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An auxiliary force is a organized group supplementing but not directly incorporated in a regular military or police entity. It may comprise either civilian volunteers undertaking support functions or additional personnel directly performing military or police duties, usually on a part-time basis.

Historically the designation "auxiliary" has also been given to foreign or allied troops in the service of a nation at war.[1] In the context of colonial armies locally recruited irregulars were often described as auxiliaries.

Historical usage

Roman auxiliaries

Auxiliaries in the Roman army were recruited from peoples that did not have Roman citizenship. As the Roman army was essentially based on heavy infantry, it favored the recruitment of auxiliaries that excelled in other roles, such as missile troops (e.g. Balearic slingers and Cretan archers), cavalry (recruited among peoples such as the Numidians, and the Thracians), or light infantry. Auxiliaries were not paid at the same rate as legionaries, but could earn Roman citizenship after a fixed term of service.

British Empire

The Auxiliary Legion was a British military force sent to Spain to support the Liberals and Queen Isabella II of Spain against the Carlists in the First Carlist War.

The Auxiliary Division was a British paramilitary police force raised during the Irish War of Independence 1919–21 and nominally acting in support of the Royal Irish Constabulary. During the Second Boer War Boer auxiliaries were recruited by the British Army under the designation of "National Scouts".

French Africa

France made extensive use of tribal allies (goumiers) as auxiliaries in its North African possessions. During the Algerian War of 1954-62 large numbers of Muslim auxiliaries (Harkis) were employed in support of regular French forces.

Nazi Germany

German paramilitary police forces, called Hilfspolizei or Schutzmannschaft, were raised during World War II and were the collaborationist auxiliary police battalions of locally recruited police, which were created to fight the resistance during World War II mostly in occupied Eastern European countries. Hilfspolizei refers also to German auxiliary police units. There was also a HIPO Corps in occupied Denmark. The term had also been applied to some units created in 1933 by the early Nazi government (mostly from members of SA and SS) and disbanded the same year due to international protests.[2][3][4][5]

Military or governmental auxiliaries


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