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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Aspects of the Impact of the Second World War on the Lives of Black South African and British Colonial Soldiers
Author:Grundlingh, LouisISNI
Periodical:Transafrican Journal of History (ISSN 0251-0391)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:South Africa
English-speaking Africa
Southern Africa
United Kingdom
black soldiers
World War II
Military, Defense and Arms
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
Military Science, Military Affairs
World War, 1939-1945
military personnel
social change
race relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24520418
Abstract:This article challenges the generally accepted axiom that the Second World War brought about far-reaching changes in the lives of African soldiers who participated in the war. An analysis of the experience of black soldiers from South Africa and African soldiers in the British colonies shows that although the Second World War generated major forces such as industrialization and urbanization as well as ideologies such as nationalism, and these, in turn, brought about major economic and social changes, African soldiers generally were not part of it. They were preoccupied with the task of keeping the war machinery rolling and with the effort of surviving from day to day. Secondly, all these soldiers were still in a subservient position and were kept that way during the war. Finally, most of the ex-soldiers returned to the rural areas where they quickly became indistinguishable whilst those returning to the urban areas, likewise, settled in with the rest of the population, trying to cope with the industrial and social forces unleashed by the war. It seems that the most dramatic role of the Second World War, as a catalyst, occurred outside the narrow confines of the army. Bibliogr., ref., sum.