History, Fight for Independence
Spanish Morocco, Krim, Spanish forces, American troops, self-government
The Spanish experienced even greater difficulties in Spanish Morocco. Abd el-Krim, a leader of Rif tribes, organized a revolt against Spanish rule in 1921. By 1924 he had driven the Spanish forces from most of their Moroccan territory. He then turned upon the French. France and Spain agreed in 1925 to cooperate against Abd el-Krim. More than 200,000 troops under the French marshal Henri Philippe Petain were used in the campaign, which ended victoriously in 1926. The country was not fully pacified, however, until the end of 1934.
Following Germany’s defeat of France in 1940, France’s collaborationist Vichy government allowed Morocco to support the German war effort. In November 1942, American troops landed and occupied Morocco. During the rest of World War II, the country was a major Allied supply base. Casablanca was the site of a meeting of the heads of government of the Allies in 1943.
In 1944, Moroccan nationalists formed the Istiqlal party, which soon won the support of Sultan Muhammed V and the majority of Arabs. It was opposed by most of the Berber tribes, however. The French rejected the plea by the sultan in 1950 for self-government. The sultan was deposed in August 1953, but in October 1955 the French permitted him to return to his throne.
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