I believe that the French people need satisfactions of self-esteem and I strongly desire to see them obtain those which they can obtain in the basin of the Mediterranean, their sphere of natural expansion. The more success he will have on this side, the less he will be inclined to assert against us grievances and pains whose legitimacy I do not dispute, but which it is not in our power to appease » Such are the words of Bismarck on the eve of the colonization of Tunisia. Words of lucidity, he knows very well that the 3rd Republic will want to recover Alsace and Moselle, realistic words, if France is occupied elsewhere it will not come to disturb him. Especially since France needed to restore its image with foreign powers after its defeat in 1871, colonization offered Jules Ferry the opportunity to leave its mark on history. On April 24, 1881 an expeditionary force of 30,000 men landed on Tunisian soil, another would land on May 1, France setting up on May 11, in Tunisia, the first protectorate in its history with the support of Saddok Bey, the Tunisian sovereign. The protectorate will be formalized by the Treaty of Bardo on May 12, 1881.
Ci joint ordre de publication
7- Opération "Bonite" . 19 mai 1978