Battle of Bab El Oued
|Battle of Bab El Oued|
|Part of the Algerian War|
Modern day view of Bab el Oued
|France||Organisation armée secrète (OAS)|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Charles Ailleret||Raoul Salan|
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Bab el Oued (French: Bataille de Bab el Oued) was a military confrontation which occurred during the latter stages of the Algerian War (1954–1962). The battle was between the Organisation armée secrète (OAS), a militant group opposed to Algerian independence, and the French army in a traditionally working-class European quarter of Algiers from 23 March to 6 April 1962.
The OAS uprising (19 March)
The OAS was an organization of hard-line European "Pieds Noirs" living in (the then-French territory) Algeria who were opposed to the cease-fire announced by French president Charles de Gaulle on 19 March 1962 between French forces and the Front de libération nationale (FLN) forces fighting for Algerian Independence. The OAS decided to dig in at their stronghold of Bab El Oued (a traditionally European working-class area) to fight the Evian Agreements by force.
Siege of Bab el Oued (from 23 March to 6 April)
The Battle of Bab el Oued was principally a battle between the French Gendarmerie Mobile and the OAS Commando Delta. The French government forces used M8 Greyhound armoured cars to control the exits to the town whilst suspicious buildings were surveilled from the air by T-6 and T-28 aircraft departing from Boufarik Air Base. Four T-6s strafed the roofs to clear them from snipers after Army helicopters dropped canisters with tear gas. As part of the attack, naval artillery support from the T 47 class destroyers Surcouf and Maillé-Brézé was planned, though it soon became evident that this was not practical and the bombardment was called off. Most of the troops setting siege to the quarter had been ferried to Algeria by Surcouf and Maillé-Brézé, along with other three destroyers, on 2 March.
In support of Bab-el Oued, 200 OAS maquis marched from Algiers to Ouarsenis, a mountainous region between Oran and Algiers. They tried to capture two French military outposts and gain support from local Muslim tribes loyal to France, but instead these forces were harassed and eventually defeated by Legion units led by Colonel Albert Brothier after several days of fighting.
Arrest of General Jouhaud (25 March)
On 25 March 1962, General Edmond Jouhaud (adjutant to the Commander of the OAS Raoul Salan and commander of the OAS-Oranie, the Oran branch of the OAS) was arrested at the Hôtel Panoramic d'Oran with his adjutant, Commander Julien Camelin.
Massacre on the rue d'Isly (26 March)
The massacre on the rue d'Isly (French: Fusillade de la rue d'Isly) was the action on 26 March in which a largely peaceful demonstration of pro-French Algeria Pied-Noirs (though many had links with the OAS) tried to force their way through French roadblocks around the Grande Post (Great Post-Office). The protestors ran into a road block manned by 45 soldiers of the 4e régiment de tirailleurs algériens (4e RTA) (4th regiment of Algerian riflemen) who fired on the crowd. The official death toll given by the French government was 54 killed and 140 injured.
- Amouroux, Henri and Courrière, Yves (1988). La France contemporaine, La guxrre d'Algérie, t.IX. Tallendier, p.424 (in French)
- Time magazine, Volume 8, p. 119. Time, Inc., 1962
- Roche, Jean-Michel (2010). "Escorteur d'Escadre Surcouf" [Fleet Escort Surcouf] (in French). Netmarine.net. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
- Labour research, Volumen 51, p. 112. Labour Research Department, 1962
- Harrison, Alexander (1989). Challenging De Gaulle: The OAS and the counterrevolution in Algeria (1954–1962). Greenwood press, p. 120. ISBN 0-275-92791-1
- Evans, Martin (24 November 2011). Algeria: France's Undeclared War. Oxford University Press. p. 315. ISBN 978-0192803504.
- Benjamin Stora, Les mots de la guerre d'Algérie, Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 2005, p.18 (in French)
- 26 mars 1962, la fusillade de la rue d’Isly à Alger,Ligue des droits de l'homme (LDH, Human Rights League), article based on sources from Benjamin Stora,Histoire de la guerre d'Algérie, La gangrène et l'oubli and Sylvie Thénault, Histoire de la guerre d'indépendance algérienne (in French)
- (in French) Chillet, La Bataille de Bab-el-Oued, article from the journal « Accent Grave » n.l4 April 1963[permanent dead link]
- (in French) Fusillade à Bab-el-Oued dirigée sur le 2e bataillon du 73e RIMa au poste de zouaves, ECPAD