• Short Summary

    AS THREATENED RECENTLY BY PRESIDENT BOURGUIBA, FRENCH MILITARY CANTONMENTS AT BIZERTA WERE BLOCKADEE JULY 19 BY MORE THAN 10,000 TUNISIANS SOLDIERS AND CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS IN AN ATTEMPT TO WREST THE BASE FROM FRENCH OCCUPATION.

  • Description

    AS THREATENED RECENTLY BY PRESIDENT BOURGUIBA, FRENCH MILITARY CANTONMENTS AT BIZERTA WERE BLOCKADEE JULY 19 BY MORE THAN 10,000 TUNISIANS SOLDIERS AND CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS IN AN ATTEMPT TO WREST THE BASE FROM FRENCH OCCUPATION.

    CIVILIANS WERE BROUGHT TO THE BASE AREA IN TRUCKS AND OTHER COMMANDEERED VEHICLES. THEY CONSTRUCTED SIX-FEET HIGH BARRICADES OF ROCKS AND SANDBAGS ON ALL ROADS LEADING TO THE BASE, AND BEGAN DIGGING A SYSTEM OF TRENCHES INTENDED TO STRETCH ALL AROUND THE LAKE OF BIZERTA. LATER IN THE DAY THEY WERE JOINED BY TUNISIAN SOLDIERS, WEARING GERMAN AND AMERICAN STEEL HELMETS, WHO SET UP MORTAR AND MACHINE-GUN EMPLACEMENTS WITH ORDERS TO SHOOT IF FRENCH FORCES ATTEMPTED TO BREAK THE BLOCKADE.

    THE FIRST INCIDENT OF THE SIEGE CAME SOON AFTER DAWN. A FRENCH MILITARY VEHICLE, DRIVING ON THE ROAD TO BIZERTA, WAS STOPPED BY TUNISIAN TROOPS AND TURNED BACK. VIOLENT INCIDENTS OCCURRED LATER, WHEN A HELICOPTER FLYING SUPPLIES TO AN OUTLAYING POST CAME UNDER RIFLE FIRE FROM TUNISIAN TROOPS. FRENCH AIR TRANSPORTS WERE ALSO FIRED ON AS THEY TOOK OFF FROM THE NAVAL AIR STATIONS AT SIDI AMMED.

    FRENCH AUTHORITIES SAY THEIR AIRCRAFT WERE AGAIN FIRED ON WHILE DROPPING PARATROOPERS TO REINFORCE THE 5,000-MAN GARRISON. THE FIRE WAS NOT RETURNED ON THESE OCCASIONS, SAY THE AUTHORITIES. BUT SHORTLY AFTERWARDS, THEY SAID, THE TUNISIANS FIRED ON THE BASE WITH MORTAR, MACHINE-GUN, AND ARTILLERY. ONLY THEN DID VICE-ADMIRAL AMMAN, COMMANDER OF THE BASE, GIVE THE ORDER TO RETURN THE FIRE. FRENCH AIRCRAFT ALSO ATTACKED TUNISIAN EMPLACEMENTS. THIRTY FRENCH TROOPS WERE REPORTED WOUNDED, TEN OF THEM SERIOUSLY, LATE REPORTS JULY 20 SAID OVER 100 TUNISIAN SOLDIERS HAD BEEN KILLED, WOUNDED AND MISSING.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA67FVMLD48L7DDV0PBNJW95M2O
    Media URN:
    VLVA67FVMLD48L7DDV0PBNJW95M2O
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    20/07/1961
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:20:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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