Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Commemorative Names On Malian Army Vehicles And Artillery


By Thomas Nachtrab in collaboration with Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Many of our readers are certain to be familiar with the French tradition of adorning their armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) with the names and dates of important battles fought by the French Armed Forces. Nowadays, this tradition is mainly showcased during parades, but the markings are often retained even after the conclusion of the parade, sometimes even seen during combat deployments of the vehicles.
 
Largely unknown to the general public however is that this trend also carried over to several military forces of former French colonies. These militaries often remember their age-old military leaders and accompanying history before being colonized by France. Mali is one such country (colonized by France from 1892 to 1960), and commemorates not only military themes but also cities and regions of the country. This article attempts to document all Malian AFVs and artillery pieces known to be adorning names and titles as well as to explain their origin. 
 
T-54B Main Battle Tank:
 
„Bakari Dian“
 
Bakari Dian is a folk-tale in the Ségou region in southern Mali. According to the myth, he is a half-man, half-beast monster who demands ever greater tribute from the villagers to spare their settlements and life. [1]
 

„Cne Sekou Traore“

This T-54B commemorates Captain Sékou Traore who commanded the '713e compagnie nomade' during the Aguel'hoc massacre in January 2012. During the battle, a joint force of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar Dine and the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) overran a Malian army garrison after several days of fighting. The battle became notorious for the subsequent summary execution of large numbers of Malian Army soldiers. [2]
 

„Konna“
 
Konna is a a town and rural commune in the Mopti Region of central Mali.
 

„Monzon Diarra“
 
The exact writing on the turret unfortunately is unreadable because of the video bad quality. The part that is just readable reads: Monzon Diarra, who was a king and known as a skilfull warrior. He ruled over the Bambara Empire from 1795 to 1808. The Bambara Empire covered a large part of what is nowadays the Republic of Mali. [3]
 

„Soni Ali Ber“
 
Soni Ali Ber, meaning 'Soni Ali the great' reigned over the Muslim Songhai Empire during the 15th century. The Songhai Empire covered huge swaths of territory in western Africa including a large part of what is now Mali. The Malian city of Gao was once its capital. [4]
 

PT-76 Amphibious Light Tank:
 
„Askia Mohamed“ 
 
Askia Mohamed was the successor of Soni Ali Ber and ruled the Songhai Empire from 1493 until being overthrown by his son, Askia Musa, in 1528.
 

 „Kirina 1235“ 
 
The title of Kirina 1235 remembers an important battle in 1235 which led to the foundation of the latter Malian Empire that remained in existence until 1670. [5]
 

 „Touramakan Traore“ 
 
Touramakan (or Tiramakan) Traore was a 13th-century general in the Mali Empire under ruler Soundiata Keita. Under his leadership the Mali Empire managed to expanded its territory westward at a dramatic pace. [6]
 

„Biton Coulibaly“
 
The founder of the Bambara Empire which was established in 1712.


ZSU-23 Shilka Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun
 
„Tiramakan“
 
Tiramakan (or Touramakan) Traore was a 13th-century general in the Mali Empire under ruler Soundiata Keita. Under his leadership the Mali Empire managed to expanded its territory westward at a dramatic pace. [6]
 

BTR-60 Armoured Personnel Carrier:
 
„Soni Ali Ber“
 
Soni Ali Ber, meaning 'Soni Ali the great' reigned over the Muslim Songhai Empire during the 15th century. The Songhai Empire covered huge swaths of territory in western Africa including a large part of what is now Mali. The Malian city of Gao was once its capital. [4]
 

„22 september 2010 cinquantenaire du Mali“ 
 
Celebrating the 50th independence day of the Republic of Mali. Seen during a Special Forces exercise sometimes in September 2010. [7]
 

„Araouan“
 
Araouan is a small village in the expansive Sahara Desert located some 250km north of Timbuktu. [8]
 

„Ganadougou“
 
Finkolo Ganadougou is a small town in the Skasso Region of southern Mali. [9] 
 

„Ouassalou“
 
A cultural area and historical region comprising of what today are the countries of Mali, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. [10]
 

„Soundiata Keita“
 
Soundiata Keita was the founder and first emperor of the large Mali Empire that lasted from 1235 to 1670. [11] 
 

BTR-152 Armoured Personnel Carrier:

„Bamako“
 
Bamako is the capital of Mali.


BRDM-2 Scout Car:
 
„Bandiougou Diarra“ 
 
Bandiougou was a tribal leader and warrior fighting against French forces that sought to colonize Mali in 1890 (before successfully doing so in 1892). [12]
 

 „Unknown“
 
Three BRDM-2 with commemorative names can be seen in this photo. Except for 'Bandiougou Diarra' to the right, the names on the other vehicles are unfortunately unreadable.
 

BM-21 Multiple Rocket Laucher:
 
„Nioro du Sahel“
 
Nioro du Sahel, also known as Nioro, is a town in western Mali's Kayes region. [13]
 

„Djitoumou“

Djitoumou, also known as Sanankoro Djitoumou, is a village in the Koulikoro region in southern Mali.


100mm T-12 Anti-Tank-Gun: 
 
„Seno“ 
 
Seno either refers to the Séno-Gondo plain in central Mali or Senou, a municipality south-west of the capital Bamako.
 

„Macina“
 
Macina could refer to the town of Macina in southern Mali or the former Macina Empire which existed from 1818 to 1862. [14]


Special thanks to Esoteric Armour.
 
[1] Malijet Littérature : La légende de Bakari Dian et Bilissi inspire un roman Bamako Mali 
[2] Bataille d'Aguel'hoc (2012) — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org)
[3] Mansong Diarra — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org)
[4] Sonni Ali — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org)
[5] Battle of Kirina — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org)
[6] Tiramakhan Traore — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org) 
[7] Mali : Spectaculaire démonstration de force des FAMAS https://youtu.be/aUdv_1VOBC4
[8] Araouane — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org)
[9] Finkolo Ganadougou — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org)
[10] Wassoulou — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org) 
[11] Sundiata Keita  — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org)
[12] Conquêtes coloniales du Soudan français: L’alliance entre Archinard et Koumi Diocé du Bélédougou - abamako.com 
[13] Nioro du Sahel — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org)
[14] Massina Empire — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org)

 

2 comments:

  1. 22 september 2010 cinquantaienaire du mali => Actually it's "cinquantenaire" ;-)

    ReplyDelete