The Emir realized that the power of the state is reflected in the military strength of the state also it gives a great image to the state, the Emir used the military to enforce order and security throughout the Emirate in order to stop the chaos that spread in the country after the fall of Turkish rule in Algeria.
Above Image (Emir Abdelkader)
When the Emir established the Emirate the social organization in Algeria was only based mainly on tribe so the individuals were only attached to their tribes, the idea of nationalism was not known at that time, if the was a war or conflict the tribes used gather together with their men and cavalry then go to war after when it ends the men immediately returns to their tribes and continue with their daily work, the military service was not applied with the tribes. The regular army of the Emir is formed by volunteers, recruitment it is meant for young people from all regions and all tribes they were called for jihad (Holy War) against the French invaders of the country under the banner of Emir Abdelkader. Recruitment has no requirements and is for all ages and in all regions of the Emirate.
Therefore the Emir had to organize an army to protect the Emirate because he knew that he would confront the French armies that were better trained and better equipped commanded by experienced officers and generals.
The Emir began organizing the army of the Emirate, the Emir was the first leader to establish a national army in the modern history of Algeria he also built factories in order to manufacture weapons using the experience from French, Spaniards and Italians.
Above Image (Military laws)
He called his army Jaish Al -Mohammadi (Mohammad’s Army)
The Emir divided his army into three divisions: Infantry, Cavalry and artillery. Then he developed military law which contains of details regarding the discipline, recruitment, polices, salaries and weapons.
Khayala (Cavalry): are soldiers who fought on horseback
Moushat (Infantry): are soldiers fighting on foot
Tobajiya (Artillery): are soldiers who uses cannons
Above Image (Cavalry)
Above Image (Infantry)
The artillery unit of the Jaish Al-Mohammadi are the deserters from the French army who were Turks and Kouloughlis they were experienced in maintaining light and heavy canons. Each artillery unit has 12 soldiers operating it.
Above Image (Military Headquarters)
Above Image (Military Headquarters Gate)
Emir Abdelkader classed a unique uniform for each type of soldiers, the uniform cloth was made from Linen and gasket.
It consists of a jacket made from a grey wool including with a hoody and trousers are also made from wool are in blue also Sedria (vest) are in red. Every three month a soldier is given a shirt and a pair of shoes that are in yellow leather including a burnous (long cloak made from wool).
The Cavalry uniform consists of a red jacket with some black stripes on the sleeve seams and back, also a red vest decorated with blue hair on it. Each Cavalryman is giving a haik which covers his head and his shoulders which is made from camel’s hair including a turban.
The Jaish Al-Mohammadi was formed of 8,000 soldiers, 2,000 cavalry, 22,40 light canons and 20 heavy cannons.
“Nothing is more beneficial than piety and courage”
Each soldier had a bag that has a leather bag which can be worn with a belt worn over the right shoulder, the soldier is also equipped with a rifle with a bayonet, pistols and a yatagan (curved blade) attached to the belt of the soldier, the cavalryman is armed with a rifle, yatagan and a pistol.
For food each soldier receives 2 Kesra (Algerian bread) and a kilo of flour and semolina in order to cook couscous twice a week, also a group of 20 men share the sheep between them.
The wage of a soldier is paid from April to June with Boudjou monthly depending on their rankings:
Agha (General) 22 Boudjous
Sayaf (First Lieutenant) 12 Boudjous
Rais Sayaf (Lieutenant) 8 Boudjous
Jaouche (Corporal) 7 Boudjous
Khaba (Captain) 6 Boudjous
Boudjou: is a currency used by the turks in Algeria
1 Boudjou = 50 Mohammadia
In Garrison soldiers often live in rooms that have a mats and carpets, at the camp about 20 soldiers live in a war tent.
Each badge of embroidered sword on attached on each shoulder of the following soldiers including silver rings on their left hand.
Agha (General) 4 Gold Badges
Sayaf (First Lieutenant) 2 Gold Badges
Rais Sayaf (Lieutenant) 2 Silver Badges
Jaouche (Corporal) 1 Silver Badge
Khaba (Captain) 1 Bronze Badge
Emir’s Bodyguards – 500 men – commanded by Emir Abdelkader
Katiba (Battalion) – 1000 men – commanded by Agha
Sariya (Company) – 100 men – commanded by Sayaf
Fasela (Platoon) – 35 men – commanded by Khaba
Above Image (walls of Sidi Qada)
Has also sought effort to import weapons from the only country that opposed the French invasion of Algeria which was England, but he failed. The Emir endeavoured to build an Arsenal of ammunition and weapons, both in the Mascara and Takdempt with the assistance from foreign expertise so the Emir hired men with industrial experience in making weapons like the Spaniards, Italians and also French, the Emir also choose the best strategic locations that are fully fortified like the city of Miliana which he built an weaponry factory in its suburbs so he can manufacture ammunition and weapons.
Above Image (Military Headquartersin Miliana)
Above Image (Military Headquartersin Miliana)
The Emir’s factory started to manufacture Algerian weapons, the Algerian Army also used weapons that were captured by the Emir’s army after the battle with the French. Emir Abdelkader trained his army well and also set up special military combat and tactics, he also benefited from geographical locations like mountains and fields. The Emir always used to ambush the enemy forces and attack them surprisely this tactic which is known today as “guerrilla warfare”.
Above Image (Miliana weaponry Factory)