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Old 05-21-2012   #121
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Default France's war in Algeria: telling the story

Algeria: The Undeclared War - A Review

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Old 06-17-2012   #122
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Default France's war in Algeria telling the story

From the BBC 'France's war in Algeria explored in Paris exhibition' and the opening paragraphs:
Quote:
On the 50th anniversary of Algerian independence, it might seem an odd choice to mount an exhibition marking 130 years of French colonial rule over the country. But at the Army Museum at the Invalides in Paris, that is exactly what they have done. Algeria 1830-1962 is a look back over France's long military presence there.
An important passage IMO, citing the museum's director Gen Christian Baptiste:
Quote:
There is no one truth about the Algeria war...There are many truths, and we have done our best to reflect all of them. The difficulty is that even after 50 years the suffering is still very raw. In many cases, the pain has been handed down from one generation to the next.
A historian adds:
Quote:
They say that memory divides. Only history heals. That is why it is the task of historians and politicians to tell the full story - from all sides.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18343039

Amongst the three linked BBC stories is one on the film Battle of Algiers and it is almost as SWJ / SWC readers had been to see:
Quote:
Yacef Saadi, the Algerian guerrilla leader whose memoirs of the independence war formed the basis of the film, La Bataille d'Algers (The Battle of Algiers), which remains one of the most compelling studies of insurrection and counter-insurgency ever recorded.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13728540

As SWC readers will know that film has a special place in America's desire to learn and IIRC features in several threads.
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Old 06-17-2012   #123
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Default Other threads

Moderator's Note

I have re-titled this thread and merged a small number of threads to this one, after adding the post above on the current French exhibition. More merging done, four threads moved in.

These are linked threads which are not suitable for merging:

French & US COIN and Galula (merged thread):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...read.php?t=858

Restrepo and The Battle of Algiers: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=11004

Ambush, IEDs and COIN: The French Experience:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=5585

Obviously simply searching for Algeria will bring back nearly 200 threads and not all refer to the historical contest.
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Old 12-17-2012   #124
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Default The State as a Terrorist: France and the Red Hand

A short article in the e-journal Perspectives on Terrorism:
Quote:
explores a less well-known episode in the history of terrorism: The Red Hand (La Main Rouge). During the Algerian war of independence (1954-1962) it emerged as an obscure counter-terrorist organisation on the French side. Between 1956 and 1961, the Red Hand targeted the network of arms suppliers for the Algerian Front de Libration Nationale (FLN) and executed hits against rebel emissaries both in Western Europe and in North Africa. Today, there is consensus among scholars that the Red Hand had been set up by the French foreign intelligence service in order to strike at the subversive enemy. This makes the Red Hand a telling example of state terrorism and its capacity for unrestricted violence in emergency situations. Since the Red Hands counter-terrorist acts ultimately proved to be futile and due to the repercussions caused in France as well, the case study also highlights the limits of this type of counter-terrorism.
Link:http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/.../view/229/html
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Old 12-24-2012   #125
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Default The Harkis: The Wound that Never Heals

Hat tip to Bill Moore for sending a link to a US e-journal CTX; within is a review of this book 'The Harkis: The Wound that Never Heals' by Vincent Crapanzano.

Using locally recruited troops in contemporary COIN is a frequent subject on SWC, the story of the Harkis remains relevant today, obviously in Afghanistan and other places where an exit is likely.

Quote:
Based on a combination of archival research and face-to-face interviews, Crapazano’s results are riveting.

During the French-Algerian War, the Muslim community was faced with a choice: join either the FLN insurgency, or the French Army as an auxiliary. As all students of insurgencies know, the only neutrals are dead ones. Indeed, Muslims often joined the French Army only after being forced to witness the slaughter of their family members en masse. All told, approximately 260,000
Algerians of Arab or Berber descent served in various capacities in the French Army as Harkis.

Crapanzano has chronicled the story of the Harkis with a well-researched and heartfelt, deeply disturbing personal journey. He illuminates not only the immediate costs of the Algerian rearguard action, but the less known collateral damage visited upon those forced to make choices that meant only preserving one’s life for the moment. Insightfully written, this work skillfully shifts our focus in one of the great geopolitical conflicts of the twentieth century to the most elemental level, that of the individual.
Link, the review is on pgs.74-76:https://globalecco.org/documents/101...8-fbea219e6baf

Amazon.com link, no reviews alas:http://www.amazon.com/Harkis-Wound-T...ent+Crapanzano
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Old 01-27-2013   #126
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I see torture was discussed already. The Algerian war has some good other topics, although I'm unsure if there is good english documentation on the subject:

- The "Bleuite" as it is now remembered, a quite successful intoxication campaign by French intelligence, which fed the ALN groups with false info about double agents in its ranks, leading to sometime heavy purges. It was used as a prelude to major operations. However such a manipulation was maybe only made possible in the context of a quasi-civil war where the potential allegiance to the French was very common.

- Apparently some Indochina vets, who had the misfortunes of having been taken prisoners by the Good Uncle Ho, were so impressed by the political "brainwashing" they were subjected to that they tried to implement equivalent methods in French camps within the broader "Psy-ops" experiment. With little success. For this I have a link to an article from an historian working for the Armée de l'Air, but french only (obviously)... http://www.cairn.info/revue-guerres-...-4-page-45.htm
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Old 10-31-2013   #127
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Default French Failure in Algeria: A Public Relations Disaster

French Failure in Algeria: A Public Relations Disaster

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