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johnboy

Rules regardng Black Soldiers in France

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johnboy

This last week i have watched many ww1 films , In one [cannot remember the title] it was stated that black soldiers were not allowed to carry guns n France.

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ForeignGong

I have seen many photos of Black French Colonial Troops with weapons.

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Ken Lees
4 hours ago, ForeignGong said:

I have seen many photos of Black French Colonial Troops with weapons.

 

And British, and American. 

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terryb95

I believe that the US had a Black Infantry Regiment

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nigelcave

It had two semi-complete black divisions, the 92nd and the 93rd; the 93rd served exclusively and well with the French army, split into regiments (it only had a basic infantry component of a standard division's establishment). The 92nd had a torrid time at the opening of the Meuse Argonne and one would have to be completely blinkered not to see that prejudice was principally responsible for that; it did better in a limited action right at the end of the war, whilst its engineers and artillery - also black but with white officers and which served separately (not unusual in the AEF) had a 'good' war.

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johnboy

Shame i Can't think of the name of the film. I was under the impression that the comment was aimed atWest Indian soldiers, which at the time I thought was wrong, it was said the soldiers were not allowed to be armed and were used as labour to supply the front,

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yperman

By 'black ' I am assuming you mean sub-Saharan African indigenous soldiers and  not those of North (Arab) descent or 'white' Algerians. On this basis: .

 

 Of the 21 'Senegalese' battalions in 1914 (Senegal meant anywhere in West Africa)  5 were sent to France forming two Regimentes de marche Senegalese where with a white battalion they formed two regiments mixtes coloniaux and the Regiment Mixte Colonial du Maroc (sic). This arrangement seems to have become standardised   with the Senegalese either forming a 4th battalion or a distinct Company within each battalion. The 43rd distinguished itself at Verdun. (I think from memory Louis Barthas in Poilu refers to them there). The 57th and 58th Regiments d'infanterie colonial Senegalese were it seems an exception. and disbanded a year later.  Embleton claims 93 Senegalese battalions served in France 1915-18. Some Sengalese may have also served in Regiments d'Infantrie de Maroc.

 

  Also 36,000 Malagasy troops (virtually anyone not 'Senegalese') -20 battalions- also served in France mostly in depots - but  some did see some front line service notably the battalion de marche tirailleurs Malagache which arrived in France in 1916 and was used at the front in 1917. Also the 12th Malagasays served at the front with such distinction they were given the honour of becoming the 12th Battalion de Chasseurs de Malagachein August 1918. (Cox and Watson)

 

In 1917 a black French deputy - Dignes- was sent to Senegal to extend conscription amongst the black population and  50,000 were raised by few served in France (Greenhalgh).

Black soldiers were used in French MG, Artillery and front line service units this led to the breaking up of 'Malagache' units such as the 19th (Somali) battalion. (Cox and Watson and Peter Abbott).

 

 

 

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johnboy

How rude of me not to say thank you for the replies. Just as I have forgotten the name of the film , I had forgotten this post.

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