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on 6 July 2010
Having read the brilliant "Savage War of Peace" twice through (the complexity and detail in that book required this)I became fascinated by the closing chapter of the 54-62 war. Quite fascinating how, right at the end of such a savage war, just when things appeared to be on the verge of some form of peace, the Cities of Algiers and Oran were subjected to heightened levels of terror and bloodshed. I had previously been aware of the terror attacks in Paris but knew nothing of the horror unleashed in Algeria by the OAS. This book does not concern itself at all with the earlier war of independence but examines the mindset of the Pieds Noirs and Army from the Barricades Week onwards. The detail is impressive. Whether or not the author shares some sympathy with the OAS killers is not clear but the book does clearly set out quite why certain disillusioned individuals turned to inflicting such horror. The book very interestingly sets out how the OAS turned increasingly to settling "internal" scores rather than hitting out at Govt or muslim targets. The photos of previously violent men as they sit down to wine with the author are fascinating but even with the passage of time, the violence and hardness can be seen in their eyes. All in all a short but well written account of a horrible period.
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on 1 April 2012
simply chilling, a must read for any one interested in the unknown history of France at the end of one of the most violent wars of independence
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