The Algerian War and the French Army, 1954-62: Experiences, by Martin S. Alexander, Martin Evans, J.F.V. Keiger

By Martin S. Alexander, Martin Evans, J.F.V. Keiger

The Algerian conflict 1954-62 used to be essentially the most lengthy and violent examples of decolonization. Bringing to an finish 132 years of French rule, the Algerian fight triggered the autumn of six French leading ministers, the cave in of the Fourth Republic, and expulsion of 1 million French settlers. This quantity, bringing jointly prime specialists within the box, specializes in one of many key actors within the drama - the French military. They exhibit that the Algerian warfare was once simply as a lot approximately conflicts of rules, ideals and loyalties because it was once approximately uncomplicated army operations. during this method, the gathering is going past polemic and recrimination to discover the numerous and sundry nuances of what was once one of many traditionally most vital of the grand kind colonial wars.

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These perceptions were transmitted home in letters to families and friends. They fuelled the sense that the risking of life and limb by reservists and draftees to preserve Algeria for the settlers went unappreciated. With their war lost by 1962, a million settlers fled to France in a few months, most travelling with ‘nothing. . ’100 However, in the current state of research the complexities of the pied-noirs’ existence in Algeria is obscured by caricatures of them as small-town traders, petty functionaries and racist bigots.

But we recognize that this is a small and unscientific selection that can only hint at the rich seam of testimony. Still seriously under-represented are records of the views and experiences of women in Algeria from 1954 to 1962, Muslims as well as pied-noirs, along with the perspectives of mothers, wives, girlfriends, children of Frenchmen who served, and some of whom died, in Algeria. Part III of this collection presents perspectives from career army officers on the one hand, and from anti-war activists, both civiliansin-uniform and militant, politically engaged intellectuals.

M. Matéos-Ruiz, L’Algérie des appelés, (Biarritz: Editions Atlantica, 1998), p. 48. 63. See M. ’, Les Temps Modernes, 175–6 (October– November 1960), pp. 481–502. 64. See R. Delpard, 20 ans pendant la guerre d’Algérie: générations sacrifiées (Neuillysur-Seine: Editions Michel Lafon, 2001). 65. NSC Policy No. 5911/1, 4 November 1959, National Archives, Suitland/College Park, Maryland, in Y. H. Zoubir, ‘The United States, the Soviet Union and decolonisation of the Maghreb, 1945–1962’, Middle Eastern Studies, 31: 1 (January 1995), pp.

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