Tyler Krahe

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Joseph Hodge

Committee Co-Chair

Katherine Aaslestad

Committee Member

Robert Blobaum


British colonial policing dramatically evolved between 1920 and 1948. This time period represents the duration of the Anglo-Irish War, as well as British control of the Palestine Mandate. It was during the period that the security forces at work within these areas grew to combat similar nationalist populations. During the Anglo-Irish War in 1919 the security forces in Ireland found themselves unable to quell the rebellion of Irish nationalists. To supplement their inadequate numbers the Royal Irish Constabulary took on and trained large numbers of World War I veterans who were in desperate need of work. These men came to be known as the infamous 'Black and Tans'. They quickly earned a reputation for using violent tactics when dealing with the Irish Republican Army. Following the resolution of the Anglo-Irish War, many of these men were left with few employment options until the Empire came calling again. This time they were called upon to police the newly formed mandate in Palestine. A large portion of the Royal Irish Constabulary, as well as the Black and Tans immediately signed up to forge the British Gendarmerie in Palestine. This unit helped to keep the peace during years of heavy Jewish immigration into the Holy Land until 1926 when it was absorbed into the Palestine Police. Many of the same men who had started their career in Ireland continued into the Gendarmerie and further into the Palestine Police until the Mandate ended in 1948. During the 1930s and 1940s the Palestine Police at first were able to effectively police the population of the Mandate, but ultimately were unsuccessful in combating the forces of Jewish nationalism and Jewish terrorism. This study is supported by primary sources including administrative reports, commissions, personal diaries, personal correspondence, oral histories and memoirs. Further, it consults a wide range of secondary literature.