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For the Ottoman conquest, see Capture of Algiers (1529)
Invasion of Algiers
Part of the French conquest of Algeria
Attaque d Alger par la mer 29 Juin 1830 par Theodore Gudin.jpg
Attack of Algiers from the sea, on 29 June 1830, by Théodore Gudin.
Date 14 June–7 July 1830
Location Algiers, Ottoman Regency of Algiers
Result Decisive French victory
Belligerents
FranceFrance Ottoman EmpireRegency of Algiers
Commanders
Admiral Duperré
Louis Auguste Victor de Ghaisne, comte de Bourmont
Hussein Dey
Strength
103 warships
464 transports
37,612 combatants
50,000 combatants (5,000 Janissaries, 10,000 Moors and 30,000 Arabs)
Casualties and losses
415 unknown

The Invasion of Algiers in 1830 was a large scale military operation by which the Kingdom of France, ruled by Charles X, invaded and conquered the Ottoman Regency of Algiers. Algiers had been nominally a dependency of the Ottoman Empire since the Capture of Algiers in 1529 by Barbarossa.

A diplomatic incident, the so-called Fan Affair, served as a pretext for the invasion, which was instigated by Charles X to divert attention from French domestic affairs that culminated with his deposition during the later stages of the invasion in the July Revolution.

The invasion of Algiers began on 5 July 1830 with a naval bombardment by a fleet under Admiral Duperré, and a landing by troops under Louis Auguste Victor de Ghaisne, comte de Bourmont. The French quickly defeated the troops of Hussein Dey, the Ottoman ruler, but native resistance was widespread. This resulted in a protracted military campaign, lasting more than 15 years, to root out popular opposition to the colonisation. The so-called "pacification" was marked by resistance of figures such as Ahmed Bey, Abd El-Kader and Lalla Fatma N'Soumer.

The invasion marked the end of several centuries of rule in Algeria and the beginning of French Algeria. In 1848, the territories conquered around Algiers were organised into three départements, defining the territories of modern Algeria.

Contents

Background

During the Napoleonic Wars, the Regency of Algiers had greatly benefited from trade in the Mediterranean, and of the massive imports of food by France, largely bought on credit. The Bourbon Restoration limited trading, while the Mediterranean was completely controlled by the British Royal Navy, and the rebuilding French Navy. The dey attempted to remedy the decrease of his revenues by increasing taxes, which was resisted by peasants, increasing instability in the country and leading to widespread piracy against shipping from Europe and the young United States of America. This in turn led to the Barbary Wars, which culminated in August 1816 when Lord Exmouth executed a naval bombardment of Algiers.

The wide unpopularity of the Bourbon Restoration also made France unstable. In an attempt to distract his people from domestic affairs, King Charles X decided to engage in a colonial policy.

The "Fan Affair" which was the pretext for the invasion.

In 1827, Hussein Dey, Algeria's Ottoman ruler, demanded that the French pay a 31-year old debt, contracted in 1799 by purchasing supplies to feed the soldiers of the Napoleonic Campaign in Egypt. The French consul Pierre Deval refused to give answers satisfactory to the dey, and in an outburst of anger, Hussein Dey touched the consul with his fan. Charles X used this as an excuse to break diplomatic relations.

King Charles X decided to organise a punitive expedition on the coasts of Algiers to punish the "impudence" of the dey, as well as to root out Barbary corsairs who used Algiers as a safe haven. The naval part of the operation was given to Admiral Duperré, who advised against it, finding it too dangerous. He was nevertheless given command of the fleet. The land part was under the orders of Louis Auguste Victor de Ghaisne, comte de Bourmont.

On 16 May, a fleet comprising 103 warships and 464 transports departed Toulon, carrying a 37,612-man strong army. The ground was well-known, thanks to observations made during the First Empire, and the Presque-isle of Sidi Ferruch was chosen as a landing spot, 25 kilometres (16 mi) west of Algiers. The vanguard of the fleet arrived off Algiers on 31 May, but it took until 14 June for the entire fleet to arrive.

Invasion

Landing at Sidi Ferruch on 14 June 1830.

French troops landed at Sidi Ferruch on 14 June 1830 against minimal opposition. Within a few days, however, troops of Algerian caids started to rise against the invaders. On 18 June, Hussein Dey assembled a 50,000-man army, comprising 5,000 Janissaries, 10,000 Moors and 30,000 Arabs from Oran, Titteri and Medea. Bourmont merely kept the counter-attacks at bay until 28 June, when siege weapons were landed, making it possible to attack Algiers itself.

Attack by Admiral Duperré.
Fighting at the gates of Algiers.
Ornate Ottoman cannon, length: 385cm, cal:178mm, weight: 2910, stone projectile, founded 8 October 1581 in Algiers, seized by France at Algiers in 1830. Musée de l'Armée, Paris.

Sultan-Khalessi, the main fort defending the city, was attacked on 29 June and fell on 4 July. The Bey then started negotiations, leading to his capitulation the next day. At the same time, in France, the July Revolution let to the deposition of Charles X. French troops entered the city on 5 July, and evacuated the Casbah on 7 July. The French had 415 killed.

The Dey was exiled to Naples, and the Janissaries to the Middle East. Bourmont immediately instituted a municipal council and a governmental commission to administer the city.

Before the new status of Algiers could be settled, Bourmont struck at Blida and occupied Bône and Oran in early August. On 11 August, news of the July Revolution reached Algiers, and Bourmont was required to pledge allegiance to Charles' successor Louis-Philippe, which he refused to do. He was relieved of command and replaced by general Bertrand Clauzel on 2 September. Negotiations were started with the beys of Titteri, Oran and Tunis to impose a French protectorate, spreading French influence over the entire former Regency.

Order of battle

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French Navy


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