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After being freed from a Vietnamese war prison, French Lt. Col. Pierre Raspeguy is sent to help quell resistance forces in Algeria. With the help of the Capt. Esclavier, who has grown weary of war, and Capt. Boisfeuras, who lives for it, Raspeguy attempts to convert a rugged band of soldiers into a formidable fighting unit, with the promise of marrying a beautiful countess if he's made a general.