Forgotten Soldiers. African troops and the Liberation of France in the Second World War

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Further Reading


T. Chafer and M. Evans, 'The Second World War and the Colonial Imagination', in M. Riera and G. Schaffer, eds. The Lasting War: Society and Identity in Britain, France and Germany after 1945. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008 (forthcoming).

A. Clayton, France, Soldiers and Africa. London: Brassey’s, 1988.

M. Echenberg, ‘“Morts pour la France”: the African soldier in France during the Second World War’, Journal of African History, 26, 1985, pp. 363-80.

M. Echenberg, ‘Tragedy at Tiaroye: the Senegalese soldiers’ uprising of 1944', in P. W. Gutkind et al, eds, African Labour History, vol. 2, London: Sage, 1978, pp. 109-28.

R. Ginio, French Colonialism Unmasked. Lincoln NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2006.

R. Ginio, ‘African colonial soldiers between memory and forgetfulness: the case of post-colonial Senegal’, Outre-Mers, 94, 350-1, 2006, pp. 141-55.

R. Hendrick, ‘African soldiers in World War II’, Armed Forces & Society, 4, 3, 1978, pp. 501-25.

G. Mann, Native Sons. West African Veterans and France in the Twentieth Century. London: Duke University Press, 2006.

C. Onana, La France et ses tirailleurs. Paris: Eds Duboiris, 2003.

M. Thomas, The French Empire at War, 1940-45. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998. 

Article originally published in History Today, November 2008, Volume: 58, Issue: 11, pp.35-37.

1 The term tirailleurs sénégalais is in fact a misnomer as the men recruited to the tirailleurs came not only from Senegal but from throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
2 The film ‘Indigènes’ portrays the experience of four ordinary African soldiers who fought for the liberation of France. By making the film, Bouchareb is making a statement: that in fighting for France, they and their descendants have a right to belong and a right to be treated with respect. They are an integral part of the nation’s history and society.        

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