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Free Officers Movement (Egypt)

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Title: Free Officers Movement (Egypt)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Egyptian Revolution of 1952, Kingdom of Egypt, Egypt, Abdel Latif Boghdadi (politician), Free Princes Movement
Collection: Arab Nationalist Organizations, Free Officers Movement, Military History of Egypt, Rebel Groups in Egypt
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Free Officers Movement (Egypt)

Eight men in dressed in military uniform, posing in a room around a rectangular table. All the men, except for third and fifth persons from the left are seated. The third and fifth person from the left are standing.
The Free Officers after the coup, 1953. Counterclockwise: Zakaria Mohieddin, Abdel Latif Boghdadi, Kamel el-Din Hussein (standing), Nasser (seated), Abdel Hakim Amer, Muhammad Naguib, Youssef Seddik and Ahmad Shawki

The Free Officers (Arabic: حركة الضباط الأحرارḤarakat aḍ-Ḍubbāṭ al-ʾAḥrār) were a group of nationalist officers in the armed forces of Egypt and Sudan that instigated the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. Originally established in 1945 as a cell within the Muslim Brotherhood under Abdel Moneim Abdel Raouf, which included Gamal Abdel Nasser, Hussein Hamouda, Khaled Mohieddin, Kamal el-Din Hussein, Salah Naṣr, Abdel Hakim Amer, and Sa’ad Tawfiq, it operated as a clandestine movement of junior officers during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.[1] Muhammad Naguib joined the Free Officers in 1949, after the war, and became their official leader during the turmoil leading up the revolution because of the hero status he had earned during the war, and his influence in the army.


  • Background 1
  • Formation 2
  • Legacy 3
  • Members 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Abdel Latif Boghdadi (left) Gamal Abdel Nasser (center left) Salah Salem (center right) Abdel Hakim Amer (right).

Economic challenges that emerged following the

  • Armed Conflicts events Data: Egypt Coup 1952

External links

  1. ^ Hussein Mohamed Ahmed Hamouda, Asrār Ḥarakat aḍ-Ḍubbāṭ al-ʾAḥrār wa l-Ikhwān al-Muslimūn, al-Zahrā’ al-i‘lām al-‘arabī (1994), Chapter 6, section 4: see
  2. ^ a b c d Gelvin, James L. The Modern Middle East: A History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  3. ^ All the revolution's men. Al-Ahram Weekly. Issue No. 595, 18–24 July 2002. Accessed 20 August 2012.


See also

This is a list of some of the major officers of the movement:


The name was consciously assumed by the Free Officers and Civilians Movement, led by Brigadier-General Najib al-Salihi who opposed Saddam Hussein.

The anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 led by the Free Officers is commemorated as Revolution Day, an annual public holiday in Egypt on 23 July.

Then Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi used a similar group to overthrow the Libyan King Idris in 1969.

In Syria a coalition of Arab nationalist officers, including Nasserists, Ba'athists and independents, toppled the secessionist government of Nazim al-Qudsi in 1963 and vowed to restore the union with Egypt in the United Arab Republic (1958–1961). In Saudi Arabia during the 1960s the Prince Talal invoked a similar idea, the Free Princes Movement, in an unsuccessful effort to overthrow his country's conservative monarchy. He was exiled to Egypt as a result and was given asylum by Nasser.

Similar movements were organised by other groups of junior officers seeking to mimic the Free Officers' ascent to power. In Iraq, a faction of Arab and Iraqi nationalist officers, who referred to themselves as the "Free Officers", toppled the pro-British Hashemite government of Nuri al-Said and Faisal II in 1958. Said and Faisal, Nasser's chief regional rivals at the time, were both killed during the coup. In 1963 some of the same officers aligned themselves with the Ba'ath Party and overthrew the government of Abd al-Karim Qasim, who was killed by the organizers of the coup.


The continued agitation within Egypt as a result of British control led to a series of revolts where British military outposts were attacked. From 1950–52, workers in the Revolution of 1952. The revolutionaries publicised the need for reform and social justice, marched on Cairo and forced King Farouk to abdicate his throne.[2] The Revolution proved crucial in ending the British occupation of Egypt and Sudan, which had commenced in 1882.

The Free Officers Committee enlisted General Muhammad Naguib as a public figurehead in preparation for the successful coup of 23 July 1952. The men who had constituted themselves as the Committee of the Free Officers Movement and led the 1952 Revolution were Lieutenant Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser (1917–70), Major Abdel Hakim Amer (1919–67), Lieutenant Colonel Anwar El-Sadat (1918–81), Major Salah Salem (1920–62), Major Kamal el-Din Hussein (1921–99), Wing Commander Gamal Salem (1918–2001), Squadron Leader Hassan Ibrahim[3] (1917–90), Major Khalid Mohieddin (1922–), and Wing Commander Abdel Latif Boghdadi (1917–99); Major Hussein el-Shafei (1918–2005) and Lieutenant Colonel Zakaria Mohieddin (1918–2012) joined the committee later.

Politicians and government bodies were forced to respond to the demands of groups who were directly affected by the initiative changes and withdrawals. Some of these groups included military officers. While the first military coups began in Syria in the late 1940s, it was the Free Officers coup in Egypt and the revolution of 1952 that would have the greatest impact, and encourage later movements.[2] The members were not of the wealthy elite, but rather the middle class, young workers, government officials and junior officers. The movement, which began and spread throughout the 1940s, came to fruition with the leadership of Gamal Abdel Nasser. Nasser, who commanded the loyalty and respect of the other members, formed a coordinating committee (1949), of which he was acclaimed head (1950). Coming from a modest background, he signified the group's majority: the hard working middle class. The Free Officers consisted of urban dwellers and educated militants with a lower middle class upbringing. Nasser was a war hero who rose quickly in military rank to colonel. He, like many others, dedicated his time and energy to reverse the corruption seen on the part of the government throughout the 1948 Palestine war by restoring a democracy. He saw the problem of domestic passive reaction to imperialism as much a problem as imperialism itself.[2] They strengthened a "new" middle class. Due to this dedication toward change, the Free Officers referred to their group and its entirety as simply a "movement." Later however, it would become a revolution.



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