World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Bizerte crisis

Article Id: WHEBN0022886602
Reproduction Date:

Title: Bizerte crisis  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tunisian Armed Forces, July 1961, Bizerte, List of wars involving Tunisia, List of modern conflicts in North Africa
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bizerte crisis

Bizerte Crisis

Bizerte in 1961
Date July 19, 1961 - July 23, 1961
Location Bizerte, Tunisia
Result French victory
 France Tunisia
Commanders and leaders
Charles de Gaulle
Maurice Amman
Habib Bourguiba
7,000 paratroopers and marines
3 cruisers
Unknown number of planes
Unknown number of soldiers, paramilitaries, and civilian volunteers
Casualties and losses
24 killed
100 wounded
630 killed
1,555 wounded

The Bizerte Crisis occurred in July 1961 when Tunisia imposed a blockade on the French naval base at Bizerte, Tunisia, hoping to force its evacuation. The crisis culminated in a three-day battle between French and Tunisian forces that left some 630 Tunisians and 24 French dead and eventually led to France ceding the city and naval base to Tunisia in 1963.

After Tunisia gained independence from France in 1956, France remained in control of the city and its naval base, a strategic port on the Mediterranean, which played an important part in French operations during the Algerian War. France had promised to negotiate the future of the base, but had so far refused to remove it. Tunisia was further infuriated upon learning that France planned to expand the airbase.

In 1961, Tunisian forces surrounded and blockaded the naval base in hopes of forcing France to abandon its last holdings in the country. After Tunisia warned France against any violations of Tunisian airspace, the French defiantly sent a helicopter. Tunisian troops responded by firing warning shots. In response to the blockade, 800 French paratroopers were sent in. As the paratroopers landed on the airfield, Tunisian troops sprayed them with machine gun fire. In response, French jets armed with rockets, and 105mm howitzers blasted the Tunisian roadblocks, destroying them. French tanks and armored cars then rolled into Tunisian territory, and fired into the town of Menzel-Bourguiba, killing 27 soldiers and civilians.

Bizerte Martyrs monument

The following day, the French launched a full-scale invasion of the town of Bizerte. The Tunisians' few artillery posts were destroyed by rockets fired by French planes. Tanks and paratroopers penetrated into the city from the south, while marines stormed the harbor from landing craft. Three French cruisers were positioned offshore. Tunisian soldiers, paramilitaries,[1] and hastily organised civilian volunteers engaged the French in heavy street fighting, but were forced back by vastly superior French forces. The French overran the town on July 23, 1961.

The French military finally abandoned Bizerte on 15 October 1963, after the conclusion of the Algerian War.

See also


  • TIME: The Wages of Moderation (Jul. 28, 1961)
  1. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.