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Summary Article: Algerian War
from Britannica Concise Encyclopedia

(1954–62) War for Algerian independence from France. The movement for independence began during World War I (1914–18) and gained momentum after French promises of greater self-rule in Algeria went unfulfilled after World War II (1939–45). In 1954 the National Liberation Front (FLN) began a guerrilla war against France and sought diplomatic recognition at the UN to establish a sovereign Algerian state. Although Algerian fighters operated in the countryside—particularly along the country’s borders—the most serious fighting took place in and around Algiers, where FLN fighters launched a series of violent urban attacks that came to be known as the Battle of Algiers (1956–57). French forces (that increased to 500,000 troops) managed to regain control but only through brutal measures, and the ferocity of the fighting sapped the political will of the French to continue the conflict. In 1959 Charles de Gaulle declared that the Algerians had the right to determine their own future. Despite terrorist acts by French Algerians opposed to independence and an attempted coup in France by elements of the French army, an agreement was signed in 1962, and Algeria became independent. See also Raoul Salan.

Event: Algerian War

Start Date: 1954

End Date: 1962

Definition: war

Significance: independence (politics), National Liberation Front (political party, Algeria)

Related Place: France, Algeria

Keywords: independence, National Liberation Front, France, war, Algeria, Algerian War

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Copyright 1994-2017 Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc

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