In this essay, I write about the way "Moroccan colonial soldiers," which might include Goums, Tirailleurs, and Spahis were represented in a colonial discourse which sought to appropriate them, and how they were excluded from a nationalist discourse which chose to silence them.
Even prior to the signing of the protectorate treaty by Moulay Hafid on 30 March 1912, four major military units were already established and under effective control of French officers (the Goums were created in November of 1908, and the Tirailleurs and Spahis in June of 1912).
Their number increased from fourteen Goums to twenty-five by the end of World War I.
As a way of preparing for an eminent war with Germany, 91 new auxiliary Goums were created.
As was the case for the Goums, the late 1930s witnessed the most dramatic increase of the Tirailleurs.
Jacques Berque once wrote that "our Berbers will remain good savages, worthy of our love and respect, but whose ultimate advancement would consist of their promotions in the Goums.
The attractiveness of a career in the Goums or other regiments has often been explained as a result of different forms of social benefits which enhanced a "voluntary" recruitment.
7) Fighting in units called Goums, the fierce Moroccans (including some Algerians also attached to the French military) had distinguished themselves in the bloody North African campaigns.
Public Record Office, War Office 204/448, 15 July 1943 [secret] "Directive on the Organization and Use of the Moroccan Goums.