Special Organisation (Algeria)
The Special Organisation was a secret paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 organisation in colonial Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, set-up by the Algerian People's Party
Algerian People's Party
The Algerian People's Party , was a successor organization of the North African Star , led by veteran Algerian nationalist Messali Hadj. It was formed on March 11, 1937...

 (PPA) at the convention of the MTLD
Movement for the Triumph of Democratic Liberties
The Movement for the Triumph of Democratic Liberties , name proposed by Maiza, was created October 1946 to replace the outlawed Parti du Peuple Algerien . Messali Hadj remained as its president....

 in 1947 to prepare for armed struggle against France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, which ruled Algeria as a colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

 since 1830. The turn towards guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 was in large part encouraged by the reactions to the Sétif massacre
Setif massacre
The Sétif massacre refers to widespread disturbances and killings in and around the Algerian market town of Sétif located to the west of Constantine in 1945. Shooting by the French authorities against local demonstrators occurred on 8 May 1945. Then, riots in the town itself were followed by...

 in 1945, and other examples of violent repression, which had convinced many Algerian activists that peaceful political work would be pointless.

The OS had around 1500-2000 members at its peak, and spawned the groups that would later form the FLN
National Liberation Front (Algeria)
The National Liberation Front is a socialist political party in Algeria. It was set up on November 1, 1954 as a merger of other smaller groups, to obtain independence for Algeria from France.- Anticolonial struggle :...

; this group, in turn, became the leading force in the Algerian War of Independence
Algerian War of Independence
The Algerian War was a conflict between France and Algerian independence movements from 1954 to 1962, which led to Algeria's gaining its independence from France...

 (1954–1962), and later Algeria's single ruling party until 1992.

The OS was dismantled by French police in 1951, and many members imprisoned. Only the units in Aurès and Kabylia remained active at the time.

Further reading

  • Tlemcani, Rachid, State and Revolution in Algeria (Boulder: Westview Press, 1986).
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.