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The Unknown Force: Black, Indian and Coloured Soldiers Through Two World Wars

Discussion in 'Book Reviews' started by ColHessler, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Title: The Unknown Force: Black, Indian and Coloured Soldiers Through Two World Wars. Ashanti Press, 1994
    Author: Ian Gleeson
    Length: 278 pages.

    This is the true story of the men of color who served South Africa in both World Wars. In WWI the blacks and Indians served as laborers and stretcher bearers, and the Cape Corps composed of "Coloured" (mixed-race) men, fought in East Africa against Von Lettow-Vorbeck, and against the Turks in Palestine. In WWII, all these men served in various support capacities, and with bravery and distinction, including earning many decorations. Lots of the men's stories are included in this, as to how they earned their medals.

    Attention is also given to the South Africans part in the Madagascar campaign, and how the Cape Corps men in the artillery actually got to fight. This was the only instance in WWII that the "Coloured" men to got see combat as fighting men, instead of as stretcher bearers.

    After the war, the blacks faced prejudice in how they were paid a pension, under a "5:3:2" scheme: five pounds for a white man, three pounds for "Coloured" and two pounds for a black man, which was not redressed for some forty-two years.

    This has many stories of all the hardships these men faced, and I don't hesitate to recommend it.
    green slime and GRW like this.
  2. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    Looks like a damned good read. :cool:

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