Jmabel | Talk 17:56, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

The other is only marginally better. OnWar.com is a decent site, but they clearly have not paid much attention to this page. It is mistitled "The Rif War 1893"; it looks like two short pieces spliced together without really saying where they came from; although there is a "Further information may be found in…", there is no claim that the books listed were actually used as sources. - Jmabel | Talk 18:02, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Figures correct?[edit]

The figures in the info box suggest that the Rif had more causalities than the whole of their armed forces. One of these figures must be wrong - unless the deaths include non-combatants. If this is so, it should be clarified. Dave Smith (talk) 03:33, 26 September 2008 (UTC)


Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Will be moved (non-admin closure). Marcus Qwertyus 09:29, 17 June 2011 (UTC) Marcus Qwertyus 09:29, 17 June 2011 (UTC)



Rif War (1920–1926)Rif War — (talk) 03:39, 17 June 2011 (UTC) The term is not usually disambiguated in the literature. The problem is that a series of conflicts in the Rif between Spain and the Moroccans occurred between 1909 and 1927, although the dates 1921–26 are probably the most common demarcators, because this is when the fighting was most intense. The dates 1920 and 1926 seem a bit arbitrary to me, and I recently moved it to 1909–27 based on a reliable recent source (cf. José Álvarez, The Betrothed of Death [2001], p. 206). However we decide to cover this topic, it doesn't make much sense to disambiguate the term "Rif War" in the title. Srnec (talk) 00:19, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • OK. Looks like proposer has done his homework, so I'm not going to gainsay him. Sounds fine to me. Herostratus (talk) 03:51, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Editor Srnec sums up the nature of the conflict well - a series of separate but continuing clashes which flared into major warfare with the Spanish defeat at Anual in 1921. I would suggest though that an additional section be added to summarise events during the period of relatively low intensity fighting between 1909/10 and 1920/26. Buistr (talk) 06:05, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Nomination is compelling. Jenks24 (talk) 10:39, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. No reason whatsoever to disambiguate. -- Necrothesp (talk) 08:02, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Any additional comments:

What new title do you want to give the article? B-Machine (talk) 17:34, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Americans in the Rif Rebellion[edit]

"Americans in the Rif Rebellion. This paper examines the role of Americans in the Rif Rebellion as an observer and as operators. Captain Charles Willoughby of US Army Intelligence studied the rebellion in an official capacity and tried to analyze the conflict for lessons learned. The American mercenary aviators served in Morocco contrary to the wishes of the US State Department. In the summer of 1925, the French government brought in the American aviators because of a shortage of personnel in French military aviation and to hopefully improve Franco-American relations. While the American aviators performed well in Morocco, Americans at official and popular levels were opposed to American mercenaries in Morocco. A wide variety of forces from the improvement of the strategic situation in Morocco to bad American public reaction militated against the continued existence of the Escadrille Cherifienne. The French military learned little practical from this campaign and Franco-American relations were not severely harmed. One could argue that the variety of conflicting reactions of this campaign, illustrated a range of views on colonial warfare." french army historic revue. see Colonel Charles Sweeny's escadrille chérifienne (Sweeny aka Sweeney). Stealth Donut (talk) 17:06, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

File:Guerre du Rif massacre 1922.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Needs a "Background" section[edit]

The article is in desparate need of a background section. A casual reader will have no context in which to evaluate this article. I can cobble up such a section from existing wikipedia articles, but I have NO expertise ro even prior knowledge fo this subject. -Arch dude (talk) 02:27, 5 February 2013 (UTC)