Battle of Bouzegza
The Battle of Bouzegza took place during the Algerian War in the Berber-speaking region of the Adrar Azegzaw massif (Djebel Bouzegza, which means "Bouzegza Mountain"), at the far eastern end of the Mitidja Plain.
|Battle of Bouzegza|
|Part of Algerian War|
|Commanders and leaders|
Si Boualem (POW)
|Casualties and losses|
1 captured (4 August)
10 killed (12 August)
~600 killed (4 August)
Unknown (12 August)
16 killed (4 August)
98 killed (12 August)
1 wounded (4 August)
Dozen dead (Commando)
Si Boualem's ferkas' decimated (12 August)
Before 4 August 1957Edit
According to the French, the battle followed an ambush near Médéa in late July 1957 against a section of the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment, in which 14 men were killed and eight wounded. According to the Algerians, a medic from the local unit in Palestro commanded by Si Boualem, captured in a guerrilla action, told the French his unit was in Bouzegza. He knew it was not but did not know Ali Khodja was there.
In spite of its numbers and considerable resources, the French army suffered a heavy defeat on the 4th of August. The 2nd squadron of the 2nd Regiment of Dragoons mistook Ali Khodja's fighters for French soldiers and lost many men. Major Azzedine said in 2009 that an article in the daily Le Monde, published the day after the incident, reported French casualties of around 600 dead, wounded, and missing, and according to him the fighters of the Wilaya IV only sustained a few wounded. The article in question, quoting French military authorities, actually said that only 21 French were killed and 18 wounded. The history of the French 2nd Dragoon Regiment stated that the losses include 29 killed, 12 wounded, and 2 missing. According to the FLN, the commandos suffered only one wounded, the rebels killed by the French army being moussebilines and civilians.
Ali Khodja was joined by other units. The NLP soldiers were severely attacked on the 12th by the paratroopers of the 2nd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment and the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment, the French recovered on this occasion some of the weapons captured by the rebels. According to Commander Azzedine, some ferkas under the orders of Si Boualem were practically decimated, while a dozen men from the commando were killed. Thanks to his information networks and his knowledge of the terrain, Ali Khodja managed to disengage and retreat with the minimum damage possible (according to Commander Azzedine: a few killed and a dozen wounded).
- Article in Le Monde on the battle: "Un ancien officier d'Algérie commente la bataille du Bou-Zegza". Le Monde (in French). August 10, 1957.
- "Violent combat au sud d'Alger" [Violent Fight South of Algiers] (in French). Le Monde. August 6, 1957. Archived from the original on February 11, 2018.
- Lt Col (H) Aïcardi (August 22, 2010). Fiche Algérie 1954-1964 du 2e dragons [Algeria card 1954-1964 of 2nd Dragoons] (in French). Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
- "Huit cents rebelles ont été mis hors de combat depuis le 5 août" [800 Rebels Knocked Out of Action Since August 5]. Le Monde (in French). 13 August 1957. Archived from the original on 11 February 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
- Yves Courrière, La guerre d'Algérie [The War in Algeria], p. 424 (in French)
- Patrick de Gmeline, Nouvelle histoire de la Légion étrangère Archived 2017-09-15 at the Wayback Machine [New History of the Foreign Legion], Perrin, 2016 (in French)
- Boukhalfa Amazit, "Le commandant Azzedine raconte la bataille de Bouzegza" [Commander Azzedine Recounts the Battle of Bouega], El Watan, August 20, 2009 (in French)
- "Vingt et un militaires tués et dix-huit blessés Seize morts chez les rebelles" (in French). Le Monde. Archived from the original on 2018-02-11.
- Patrick de Gmeline, Nouvelle histoire de la Légion étrangère, Perrin, 2016, 652 p. Nouvelle histoire de la Légion étrangère. 13 October 2016. ISBN 9782262069537. Archived from the original on 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2017-10-01. (in French)