Martin Thomas
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Order before reform
The spread of French military operations in Algeria, 1954–1958
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This chapter explains the political and military pressures which drove successive French governments to increase the scale and to widen the scope of French military operations in Algeria between 1954 and 1958. It focuses upon some apparent contradictions in the French counter-insurgency policy pursued in Algeria in these first four years of the war. The army command in Algeria made the most of operational triumphs, advertising their success in order to persuade any waverers that the Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) cause was doomed. By 1955 the FLN had divided Algeria into five regional Armee de Liberation Nationale (ALN) commands based upon their preferred administrative model, the wilaya. Pierre Mendes France's recognition of the futility of the order before reform strategy led him to resign his office as Minister of State in Mollet's coalition on 23 May 1956.

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Guardians of empire

The armed forces of the colonial powers c. 1700–1964


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