Today marks the 65th anniversary day of the Lebanese Army. What’s better than to talk about the 1rst volume book on the history of the Lebanese Army recently published by the Lebanese army orientation directorate. This volume treats more precisely on the premise of the Lebanese Armed Forces during the French mandate and covers the period between 1920 and 1945. The 362 pages book is composed of five chapters presented as follows:
- Chapter One depicts the military life in the Lebanese regions under the Ottoman rule.
- Chapter Two describes the different steps of Lebanese units creation and their developments during the mandate. Separate sections covers respectively the Légion d’Orient, the Syrian Legion, the Auxiliary troops of the Levant, the residual troops of the Levant and finally the Sharpshooters.
- Chapter Three covers the Lebanese units weapons and armament. Its sections include the Infantry, the Cavalry, the armoured units, the Engineer units, the Artillery and the logistics units.
- Chapter Four is about the military operations and missions held by the Lebanese units with an interesting section on the role played by these units during World War II.
- Chapter Five portrays the Barracks, military position and affiliated organization.
The Book is written in Arabic, No information is available if it will be translated in English or French. Several photos can be found in it with a majority related to this period but also with some anachronism on several ones. The photos are interesting but with poor captions and no specific descriptions are given on vehicles or small arms. Many photos of Renault R-35 can be found with one photo illustrating an R-35 armed with a 2pdr gun (conversion made in the fifties, so with no relation with the book period of time). Photos of a Lebanese Army chenillette Renault UE and Otter Mark I armoured cars in 1945 or maybe late forties are also found. Other photos like Staghounds Armoured Cars have nothing to do in that volume and should have been used in the next ones to be published. Interesting photos are the two pages illustrating the insignias of the cavalry and other sharpshooter units.
In conclusion, it’s a nevertheless important set of books to have in a library dedicated to Middle East military. I am definitely waiting for the next volumes to complete this series and maybe discovering new things.
The Book can be found and ordered on the Lebanese Army official website: http://www.lebarmy.gov.lb/