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Rifles of Algerian War 1954-62

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by BlackHand1917, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. BlackHand1917

    BlackHand1917 Well-Known Member

    I have been very curious of late what kind of small arms were used by the Algerian side in the Algerian War of Independence of 1954-1962. It was an intense little war and I don't recall what kinds of rifles, machine-guns and pistols were used by the Algerian side. I used to have a Czech neighbor a couple of years ago who was in the Legion and fought and was wounded in the conflict but I moved and never saw the kindly old gent again so I can't ask him now.
  2. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    The French used a variety of arms, including rifles and submachine guns manufactured in France. But their mainstay was the M1 Garand rifle and the M1 Carbine, obtained from the US.

    The insurrectionists used similar arms (obtained from the French) and some supplied by the Soviet Bloc.
  3. Shung

    Shung Well-Known Member

    I've also seen some k98 and Stgw44 in the hand of the rebels.
  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    Yep -- a lot of Nazi equipment wound up in some strange places. In the '48 Arab-Israeli war, the Israeli mainstay aircraft was the Messerschmitt.
  5. Shung

    Shung Well-Known Member

    Yep, 109G's from hungary if i am not mistaking
  6. BlackHand1917

    BlackHand1917 Well-Known Member

    Did a little research on the web. There is darned little web content about the Algerian Revolution, but I came up with the names of a few weapons used by the revolutionaries:

    FM 24/29 (that French light MG that looks like a Bren)
    Beretta MP-38

    The German arms were from Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia
  7. strangelittleman

    strangelittleman Well-Known Member

    Yes the Alegerians also used alot of U.S.( left over from WW2) & French (captured) weapons such as; M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Thompson 1928, MAT 49 SMG, MAS 36 & 36/51 bolt actions, MAS 49 & 49/56 7.5x54mm semi-auto rifle, as well as, numerous German, Spanish and Italian rifles.
    The Beretta 1938 & 38/42 SMG was also very popular, as was LMGs & rifles from Czechoslovakia and the Sten.
    Pistols....Stars, Walthers, MAS 35, MAB D, S&W M&P revolvers, BHP.. you name it, they probably had it!...Both sides!
  8. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

    Not quite.

    They purchased a number of Avia DEVELOPMENTS of the Bf109, built by Avia in Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately, they used (if I remember correctly) the Jumo engine and a fat, paddle bladed propellor that gave the aircraft vicious torque. I think these were the B99 and B199. They were lousy fighters.
  9. BlackHand1917

    BlackHand1917 Well-Known Member

    What's also amazing was that some French native and rear elecelon troops were still carrying Lebels! Odd since the French started to phase out the Lebel in the middle of WWI. Took em' long enough!
  10. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Well-Known Member

    .......................holding back the French rifle jokes......

    fighting it

    still fighting it.......


    I have been watching the series on WW1 and I think the French did what the other Armies should have done. THey refused to keep running en mass at machine guns, over and over. The managed to change the French General and the tactics changed....but I sill find the humor in the jokes, even though they are not true.....
  11. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Shotgun News did a series on gun of the French Foreign Legion. With a pic of Legionaires in Algeria carrying Kar 98k's, SMLE no 4 mk 1, M1 carbine and a US 1919 LMG. Talk about a heck of a supply problem to get ammo for all that. (Granted the pic didn't state if they were hauling captured weapons.)
  12. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    Actually, they didn't cause a change in tactics. They muntinied and refused to attack. Now, that played right into the German's hands -- the German strategy after the Schilefen plan failed was to defend in the west and hammer the Russians in the east. The Russians, for their part, were screaming for the Western Allies to take the pressure off them -- which is why so many attacks were made in the west. With the French muntiny, the Russians saw the Western Allies were not up to the task and capitulated. This freed German forces to come east and crush the Western Allies.

    The fly in the German's ointment was the United States. US troops were arriving in great numbers, and the Germans had only a narrow window to make their increased troop strength felt. The Germans had also adopted new tactics -- the so-called Huiter Tactics -- which emphasized small unit initiative, by-passing strong points, and penetrading deeply instead of mass shoulder-to-shoulder attacks.

    The Germans broke the French, and American troops were hastily thrown into the gap. It was the Americans who won the Second Battle of the Marne. As the Americans marched up, they were met by streams of demoralized French who called out "La guerre est finit." ("The war is over.")

    The Americans replied "'pa finit." ("not over.")

    After the battle, an American sector was created and the American sector was called the 'pa Finit Sector.
  13. barman

    barman Well-Known Member

    And the French are supposed to be arrogant... whatever! Is it just you or that rumor that Americans claim to have won both WW1 and WW2 all by themselves is true?

    You forgot that during the counter-offensive at the second battle of the Marne, there were 24 French divisions for 8 US divisions. Mangin and Berthelot were entirely succesful by their own means.

    I'm not denigrating the help of our American friends. They came at a decisive moment and provided the extra push necessary for the allies to win over the Germans.

    But, PLEASE, give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

    France was the country among the Allies that fought the most during that war. More than Brits, more than Americans.
  14. barman

    barman Well-Known Member


    Back to the topic, rifles of the Algerian war.

    My Uncle was a draftee during the Algerian "events", it wasn't officialy called a war until a decade later.

    He was issued a MAS-36. He told me the Fellagahs would use whatever they could get their hands on. That included French, German and US equipment. Sometimes they would catch some rebels with real obsolete guns like Gras rifles (single shot).
  15. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    You don't like the fact that we stopped the Gemans just short of Paris in the Second Battle of the Marne? Take it up with Cleo, the Muse of History.
    And you call us arrogant?
  16. barman

    barman Well-Known Member

    Once again, you didn't do it all by yourselves; please read my previous post one more time.
  17. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    The Second Battle of the Marne was won by the US. Beginning on the 27th of May, 1918, the Germans drove Duchene's Sixth French Army back more than 60 miles, making a salient more than 50 miles wide. It was men from the retreating Sixth French Army who called out "La Guerre est finit" to the advancing Americans.

    A total of five US Infantry Divisions were committed to block the gap left by the retreating French. The US 3rd Infantry Division stopped the German advance at Chateau Thierry and the 2nd US Infantry Division launched counterattacks into Vaux, Bourches and Belleau Wood. This action saved Paris and broke the back of the German advance.

    The American victory also had a major inpact on French morale, which improved markedly as a result.

    As John Keegan, the Dean of British Military Historians wrote in The First World War,

    See also Brigadier Vincent J. Esposito's West Point Atlas of American Wars, Volume II for detailed maps of the battle.
  18. Palo

    Palo Active Member

    As an aside, during ODS I was attached to the 2nd REI (French Foreign Legion) as a liaison and most of the enlisted & NCO's were Dutch, Swedish, German, Norwegians, Swiss and a couple of Englishmen. All the officers were French. Troops overall were very competent (even the officers).
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    One point you might make is that the officers in question were not actually members of the Legion. Just as the US Marines have no medical personnel or chaplains, and Navy personnel are seconded to the Marines for those duties, so the Legion has no officers. The officers are seconded from the regular French Army.
  20. barman

    barman Well-Known Member

    So, according to you, neither Mangin's 10th Army nor Degoutte's 6th Army played an important role in the victory at the second battle of the Marne? Despite the fact they advanced 5 miles on the first day of the counter-offensive that was launched on July 18?

    Sorry, but the 2nd battle of the Marne was a Franco-American victory. NOT only an American one. Both the US and France managed to be decisive and efficient at the right moment.

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