Insurrection in Algeria

On November 1st, 1954, an insurrection broke out in Algeria.

Nationalist resistance to the French had been developing in Algeria for years, but the last serious outbreak had been in 1945, when an inadequately organised rising was quickly suppressed. Now the early hours of November 1st saw purposeful assaults on French troops and police, arson attacks on factories, explosions and sabotage. Bombs exploded in Algiers itself, but the main thrust was in the Aurès Mountains near the Tunisian border, long a refuge for outlaws. Bandit chiefs led some of the groups which attacked army barracks, police stations and railway stations. The insurrection’s leaders called themselves the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN). Many of them were former French army NCOs, including Ahmed Ben Bella, an ex-sergeant with a distinguished war record and a knack for bank-robbery.

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