chapter  6
39 Pages

'Splendid Mercenaries5: Moroccan Soldiers in French Uniforms

As we have seen in Chapter 3, the 27-year (1907-34) conquest of French Morocco was a cosdy endeavor, both in monetary terms and in human lives lost on both sides, although the flxll extent of both tolls remains speculative at best. Beyond the confusion over figures, one trend cannot be disputed. The evolution of the conquest drive was accompanied by a shift in the balance between French or 'white5 versus African or 'native5 combative troops and casualties. Thus, after the end of the First World War the former's percentage within the Moroccan order of battle dropped from about 55 per cent to 40 per cent and their share among those killed in combat shrank from 41.5 per cent to 31 per cent. Among the 'native5 forces there was a steady increase in the rate of Moroccan elements until they reached a plateau of 24 per cent during the mid-1920s.