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  • The Zaian War was fought between France and the Zaian confederation of Berber tribes in Morocco between 1914 and 1921. Morocco had become a French protectorate in 1912, and Resident General Louis-Hubert Lyautey sought to extend French influence eastwards through the Middle Atlas mountains towards French Algeria. This was opposed by the Zaians, led by Mouha ou Hammou Zayani. The war began well for the French, who quickly took the key towns of Taza and Khénifra. Despite the loss of their base at Khénifra, the Zaians inflicted heavy losses on the French, who responded by establishing groupes mobiles, combined arms formations that mixed regular and irregular infantry, cavalry and artillery into a single force. The outbreak of the First World War proved significant, with the withdrawal of troops for service in France compounded by the loss of more than 600 French killed at the Battle of El Herri. Lyautey reorganised his available forces into a "living barricade", consisting of outposts manned by his best troops protecting the perimeter of French territory with lower quality troops manning the rear-guard positions. Over the next four years the French retained most of their territory despite intelligence and financial support provided by the Central Powers to the Zaian Confederation and continual raids and skirmishes reducing scarce French manpower. Wikipedia

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