Dar Mutiny

Name ID 2167

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Extract Author: Aziz Khan
Page Number: 2008 03 29
Extract Date: 1964

1964 Mutiny

I was a school kid in Tabora. An Arab origin man was shot dead and a few people were roughed up. My elder sister, the assistant head of the school, escorted a troop of kids (arab origin kids in the majority!)away from school, past armed mutinying soldiers looking for arab kids to rough-up, to the safety of our homes!

Extract ID: 5606

See also

Ofcansky, Thomas P and Yeager, Rodger Historical Dictionary of Tanzania
Page Number: xxiv
Extract Date: 1964 January 20


The First Battalion of the Tanganyika Rifles mutiny in Dar es Salaam for higher pay and the dismissal of their expatriate British Officers. The government requests British troops to help quell the rebellion.

Extract ID: 1248

See also

Tanzania Peoples Defence Force Tanganyika Rifles Mutiny January 1964
Extract Date: 20 Jan 1964

Tanganyika Rifles Mutiny January 1964

An account of Tanganyika Rifles Mutiny January 1964

Extract ID: 5350

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Carter, David (co-writer) and Spirit, Martin, Paul, James (webmasters) Britain's Small Wars: The History of British Military Conflicts since 1945
Extract Date: 25 Jan 1964

African Mutinies: 1st Tanganyika Rifles Mutinie 1964



The next call for help came from President Nyerere himself. The first alarm came from Kenya on January the 20th. The men of the 1st Tanganyika Rifles, quartered near the capital Dar-es-Salaam, had risen up against their British officers, had locked them up, seized the airport, and arrested the British High Commissioner. With the mutineers holding the airport at Dar-el-Salaam, they released the British officers and NCOs from both the 1st and 2nd Battalions-some 30 from each-complete with their families and sending them to Nairobi where they arrived safely. Nyerere retained control of the government and formally made an appeal to Britain for help. It had already been decided at HQ Middle East Command at Aden that it was a task for 45 RM Commando. Hastily embarked on the carrier H.M.S. Centaur with 815 Naval Helicopter Squadron, they set sail at midnight Jan 20th and on the 24th lay off Dar-es-Salaam. At first light on the 25th, Z Company made a helicopter lift to the football field next to the mutineers' barracks, while a gunboat put down diversionary fire to a flank.

With all weapons blazing, the Commandos rushed and seized the barrack entrance. The mutineers were then called upon to surrender. The answer was a burst of firing, to which the Commandos retaliated by demolishing the roof of the guardroom with an anti-tank rocket. It produced a sad stream of Askaris emerging with hands up. The helicopters meanwhile were completing the lift of Commandos, so that the town could be dominated and the remnant of the mutineers rounded up. Since many of the mutineers had broken out of barracks this latter task called for extensive searching. One civilian Englishman, with total disregard for his own personal safety, brought back to the guardroom one fully armed Askari festooned with ammunition and grenades. Despite his menacing attire the Askari was only too delighted to surrender to the civilian. X Company was despatched to secure the airfield and the broadcasting station, while Y Company was sent into Dar-es-Salaam. This was designed to be a two-pronged advance, with X Company's move by helicopter. However it turned out to be a parade rather than an attack


Extract ID: 5344

external link

See also

Carter, David (co-writer) and Spirit, Martin, Paul, James (webmasters) Britain's Small Wars: The History of British Military Conflicts since 1945
Extract Author: John Lloyd, Maj RM
Extract Date: 25 Jan 1964

African Mutiny: Dar es Salaam 1964



The CO's briefing was short and to the point and amounted roughly to the following plan. One company to land on the mutineer's barracks at Colito, near Dar es Salaam. A second company to take control of all communications in Dar es Salaam, using the police station as a base. A third company ,commandeering such aircraft as were available on the airfield , to fly inland to Tabora to ensure the safety of a small contingent of British army officers stationed there for liaison and training. And a fourth in similar fashion to fly some 500 miles South to pacify the battalion stationed in Nachingwea. My own company, Support Company, was held in reserve. It was a plan that worked surprisingly well, though I offer in these pages only an account of my own part in it.

X Company, the lead company had some resistance in the initial stages and there had been some casualties among the mutineers, who had put up an initial resistance at the magazine. When I next saw the company commander, Maj David Scott-Langley MC, he voiced his concern at the unecessary waste of life, feeling that he might have been able to manage the assault more tidily. But all conflict, whether on the football field or the battleground, is a compound of differing degrees of chaos and if we lose touch with the realities of life we sometimes forget this. We are lulled by the gods into expectations and desires beyond the boundaries of possibility, and when misfortune strikes they turn away, smiling.

For several hours Support Company sat on the flight deck, waiting for the next phase to begin, though in truth there was no 'phase' as such for the CO had to play the game as it went along. My small headquarters group had run out of conversation and the 'I spy' game had petered out after the signals corporal retired into a sulk because he was not allowed to use 'E' for 'ellicopter'. An early bird had bagged H for Helicopter, and I had successfully exercised my authority in claiming C for 'Chopper. The Sergeant Major was about to lose his temper because he was forbidden W for 'Whirlybird when the Commanding Officer appeared on the flight deck and called me over.

"Most of the mutineers are confined now in the barracks at Colito," he said. "Those are the ones that were drunk. One of the companies however has split up and taken off into the bundu, inland. I want you to take four choppers, find what you can of them, and get them back to Colito barracks. They're roughly in this area." And he placed a large fist on a totally featureless area of the map. "By the way, they've got their weapons with them. No fighting if you can possibly avoid it please." - he added, looking at me sideways.

We set off, four helicopters in single file, and crossed the ridge that overlooked the barracks into the hinterland of elephant grass and scrub. There were about 60 square miles to search, covered with elephant grass and scrub. As far as I could see there was no path leading from the coast directly inland, and so assumed that the askaris (an African word for soldiers) would cut straight across country to get as far from the scene of trouble as possible. Looking down from the aircraft I could see the expanses of tall waving grass beneath us. Where to start?


Extract ID: 5346

See also

Laurence, Tony & MacRae, Christopher The Dar Mutiny of 1964
Extract Date: 25 Jan 1964

Book Description

For a few critical days in January 1964, the stability of Tanganyika in east Africa hung in the balance: its army had mutinied.

Rioting and racial killings ensued as the mutineers took over the capital, Dar es Salaam and British officers and NCOs were rounded up and expelled. President Nyerere, the visionary socialist leader, disappeared. He emerged two days later, hoping that the problem was simply a pay dispute, but it was much more than that, and with violent revolution in neighbouring Zanzibar and uprisings in the armies of Uganda and Kenya.

Running out of options, President Nyerere and his ministers reluctantly (and privately) requested urgent British help. The British employed amphibious forces which happened to be in the area, a marine Commando and a small aircraft carrier. Reacting quickly, the hastily improvised force put down the mutiny and restored order with minimal loss of life. It was the last time that British forces would act alone in Africa.

The Dar Mutiny of 1964 draws on many sources, including unpublished works, and interviews with many involved in the events. Tony Laurence and Christopher Macrae were both directly involved in the events and have written a valuable account of this textbook example of the use of limited outside force in support of a legitimate government.

Extract ID: 5348

See also

nTZ Feedback
Page Number: 2007 04 22
Extract Date: Feb 2007

The Dar Mutiny of 1964

May I commend my (with Christopher MacRae) new book The Dar Mutiny of 1964 Book Guild Publishing of Brighton Feb 2007. Foreword by Lord Carrington.

Article in Apr edition RUSI Journal 'A good read, and an excellent and detailed account "'.

Globe and Laurel. 'I commend you "'

Ben Mkapa, former President Tanzania. 'An extremely useful addition to the history of the period" a very good account "'

General Lord Guthrie. 'This is a valuable historical record "'

Lord Luce, former Minister for Africa. 'A remarkable reconstruction "'

Sir Jophn Coles, former Head of the Diplomatic Service.

Extract ID: 5349