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The army and the turning-point of 1958

Before 1958, the French army was divided between its European defence mission within NATO forces and the increasingly burdensome role of maintaining the French presence in Indochina and then Algeria.

French conventional forces in Europe found their modernisation slowed down by the requirements of colonial wars, and trained for combat within an alliance where all nuclear weapons were held by France’s partners. In Algeria, part of the officer corps considered that a revolutionary war was the only foreseeable form of conflict, and drew ideological, strategie and tactical conclusions from this.

In the years following his return to power in 1958, De Gaulle withdrew French forces from the united NATO command structure, and gave them their own nuclear weapons : he also gradually wrested them from the defence of Algeria and from their conception of warfare.


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Référence électonique : Jean PLANCHAIS, "The army and the turning-point of 1958", Pouvoirs, revue française d’études constitutionnelles et politiques, n°38, 38 - L’armée, p.5-12 . Consulté le 2020-02-23 17:54:51 . URL : https://revue-pouvoirs.fr/The-army-and-the-turning-point-of.html