The British Gendarmerie Mission in Albania, 1925-1938


  • Helian Demiri PhD. “Aleksander Xhuvani” University, Albania



Albania, Zog, gendarmerie, Britain, Italy


By 1925 Albania was striving for its existence as political and social chaos prevailed in the country. Once returned to power Ahmet Zog pursued an ambitious goal and sought to create a united and stable Albanian state. To this end, he believed the re-organization of an efficient gendarmerie would be the most urgent question he needed to address. In order to establish a neutral and effective force he believed the most appropriate choice was to hire British officers. This proved to be a complicated task as HMG did not want to interfere in Albanian internal affairs. However, they had long been champions of Albania’s independence and territorial integrity, considering it the key to preserving peace in the Balkans. Integrating these two viewpoints the British will come up with an ad hoc solution. The gendarmerie mission in Albania will be instructed and trained by ex-British officers with no official ties to HMG. They will be hired as private individuals in order to avoid the resentment of Italy for interfering in Albania’s internal questions. The British officers will remain in charge of the Albanian gendarmerie from 1925-1938. Their mission is an example of Great Britain’s contribution in giving Albania a chance to consolidate its independence. On the other hand, the British official disentanglement with the scheme was part of the strategy to appease Italy and avoid friction between the two powers. Although faced with various difficulties, the gendarmerie mission managed to slow down the Italian penetration in Albania and became a stability factor in the country.




How to Cite

Demiri, H. (2018). The British Gendarmerie Mission in Albania, 1925-1938. European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 4(2), 167–173.