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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: WWII 92nd "Buffalo " Division in Italy

Lloyd,

Following from "THE INVISIBLE SOLDIER: The Experience of the Black Soldier, World War II" compiled and edited by Mary Penick Motley:

Lieutenant General Mark Clark, commander of the 5th Army in Italy, judged the performance of the 92nd Division "bad," its record "less favorable than any of the white divisions." In the popular mind, the dubious distinction of being the worst infantry division in Europe has clung to the men of the 92nd, while the divisional commander, Major General Edward M. Almond, and his staff have quite escaped responsibility for that record. In 1950, several months before General Almond was under criticism for incompetency in the Korean War, "Time" ran a four-page spread lauding his accomplishments as commander of the 92nd Division in World War II.

Colonel Queen, commander of the black 366th Infantry Regiment, serving with the 92nd Division, charged:

"General Mark Clark was frustrated in his attempt to become a General Patton. He tried to make the Italian campaign more than it was intended to be: a secondary area in the overall picture. He lashed out at the 92nd Division . . . when his grandiose scheme failed. He called this division the worst in Europe and placed all the blame on the junior officers and enlisted personnel. The statement is unfair and untrue. . . . Whatever shortcomings the 92nd had rested entirely on the shoulders of Major General Almond. His entire staff was incompetent excepting for Brigadier General Coburn, the artillery commander, whose artillery was rated among the best on the front."


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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