The Alhucemas Landings

During the Second World War, one of the most known battles is the Normandy Landings, in 1944. That was a combined seaborn, airborne and terrestrial operation that allowed a large group of troops, weapons and tanks enter the Nazi-occupied France, and opened a new stage in the war, that would end with the conquest of the West part of Germany by American, British and French soldiers.

The generals that planned the Normandy Landings based their tasks and activities on the only large scale landing happened before in the modern times: the Alhucemas Landings.

The Alhucemas landings was a large scale disembark operation that took place on September the 8th 1925 in the beaches of Ixdain and La Cebadilla at the North coast of current Morocco. By that time, a newly created state known as the Riffian Republic, occupied a segment of North Morocco and declared independence from the Sultanate of Morocco. The Sultanate was protected by then – upon a protectorate agreement – by Spanish and French armies. Consequently, the Riffian soldiers had arisen against these two European armies, and had caused a large amount of casualties on both sides of the Republic.

After many French soldiers were killed, and the bloodshed incurred to the Spanish army in the Annual battle in 1921 by the Riffian troops, there was an urgency to stop the activities of the Riffian Republic for good. Spanish and French armies agreed to disembark on September the 8th 1925 on two beaches of Alhucemas Bay with 13,000 Spanish soldiers, on a combined French-Spanish fleet consisting of 162 airplanes and 104 vessels.

After the landing, the Spanish Army conquered all the limits of the Alhucemas Bay, and from there advanced over the Riffian capital Axdir. The leader of the Riffian rebels, Abd-El-Krim, escaped from the advance of Spanish troops and ended up surrendering to the French Army on May the 26th 1926  This was the end of the rebel Riffian Republic, and the whole territory was returned to the Sultanate of Morocco, again under the political framework of Protectorate of Spain and France. /Carmen Alicia López Ruiz/

The original article is published in the school digital newspaper CALATRAVATIMES.

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