The Rif War: A Little-Known Conflict with Lasting Implications

TLDR The Rif War in Morocco during the 1920s, although little-known, had similarities to later wars and had lasting implications. The conflict involved the Spanish, Islamic tribesmen, chemical weapons, and American airmen, and resulted in the establishment of the Republic of the Rif and the eventual surrender of Abdul Krim.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The Rif War in Morocco during the 1920s, which involved Franco, Marshal Pater, American airmen, chemical weapons, and Islamic tribesmen, is a little-known but significant conflict with similarities to later wars such as the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, and the war in Afghanistan.
05:06 The Spanish, feeling bruised from losing their empire, set their sights on the mountains of Morocco for their rich iron resources and to fulfill their destiny in North Africa.
10:00 The Spanish, feeling humiliated and wanting to establish a protectorate in Morocco, encounter resistance from Mohammed Abdel Krim, a figure who initially collaborated with the Spanish but later becomes an anti-colonial freedom fighter.
14:58 The Spanish authorities humiliate Abdel Krim and his family, causing them to sever their connections with the Spanish and leading Abdel Krim to become the leader of the resistance against Spanish modernity and the protector of the villages in the mountains.
19:22 The Spanish army is incompetent, corruptly led, illiterate, and poorly equipped, with soldiers bartering their rifles for food, rampant venereal disease, and officers who spend their time gambling and whoring, leading to a disastrous military campaign in the mountains.
24:17 General Fernandez Silvestre leads his men out of the fort in a disastrous attempt to reach the coast, resulting in the shooting and killing of all 13,000 soldiers, including the prostitutes, and the general himself ultimately committing suicide.
29:07 The Spanish raise a new army and face strikes, mutinies, and protests in Barcelona, leading to a coup by General Primo de Rivera, who becomes dictator with the king's support, while Abdel Krim establishes the Republic of the Rif and implements nation-building efforts, although the republic doesn't last long as the Spanish plan to regain control.
33:21 The Spanish foreign legion, led by Lieutenant Colonel Jose Milian Astray and his second-in-command Francisco Franco, is founded on Reconquista principles and carries out a crusade against the Muslim hordes in Morocco, with Franco's personal mythology of being chosen by God playing a significant role in the ideology of the nationalists.
38:19 The French and Spanish, with the help of European powers, including German companies and French intelligence, join forces to combat the Republic of the Rif in Morocco, with the French becoming more involved after the Republic's troops attack French forts and kill thousands of French soldiers, leading to the introduction of aerial bombings by American volunteers and setting a precedent for future conflicts.
43:21 The French and Spanish conduct an amphibious landing in Al Huseimas Bay, using thousands of troops, artillery, tanks, air support, and naval bombardment, ultimately leading to the surrender of Abdul Krim and his exile to Réunion.
47:59 Abdul Krim is taken to Cairo against his wishes and dies there in 1963, while historians debate the significance of the Rif War as a colonial or anti-colonial conflict and its connection to the Spanish Civil War.
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