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The Camouflage From People's Democratic Republic Of Algeria
- Apr 16, 2018 -

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Algeria is today officially known as the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشّعبية). In antiquity the land was known as Numidia, later part of the Carthaginian, Roman, and Byzantine empires. Nomadic Berbers have made up a significant percentage of the population for thousands of years, and several Berber dynasties ruled much of the land during the Middle Ages. Islam was introduced by Arabs in the mid-7th century.

During the early part of the 16th century coastal areas of Algeria fell under control of the Spanish Empire, but most of these settlements (including Algiers) were later lost to the Ottomans and from 1517 until 1830 Algeria was considered part of the Ottoman Empire. It was during this period that England, France and Spain each lost thousands of merchant ships and captured slaves to pirates of the infamous Barbary Coast. The French would sieze control of Algiers in 1830 and lead a military conquest of the rest of Algeria that would last until 1848. Once under French control, Algeria was considered an integral part of France, with tens of thousands of Europeans emigrating there.

The Algerian War was launched by the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) in 1954 with the aim of liberating Algeria from French control. French forces were pitted against the Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN), the armed wing of the FLN. The war was primarily a guerilla campaign, but it evolved into a civil war as well, with loyalist Algerians supporting the nation remaining French and the insurrectionists favoring independence. Combat even spilled over into France, in the form of the so-called "Cafe Wars," bombings and assassinations that centered around cafes, perpetrated both by the FLN and the rival Mouvement National Algérien (MNA). France ultimately capitulated after nine years of war and Algeria achieved its independence in 1963.

In 1991, civil war broke out again, pitting the Algerian goverment against several Islamist rebel groups, namely the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS). During this time the government was essentially under military control. Dissident groups resorted to terrorism and initiated several massacres of Algerian civilians. The war effectively ended in 2002, although a splinter group calling itself Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat or GSPC (which has publicly endorsed Al-Qaeda and the killing of civilians) continue to wage a largely ineffective insurgency campaign against the government.

During the Algerian War (1954-1962), Algeria was France's 10th Military Region, populated by its own distinctive native units including the Tirailleur infantry units, Spahi mechanized cavalry regiments, and several commando units. Some of these units, particularly the Commandos de Chasse or tracker units, were outfitted in French tenue de leópard or lizard pattern camouflage fatigues, caps and berets. Sources further suggest that following independence some units of the new Algerian Army continued to wear French camouflage fatigues, although they appear to have been phased out rather quickly.

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