A fascinating documentary about the end of World War 2 is being broadcast tonight.
The Americans wanted an all-white victory in Europe. They didn’t want any black faces in the liberation push into Paris at the end of the war.
Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff wrote: “It is more desirable that the division mentioned above consist of white personnel.”
But the problem was, two-thirds of the Free French army was made up of Africans from the French colonies. They had been forced to fight in Europe. Seventeen thousand died.
So black Africans were deliberately taken out of the forces marching into Paris. But there just weren’t enough Frenchmen in the French army to fill the gaps.
So Spanish and Syrian troops were used instead.