Tanzania is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands and the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Mount Kilimanjaro , Africa's highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania.
Tanzania is mountainous and densely forested in the north-east, where Mount Kilimanjaro is located. Three of Africa's Great Lakes are partly within Tanzania. To the north and west lie Lake Victoria , Africa's largest lake, and Lake
Tanganyika , the continent's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish. To the south lies Lake Malawi. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the Zanzibar Archipelago just offshore. The Menai Bay Conservation Area is Zanzibar's largest marine protected area.
The Kalambo Falls , located on the Kalambo River at the Zambian border, is the second highest uninterrupted waterfall in Africa.
The Tanzania People’s Defence Force is the armed forces of Tanzania . They were set up in September 1964, following a mutiny by the former colonial military force: the Tanganyika Rifles . From its inception, it was ingrained in the troops of the new TPDF that they were a people’s force under civilian control. Unlike some of its neighbors, Tanzania has never suffered a coup d'état or civil war.
The TPDF was given a specific mission: to defend Tanzania and everything Tanzanian, especially the people and their political ideology. Tanzanian citizens are able to volunteer for military service from 15 years of age, and 18 years of age for compulsory military service upon graduation from secondary school. Conscript service obligation was 2 years as of 2004.
After an aborted mutiny in January 1964, the existing army was disbanded. The new force was titled the 'Tanganyika Military Force', from 25 January 1964 - 26 April 1964. The Tanzanian government concluded that the former British model was not appropriate for the needs of an independent African state. Fresh recruits were sourced from the Tanganyika African National Union youth wing.
After the merge of Tanganyika and Zanzibar , the force was renamed the United Republic Military Force from 27 April 1964.
For the first few years of the TPDF, the army was even smaller than the disbanded 2,000 strong Tanganyika Rifles, the air force was minuscule, and no navy had yet been formed.
It appears that the new TPDF had three battalions by August 1965, stationed at Nachingwea , Colito Barracks (five miles outside Dar es Salaam), and Tabora , plus the yet to be fully integrated Zanzibari force of about 1,000. However the army was four battalions strong by 1967.
From 1964 to 1974, the TPDF was commanded by Mrisho S.H. Sarakikya, trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst , who was promoted from lieutenant to brigadier in 1964 and became the force's first commander. He was succeeded by Lieutenant General Abdallah Twalipo 1974-1980.
In 1972, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) listed the army with 10,000 personnel, four infantry battalions, 20 T-59, 14 Chinese T-62 light tanks, some BTR-40 and BTR-152, Soviet field artillery and Chinese mortars. 'Spares [were] short and not all equipment was serviceable.'
In 1992, the IISS listed the army with 45,000 personnel (some 20,000 conscripts), 3 division headquarters, 8 infantry brigades, one tank brigade, two field artillery battalions, two Anti-aircraft artillery battalions (6 batteries), two mortar, two anti-tank battalions, one engineer regiment (battalion sized), and one surface-to-air missile battalion with SA-3 and SA-6.
In 2007 Tanzania pledged forces for the SADC Standby Brigade of the African Standby Force.
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