In the mid-1950s to early 1960s the Algerian war dominated the European press, comparable in impact to the Vietnam War. France was divided politically, and governments rose and fell regularly. Algeria was France's oldest, richest and most integrated colony, but during the war in Indochina an underground separatist movement began. Its armed wing, the ALN, began to act in 1954. The tactics they used are described in this text, ranging from assassination, including attempts on de Gaulle, to the intimidation of natives. The actions of the French military are covered, including the French Foreign Legion and the first use of airborne counter insurgency operations, w commonplace in modern warfare. The war is also considered the source of the reputaion w associated with paratroopers as crack troops.
Martin Windrow is series editor at Osprey and an authority on the post-war French army, particularly the Foreign Legion. He is the author of the very successful Men-at-Arms 300: French Foreign Legion since 1945 and Men-at-Arms 322: The French War in Indochina 1946 54.