American Participation In Ww1

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This essay intends to examine the reasons of participation in World War I & II regarding black Britons. In the main body of the essay, each of the wars will be discussed separately, in which it will focus on why black Africans, Caribbean’s and local black people served in the British armed forces, and to an extent, reasons for why they attempted to avoid war. To an ideal level, there will be an understanding of how much the attitudes of people changed between each world war. Furthermore, it will be argued which reason was most common for local and colonial black Britons in joining the war effort in both wars. To provide evidence for why black people joined the British Armed Forces, primary sources from the given periods will be examined, …show more content…
As less is known on this topic, Killingray is definitely most prominent in terms of research. Killingray notes that black Britons served in local regiments for similar reasons of their white counterparts. While this is true, the main reasons noted was through propaganda. As evidenced earlier, black participants rarely got a chance to fight in combat scenarios. For example the 1st and 2nd BWIR battalions were a rare example of black people being allowed to fight. All other divisions and African participants never got this opportunity. A smaller example from Killingray shows, local black Briton, Frank S. Dove who was accepted into the Royal Tank Corps , while in another example, a group of black doctors were rejected from the Royal Army Medical Corps. One can infer from this that racism was most definitely a factor in reasons for partaking in the war. Not until 1917, with the implementation of conscription would racism no longer become a factor. In supporting this claim, Jenkinson demonstrates through the arguments of historians Rose and Paul, that the government, the public and the military had a sense of ‘National Identity’ in which they saws blacks as inferior to whites. The example of black officer Walter Tull shows different reasoning for participation of blacks. It is evidenced in ‘The Manual of Military Law’ that black soldiers were not wanted for the war effort, yet Tull managed to both enlist earlier on, and become an officer. As noted by Bourne, the next black officer would not be until 1940 with Charles Moody. One can infer from Tull’s achievements that he must have had both a great sense of enthusiasm, and a mind-set to let nothing get in his way. It must be argued though, that Tull was an anomaly, as more than often, racism, compulsion, and propaganda played prominent roles in reasons for joining the British armed forces, which limited

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