On this day

Rapace

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Just a few historical facts in an otherwise pretty confused debate (like often on this sensitive subject)...
• The putsch in Algiers took place in April 61. It’s not concurrent with the Évian peace talks that took place in 62, with an agreement on a ceasefire reached on March 19, 1962.
• Except of course for a majority of the ~ 1.5 million people-strong European community in Algeria, the putsch had very little support in the public opinion. Actually, most of the French have had enough of this war and just wanted the end of it.
• Even in the Army, the support was limited and that’s why the putsch collapsed after 3 days, when the “four generals” (“le quarteron de généraux en retraite” in De Gaulle's words) realised that and decided to call it off.
• Among the activists you had a mix bag of truly idealistic officers (like acting CO of 1er REP, Major Hélie de Saint-Marc) persuaded that their duty was to protect the European community and keep Algeria under French control for the sake of the country’s grandeur and some far-right civilian political activists (the most famous being Jean-Jacques Susini).
• The failed putsch gave birth to the clandestine terrorist movement called OAS (Organisation Armée Secrète) led by Salan, before he was arrested, where a number of former members of the 1er REP “illustrated” (so to speak) themselves. The OAS started a terror campaign in Algiers and other big cities, like Oran and Constantine in 61-62 (like the FLN had done in 56-57) and organised several bombings on the metropolitan French territory. The OAS tried several times to assassinate De Gaulle.
• This affair, from the start and then over the years, has given birth to a number of “urban legends”, the most often repeated being that some airborne units were going to jump on Paris or be airlifted. In some people’s dreams, maybe... The story came from an erroneous information received in Paris and mentioned in a speech given on TV by De Gaulle's PM Michel Debré without cross-checking it.
 

Le petit caporal

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Not enougth times, in my opinion : i.e. De Gaulle
No mention of the Yeti conclusion, why?
No need to explain why a putsch could never have reached Paris. Merci beaucoup NATO and Châteauroux NATO airbase (it was massive)
It was a non starter to begin with.
The terrorist attacks were on both sides... Not my doing.
Petty, over thought Generals and is why we shot some of the barsrewards. Imagine if it was all of the Legion disbanded at that time.
 

Rapace

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Yes, forgot about “Le Yéti”, but you basically said it all. The secret negotiations between the French and the GPRA (Gouvernement Provisoire de la République Algérienne, Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic) delegation took place in this house of Les Rousses in the Jura mountains, before they were officially finalised at Évian, in the Alps (close to the Swiss border).
Not sure if NATO had anything to do in the failure of the Algiers coup. Again, it was over in a matter of a few days.
It’s Defence Minister Pierre Messmer, a former Legion captain during WW2, who “saved” the Legion that De Gaulle wanted to disband. He reminded him the role the Legion played among the Free French forces, in particular the 13e DBLE which was one of the only two regiments to join the Free French as a whole unit, refusing to be repatriated from Britain to France after returning from the Narvik expedition in Norway. But he couldn’t do anything for the 1er REP.
 

Le petit caporal

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And the Harkis fate was felt
Post Shitum : it was Messemer who held the direct négociations with the F.L.N....direct contact with Paris
Only thing that intrested Paris, was
The conuity of the atomique testing in the Sahara
 

USMCRET

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This is an internal squabble but man from the outside I see, again in these posts, that not all go the Legion fought on the after French Side, that no all of the Legion aided with the putsch, and the most baffling of all post everything Germans were allowed in the Legion after WWII, all beyond belief. It’s like going to dinner at mom's with her boyfriend, your divorced dad, and his girlfriend. Complicated to say the least.
 

Le petit caporal

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If only they made me caporal-chef, it would of passed under the radar or I would of screwed the fuds.
 
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05 May 1980 Operation Nimrod The S A S storm the Iranian Embassy.

Pipped me to the post. I was an observer in London at the time from an excellent view point.
They certainly set the standard for future operations of this nature. Brilliant op. Trevor Locke the police officer, as a captive, was extremely brave and competent during the siege.
 
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Anniversary Friday 7 May 1954.

In North West Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh forces decisively defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu. This French stronghold had been besieged by the VC communists for 57 days.

As a student I read all available reports at the time with avid interest.

This victory signalled the end of French colonial influence.
 

jonny

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The final days of the battle of Dien Bien Phu

4970
 

jonny

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Just a few historical facts in an otherwise pretty confused debate (like often on this sensitive subject)...
• The putsch in Algiers took place in April 61. It’s not concurrent with the Évian peace talks that took place in 62, with an agreement on a ceasefire reached on March 19, 1962.
• Except of course for a majority of the ~ 1.5 million people-strong European community in Algeria, the putsch had very little support in the public opinion. Actually, most of the French have had enough of this war and just wanted the end of it.
• Even in the Army, the support was limited and that’s why the putsch collapsed after 3 days, when the “four generals” (“le quarteron de généraux en retraite” in De Gaulle's words) realised that and decided to call it off.
• Among the activists you had a mix bag of truly idealistic officers (like acting CO of 1er REP, Major Hélie de Saint-Marc) persuaded that their duty was to protect the European community and keep Algeria under French control for the sake of the country’s grandeur and some far-right civilian political activists (the most famous being Jean-Jacques Susini).
• The failed putsch gave birth to the clandestine terrorist movement called OAS (Organisation Armée Secrète) led by Salan, before he was arrested, where a number of former members of the 1er REP “illustrated” (so to speak) themselves. The OAS started a terror campaign in Algiers and other big cities, like Oran and Constantine in 61-62 (like the FLN had done in 56-57) and organised several bombings on the metropolitan French territory. The OAS tried several times to assassinate De Gaulle.
• This affair, from the start and then over the years, has given birth to a number of “urban legends”, the most often repeated being that some airborne units were going to jump on Paris or be airlifted. In some people’s dreams, maybe... The story came from an erroneous information received in Paris and mentioned in a speech given on TV by De Gaulle's PM Michel Debré without cross-checking it.
Rapace,
For the life of me, I don’t understand why you can’t accept the testimony of a first hand witness to the military coup in Algeria in April 1961. Oh well, I was at the airport in Philippeville, Algeria, all kitted out for the jump in Paris, with the Bois de Boulogne as our jumping site. But then again, who am I to argue with a well read historian who were never there. I keep telling you that my company of 2 REP was at the airport all kitted out, but the airforce decided to side with de Gaulle and pulled away their airplanes at the last moment when they found out about the plan to jump in Paris.
Why do you keep repeating that this never happened? Chinga! You really piss me off with your ignorance.
 

jonny

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OK Rapace, I have now slowly read your post again, and I realize you are just mouthing the French government propaganda at the end of the Algerian conflict.

There is no point trying to have an intelligent discourse with somebody like you.

End of discussion.
 

dusaboss

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Don't get pissed Jonny. Man just doing his job. ;)
 
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8 May1945 was a very special day for me. It was the b/day of the wonderful lady who adopted me from the WW2 children's home where I lived having been bombed out and losing my father in Italy.

With her I went to our small rural town centre and clambered unrestricted all over the British and Canadian military vehicles . There was some jubilation mainly from the soldiers but with the civilians it was mainly a sense of sheer relief that at last it was over.

Albeit a rural area we lived in 'bomb alley' where bombers who had not completed there raids on London or had surplus bombs simply discarded them on the way back to the coast. Route being Portsmouth to London.
 
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Random anniversaries for 9 May.

1944 Food rationing declared in the USA. Everything from tyres to red meat.

1956 UK Cdr, Buster Crabb RN (Frogman) goes missing having spied on the Soviet cruiser on a good will visit carrying Nikita Kruschev and Marshall Bulganin to the UK/ Portsmouth. Later his decapitated body was found. Subsequently a head was discovered where I used to shoot wildfowl.

1970 major USA war protest.

1974 Nixon and Watergate.

1976 Israeli plane hijack and rescue with a SAS Major attached. Subsequently I met him.

1994 Nelson Mandela is unopposed and becomes President of S.A.
 

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