Bigelow Overview The continent of Africa, the second largest on the globe, is bisected by the equator and bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east by the Indian Ocean.
Fighting throughout the night, sometimes hand to hand, the men doggedly held their position, firing flares, hurling grenades and shooting wildly at shadowy figures as the enemy counterattacked repeatedly up the deep-cut draws and forested ridges above the town of Erpel, directly across the Rhine from Remagen.
For the men of K Company, th Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division, the situation was dire enough on the night of March 13,for them to call in friendly artillery on their positions in an effort to shake off their tormentors.
The frantic barrage succeeded in driving the Germans back into the dark woods, their dead and wounded comrades left behind. For the weary Americans, though, the respite proved to be only temporary, as daylight soon brought renewed enemy artillery and sniper fire.
The GIs knew that when the sun went down again they would face another terrifying night on the line. In the late afternoon, however, the men heard a roar of gunfire, indicating that a sharp engagement was being fought on the wooded hillside below their position.
When the firing finally died down, the Americans feared the worst, and the sound of men approaching only increased their apprehension. As a ragged line of soldiers began emerging from the woods, ducking under the low branches of the firs and hardwoods, the men of K Company hunkered down in their foxholes, gripping their weapons and straining to get a good look.
To their relief, they could soon see that the advancing men were clad in olive drab and wore American potlike helmets. However, as the approaching troops came closer, the GIs in K Company saw that their faces were brown and seemed to merge with the mud color of their helmets.
Their relief was quickly displaced by shock. What had sent such angst through the combat-weary men was something no American soldier had seen for more than years. Coming to their aid were black Americans, and — even more startling — these black soldiers were there not simply to relieve them but to join them in battle.
The last time blacks officially served shoulder to shoulder with whites in an American infantry unit, George Washington was in command of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. No longer were these black men to be objects of racial derision; rather, they were comrades putting their lives on the line just like any white soldier.
With the arrival that month of platoons of black GIs to all-white infantry and armored divisions all along the Western Front, thousands of white soldiers would similarly have their long-held racial prejudices challenged. In World War II, the United States opposed governments that embraced fascism and all its deluded racial theories, yet when the conflict started the Army resisted the rising chorus of black — and some white — citizens who were demanding that the military be integrated.
Not only were they concerned about whether blacks would make capable soldiers, but they also believed that forcing such a controversial policy down the throats of white recruits might severely cripple the effectiveness of the Army they were frantically trying to build.
In the hundreds of photographs, films and histories that have documented the conflict, blacks are seldom depicted in heroic roles.
Even the comics of the era leave out blacks. Blacks, it seemed, were merely adjuncts to victory, primarily occupying the unglamorous jobs of truck driver and stevedore. Prior to the Revolutionary War, militias in the colonies frequently included black men in the ranks.
During the French and Indian War, men of all ages and races banded together to protect their towns and villages against marauding Indians. As soon as the War for Independence began, blacks rushed to the colors with as much devotion to the cause as their white brethren.
As many as 5, blacks fleshed out the ranks of the Continental Army. Black militiamen fought at Lexington and Concord. The presence of armed blacks in the Continental Army, however, was troublesome for many in a new nation that still supported slavery.
Even during the war, Washington passed orders that forced blacks from the ranks. With independence won, their role in the Revolution was quickly forgotten. During the Civil War, blacks again flocked to recruiting stations to join Union regiments but were turned away.
SomeAfrican Americans donned Union blue during the war. With the Union reunited inCongress authorized the creation of six black regiments. Made up largely of Civil War veterans, the 9th and 10th Cavalry and 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st later consolidated into the 24th and 25th Infantry regiments were sent to the frontier, where they performed well.
The black units would also serve in the Spanish-American War. Despite this impressive service record, the Army continued to enforce its strict segregationist policies. During World War I, the vast majority of theblacks drafted were assigned to service units or used as laborers.
The few who saw action were in the all-black 92nd and 93rd divisions.
The 92nd served under American command and was reported to have performed poorly. Of an estimatedblacks who donned olive drab, the majority toiled away in segregated service units where their work went largely unrecognized.Servicemen in the U.S.
Army. The majority of Japanese Americans serving in the American Armed Forces during World War II enlisted in the army. th Infantry Battalion. The th Infantry Battalion was engaged in heavy action during the war taking part in multiple campaigns.
The th was made up of Nisei who were originally . By David P. Colley 10/20/ • World War II. The American soldiers hemmed in on the east bank of the Rhine River were desperately protecting their tenuous Remagen bridgehead, resisting repeated German attempts to infiltrate their perimeter.
MODERN ERA Much of Africa's land is unsuitable for agricultural use and, therefore, is largely uninhabited. Over the centuries, severe drought and periods of war and famine have left many African nations in a state of agricultural decline and impoverishment.
In the years following World War II, Asian-Pacific Americans gained greater acceptance in American society - thanks in large measure to their outstanding contributions to the war effort.
African Americans constitute percent of Arkansas’s population, according to the census, and they have been present in the state since the earliest days of European settlement. African Americans made a significant contribution to the United States Army during World War I, and they are well documented among several different series in Record Groups and