I discovered Moroccan auxiliary troops through my interest in Rif War and the Spanish Civil War. I already have the 2nd Tabor of Regulares of Tetuán, from the SCW. Now I’ve got another Moroccan unit. This time they are Goumiers, irregular Moroccan auxiliaries fighting for France in Italy during World War 2. This lot are for Crossfire.
Order of Battle
Goumier: a Moroccan man fighting for the French as an auxiliary (rather than regular).
Goum: a company sized formation of Goumier. The officers were French and other ranks Moroccan. Each goum had a distinctive turban colour.
Tabor: a battalion sized formation of Goumier.
I have alread written up my notes on the Crossfire Orbat for a Moroccan Tabor in Italy. The painted unit I now have follows that order of battle with one exception: I got an extra HMG.
Moroccan Tabor (1943-45)
- Tabor Headquarters
- 1 x BC(+2)
- 1 x Rifle Squad
- 1 x Heavy Weapons Goum (Heavy Weapons Company)
- 1 x FO for off table 81mm Mortar [12 FM]
- 1 x on-table 60mm Mortar (12 FM)
- 1-2 x HMG3
- 1 x Scout Platoon: PC(+1); 3 x Scout Rifle squads4,6
- 3 x Goum (Rifle Company)
- 1 x CC(+2)
- 1 x Scout rifle squad4,6,8
- 1 x HMG3
- 3 x Rifle Platoons: PC(+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
- Command & Control: Okay/French; Scouts are Good/German6
- Morale: Regular or Veteran7
(3) The official order of battle would have one HMG, but I got two.
(4) The tabor had a scout platoon and each goum had a scout section. They were all mounted on horses, so were mounted infantry, but in Crossfire you can ignore that. I give recon troops a bonus in Recon-by-Fire (hit on 5-6 not 6). The scouts have good/German command & control.
(5) The goumiers are reckless in the charge like the Soviets and Japanese in WW2 and the Moroccan regulares in the Spanish Civil War.
(6) Most of the goumiers would be Okay/French command & control. The exceptions are the scouts/recon squads who are Good/German command & control.
(7) The French Army of Africa was a experienced force with quite a lot to prove to their sceptical allies. So you can treat them as Regular but there is a good argument for making them Veteran.
(8) I guess the scout stand in the goum could be attached to a platoon before the game, in the same way HMG are.
As I mentioned on Base Sizes and Number of Figures in Crossfire I use a non-standard base size for my Battalion Commanders (BC). There can be confusion between a BC and ordinary squads as each have 3 figures on a 30mm x 30mm square base. To avoid that confusion I use three slightly different schemes:
- large stand (50mm x 50mm) with 3 figures plus a jeep
- large stand (50mm x 50mm) with 5 figures, and no jeep, but one of the figures has a flag
- normal stand (30mm x30mm) with 3 figures, but one of the figures has a flag
My Goumier got 7 figures on a 50mm x 50mm stand. Only four of the figures are men. But they also got a mule and sheep.
Goum are the equivalent of a company. There are three rifle Goum within the Tabor and this is the first.
Each Goum has a commander, scouts, and a HMG.
My Commander Commanders (CC), including the Goum Commanders, are the standard 3 figures on a 30mm x 30mm base.
Goumier do not have a lot of heavy weapons, so each Goum only has a single HMG stand with two crew with a weapon on a 30mm x 30mm stand. This is a M1919 Browning MMG.
Unusually the Goum also has a Scout rifle squad. This is just another rifle stand of 3 figures on a 30mm x 30mm stand. They benefit from my house rules on reconnaissance troops.
Each rifle Goum has three rifle platoons. Each has three rifle squads and a platooon commander. Rifle squads are 3 figures on a 30mm x 30mm stand.
PCs are 1 figure on a 30mm x 15mm stand. All of the PCs are French as opposed to Moroccan.
Goum 2 has the same composition as Goum 1.
Goum 3 has the same composition as Goum 1.
Goum 4: Heavy Weapons Goum
The Heavy Weapons Goum had HMG and mortars. And not very many of them.
The official order of battle only has one HMG stand in the Heavy Weapons Company. I had the figures and I got two. They are both M1917 Browning HMG.
The Tabor also get a single medium mortar (81mm). I have both the FO and the on-table mortar team. As I mentioned on Base Sizes and Number of Figures in Crossfire I use a non-standard base size for my FOs to distinguish them from PCs. My FOs are one figure on a 20mm wide x 25mm deep base. The on table model has three crew with a weapon on a 30mm x 30mm base.
The Tabor also gets a single 60mm mortar stand. I field this on-table with 2 figures on a 30mm x 30mm stand.
Unusually the Heavy Weapons Company has a Scout Platoon. This has the same organisation as a normal rifle platoon. They benefit from my house rules on reconnaissance troops.
In Italy each Goum had a distinctive “goum uniform”. Each “goum uniform comprised a turban colour and distinctive Djellabas colour/pattern.
Djellabas: a loose hooded woollen robe or cloak traditionally worn by the Berbers of Morocco over their other clothes or in this case over their uniform. Berber djellabas differed from Arab djellabas in a couple of ways: they all had a hood and they were brown or stone grey (“couleur de muraille”; brownish-grey or greyish-brown might be more accurate). Each goum had a distinctive colour and pattern for the djellabas. These were always brown or stone grey and striped. The stripes might be white, grey, black or brown (a lighter or a darker shade than the main body of the garment). During the 1944-1945 campaign, in France, the goumiers all adopted a less conspicuous djellaba of stone grey with thin brown and black stripes. I wanted Goum 1 to have the less conspicuous djellaba of the 1944-1945 campaign in France. I have lumped the Tabor HQ together with Goum 4 so give them the same uniform.
Turban (Rezza): distinctive flat-topped turbans. The turban colour identified the particular Goum. Turbans were khaki drill, white or black. But most Goumier wore a helmet in combat, although some men wore the turban under the helmet.
Helmet: In combat most Goumier wore a helmet. This could be
- Adrian helmet: Where possible French troops retained their Adrian helmet. These were olive-grey.
- US WWI helmet: The Goumier were issued the US helmet “Model 17 A 1” from WWI, which kind of looks British to me, and I suspect was grey.
- British helmet: Others used British helmet, in Mediterranean colour scheme.
Uniform: Other ranks were issued US uniforms but probably wore a mix like the rest of the French Expeditionary Force in Italy. The example has a US uniform under his djellaba. French greatcoats and caps (worn by officers) were in Green Brown.
Side cap: Many French officers wore a side cap. In Blue or US Field Drab (873).
Kepi: Many French officers retained the kepi. Blue or White with a black trim, unless covered.
Scarf: All of the goumiers and most French troops adopted a “desert scarf” in sand or white.
Equipment: Officially they were equipped with US surplus (i.e. older). In practice they used a mix of US, British, French and Moroccan items.
The photos show the IDs for the 1st Rifle Company with the code “R-1”. First platoon within the company is “R-1-1” etc.
The stands with red dots are so I can distinguish which have Infantry Anti-tank Weapons. I don’t bother representing the weapon. Mainly because it would be an anti-tank rifle and such a team takes a lot of space.
Martin Boulter painted all the figures. Martin uses style similar to my Black Undercoat Method of painting.