Concept

Spahi

Summary
Spahis (spa.i) were light-cavalry regiments of the French army recruited primarily from the Arab and Berber populations of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. The modern French Army retains one regiment of Spahis as an armoured unit, with personnel now recruited in mainland France. Senegal also maintains a mounted unit with spahi origins as a presidential escort: the Red Guard. Etymology The name is the French form of the Ottoman Turkish word sipahi, a word derived from New Persian sepâh, سپاه meaning "army", or "horsemen"; or from sipari, meaning "warriors". Early history Following the French occupation of Algiers in 1830, detachments of locally recruited irregular horsemen were attached to the regiments of light cavalry assigned to North African service. These auxiliaries were designated as chasseurs spahis. Between 1834 and 1836 they were organised into four squadrons of regular spahis. In 1841 the 14 squadrons by then in existence were brought together in a
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