A More Unending Battle: The Harlem Hellfighters' Struggle for Freedom in WWI and Equality at Home

Peter Nelson, Author . Basic Civitas $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-465-00317-4

Nelson (Left for Dead ) tells the story of the 369th Infantry, a segregated regiment that overcame discrimination to make an enviable combat record in the trenches of WWI. Nelson describes the regiment's organization in 1916 and its success in attracting volunteers despite a racist environment. American Expeditionary Force commander John J. Pershing considered blacks suitable only as labor troops. But the French forces, decimated by war, welcomed the 369th, which earned respect the hard way: the nickname “Harlem Hellfighters” came from the Germans, who faced them. The 369th stood in the front lines alongside France's best chasseurs alpins and Moroccans. Pershing responded by replacing all the regiment's black officers with whites. That would have broken morale in many units, but the 369th continued to distinguish itself until the armistice. Almost 200 were awarded the French Croix de Guerre, and the regiment, which never lost a foot of ground nor a prisoner, received a unit citation. The blacks' war at home endured, but the Hellfighters' legacy helped win that one as well, and Nelson's tribute is informative and long overdue. (May 18)

Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 452 pages - 978-1-4587-6728-8
Open Ebook - 306 pages - 978-0-7867-4467-1
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