Catalogue


Fighting for Britain : African soldiers in the Second World War /
David Killingray ; with Martin Plaut.
imprint
Woodbridge, Suffolk : James Currey ; Rochester, N.Y. : Boydell & Brewer, c2010.
description
xi, 289 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
ISBN
1847010156 (cloth), 9781847010155 (cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Woodbridge, Suffolk : James Currey ; Rochester, N.Y. : Boydell & Brewer, c2010.
isbn
1847010156 (cloth)
9781847010155 (cloth)
catalogue key
7235102
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-01-01:
Over a half million Africans served in the British military during WW II. Their story has so far been buried in scholarly journals, limited edition memoirs, and personal recollections collected by the BBC World Service-Africa. Killingray (emer., Goldsmiths, Univ. of London) begins with a concise examination of Africa in 1939, focusing on the methods of imperial rule and the structure of local military establishments. He then considers how wartime exigencies expanded the size and complexity of colonial constabularies such as the King's African Rifles into units of the British army. Although there were common elements to the Africans' experiences, such as low pay and institutional racism, Killingray dexterously explains how recruitment, terms of service, military occupations, and even location of service were not uniform across the continent. Of particular interest is his challenge to the conventional wisdom that returning soldiers were in the vanguard of independence movements. Killingray eschews postcolonial theories and anchors himself to archival and literary evidence, making this book accessible to a wide audience. Organized topically, the book suffers from some repetition, and the price certainly puts it out of the range of general readers, which is a shame. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. F. Krome University of Cincinnati--Clermont College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2011
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
During the Second World War over half-a-million African troops served with the British army as combatants and non-combatants in campaigns in the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Italy and Burma. This account, based mainly on oral evidence and soldiers letters, tells the story of the African experience of the war.
Main Description
During the Second World War over half-a-million African troops served with the British Army as combatants and non-combatants in campaigns in the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Italy and Burma - the largest single movement of African men overseas since the slave trade. This account, based mainly on oral evidence and soldiers' letters, tells the story of the African experience of the war. It is a 'history from below' that describes how men were recruited for a war about which most knew very little. Army life exposed them to a range of new and startling experiences: new foods and forms of discipline, uniforms, machines and rifles, notions of industrial time, travel overseas, new languages and cultures, numeracy and literacy. What impact did service in the army have on African men and their families? What new skills did soldiers acquire and to what purposes were they put on their return? What was the social impact of overseas travel, and how did the broad umbrella of army welfare services change soldiers' expectations of civilian life? And what role if any did ex-servicemen make to post-war nationalist politics? In this books African soldiers describe in their own words what it was like to undergo army training, to travel on a vast ocean, to experience battle, and their hopes and disappointments on demobilisation. David Killingray is Emeritus Professor of Modern History, Goldsmiths, University of London & Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Unpaid Annotation
The first major study of the experiences of the hundreds of thousands of African soldiers who served with the British army during the Second World War.
Unpaid Annotation
The first major study of the experiences of the hundreds of thousands of African troops who served with the British army during the Second World War.
Unpaid Annotation
Using mainly oral evidence and soldiers' letters this book gives an account of the experiences of the Second World War as experienced by the hundreds of thousands of African troops who served with British army.
Unpaid Annotation
Using mainly oral evidence and soldiers' letters this book gives an account of the experiences of the Second World War as experienced by the hundreds of thousands of African troops who served with the British army.

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