Osprey Men-at-Arms 312 : The Algerian War 1954-1962
It is hard, after 40 years, to convey the public impact of France's war to maintain her colonial grip on Algeria; yet in the late 1950s this ugly conflict dominated Europe's media to almost the same extent as would Vietnam ten years later. It brought France to the very verge of military coup d'etat; it destroyed thousands of careers; bitterly divided the French military and political classes for a generation; and sent hundreds of thousands of European settler families into often ruinous exile. Its exact cost in lives is unknown. Some 25,000 French troops died in action, by accident or of disease; some 3,600 European civilians were killed or disappeared, and a similar number of loyal Muslim troops were killed. The Algerian guerrillas lost perhaps 155,000 killed outright, and many more died of wounds; Muslim civilian deaths from all causes easily exceeded 50,000 even before the vengeful post-ceasefire bloodbath, which killed anything up to twice as many. The much-quoted total estimate of a million Algerian dead is now discounted, but the true cost was certainly at least half that - a sufficiently monstrous figure. Martin Windrow details the history, organisation, equipment and uniforms of the forces involved, with plenty of illustrations and eight full page colour plates by Mike Chappell.
- The Background
- Summary of Main Events
- The Army of National Liberation
- The French Army in Algeria
- Select Bibliography
- The States