American Foreign Legion (eBook)
Still segregated in World War I, the U.S. Army was reluctant to use its 93d division of black soldiers in combat and instead assigned the division's three National Guard and one draftee regiments to the French Army. The battlefield successes of these African Americans under the French at the height of the German offensives in 1918 turned white expectations of failure upside down. Their bravery and heroism gained the respect of French and German alike and called into question the U.S. Army's policy of racially segregating its divisions. The full story of their accomplishments is told here for the first time through the eyes of the enlisted men and their white and black officers.The book highlights the actions of individuals as well as the various units of the 93d in compelling combat scenes. We join Company C of the 370th Infantry under heavy fire as they capture artillery pieces, machine guns, and even a portion of a railroad track to win a unit citation and the Croix de Guerre. We learn about the extraordinary actions of Corporal Freddie Stowers, the only African American in the war to be nominated for-and seventy years later awarded-the Medal of Honor, and others who earned the Distinguished Service Cross and French awards for gallantry in combat. Their story of overcoming the odds at a time when most believed blacks performed poorly in combat is told by Frank Roberts, who has been researching the subject for years. While his book acknowledges the many problems encountered by the 93d, the focus is on the many triumphs of these tenacious soldiers as they fought the enemy and the prejudices of their fellow Americans. This book is published in cooperation with the Association of the United States Army.
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