Amidst a backdrop of terror strikes by the OAS and the FLN, an army crackdown and stuttering negotiations, the final year of the Algerian War blurred the loyalties of French and Algerian alike. By 1960, some leftists had formed a covert group to support FLN activities called the Jeanson Network. It had even attracted the […]Read more "The Price of Empire"
In December 1960, a spontaneous riot in the major Algerian cities in support of the FLN caught everyone, including the FLN by complete surprise. Like an iceberg, most of the Muslim population’s sympathies had stayed out of sight. Hearts and minds had mostly not been won, and no amount of promises could gloss over the […]Read more "General Discontent"
On May 28th, De Gaulle decided to break the deadlock and announced he was “in the process of establishing a republican government capable of assuring the unity of independence of the country”. This came as a complete surprise to Pflimlin and the coalition, who hadn’t agreed to anything like that, and to Salan and Massu, […]Read more "I Have Understood You"
What became known as the May 1958 Crisis was actually the result of several conspiracies, spun together by the Algerian War into a political hurricane. As the presumptive Pflimlin government began to take shape and the rumblings of the army grew louder, one of the groups that took careful note of the situation were the […]Read more "Operation Resurrection"
The entire Suez Crisis was another sign of just how invested the French were and continued to be in the Algerian war, which continued right on escalating in bizarre ways. In January 1957, feeling that the current General Salan wasn’t fully on their side, someone fired a bazooka round at his window. Salan survived, though […]Read more "The Battle of Algiers"
As the partners of torture and humanitarian outreach continued their paradoxical waltz across Algeria, the ALN was beginning to lose ground. Abbane was worried. Though nominally enemies, the FLN had even been contacted through intermediaries by the Republican Front, who wanted to negotiate the end of the war now that they had an upper hand. […]Read more "Trouble in the Suez"
In the aftermath of Philippeville, the FLN had established itself as the somewhat disputed face of Algerian resistance to France. As there were still other contenders to the job description, the FLN set about removing them. Over the next two years, Ferhat Abbas and almost every major Algerian voice was absorbed into the FLN fold, […]Read more "The Guy for the job"