ALGERIA: Wasting War

The two trucks loaded with French recruits rumbled through a narrow pass in the Nemencha Mountains near the Tunisian border. In this ideal ambush terrain, a murderous hail of bullets burst from the cliffs above them. Two officers and 21 men were killed. The survivors jumped down, sought cover and fought back. Four hours later helicopters thrashed overhead. Each disgorged five men as reinforcements, picked up the wounded, flew off to return with a new load. For five days last week the battle raged as French troops and paratroopers tried to root...