A More Unbending Battle: The Harlem Hellfighters' Struggle for Freedom in WWI and Equality at Home

TitleA More Unbending Battle: The Harlem Hellfighters' Struggle for Freedom in WWI and Equality at Home
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsNelson, Peter
PublisherBasic Civitas
CityNew York

The untold story of the Harlem Hellfighters, the all-black World War I regiment from Harlem who--against all odds--became one of the most feared and decorated units of the war. The 369th Infantry Regiment was the first African-American regiment mustered to fight in World War I. In a war where the vast majority of black soldiers served in the service of supply, unloading ships and building roads and railroads, the men of the 369th trained and fought side-by-side with the French at the front and ultimately spent more days in the trenches than any other American unit. They went to war in defense of a country afflicted by segregation, Jim Crow laws, lynchings, and racial violence, but a country they believed in all the same. In A More Unbending Battle, journalist and author Peter Nelson chronicles the little-known story of the 369th. Recruited from all walks of Harlem life, the regiment fought alongside the French, since they were prohibited by America's segregation policy from working together with white U.S. soldiers. Despite extraordinary odds, the 369th became one of the most successful and feared regiments of the war. The Harlem Hellfighters, as their enemies named them, showed extraordinary valor on the battlefield, with many soldiers winning the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of honor, and were the first Allied unit to reach the Rhine River. A riveting depiction of both social triumph and battlefield heroism, A More Unbending Battle is the thrilling story of the dauntless Harlem Hellfighters. [WorldCat]

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