Cast Study 2 - Understanding the Algerian War of 1954-1962:...

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Understanding the Algerian War of 1954-1962: An Analysis of Methods, Tactics, and Aftermath The Algerian War of 1954-1962 exemplified the struggles of a nation dissatisfied with colonialism and eventually became a beacon of hope for countries that were trying to fight colonial oppression after WWII. The most remembered battle of the war was definitely the Battle of Algiers in 1956. The battle is most vividly shown and described in the film, The Battle of Algiers filmed in 1966 by Gillo Pontecorvo . Although the tactics enforced by both the Algerian Revolutionaries and by the French military are seen by many as cruel and immoral, both sides did what was necessary to preserve their respective political agendas and expedite their intentions with any means necessary. There is no way to say that one method is more justified than the other; rather, it is more important to analyze if the means was really worth the result. The success and tactics of the Algerian Revolutionaries represented the hope of modern colonized countries. On the other hand, the French tactics and methods of interrogation in the end, in essence, worked to win the battle and parallel many actions still used by militaries in the modern era such as the United States in Guantanamo Bay. The Algerian Revolutionaries represented the desire of the Algerian majority located in the Kasbah. This small group of radical “terrorists” is known as the FLN. In a society where there was not much money, resources, or political power, the FLN resorted to strategic acts of terror in order to show feelings of unrest and dissatisfaction of the French occupation in Algeria. The members of the FLN, during the Battle of Algiers, were separated into a “cell” hierarchy where each member only knows a maximum of three other FLN comrades: their superior, and two other members below them. This hierarchy is designed to limit the knowledge of even its own members, and in turn preventing the French police or military from retrieving information from captured FLN revolutionaries ( The Battle of Algiers , 1966). This discretion of information
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2 goes even beyond the form of knowledge. There are no uniforms for the members of the FLN. There are men, women, and children of all ages burrowed within the cells. Their biggest weapon is their disguise. It can be said that the Algerian Revolutionaries maximized their impact and terror with the limited resources that were available to them. At one point, there seemed to be no way for the French occupation to defend themselves from these terrorist attacks. Even when Col. Mathieu ordered the city to be surrounded with checkpoints, the terrorists still found ways
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This note was uploaded on 06/26/2008 for the course HIST 290 taught by Professor Shaunlopez during the Spring '08 term at University of Washington.

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Cast Study 2 - Understanding the Algerian War of 1954-1962:...

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