History of the People's National Army

    After the recovery of national sovereignty, on 5th July 1962, the Algerian Army emerged as the legitimate repository of a long and rich military history, rooted in Antiquity and continued until the wars waged by kings and Numidian leaders against the roman occupation; later, this army underwent several transformations and experienced many crucial episodes, especially during the period of the Regency of Algiers, from the 16th century.

    Among the great battles that the Algerian Army had led during the Second Punic War, the Battle of Zama (202 BC) which illustrated the military genius of King Massinissa and the value of the Numidian cavalry, which is still the subject of teaching in several military academies around the world, and remains a witness to the liveliness and ingenuity of Algerians who have achieved great exploits throughout our glorious history, in particular, the maritime exploits of the Algerian fleet which braved those of other powers and extended its radius of action to Island (Mourad Rais expedition in 1627) arousing, again, the amazement of the whole world, popular resistance, and finally, the battle of Algiers, one of the episodes of the glorious national liberation war, until this day, the subject of studies by the staffs of several armies.

    Mainly, the Algerian Army has a rich history marked by important military events, during more than two millennia, through which appears the value of the geostrategic position of our country as well as the military genius of several of its famous leaders or warriors at different historic phases.

From 1945 until 1954.. The Revolution outbreak
    8th May 1945, constitutes a crucial time in the history of the Algerian people fight and its developments, in fact, the failure of the political way initiated by the nationalist movement at the beginning of the 20th century, in front of the perverse colonial administration manoeuvres which organized electoral masquerades, was definitively established after this significant date, using the pretext of popular demonstrations which intended to associate the armistice of the Second World War with their desire for expression of national independence, fierce repression was slaughtered on the Algerians, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths and acts of incredible barbarism.

    This repression was all more revolting since it comes after the forced mobilization of tens of thousands of young Algerian conscripts into the ranks of the French army to help Europe from Nazi domination. This participation, forced in various ways, concerned not only the two World Wars but also typically colonial battles such as those in Indochina (today Vietnam), allowing Algerians to learn about modern weapons and battles and to gain combat experience while learning the internal functioning of the enrolling army.

    Two years later, in 1947, a first attempt to constitute a clandestine military action network, the OS (Special Organization), initiated by elements of the national movement, constituted the first core of armed resistance which undertook, as quickly as possible, to gather the conditions for a military fight against colonialism: fundraising, acquisition of armaments and combat training. The organization succeeded in a few massive actions such as the attack on the Oran Post Office in 1949. Although this organization was discovered and suppressed, its elements secretly continued the resistance until the outbreak of the glorious war of liberation.

The Revolution of November 1954.. The birth of the National Liberation Army
    It was in particularly difficult and complex conditions, both materially and organizationally, that the Algerian people and their revolutionary militants made the irreversible decision to wage a struggle against the colonial regime. On 1st November 1954, the rifle shots were fired by the first combatants, the revolutionary organization through armed action made a complete break with political means which had proved its ineffectiveness. The declaration of 1st November 1954 clearly expressed this option, creating the National Liberation Front (FLN) and its armed section, the National Liberation Army (ALN), establishing them as the instruments for freedom.


    Moreover, from the beginning of the armed struggle, the politico-military officials set up the structures of the ALN, in accordance with guerrilla principles, units formed of small groups, with light weapons but extremely mobile and efficient. One year, after the North Constantine offensive (20th August 1955), the Soummam congress was held, its historical platform included an important military component relating to the reorganization of the ALN into battalions, companies, sections and groups with, in support, an administrative, financial and logistical organization which did not omit the vital contribution of information in the mobilization of the Algerian people in the fight against colonialism and its propaganda mechanisms

    Progressively, the ALN acquires modern equipment and weapons employing a high fire capacity. Well-trained and above all well-structured, the ALN proved its effectiveness on the battlefield and the mujahedin, initially considered by the enemy as a handful of rebels despised and underestimated, will, by their irreducible determination, their strategic and tactical sense and above all a firm support of the people, oblige the occupier to sit down at the negotiating table, thereby, wresting national independence in a fierce struggle.


    The National Liberation Army coming from the Algerian people has successfully achieved the objective of independence and recovering national sovereignty, taking their inspiration from ancestral traditions of struggle, applying the principles of revolutionary warfare and adapting them to the specific conditions of Algeria. thus two main characteristics have forged the military history of Algeria from the most ancient times until the war of national liberation, the first is that Algeria has frequently found itself in a situation of defence, thus developing a fundamental attitude of resistance and strongly attaching it to a principle of refusal of attacks and occupations; the second is a permanent combination of popular resistance and organized military action, in various historical forms. Whenever there was a need to defend the homeland – as was oftentimes - the military found resistance by their side, just as consistently, the military is coming from the ranks of the people.


    This historical duo explains why, once national sovereignty was recovered, the National Liberation Army was reconverted into People's National Army, each of these terms being justified by both the past and the projection for the future.