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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African Soldiers and Imperial Authorities: Tensions and Unrest during the Service of High Commission Territories Soldiers in the British Army, 1941-1946
Author:Jackson, Ashley
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic terms:Botswana
Swaziland - Eswatini
Subjects:black soldiers
World War II
History and Exploration
Military, Defense and Arms
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637645
Abstract:During the Second World War approximately 36,000 Africans from the High Commission Territories (HCT), present-day Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, joined the British Army as Pioneers, serving from 1941 to 1946 in North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe as labourers, guardsmen, and heavy anti-aircraft gunners. They served in the African Pioneer Corps (APC or AAPC), part of the Royal Pioneer Corps that constituted the labour force of the British Army. Despite a record of overall success, a number of problems and tensions arose that worried officials during the war, and that, especially in its latter stages, affected the military efficacy of HCT troops. These problems and tensions arose, amongst others, as a result of differences in the attitudes of colonial authorities and military authorities, the issue of commissions for Africans and relations between British Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and their African counterparts, the sheer length of unbroken service overseas, and a slow demobilization process. These factors led to a great deal of resentment, that manifested itself in depression, disobedience, strikes, and even riots. Notes, ref., sum.