The Algerian Rebel Army fights on for Independence. Our pictures were taken at an F.L.N.?
The Algerian Rebel Army fights on for Independence. Our pictures were taken at an F.L.N. Army Camp on the Tunisian-Algerian border. Once a French camp, the National Flag flies as the morning inspection takes place of four Algerian companies. The place is virtually a "staging post" for young Algerian refugees. A political leader talks to the troops.
After a few days at this station on the Tunisian-Algerian border two sections, (70 men) moved off to supply rebel troops in Algeria. This group is carrying arms and ammunition for 110 men, together with explosives. Their orders were to move to a spot near Constantino without attracting attention or counteraction. Movement for the Liberation Army is almost exclusively on foot, there is no transport. For this reason they must operate with light weapons. This group marched only at night, averaging 15 to 20 kms. Civilian guides were used on the march, who know every French camp and Patrol route. A soldier receives about 1,000 Frs. and a Captain 4,000 Frs. F.L.N. Headqtrs state that morals is high and they have troops and money to fight the French for ten years if necessary.
The troops move through the mountains with rest periods. Discomfort is their lot, - rain, clothing sodden after crossing rivers...........
Before a night march troops descend from the hills to seek food from villagers and farmers, but many of the latter are poor and have little to offer - fare for the troops is thus often nothing better than bread and water. In some ares dwellings are bombed to the ground, the inhabitants leaving. But they mean to co-operate with the military, offering themselves as guides and in other useful capacities. Usually fires are forbidden, but the rigour of a night march in driving rain, cold and across swollen streams and rivers enforce a relaxing of the rule so that the men may dry clothing and warm themselves.
After four nights on the march the party were high in the mountains, and it was permissible to march for an extra two hours a day in daylight, detection in such remote areas being unlikely. On some hills are signs of past French-Algerian conflict. Seared and withered trees and undergrowth witness the use of napalm.
The troops are carrying long tubes filled with explosives. Certain sectors in the Tunisian-algerian border areas are fenced with electrified barbed wire. The tubes are fitted end to end and slid under the electrified fence and detonated, thus making a passage for the troops. These fences are extremely difficult to out in any other way.
Expeditions like this are commonplace in the National Liberation Army's fight against the French.