The World’s War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire

TitleThe World’s War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsOlusoga, David
Number of Pages495
PublisherHead of Zeus

This volume, written to accompany the author's television program on the BBC, is an account of the millions of colonial troops who fought in the First World War, and why they were later air-brushed out of history. Every major battle of World War One was fought by multi-racial allied armies; over a million non-white soldiers died in the conflict. They fell on the Western Front and in the battlefields of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Yet from the moment the guns fell silent their part in the ‘Great War for Civilisation’ was marginalised and then forgotten. The war also starkly exposed the contradictions and hypocrisies that surrounded race in the early 20th century, with huge differences in the behaviour of the Allied nations towards non-white peoples, and war itself changed those attitudes yet further. The use of black troops by the allies became the focus of a furious German propaganda campaign, yet the Kaiser’s army also employed thousands of black soldiers in the war in Africa. The exploits of black Africans and black Americans were celebrated by the French and Americans, and used in their own propaganda to shore up support for the war at home. A century later, the new historical research presented in this volume is bringing their extraordinary stories out of the historical shadows.

Entry by GWC Assistants / Work by GWC Assistants : 

Type of Literature:

Time Period:

Library Location: 
Call Number: