Jump to content

Recommended Posts

A while back we had a Racist,anti semite on this forum.I think he got the boot by BFC.I kinda wish he was around now,would make for some interesting replies to this thread.I had several arguments with him and he was so simple minded and backwards in his way of thinking it was hilarious,in a sad sort of way.I even had a long PM argument going with him.I miss him,he made things interested.:D

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 192
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

No, Not BFC..., The United States of America.

Like Mr. Gluk Gluk said, the colonial troops were Arabs from the Maghreb region (North West Africa). The RMT even included Republican Spanish volunteers, the 9th Company, called La Nueve. Anyway, h

I'm doubtful about that, the colonies were supposed to be (almost) fully a part of the French Republic after all (and even today all Euro banknotes include the map of Europe plus French Guiana, Guadel

Posted Images

Hadn't heard about LeClerc being told to hold back his colonials in the 2nd French AD. Was that a SHAEF order? Personally, I can't see Ike making such an order but there were others below him in the chain of command that were not as diplomatic as he was.

Wiki says about 3600 of the division's troops were colonials and that some of the first to enter Paris were with a regiment from Chad.

Like Mr. Gluk Gluk said, the colonial troops were Arabs from the Maghreb region (North West Africa). The RMT even included Republican Spanish volunteers, the 9th Company, called La Nueve.

Anyway, here is the BBC article talking about the matter.

In January 1944 Eisenhower's Chief of Staff, Major General Walter Bedell Smith, was to write in a memo stamped, "confidential": "It is more desirable that the division mentioned above consist of white personnel.

"This would indicate the Second Armoured Division, which with only one fourth native personnel, is the only French division operationally available that could be made one hundred percent white."

At the time America segregated its own troops along racial lines and did not allow black GIs to fight alongside their white comrades until the late stages of the war.

Given the fact that Britain did not segregate its forces and had a large and valued Indian army, one might have expected London to object to such a racist policy.

Yet this does not appear to have been the case.

A document written by the British General, Frederick Morgan, to Allied Supreme Command stated: "It is unfortunate that the only French formation that is 100% white is an armoured division in Morocco.

"Every other French division is only about 40% white. I have told Colonel de Chevene that his chances of getting what he wants will be vastly improved if he can produce a white infantry division."

Finding an all-white division that was available proved to be impossible due to the enormous contribution made to the French Army by West African conscripts.

So, Allied Command insisted that all black soldiers be taken out and replaced by white ones from other units.

When it became clear that there were not enough white soldiers to fill the gaps, soldiers from parts of North Africa and the Middle East were used instead.

For France's West African Tirailleurs Senegalais, however, there was little to celebrate.

Despite forming 65% of Free French Forces and dying in large numbers for France, they were to have no heroes' welcome in Paris.

After the liberation of the French capital many were simply stripped of their uniforms and sent home. To make matters even worse, in 1959 their pensions were frozen.

Former French colonial soldier, Issa Cisse from Senegal, who is now 87 years-old, looks back on it all with sadness and evident resentment.

"We, the Senegalese, were commanded by the white French chiefs," he said.

"We were colonised by the French. We were forced to go to war. Forced to follow the orders that said, do this, do that, and we did. France has not been grateful. Not at all."

Link to post
Share on other sites

About the pensions frozen in 1959: it actually took until 2002 (!) to finally raise them, after the French State had been condemned by an administrative court (which ruled that the 1959 law was discriminatory, based on the European Declaration of Human Rights), and even then, our 'wonderful' government thought that it could just make the pensions 'equivalent' based on the local standards of living, rather than actually making them equal... It's only in 2007 that the pensions were finally made equal (probably because the 2002 law would have been found illegal one day or another anyway - not to mention that the movie Indigènes had helped raise awareness on this issue).

Of course, there would also be tons of things to say about how the harkis were treated after the Algerian war, but that may be even more depressing...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not be surprised if the desire for an all-white Free French formation was politically rather than racially motivated, and stemmed from De Gaulle's desire to present his Free French forces as the true liberators of France. De Gaulle's political campaigning ensured that the Free French 2nd Armored got to liberate Paris, after all...

De Gaulle wanted to create a myth that Free French forces and partisans were instrumental in France's liberation - essentially, he wanted (and seems to have succeeded to a remarkable extent) to convince the French that they more or less liberated themselves from the Germans. This involved massively over-playing the numbers and significance of both partisan and FF formations. At the same time, French collaboration with the German occupiers was under-stated.

I don't think it would have fit the De Gaulle spin to have a bunch of non-white colonial soldiers roll into Paris - he didn't want the French to think they were saved by their colonies. For obvious reasons, even white FF units were disproportionately made up of men from the colonies, and I don't think that fact got highlighted much by De Gaulle either. He wanted people to think that the FF forces were made up largely of people like him - men who refused to accept Vichy France and fled to Britain to carry on the fight.

De Gaulle was thinking ahead to post-war France and his desired role as its leader. The US and Brit leadership saw De Gaulle as a pest, but he got a lot of what he wanted from them.

Anyhow, my larger point is that Ike's interest in any Free French formation would be marginal and his goals would be A) appeasing De Gaulle; B) maximizing the propaganda value of French participation in the Normandy invasion; and C) maximizing the benefits of the limited manpower available from Free French forces. Probably in that order... So I very much doubt you could get to the bottom of the whole decision to ban black French colonials from Normandy without considering the behind-the-scenes political wrangling between De Gaulle and the Allied leadership. The decision could have been a result of straightforward US institutional racism, but I would be willing to bet there was more to it...

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would not be surprised if the desire for an all-white Free French formation was politically rather than racially motivated, and stemmed from De Gaulle's desire to present his Free French forces as the true liberators of France. De Gaulle's political campaigning ensured that the Free French 2nd Armored got to liberate Paris, after all...

I'm doubtful about that, the colonies were supposed to be (almost) fully a part of the French Republic after all (and even today all Euro banknotes include the map of Europe plus French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion - which are nowhere near Europe). And de Gaulle's clout among the Allies depended on him being able to offer troops to fight against Germans, so by making such an initiative he would only have marginalized his own role in the liberation of France. That is unlikely!

Nor do I think that it's fully explained by US institutional racism either, they didn't make any racial clauses for the troops that could participate in the invasion of Italy, after all. More likely, I think, is that it originated from perceived propaganda needs, both in offering Allied propaganda the chance of showing Paris being liberated by Parisians, as well as denying Nazis the chance of trying to use this for their own propaganda, eg. "inferior races threatening Aryan peoples" and so forth.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm doubtful about that, the colonies were supposed to be (almost) fully a part of the French Republic after all (and even today all Euro banknotes include the map of Europe plus French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion - which are nowhere near Europe).

I don't know if we can say that the colonies were supposed to be part of the Republic - I believe the situation was more ambivalent than that. The colonies certainly belonged to the French Republic, but they had a different administrative organization (except Algeria, which was organized in departments) and weren't really fully part of the French territory (except, again, Algeria). That's why, for instance, conscripts couldn't be used during the Indochina war, because they couldn't be sent to serve abroad, even though Indochina was a French colony. Of course, there's also the matter of "indigenous people" not being French citizens (even in Algeria), so it could always be said that they weren't really French anyway, even if their territory had been considered fully French...

As for today's overseas departments (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion and, since March of this year, Mayotte), they're a whole different kettle of fish, because they are part of the French territory in every way (administratively and politically speaking) and the people there get the French citizenship the same way as in mainland France (and they don't always take it too kindly if you somehow imply that you aren't "in France" when you're on their island... :D).

The 'real' modern equivalent to the status of the colonies back then would be the overseas communities (formerly known as overseas territories): French Polynesia, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and Wallis and Futuna. Those have a specific status and specific political systems compared to 'normal' parts of France.

Link to post
Share on other sites
A while back we had a Racist,anti semite on this forum.I think he got the boot by BFC.I kinda wish he was around now,would make for some interesting replies to this thread.I had several arguments with him and he was so simple minded and backwards in his way of thinking it was hilarious,in a sad sort of way.I even had a long PM argument going with him.I miss him,he made things interested.:D

Well - it's one of the things that our fathers and grandfathers and great grandfathers fought for - freedom of speech.

Link to post
Share on other sites
A while back we had a Racist,anti semite on this forum.I think he got the boot by BFC.I kinda wish he was around now,would make for some interesting replies to this thread.I had several arguments with him and he was so simple minded and backwards in his way of thinking it was hilarious,in a sad sort of way.I even had a long PM argument going with him.I miss him,he made things interested.:D

I could try to fill in... I might need a bit of help though

"BAW!! Den durned nig nogs iz infeareur to mi BAWWWWW!!!!!!!!"

Was that good?

Did it sound convincing?

Link to post
Share on other sites
A while back we had a Racist,anti semite on this forum.I think he got the boot by BFC.I kinda wish he was around now,would make for some interesting replies to this thread.I had several arguments with him and he was so simple minded and backwards in his way of thinking it was hilarious,in a sad sort of way.I even had a long PM argument going with him.I miss him,he made things interested.:D

I don't like that people get booted for speaking their mind. But on the other hand, it's nice to see a good level of civility on the Battle Front war-boards. It says a great deal about this community. ...... Proves that us war-gamers are a cut above the masses!!!

Also, it's nice to see discussions instead of fights on the war-boards! ... Kind of reminds me of Dr. Strangeglove: "Hey, no fighting in the war-boards!!!"

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know if we can say that the colonies were supposed to be part of the Republic - I believe the situation was more ambivalent than that. The colonies certainly belonged to the French Republic, but they had a different administrative organization (except Algeria, which was organized in departments) and weren't really fully part of the French territory (except, again, Algeria). That's why, for instance, conscripts couldn't be used during the Indochina war, because they couldn't be sent to serve abroad, even though Indochina was a French colony. Of course, there's also the matter of "indigenous people" not being French citizens (even in Algeria), so it could always be said that they weren't really French anyway, even if their territory had been considered fully French...

I recall in the early '60s the SAO had the slogan, "The Mediterranean runs through France as the Seine runs through Paris." Their view was that Algeria was an integral part of France.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't like that people get booted for speaking their mind. But on the other hand, it's nice to see a good level of civility on the Battle Front war-boards. It says a great deal about this community. ...... Proves that us war-gamers are a cut above the masses!!!

Also, it's nice to see discussions instead of fights on the war-boards! ... Kind of reminds me of Dr. Strangeglove: "Hey, no fighting in the war-boards!!!"

I don't believe he was booted for his Racist views,I believe it was personal attacks and threats at a forum member if I recall correctly.It wasn't me,but another forum member he threatened I think.Heck,I have no problem with Racists speaking thier mind,as another forum member said,our Founders fought for the first ammendment and freedom of speech,people just need to realize with that freedom comes responsibility and consequences.I think BFC does a fine job of keeping this board civil and clean,except for that Peng thread,but thats a whole different barrel of Monkeys.:D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why was it that African Americans/Japanese (were there others?) served in segregated units?

I have always thought that to be a racist thing in itself.

And comments like:

" The battalion commander concluded:

I know I did not receive a superior representation of the colored race as the average AGCT was Class IV. I do know, however, that in courage, coolness, dependability and pride, they are on a par with any white troops I have ever had occasion to work with. In addition, they were, during combat, possessed with a fierce desire to meet with and kill the enemy, the equal of which I have never witnessed in white troops."

maybe just a little condescending?

Were there any Afro-American Officers or NCO's? I note the link that Goz provided talks about only OR's being recruited for the front and NCO's could take a demotion if they wanted.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the free French army (or whatever it's called) relied heavily on people from the west African colonies. The force that finally spearheaded the liberation of Paris where chosen because they where the only powerful force that was predominantly White. I think there would be plenty of black gi's too but i think there are more important things for the game right now

Link to post
Share on other sites
Why was it that African Americans/Japanese (were there others?) served in segregated units?

I have always thought that to be a racist thing in itself.

And comments like:

" The battalion commander concluded:

I know I did not receive a superior representation of the colored race as the average AGCT was Class IV. I do know, however, that in courage, coolness, dependability and pride, they are on a par with any white troops I have ever had occasion to work with. In addition, they were, during combat, possessed with a fierce desire to meet with and kill the enemy, the equal of which I have never witnessed in white troops."

maybe just a little condescending?

Were there any Afro-American Officers or NCO's? I note the link that Goz provided talks about only OR's being recruited for the front and NCO's could take a demotion if they wanted.

Sorry, I can't take the time to do the subject justice but the America of the early and mid 20th century was a society that was very prejudiced against non-whites. Racist, in other words. So yes, there was segregation of the military and blacks, for instance, were mostly employed in labor or menial roles.

The more illuminated in the society fought this and that is why there were exceptions like the all-black 332nd fighter group ("The Tuskegee Airmen") and the Japanese-American 442nd Infantry Regiment and 100th Infantry Battalion, where racism was proven to be fallacious when the members of those units and many others covered themselves with medals for valor and sacrifice.

It was a very different time, full of misguided ideas, bias, ignorance, hatred and all the suffering that those brought with them. The war brought change with it and after the war, President Truman altered everything when he ordered the military integrated overnight - something few men might have dared do in his shoes.

Condescension was part of the lingo of the day, even with enlightened Americans.

Black units of the wartime years did have some black NCO's and some officers but the unit commanders were invariably white except for that fighter group. The Navy was probably the most segregated of all the services, with the Marines a pretty close second.

If you have the time, look up that book I posted, it has all the history one can stomach on the subject. It is not the best side of American history, but there it is. Racism is of course not dead in the USA today, merely made "politically incorrect" and illegal...which does not make it go away, it simply disguises the symptoms.

I've been around since 1948 and I can honestly say that the changes of the American civil rights era were probably the most profound thing I've seen the nation go through - and the job is still a work in progress.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Why was it that African Americans/Japanese (were there others?) served in segregated units?

Racism drove the policy of segregating blacks in the Army, but the segregated "Nisei" regiment was more a product of national prejudice against the Japanese because of the war. Latinos, Koreans, Chinese, Native-Americans, etc. all served in unsegregated units (but of course not without encountering racism).

Of course, there was nothing special about the US in having racist policies regarding military service in this era. Take Australia, for example:

The introduction of Australian conscription in November 1939 brought the concept of non-represented elements of the population serving in the defence of Australia. The Defence Act 1903-1939 placed no limitations upon race for voluntary enlistees, only requiring that they be British subjects, it did place limitations on conscription to the Australian Military Forces or AMF (11). In this same Act, Sections 61(1)(h) and 138(1)(B), restricted those “not substantially of European descent” to non-combatant roles (12). Whilst this protected the lives of the Aboriginals and Islanders, who could technically still volunteer, it did still raise the notion of “citizens’ rights”. People could still be pressed for labour at the call of the nation, even though these same people lacked an effective political right or voice. Cooper hoped that victory in WWII would bring political voice in a manner similar to the victory of WWI, which saw women empowered with the franchise (13).

Unlike New Zealand, with its famed 28th (Maori) Battalion (14), Australia saw its enlistment of Aboriginal Australians as “neither necessary nor desirable.” (15) Access to the voluntary forms of enlistment were soon barred by the 1940 release of the Defence Committee policy on enlistment which, in keeping with the Defence Act, prohibiting the enlistment of persons “not substantially of European origin or descent” (16). The Defence Act’s bar on compulsory combatant service for Aborigines did have a moral undertone; those without the franchise should not be compelled to defend the nation (17). However, the bar on voluntary service was racism (18).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Take an account of a Roman soldier describing the behavior of a conscript from Gaul or even Britain, and you might get a taste of the same "condescending" verbage.

The world was very different back in the 1940s, and not only in the U.S., you cannot explain the behavior of people who lived in the past through the prism of modern times.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Take an account of a Roman soldier describing the behavior of a conscript from Gaul or even Britain, and you might get a taste of the same "condescending" verbage.

The world was very different back in the 1940s, and not only in the U.S., you cannot explain the behavior of people who lived in the past through the prism of modern times.

But unlike the US Army of WWII, the Roman army used people from any nation and colour as front line troops.

Fast-forward nearly 2000 years and the US Army sees black men as inferior and not to be trusted as combat troops. And this the army fighting for 'freedom' and 'democracy'.

So whether by modern, or ancient standards, the US Army (and political system) of WWII was abhorently racist. You should look at records of debates in Congress during WWII over whether the Jews should be trusted to run Hollywood, for example, to see how elite racism wasnt only directed towards black people.

Link to post
Share on other sites
But unlike the US Army of WWII, the Roman army used people from any nation and colour as front line troops.

Fast-forward nearly 2000 years and the US Army sees black men as inferior and not to be trusted as combat troops. And this the army fighting for 'freedom' and 'democracy'.

So whether by modern, or ancient standards, the US Army (and political system) of WWII was abhorently racist. You should look at records of debates in Congress during WWII over whether the Jews should be trusted to run Hollywood, for example, to see how elite racism wasnt only directed towards black people.

The Roman soldiers commenting on barbarian conscripts were also conceivably Dacian or Latin as opposed to Roman. Rome run by just romans slipped away as it changed from a city state to med/europe spanning empire.

Link to post
Share on other sites
But unlike the US Army of WWII, the Roman army used people from any nation and colour as front line troops.

Not as proper Legionaries, though, at least not for a lonnnng time. Had to be a Citizen of Rome to be a Legionary. Everyone else was Auxilia. Broadly. Until Rome went all decadent and couldn't provide the fighting men, and that was symptomatic of the beginning of the end.

Link to post
Share on other sites
But unlike the US Army of WWII, the Roman army used people from any nation and colour as front line troops.

Fast-forward nearly 2000 years and the US Army sees black men as inferior and not to be trusted as combat troops. And this the army fighting for 'freedom' and 'democracy'.

So whether by modern, or ancient standards, the US Army (and political system) of WWII was abhorently racist. You should look at records of debates in Congress during WWII over whether the Jews should be trusted to run Hollywood, for example, to see how elite racism wasnt only directed towards black people.

Granted, I'm not debating that point. As I said, racism was and is a fact of life, but not only in the US.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Granted, I'm not debating that point. As I said, racism was and is a fact of life, but not only in the US.

Hold on there. Are you saying that there was racism eg. in Germany at the time? :confused::confused: I hope you can prove such preposterous claims!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...