The bombing of Sakiet was one of the most controversial incidents in the Algerian War of Independence. On 8 February 1958, the French air force crossed the border into Tunisia to attack Sakiet Sidi Yousef, a village which the French government claimed was being used as a base by Algerian guerillas.
The bombardment resulted in the deaths of 68 civilians. Fougeron's painting, completed a few months later, provoked controversy. The line of military boots at the top points to official French involvement in the massacre, something that was still under debate at the time.