Wars and Conflicts of France

(1945- Present)


French Surrender

French Troops Surrendered in large numbers at Dien Bien Phu


Wars and Conflicts of France

(1945- Present)

Wars of the French Revolution | Napoleonic Wars | Wars of the Bourbon Restoration | Wars of Napoleon III | Wars of the Third Republic | The First World War | Between the World Wars |The Second World War | 1945-Present

Flag of France

Since 1945, France has engaged in several large wars (Indochina, Korea, Algeria, Suez, the First Gulf War, Afghanistan) and numerous small colonial conflicts and post-colonial interventions in African nations. To access specific wars or conflicts, click on the blue links. 

Despite recent jokes concerning French military defeats and victories in French military history, France has a fair share of victories in the Third World, and as a valuable member of NATO and the Western allies in the Cold War and beyond.


Franco-Syrian War (May, 1945)--At the conclusion of the Second World War, French troops put down a rebellion in the French-controlled Arab nation of Syria.

The First Indochina War (1945-1954)--A French colony since the late 1880s, Indochina was made up of the countries of Vietnam, Cambodia,and Laos. Communist insurgents led by Ho Chi Minh defeated French forces, causing the independence of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. As a result of the peace agreement, Vietnam became divided into Communist North Vietnam and the pro-Western South Vietnam. This conflict was a precursor to the American-Vietnam War.

The Cold War (1945-1991)--France participated in the Cold War as a member of the Western alliance, NATO, and also through its own policies in Africa and elsewhere promoting pro-French and pro-Western attitudes and alliances.

The Madagascar Revolt (1947-1948)--The French military put down a rebellion in the colony of Madagascar.

The Korean War (1950-1953)--France contributed military forces to the UN Army fighting the Communist North Koreans and Chinese.

Tunisian War of Independence (1952-1955)

France Tunisia Independence War 1952-1954 --Guerrilla war of independence against the French began in Tunisia, led by Habib Bourguiba.

Habib Bourguiba, Led Tunisia to Independence From France--Obitiuary for Habib Bourguiba, Tunisian revolutionary leader

Moroccan War of Independence (1953-1956)

Franco-Tunisian Border Conflict (1957)

The Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962)--A French colony since the 1830s, Algeria gained independence in 1962 after a long and violent war against France.

Algerian War of Independence - Algerian War of Independence From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Suez War (1956)--France, Britain, and Israel invaded Egypt.

Basque Separatist Campaign (1958-Present)--The Basque region is divided between Spain and France. The Basque liberation front, ETA, has carried out a campaign of urban terrorism in an attempt to gain independence/autonomy. As most Basque territory is in Spain, the bulk of the campaign has been directed at the Spanish, though French targets have been hit. France and Spain largely cooperate in suppressing ETA.

Second Franco-Tunisian War [The Bizerte Incident] (1961)


Gabon Intervention (1964)

First Katangan War (1977)

Shaba I--

Second Katangan War (1978)

Weiss | War and Peace in the DRC (VI)

Shaba II

Zaire--Detailed article on the Shaba/Katanga Invasion of 1978.

Shaba II: The French and Belgian Intervention in Zaire in 1978

Central African Republic Intervention (September, 1979)--France organized and aided a coup to overthrow Emperor Jean-Bodel Bokassa. French troops were flown in from Europe and installed former President David Dacko.

Intervention in Lebanese Civil War (1982-1984)--France, along with the United States, United Kingdom, and Italy, sent troops to act as peacekeepers in the Lebanese Civil War and the Invasion of Lebanon by Israel.


New Caledonian Uprising (1984-1985)

Gabon Intervention (May, 1990)


Second Persian Gulf War (1991)--France contributed military forces to the UN force to liberate Kuwait from the invading Iraqi army of Saddam Hussein.

Intervention in Somalia (1991-1992)--France contributed military forces to the UN peacekeeping force in Somalia.

Central African Republic Intervention (April, 1996)--French troops put down a C.A.R. army mutiny.

Central African Republic Intervention (May, 1996)--French troops put down another C.A.R. army mutiny.

Central African Republic Intervention (Nov. 1996-Jan. 1997)--French troops put down yet another C.A.R. army mutiny.

Kosovo War (1999)-France contributed military forces to the NATO effort to protect the Kosovo Albanians from the persecution by the Serbian military and militias.

Afghanistan War (2001-Present)-France contributed military forces to the Allied/NATO effort to overthrow the Taliban following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. France continues to supply troops and aircraft to operations supporting the new Afghan government against Taliban and al-Qaida insurgents.

Ivory Coast (Cote de Ivorie) Intervention (2003-Present)-France intervened to bring a halt to the civil war in its former colony. During one clash, the French military avenged the death of several troops by destroying the small Ivory Coast air force as it sat on the ground.

Central African Republic Intervention (2006)--French troops and aircraft aid the government against rebels.

Libyan War (2011)--French forces enforce the Libya No-Fly Zone alongside other Western nations.

Northern Mali War (2013)-In response to continued advances of the Jihadist forces that seized northern Mali in 2012, France launched a military intervention in January, 2013, and successfully drove the Jihadist forces from the population centers of Northern Mali. The Jihadists continued to engage Mali government forces and the French military in guerrilla warfare.


 ISIS War (2014)-In response to the violent and aggressive advances of the Jihadist Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, France joined a coalition to halt the Islamic State advance.

Copyright 1998-20140Roger A. Lee and History Guy Media; Last Modified: 11.12.14

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