The Battle of the Casbah: Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Algeria, 1955–1957

TitleThe Battle of the Casbah: Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Algeria, 1955–1957
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsAussaresses, Paul
Number of Pages185
PublisherEnigma Books
CityNew York

The revelations about brutal torture and summary executions during the battle of Algiers drew the anger of public opinion in France. Many in the government, including Francois Mitterrand the future president of France, knew and approved of the actions in Alegia. No other French army officer had ever spoken out in such detail until this book. General Aussaresses argues that torture "works" and may be necessary in extreme situations. It details the methods used and the results obtained by the paratrooper commando units led by the author. Without a doubt the Algerian guerrillas, known as the FLN, were capable of appalling cruelty. On the other hand, the French occupation of Algeria was not popular, and could not be maintained without resorting to brutal and repressive means. In 1962, De Gaulle decided to withdraw French troops from Algeria. By that time 30,000 French and 500,000 Algerians had been killed. This book is particularly relevant to the current debate on terrorism and it is this discussion which constitutes the main part of the book.

Original PublicationServices spéciaux Algérie 1955-1957: Mon témoignage sur la torture
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