What brought the French to Algeria?

Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
It would seem that the French exit from Algeria in the mid-20th Century is a better known historical event that the French entrance in the mid-19th.

What first led France to occupy Algeria, and how was this conquest conducted?
 
Apr 2012
615
Ἀντιόχει&
Apparently France owed a debt to Algiers for supplies used by Napoleon in his invasion of Egypt and Hussein Dey of Algiers demanded from french diplomat Pierre Deval that that debt is repayed. Since they could not reach an agreement Hussein Dey hit Pierre Deval with his fan in anger. This was the pretext for invasion. Invasion started in june and ended in july 1830. The french initially only occupied coastal Algeria. The naval part of invasion was led by Admiral Guy-Victor Duperré and land operation was led by Louis Auguste Victor de Ghaisnes compte de Bourmont.

I don't know many books on this subject but this one could be good.
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/By-Sword-Plow-Conquest-Algeria/dp/0801449758"]Amazon.com: By Sword and Plow: France and the Conquest of Algeria (9780801449758): Jennifer E. Sessions: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41hgATqtSYL.@@AMEPARAM@@41hgATqtSYL[/ame]
 
Last edited:
Apr 2012
615
Ἀντιόχει&
About the invasion. French invasion force conted about 38 thousand land troops, 27 thousand sailors and 83 heavy artillery pieces and 103 warships. The french first landed at Sidi Ferruch on 14 June where they met minimal resistance. On 18 June Hussein Dey raised about 10 thousand men composed of 1000 Janissaries and the rest composed from Arabs and Berbers. The french recived siege wepons on 28 June and compte de Bourmont attacked the city of Algiers 29 June and it fell on 4th July. On the next day Hussein Dey surrendered and was exiled to Naples.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,924
Apart from the diplomatic shenanigans I think it might be added that the invasion took place alongside the revolutionary events of 1830. It seems it was felt a successful little military adventure just might help the king. (Not that it did in the end, he still got replaced and France got a constitutional monarchy out of it.)
 
Sep 2010
9,988
Bahrain
Apart from the diplomatic shenanigans I think it might be added that the invasion took place alongside the revolutionary events of 1830. It seems it was felt a successful little military adventure just might help the king. (Not that it did in the end, he still got replaced and France got a constitutional monarchy out of it.)
Indeed, it was hoped that the traditional 'conquer-and-be adored by your people' plan would help boost the popularity of the otherwise unpopular King Charles X.

Another reason I've heard was that the French wanted to put an end to piracy along the Algerian part of the Barbary coast.
 
Oct 2011
592
I have always wondered why there were so persistent in holding on to it when they de-colonized all their other previous African nations. I know they wanted to remain an empire, but the pick of Algeria escapes me.
 

Shaheen

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,566
Sweden