The French Army's war in Algeria has always aroused passions. This book does not whitewash the atrocities committed by both sides; rather it shifts the focus to the conflict itself, a perspective assisted by the French republic's belated official admission in 1999 that what happened in Algeria was indeed a war. Each contributor made use of the increasingly liberalised French archives of the war since the early 1990s. The book re-evaluates counter-terrorism in the cities; the methods used in the "battle for hearts and minds" in the villages of the interior; the hitherto neglected roles of French air and naval power in supporting the army's counter-insurgency offensives against the Armee de Liberation Nationale; and the battles that France decisively lost for both world opinion and for support from her major Western allies. For years, with few exceptions, writers have overwhelmingly examined the Algerian crisis through the prism of French party politics, personal testimony and more recently, memory. But, far from being "a war with no name" the fighting in Algeria was on a massive scale involving some two million French soldiers.
This collection, published for the 40th anniversary of the war's end, firmly situates the battles they fought in strategy, operations and diplomacy.