Ordeal in Algeria

By Richard Brace; Joan Brace | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN
"THE FOUL BLOW"--JANUARY 24, 1960

MASSU'S FOLLY: INTEGRATION OR ELSE

The incident which triggered the second Algier's rebellion, January 24, 1960, was de Gaulle's removal for insubordination of General Jacques Massu from the command of the Army of Algiers. The president's action followed the publishing of a statement made by Massu to a correspondent of the West German press in which he strongly criticized President de Gaulle's policy of self-determination for the Algerians. Massu said that such a policy was acceptable neither to the army at war to keep Algeria French nor to the Europeans of Algiers who favored a policy of integration. How Massu blundered into this public indiscretion is a mystery but there are rumors that he simply fell into a trap set for him by certain activists who maneuvered the interview. Massu, rugged and outspoken by nature, may well have been the dupe of more subtle politicians. The interview, pretext or not, was accepted by de Gaulle as a challenge. Immediately he yanked Massu back to Paris and summarily relieved him of his command, and the activists were presented with their cause célèbre on a platter. Massu, the idol of Algiers, the hero of May 13 and all it represented had been publicly humiliated. Was this not a proof of de Gaulle's real sentiments toward the cause of Algérie Française?

It is apparent that the January coup was prepared with the complicity of the Algiers' authorities, the collusion of half a dozen rightist organizations, veterans groups, and some elements of the

-327-

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Ordeal in Algeria
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • Acknowledgment x
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One - Algeria Between Two World Wars 11
  • Chapter Two - The Impact of World War II Upon Algeria From Vichy to "Torch" 39
  • Chapter Three - Rebellion 81
  • Chapter Four - French Reaction, 1954-1956 115
  • Chapter Five - Algeria in the World 1956-1958 136
  • Chapter Seven - De Gaulle to Power 223
  • Chapter Eight - De Gaulle's Mise En Scene 250
  • Chapter Nine - The Elusive Peace (1959) 285
  • Chapter Ten - "The Foul Blow"--January 24, 1960 327
  • Chapter Eleven - Unfinished Business 380
  • Epilogue 398
  • Glossary 433
  • Index 441
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