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French Oran

#1
What if France had kept Oran? It was the most European part of Algeria. It could have been a refuge for the Pieds Noirs and would have been easy to defend. OTOH, the Algerian government would probably do everything it could to get it.
 

Charles EP M.

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#2
What if France had kept Oran?


But seriously, likely how it's going there: a state that's increasingly cut off and ignored by the world (France won't be backing it heavily forever), increasingly paranoid Algeria's going to invade (cos it will), with more and more of its bigwigs looking to squeeze any graft they can and channel it to their Swiss bank accounts.
 

Nyvis

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#3
I could see it ending up like NI. Long period of troubles, militias on both the native and pieds noir side, a big old mess.

And potentially, if neither side pull ahead, a Good Friday equivalent.

Of course that's if France grant citizenship to the natives within it, otherwise it's never going to be equivalent.
 

Redolegna

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#4
There was a place the French kept but in Tunisia and it was a naval base at Bizerte. This is how it went on. Clear victory on the ground for the French and two years later, the Tunisians got them to leave just like they wanted in the first place.

Militarily, Oran can be probably be held on to, but what's the point, really, and soon the political will vanish.

I could see it ending up like NI. Long period of troubles, militias on both the native and pieds noir side, a big old mess.
The OAS were at least one order of magnitude worse than any side in the Troubles, in the brief time they operated, I think, and they did not even have to go to the Americans for heavy weapons. If they have a 'dream' they can still hold on to part of Algeria they'll fight to the bitter end.

And anyway, the strength of the pieds-noirs came from all the land their ancestors had stolen from the Algerians. It was the fertile land, it was the land best connected to the distribution network, etc. Apart from the minority of Oranian shopkeepers already there, how are we to cram one million people in a single sort of city-state without any farming hinterland, shorn of all their wealth?
 

Nyvis

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#5
The OAS were at least one order of magnitude worse than any side in the Troubles, in the brief time they operated, I think, and they did not even have to go to the Americans for heavy weapons. If they have a 'dream' they can still hold on to part of Algeria they'll fight to the bitter end.
Well true, but look at Israeli Arabs versus Palestinian, for another inspiration. Some concessions on citizenship for those remaining in Oran and independence for the others is likely to bring you closer to a simmering situation than to an open rebellion.

And anyway, the strength of the pieds-noirs came from all the land their ancestors had stolen from the Algerians. It was the fertile land, it was the land best connected to the distribution network, etc. Apart from the minority of Oranian shopkeepers already there, how are we to cram one million people in a single sort of city-state without any farming hinterland, shorn of all their wealth?
With a lot of French metropole money, in all likelihood :ROFLMAO:
 

Redolegna

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#6
Well true, but look at Israeli Arabs versus Palestinian, for another inspiration. Some concessions on citizenship for those remaining in Oran and independence for the others is likely to bring you closer to a simmering situation than to an open rebellion.
I'm not saying the 'native' Algerians will be violent, though they'd still have reason to want their rattachement to independent Algeria. I'm saying the OAS will be, out of all proportion, and will be looking to cause massacres.
 

Thande

Shadow Minister for Generic Nice Things
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#7


But seriously, likely how it's going there: a state that's increasingly cut off and ignored by the world (France won't be backing it heavily forever), increasingly paranoid Algeria's going to invade (cos it will), with more and more of its bigwigs looking to squeeze any graft they can and channel it to their Swiss bank accounts.
I thought that was one of the most interesting parts of @Coiler 's book, great idea for the 'AH military thriller' type setting.

I also intend to use it, albeit in the 'toehold still controlled from Paris*' version, in an upcoming scenario if I ever get around to it.

* and London
 

Nyvis

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#8
I'm not saying the 'native' Algerians will be violent, though they'd still have reason to want their rattachement to independent Algeria. I'm saying the OAS will be, out of all proportion, and will be looking to cause massacres.
Oh for sure, I assume it would be on fire for decades at the very least. But younger Oman born Algerians would probably drift away from it and it would gradually lose its support base.
 

Redolegna

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#9
Oh for sure, I assume it would be on fire for decades at the very least. But younger Oman born Algerians would probably drift away from it and it would gradually lose its support base.
Uh? The OAS were the French soldiers who wanted to keep fighting despite the announcement Algeria would choose its own fate, not Algerian independence fighters.
 
#11


But seriously, likely how it's going there: a state that's increasingly cut off and ignored by the world (France won't be backing it heavily forever), increasingly paranoid Algeria's going to invade (cos it will), with more and more of its bigwigs looking to squeeze any graft they can and channel it to their Swiss bank accounts.
It would be part of France, not a separate state. Regardless, I'm not sure Algeria would, actually, invade rather than simply support rebels in Oran, block it and appeal to the international community.
 
#12
I could see it ending up like NI. Long period of troubles, militias on both the native and pieds noir side, a big old mess.

And potentially, if neither side pull ahead, a Good Friday equivalent.

Of course that's if France grant citizenship to the natives within it, otherwise it's never going to be equivalent.
The situations are completely different. Oran would be the immediate result of independence.
 
#13
There was a place the French kept but in Tunisia and it was a naval base at Bizerte. This is how it went on. Clear victory on the ground for the French and two years later, the Tunisians got them to leave just like they wanted in the first place.

Militarily, Oran can be probably be held on to, but what's the point, really, and soon the political will vanish.



The OAS were at least one order of magnitude worse than any side in the Troubles, in the brief time they operated, I think, and they did not even have to go to the Americans for heavy weapons. If they have a 'dream' they can still hold on to part of Algeria they'll fight to the bitter end.

And anyway, the strength of the pieds-noirs came from all the land their ancestors had stolen from the Algerians. It was the fertile land, it was the land best connected to the distribution network, etc. Apart from the minority of Oranian shopkeepers already there, how are we to cram one million people in a single sort of city-state without any farming hinterland, shorn of all their wealth?
The point of keeping Oran would be creating a refuge for Pieds Noirs and Harkis.
Regardless, France would fight much harder for a city than for a military base.
 
#17
There was a place the French kept but in Tunisia and it was a naval base at Bizerte. This is how it went on.
IIRC the plans for a continued French, or independent, Algeria were much more expansive than just a city like Bizerte. They wanted the border to run south from Boumerdes on the coast half way to the Sahara, turn westwards until it was roughly south south-east of Tissemsilt, then go south to the Sahara, before turning westwards again to meet the Moroccan border. That would cover most of the industry and decent farmland.
 

Redolegna

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#18
The point of keeping Oran would be creating a refuge for Pieds Noirs and Harkis.
Population of Oran in the 1960s: slightly over 300,000 people with maybe room for an extra 100,000 inhabitants from the people who fled during the war. Today: 600,000 in the city, with an extra 700,000 in the surrounding suburbs. There's just no room for the more than a million people, pieds-noirs and harkis who'll be fleeing. Look up bidonville de Nanterre, and that was when we relocated people to the métropole. One of our former minister, Azouz Begag, grew up in one such shantytown, the Chaâba, near Lyon. If these sprout up en masse around Oran, that'll spell catastrophe in weeks, disaster in months, pure horror for the months to come.

Regardless, France would fight much harder for a city than for a military base.
I think you underestimate how much opinion had turned against it.

If this happened on the day of the independence and nobody at the Elysée batted an eyelid, the conflict was done. Dusted. They did not want to stick their necks out for one city, with no particular interest for it. It was no Ceuta or Melilla with an actual historic French presence for much longer than the rest of Algeria. They'd rather be shot of the whole thing rather than keep reminding people they had lost Algeria. In France, what we lose we bury. Never happened. Not there. Wasn't us, guv. Dien Bien Who?