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United Republic of Tanzania

This nation is today known as the United Republic of Tanzania. The earliest inhabitants were hunter-gatherers, but later migrations of Bantu and Nilotic-speaking people would account for the majority of the nation's current population. Islam would have been introduced here as early as the 8th or 9th century by Arab traders who had reached the East African coast. In 1840 the island of Zanzibar was claimed by an Omani sultan, which in turn became the center of the Arab slave trade. On the mainland in the late 19th century, Germany incorporated present day Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi into German East Africa, but lost control over the territories following the First World War, with Rwanda and Burundi going to Belgium, and Tanzania falling under British mandate.

In 1954, Julius Nyerere founded the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) to strive for the independence of the mainland territory (then known as Tanganyika). In 1961, when Britain granted this, Nyerere was appointed Prime Minister, and later elected President. Shortly thereafter, Nyerere committed the new state to socalism and a Pan-Africanist doctrine. The Sultan of Zanzibar was overthrown in 1964 by African revolutionaries, and the island merged with its mainland neighbor to form Tanzania on April 26.

The nation's armed forces are known as the Tanzania Peoples’ Defence Force (TPDF). With approximately 27,000 active duty personnel, the TPDF consist of the Land Forces Command, Naval Command, and Air Force Command.

Tanzanian Camouflage Patterns

  • The TPDF have continuously worn some variation of DPM camouflage since the late 1970s. One of the earliest uniform contracts was through the same company that produced uniforms for the Canadian government. The early camouflage uniforms are often mistaken for Canadian military issue, but they were in fact contract pieces for the TPDF. The government of South Africa even copied the pattern and style of uniform exactly, for issue to its special operations forces.


  • A later version of DPM was produced in Zambia for the TPDF. Although the colorations are markedly different, the style of the uniforms are essentially the same as the early type.


  • Recently, the TPDF have taken to wearing a slightly different version of DPM closely resembling the British Soldier 95 version. The style of uniform, although still using the Canadian-style slotted buttons, more closely resembles the British S95 as well.


  • Security forces (presumbly police) operating in Zanzibar circa 2005 were documented wearing commercial tiger stripe pattern camouflage uniforms.