After taking over the region called Transjordan after World War I, Great Britain found it necessary to create a local military force to defend the territory against both internal and external threats. In October 1920 the British created a unit of 150 men, called the Mobile Force, under Capt. Frederick G. Peake. Transjordan was in a state of relative anarchy at that time, having experienced many centuries of benign neglect under the Turks. Thus, when Amir 'Abdallah ibn Husayn, descendant of the Prophet and the son of the Hashimite Shaykh of Mecca, arrived in 1921 with the intent of making himself king (with British approval), he was not universally welcomed despite his lofty pedigree. Almost immediately, 'Abdallah was forced to suppress a series of tribal challenges to his rule. His security problems forced him to turn to the British for help in late 1921, and London agreed to expand the Mobile Force under Peake to meet 'Abdallah's military needs. Between 1921 and 1923, the British built up the Mobile Force—renamed the Arab Legion—to a reinforced battalion in strength and used it to crush a series of tribal revolts throughout the country. Nevertheless, beginning in 1922, Arabian Ikhwan warriors under 'Abd al-Aziz Ibn Sa'ud began raiding Transjordan, eager to expand the areas they had conquered for their Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft and armored cars were dispatched to Transjordan and, together with the new Arab Legion, succeeded in stopping the tide of Saudi expansion.
By 1926, Peake's Arab Legion had accomplished a great deal. The force had grown to about 1,500 men and officers. A small number of the officers were British, but the rest, and all the enlisted, had been recruited from the settled villages of Transjordan. (T he Transjordanian towns supported 'Abdallah's centralized rule and the security from Bedouin raiding it promised.) The legion had decisively defeated several of the more aggressive