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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

"Buffalo Soldiers' Assault on the Gothic Line"

[POSTED IN MEMORY OF LLOYD SMITH]

Article from World War II Magazine
TheHistoryNet

March 3, 2005

Buffalo Soldiers' Assault on the Gothic Line

The African-American 92nd Infantry Division took on formidable German opposition in its push up the Italian boot.
By Robert Hodges, Jr.

African Americans have fought in every major conflict in which the United States has been involved, from the Revolutionary War on. They frequently served with distinction--the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry during the American Civil War, the 9th and 10th U.S. Colored Cavalry regiments during the Indian wars and the Spanish-American War, and the 369th Infantry Regiment during World War I all established outstanding fighting records.

Yet with each new war in which the United States became embroiled, the white American establishment tended to forget the contribution made by black servicemen in previous conflicts. Each time, black soldiers were committed to combat in racially segregated units and had to prove themselves all over again. Of the 909,000 black Americans selected for duty in the Army during World War II, only one black division saw infantry combat in Europe--the 92nd Infantry Division. The vast majority of African Americans in uniform were assigned to segregated construction or supply units or placed in units that performed unpleasant duties such as graves registration. The government's view was that blacks were not motivated enough or aggressive enough to fight.

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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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