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"French Conquest of Algeria 1830s-40s" Topic

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Botch B Inactive Member02 Mar 2017 1:52 a.m. PST

It just scrapes into Victorian, though it started before her reign began. There is a thread in the Toy Soldier/Army men forum about this but it struck me the topic might elicit more input here?

Can anyone help with links to visual inspiration for the Algerians please? There is a wealth of good info in Mark Bevis's Tangier to Tehran and, but I am looking for more…specifically any descriptions/illustrations of the:
-Militia Infantry (Moors, Turks, Arabs
-Berber Cavalry and Camelry
-Kabylie Mountain Infantry
-Berber Camelry

Also the Algerian artillery – crews and actual pieces, described in Bevis as
-40 light guns: 4-6 pdr Sakers
-10 heavy guns: 12 pdr Culverins and European type

TIA for an help given

Artilleryman03 Mar 2017 6:05 a.m. PST

I cannot recommend a book but try Google Images for 'The French Conquest of Algeria'. It will throw up some useful illustrations.

Haitiansoldier Inactive Member03 Mar 2017 8:28 p.m. PST

I have been looking for a book on the French Conquest of Algeria for ages but nothing has turned up.

Botch B Inactive Member05 Mar 2017 1:53 a.m. PST

Thanks Artilleryman – yes it does but…I want more! When I am doing a new period I become over interested (some, like my wife, say obsessed) with it and need to be immersed in information. Sad but there it is.

Haitiansoldier – me too! I kept hoping Douglas Porch would make it a trilogy and do it to go with the Conquest of Morocco and ditto the Sahara but it hasn't happened. I can't find my copy of Clayton to see what he has to say about it. Detaille briefly covers it, and so far the best is the reprint of Laurie, which has nothing on clothing or uniforms but quite a lot of brief descriptions of skirmishes and battles. No maps of them though.

I have another reprint of a book about the French in Algeria to try next.

Anybody come across these books and can provide more details from them or where to find them?

Daumas,General M. Moeurs et Coutumes al l'Algerie. 1847.

Azan, Paul. Sidi Brahim, 1905; L'Emir Abd el Kader, Hachette 1925; Les Grands Soldats de l'Algerie, 1930; Bugeaud et l'Algerie, 1930; Conquéte et Pacification de l'Algerie, 1931; L'Armee d'Afrique, 1930.

Botch B Inactive Member05 Mar 2017 3:45 a.m. PST has some relevant books with some good maps but not much in the way of plates or illustrations…worth a look through though.

Wargamorium05 Mar 2017 5:51 a.m. PST

An excellent book is 'The French Conquest of Algeria' by Major G.B. Laurie. London 1909. Covers the invasion right up to the 1850s. Full of battles, sieges and skirmishes. By the 1840s the French Army in Algeria numbered over 100,000 men so quite a large undertaking.

Have a look at ABE Books. I see this book was republished in paperback in 2004 by Naval and Military it should be still available if you look hard enough.


Botch B Inactive Member05 Mar 2017 6:43 a.m. PST

Thanks Wargamorium, that was actually the reprint of Laurie I mentioned above- as you say, quite good on battles and skirmishes. Not on clothing, and no maps of the fights though…

PeloBourbon05 Mar 2017 8:18 a.m. PST

Hi Mike,

maybe you can find some more elements here :


or contact the blog owner for extra sources.

Wargamorium05 Mar 2017 12:16 p.m. PST

Sorry about that B. I obviously did not read your second post closely enough. I assume you have a reprint of the Laurie book as the original first edition has indeed got maps although not of the battles or sieges just of the general areas.

Good luck in your hunt for references. I found very little and even fewer suitable 15mm figures for the Algerian side.

Botch B Inactive Member11 Mar 2017 5:47 a.m. PST

Thanks guys. Digging into these various places has turned up a lot of good stuff.

I've also been looking at the use of rockets in Algeria, by both sides. The main reason for the fascination is that in our wargames we have a 'different' approach to simulating their operation – Party Poppers. We use the little explosive gadgets to reproduce the uncertain flight of the rockets, shooting them from the firing position at the target, and nominating a colour(s) of paper ribbon to indicate hits. Great fun – they can go anywhere, including back over the firer's own troops – just like the real thing!

Anyway, accoring to a couple of sources, historically both sides used them, so we envisage a rocket duel at some point!

Botch B Inactive Member11 Mar 2017 5:48 a.m. PST

Belay the last pipe! Actually it was the Egyptians who used the rockets against the Algerians in 1830! Maybe a few got left behind…

marco56 Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2017 9:43 a.m. PST

Couple of books that might help.

Ian Dury12 Mar 2017 4:09 p.m. PST

Try having a look here. If you don't speak French, you will need Google translate to search – but there is loads of material to trawl through, including pictures

Botch B Inactive Member18 Mar 2017 3:20 a.m. PST

Many thanks guys. Now need to get on with converting and painting a few figures!Have conned, sorry, persuaded, a pal to get involved too so we have been exchanging ideas too. hes going to do a Mixed Brigade (all 3 arms) for the French.

I have a load of Conte Mexicans but the Victrix Napoleonic figures appeal to me more – more character – so as I have some of those too, they will take preference.

marco56 Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2017 12:45 p.m. PST

Perry's Carlist War range has some 1830's FFL.

Botch B Inactive Member08 Apr 2017 9:19 a.m. PST

Thanks Ian and Marco.We are doing this in 54mm, hence the choice of figures. Should have made that clear.

Have found I had more on it than I thought, including a book I bought in Bordeaux about 30 years ago on Algeria with photos, including one of indigenous with the sombrero-like straw hats which look so odd in North Africa somehow.

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