Timeline of the Algerian War of Independence

From French Colonization to the End of the 'Battle of Algiers'

Maqam Echahid, Martyrs Memorial commemorating Algerian war for independence (1954-1962), detail, Algiers, Algeria : Stock Photo add_a_photo Comp Add to Board Maqam Echahid, Martyrs Memorial, 1982, commemorating Algerian war for independence (1954-1962)
Martyrs Memorial commemorating the Algerian War for Independence. De Agostini/C. Sappa De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

Here is a timeline of the Algerian War of Independence. It dates from the time of French colonization to the end of the Battle of Algiers.

The War's Origins in French Colonization of Algeria

1830 Algiers is occupied by France.
1839 Abd el-Kader declares war on the French after their meddling in the administration of his territory.
1847 Abd el-Kader surrenders. France finally subjugates Algeria.
1848 Algeria is recognized as an integral part of France. The colony is opened to European settlers.
1871 Colonization of Algeria increases in response to the loss of the Alsace-Lorraine region to the German Empire.
1936 Blum-Viollette reform is blocked by French Settlers.
March 1937 The Parti du Peuple Algerien (PPA, Algerian People's Party) is formed by the veteran Algerian nationalist Messali Hadj.
1938 Ferhat Abbas forms the Union Populaire Algérienne (UPA, Algerian Popular Union).
1940 World War II—Fall of France.
8 November 1942 Allied landings in Algeria and Morocco.
May 1945 World War II —Victory in Europe.
Independence demonstrations in Sétif turn violent. French authorities respond with severe reprisals leading to thousands of Muslim deaths.
October 1946 The Mouvement pour le Triomphe des Libertés Démocratiques (MTLD, Movement for the Triumph of Democratic Liberties) replaces the PPA, with Messali Hadj as president.
1947 The Organization Spéciale (OS, Special Organization) is formed as a paramilitary arm of the MTLD.
20 September 1947 A new constitution for Algeria is established. All Algerian citizens are offered French citizenship (of equal status to those of France). However, when an Algerian National Assembly is convened it is skewed to settlers compared to indigenous Algerians -- two politically equal 60-member colleges are created, one representing the 1.5 million European settlers, the other for 9 million Algerian Muslims.
1949 Attack on the central post office of Oran by the Organization Spéciale (OS, Special Organization).
1952 Several leaders of the Organization Spéciale (OS, Special Organization) are arrested by French Authorities. Ahmed Ben Bella, however, manages to escape to Cairo.
1954 The Comité Révolutionaire d'Unité et d'Action (CRUA, Revolutionary Committee for Unity and Action) is set up by several former members of the Organization Spéciale (OS, Special Organization). They intend to lead the revolt against French rule. A conference in Switzerland by CRUA officials sets out the future administration of Algeria after the defeat of the French -- six administrative districts (Wilaya) under the command of a military chief are established.
June 1954 New French government under the Parti Radical (Radical Party) and with Pierre Mendès-France as chairman of the Council of Ministers, an acknowledged opponent of French colonialism, withdraws troops from Vietnam following the fall of Dien Bien Phu. This is seen by Algerians as a positive step towards recognition of independence movements in French-occupied territories.