Thursday, 31 May 2018

Lessons From the Indo-China War | Part II

French Indochina, circa 1950: French Union troops take cover in a paddy ditch during operations against communist insurgents.
... issued by the Supreme Command, Far East, May 31, 1955. In retrospect a very detailed study (nearly 400 pages!). This paper itself leads to the correct conclusions, but nobody seems to have cared reading it. Hindsight 20/20 ... Still. A must read for those of you who want to know more detailed background information about the struggle in French-Indochina.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

The French-Algerian War and FM 3-24 | Counterinsurgency: A Comparison

A small detachment of France's 4th Regiment of Zouaves in the M'Sila region during the Algerian War, circa 1961
Many aspects of counterinsurgency (COIN) operations in today's contemporary operating environment suggest that historical reviews of previous COIN experiences can provide critical insight. However, the results of such reviews tended to fail to be incorporated into military doctrine as the passage of time reduced the perceived relevance of previous experiences.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The French campaign against the FLN

French soldiers capture FLN fighters in Algeria, 1958
Yes... yet another study about the 'struggle' in Algeria. Nevertheless, a very interesting one that sheds some light on how the French intended to 'pacify' one of their most crucial North African possessions. Read all about it at Constantin Melniks's paper.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

French Army Strategy & Strategic Culture

2 French paratroopers of the 2nd REP at an overlooking position in Algeria.
during the Algerian War, 1954-1958. A very interesting thesis submitted by Wynne M. Beers to the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of History.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Pacification in Algeria 1956–1958 | First hand experience

David Galula (1919–1967) was a French military officer and scholar who was influential in developing the theory and practice of counterinsurgency warfare.
I felt I had learned enough about insurgencies, and I wanted to test certain theories I had formed on counterinsurgency warfare. For all these reasons I volunteered for duty in Algeria as soon as I reached France. Lt Col David Galula (1919–1967). In this Memorandum, the author has reconstructed and evaluated his unique experience as participant and eyewitness in a critical period of the Algerian war. Another must read to understand the struggle in Algeria between 1954 - 1962.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Tactical success is not enough | The French in Algeria 1954-1962

A group of French para officers evaluating the situation in Algiers
Yes, I know. Yet another study, thesis, paper about the struggle in Algeria! Mind you though... you'll find quite some interesting insights reading this piece of work by Lt.Cmdr. James R. Rogers, USN. If you want to play out the whole conflict, perhaps give the award winning boardgame Ici c'est la France! a try.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Moden Warfare | Roger Trinquier

Colonel Trinquier en août 1958 avec le 3ème RPC à Djelfa
A French View of Counterinsurgency.  Apparently quite a controversial piece of work from this former notorious or famous (depending on your point of view), as well as distinguished French officer. Nevertheless, another invaluable read to understand how other armies relied on their COIN operations because of his experience... for the better, or the worse. 

Saturday, 12 May 2018

They bled in the Bled | CS Middle East Algerian War

Campaign Series Middle East | The 2D Map around the area of Bouzegza in the year 1957, Algeria.I am trying my best at the moment to create a series of scenarios that cover the intense and bitter fighting during the French-Algerian War. They are supposed to be fast, quick but innovative, e.g. to display how the French were the first to use helicopters for their operations in the Hinterland

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Campaign Series Middle East | You Tube Fan Channel

A dedicated CSME gamer already released 20 (!!) playthroughs of the lastest release from CS Legion on his YT channel and I highly recommend to visit it. He starts with all the Boot Camps and various interesting scenarios. 

Saturday, 5 May 2018

The French Experience in Algeria, 1954-1962

Heavy firefight for french commandos in the hills surrounding Malah. Algeria, March 1958
Blueprint for U.S. Operations in Iraq, by Major Gregory Peterson. I bumped into this interesting read while researching material for more Campaign Series | Middle East scenarios. Apparently, there are quite a few unknown encounters during this bitter colonial struggle, like the Battle of Agounennda.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

The British Boer War | French Algerian Conflict

Boers on a railway line in anticipation of the British response.Counterinsurgency for Today by Michael Lackman compares and at the same time explains the evolution of counterinsurgency. This fascinating read should be part of any NCO or ROTC training curriculum.