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    * SPR *

    S.P.R.

    اس پی آر ، پلیس جنوب ایران


    Tehran_Alborz_Twin_Waterfall_Spring.jpg
    The South Persia Rifles was a Persian military force recruited by the British in 1916 and under British command. They participated in the Persian Campaign of World War I. The British formed the South Persia Rifles in response to German influence in southern Iran in 1915 and early 1916. The German agents influenced tribal groups who were already in rebellion against the British. As a result, the British had to divert troops to Iran rather than Iraq. The South Persia Rifles was a measure to use locally raised troops rather than British troops, so the British troops could then be sent to the main fight against the Ottomans in Iraq. With the assent of the shah’s government, the British were allowed to form a military force of up to 11,000 men to quell the resistive tribes and maintain order.Sir Percy Sykes was selected by the British to command the organization. In March 1916 he landed in Bandar-Abbas with a few British officers and NCO’s, a company of Indian soldiers, and plenty of weapons and ammunition to equip the troops he recruited. Most of his early recruits came from pro-British tribes. Sykes and his men spread out to cities in southern Iran such as Yazd, Esfahan and Shiraz, as well as Bandar-Abbas. Through the summer and fall of 1916 the South Persia Rifles conducted what to the British were mopping up operations. Sykes also gained formal recognition for the Rifles from the weak Iranian government under Ahmad Shah.By December 1916, the organization had brigades located at Shiraz, Kerman, and Bandar-Abbas. Sykes had about 3,300 infantry and 450 cavalry, as well as a few artillery pieces and a machine gun. Winter closed many roads and brought the Rifles relief from tribal attacks. Sykes used the time to train his forces. In 1917, Sykes reached an agreement with the Ghashghayi tribe, ending their raids, allowing him to focus on other resistive tribes. The Rifles went after the tribes in their strong holds as well as their crops and livestock, crippling them logistically so they could not continue to raid the British.By June of 1917, the government that recognized the Rifles fell, and the new prime minister and cabinet would not recognize them. Iranian attitudes towards the Rifles changed, and by late 1917 there was intense hostility towards the Rifles and the British. The British even approached the United States with a proposal to take the Rifles over, but the US declined due to lack of officers who could speak the language or were knowledgeable about Iran.In 1918 the worsening situation on the Western Front in France affected the morale of the Iranians in the Rifles and many deserted. The tribes in southern Iran became bolder, attacking Rifle outposts. The strength of the Rifles in April of that year was about 7,000. Iranian resentment towards the Rifles only increased over time. Shiite mullahs played a role in encouraging resistance to the British. The Shiraz brigade experienced poor morale, especially amongst the former Gendarme in its ranks. That limited its use, and it was nearly disbanded. Desertions greatly reduced the size of the Fars brigade. The Kerman brigade remained loyal. Eventually, the British had to send more regular British units to reinforce the Rifles. By October 1918, most tribal resistance (Wikipedia) - SPR

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    Tags:1882, Ahmad Shah, American, Belize, British, Esfahan, Fars, France, German, Ghashghayi, Iran, Iranian, Iraq, Kerman, Mexican, New York, New York City, Ottomans, Percy Sykes, Persia, Persian, Railroad, Red Cross, SPR, Shah, Shiite, Shiraz, South Persia Rifles, US, United Kingdom, United States, Virginia, Wikipedia, World War I, Yazd


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