Arab Legion

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Arab Legion


army units of Transjordan (from 1946, Jordan), 1921–1956, created by the British mandate authorities.

The legion was supported by British subsidies; from 1921 to 1956 it increased from 100 men to 23,000. The actual commanders-in-chief were British officers (Peake from 1921 to 1939, General J. B. Glubb from 1939 to 1956). The legion participated in the suppression of an anti-British uprising in Iraq in 1941 and in the Arab-Israeli war of 1948–49; it was used to suppress the national liberation movement in Jordan as well. After Glubb was expelled from Jordan (Mar. 2, 1956, during an upsurge of the liberation struggle), Englishmen were dismissed from the legion, command passed to Jordanian officers, and the legion was renamed (July 1956) the Arab Army of Jordan.


Glubb, J. B. The Story of the Arab Legion. London, 1948.
Glubb, J. B. A Soldier With the Arabs. London, 1957.
Lias.G. Glubb’s Legion. London, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
As a member of the Arab Legion, he fought in battles between Arab and Israeli forces in Jerusalem, Ramallah and other Palestinian towns.
We should not forget the legendary Arab Legion of Transjordan, which fought under British command in different parts of the Middle East."
John joined the 1st King's Dragoon Guards in 1939 and spent 25 years in the army, with postings in Palestine, Germany and as an officer with the Arab Legion in Jordan.
John's mention of Glubb Pasha and the Arab Legion reminded me of a former colleague who had served in Glubb Pasha's Legion and who claimed to have taught the then Crown Prince (the present king of Jordan) to play bridge.
The Muslim soldiers of Sir John Bagot Glubb's Arab Legion and France's Tirailleur, Goumier and Spahi regiments fought loyally against the Axis in the Middle East, North Africa, Italy and Western Europe.
Qasim was born in 1939 in Al-Zarqa in northern Jordan, where his father served in the Arab Legion. His family's ancestral home was Rameh, in the Upper Galilee.
Zeid spent five years as an officer in the Jordanian desert police, the successor to the Arab Legion, before joining the U.N.
1956: King of Jordan sacks British general King Hussein of Jordan has sacked the British commander of the Arab Legion in what is being seen as an effort to strengthen his own position within the Arab world.
Abdullah al-Tall, Arab Legion Officer; Arab nationalism and opposition to the Hashemite regime.
Bar-On relates that "in only forty-seven minutes of fighting, Dayan's battalion breached Lod's defense lines, crossed the village to the outskirts of the neighboring Arab town of Ramleh [ten miles southeast of Tel Aviv], and returned under a downpour of fire from Arab Legion fighters." After the war, recognized as the outstanding soldier of his generation, he became a protege of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, was swiftly promoted to major-general and appointed commander of the southern front.
embargoes in the name of peace (with the already equipped Arab armies, including the British-officered Arab Legion left unmentioned) were meant to ensure the expected outcome.

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