AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive
Re: No Wine for the 93rd
In Response To: Re: No Wine for the 93rd ()
Dear Jim, Richard, and all of you I don't know yet,
The letter that follows was written by General de Boissoudy, Commander of the French 7th Army and addressed to the Commissioner of the Vosges and the Commissioner of Meurthe-et-Moselle:
“The American 92nd Division, a division composed entirely of coloured soldiers, is at the disposal of the 7th Army as of the 12th of the current month, the date of its arrival at the Arches camp.
This Infantry Division, which will later fight in the Saint-Die sector, will be stationed on the territory of the Vosges province and near the Meurthe-et-Moselle to the north of the area (Raon-l’Etape - Thiaville). “The negro question” is considered by our allies to be a particularly delicate matter, which point of view should not be discussed but should be accepted.
The French Mission to the American Army has explained to the General commanding the Army the attitude that we should adopt regarding coloured troops, which is the attitude of white Americans, in military matters as well as in contacts between negroes and our local populations.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Army has the pleasure of communicating these observations to the Commissioners concerned in order that these officials let it be known that local authorities should act in a reserved manner in dealing with coloured men.
Try and make local people understand that they should not spoil the negroes. The Americans are indignant at any public intimacy between white women and blacks. They have recently raised vehement protests against an engraving of the Vie Parisienne entitled: “The Child of the Dessert” representing a woman in her room with a negro.’
Furthermore, American negro troops in France have by themselves raised as many complaints of attempted rape as all the rest of the Army although we were sent only the physical and moral élite.’”
Of course, if ever you wanted a copy of the original document (although in French, of course), just let me know.
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