More than 100 million people served in combat and non-combat roles in the Second World War, over half of which perished during their tours of duty.
The exploits of the Tuskeegee Airmen and other African American units serving in World War II are the stuff of legend today. But what is little-known by western society is that hundreds of thousands of those who served with the Allied forces hailed from the British colonies and other parts of continental Africa.
They came from cities like Kampala and Johannesburg, and villages like Malindi, in Malawi. Sometimes they felt a duty to protect the realm, sometimes they were merely hoping to earn a better wage. They served far and wide from Somaliland in East Africa to Burma. Some drove trucks, or tended to the wounded; others carried a rifle, shed blood, and died.
These brave men followed many paths after the war, returning to their villages, entering political life, or taking blue-collar jobs. Sadly, while the heroic deeds of the millions of others veterans of the war were feted over the ensuing decades, the contributions of Africans to the war effort went largely unnoticed.
Forgotten Warriors of the Empire covers the range of experiences of continental Africans serving in the war effort, from how they were recruited, to how they were trained, to the combat they saw, to their post-war experiences.
The world has seen The War, Red Tails, and Band of Brothers. We believe African veterans deserve their screen time too.