Through various treaties and agreements between Britain and Egypt, the Sudan was occupied by the British between 1899 and 1956. As such, it’s armed forces were part of the British Empire and aligned closely with the British Army.

Second World War

During the Second World War, the forces in the Sudan were run by the British Army, with British officers and many British specialists attached to Sudanese units.

The Frontier Battalions of the Force including a machine gun company of 16 Vickers machine guns alongside three rifle companies. These machine guns were carried in trucks.

The Station Headquarters at Shendi included Vickers machine guns as part of their establishment for the training of recruits.

The Recruit Training Centres also had Vickers machine guns as part of their teaching. The Northern Training Depot included five service guns and five instructional guns.

The Northern-region infantry companies contained machine gun platoons in both their animal and mechanical transport companies. These platoons appear to have had six guns each.

The Mounted Infantry Company included a machine gun troop, also with six guns, but only four pack horses so possibly two spare or carried in the other troops. The Headquarters of the Mounted Infantry Company included a Machine gun troop as well, with 12 guns, including 4 in reserve.

There was also an Armoured Train, the armaments of which included a medium machine gun, most likely a Vickers, alongside anti-tank rifles and light machine guns.

They also made extensive use of armoured cars. This included a Mobile Machine Gun Group with headquarters and then individual companies, but not all of them used armoured cars, with the others relying on unarmoured trucks and vans.

The regional headquarters of the Sudanese Defence Force included their own Vickers machines guns based at their depots. They also, until the introduction of the Mobile Machine Gun Group Headquarters, commanded the Mobile Machine Gun Companies in their areas.

Even the Service Company of the Sudan Defence Forces included two Vickers machine guns. The Company had a local transport section, 7 service sections, and animal transport section as well as reinforcements. It’s unclear which section used the Vickers.


Sources

  • The National Archives, WO 24/939, War Establishments 1941 January to June.
  • The National Archives, WO 24/941, War Establishments 1941 October to December.
  • The National Archives, WO 24/943, War Establishments 1942 January to June.
  • War Office (1940). E 1090. London: Imperial War Museum.
  • War Office (1940). E 1100. London: Imperial War Museum.
  • War Office (1940). E 1109. London: Imperial War Museum.
  • War Office (1940). E 1113. London: Imperial War Museum.