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Thread: The US role in French Algeria 1945

  1. #1
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Default The US role in French Algeria 1945

    Reading Professor Andrew Hussey's book 'The French Intifda' there is an intriguing passage on the US military's support role in May 1945, when there was a demonstration @ Setif, as VE Day was announced - which became a terrible bout of violence aginst the immigrant colons (a mix of South Europeans, some of whom were French) and French authority. A hundred Europeans were killed and the revolt is seen as the opening of the war for Algerian independence.

    Following standard French practice the revolt was "snuffed out" and an estimated six thousand Algerians were killedover six weeks.

    Citing the author:
    The French troops were aided by American forces, who helped 'evacuate' Europeans from sensitive sites before allowing French forces a free rein.
    Anyone heard of this role before?

    I know the US took the lead in 'Operation Torch' and after a short hiatus Free French power was asserted. By May 1945 I had expected all US military forces had long since left Algeria.

    Background: Note this refers to between 1,020 and 45,000 people killed in the "snuffing out".

    Incidentally ten years later, in a different, larger city, Phillippeville, there was a similar uprising and consequences. In 1942 US troops had stopped French African troops firing on mass violence, in which thirty locals died.

    The book is reviewed on the French urban rioting thread:
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-28-2022 at 08:45 AM. Reason: 22,517v Oct 2018, with no replies and now 40.5k views

  2. #2
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006


    I occasionally return here and had forgotten posting this seven years ago. The research has progressed and to date I cannot identify any American military role in Setif during these events. Instead I have found there was a small RAF base nearby, guarded by a company from a South African Air Force infantry battalion - whose commander witnessed the start of the mayhem. If you are interested a lot of the research is on a WW2 military history website:

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