Italian Somalia Dubats

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Italian Somalia Dubats

Post  buistR on Sat 23 May 2009, 8:31 am

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The interesting thread created by WF concerning uniforms of native artillery and infantry units raised by Italy in their Somaliland territories leads to another picturesque corps from the same colony. These were the "Dubats" (literally "white turbans") who served as frontier guards and tribal police, under Italian officers. First raised in 1924 they continued in existance until the collapse of Italian East Africa in 1941. Recruited from tribal groups in favour with the Italians, they played an important role in the conquest of Somalia and the invasion of Ethiopia. The pretext for the latter was a clash between a detachment of Dubats and Ethiopian forces.

Their dress, as shown was almost toga like - basic but doubtless well suited to climate, terrain and wearer. The figure shown is dated 1935 - when they went into light khaki. Earlier they had worn the same turban and "fute" toga but in white. Photographs of them parading in Rome just prior to WWII show them back in white for parade wear. The green tassel and cord is not a regimental distinction but rather rank insignia - green distinguished "chief commanders" - say sergeants; red "chiefs" - corporals; and black "vice chiefs" - lance corporals.


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Re: Italian Somalia Dubats

Post  wfrad on Sat 23 May 2009, 9:50 am

Hereís the front cover of Le Uniformi Dellí A.O.I. (Somalia 1889-1941) Piero Crociani Andrea Viotti.
From Left Infantry Ascari 1909, Capo Comandante of the Dubat 1937, Jusbasci of the mounted Zaptieí of the Guard of the High Commissioner of Oltregiuba 1925.
I donít generally post scans because of the copyright minefield but I suppose the front cover could be classed as publicity.
I donít think I can give any more details than buistR about the Dubat other than the Italian rank names: green for Capo Commandante, Red for Capo and Black for Sotto-Capo


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