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Buku 1916 by Keith Jeffery

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Jual Buku
1916 by Keith Jeffery

Author:Keith Jeffery

Language: eng

Format: epub

ISBN: 9781408834312

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Published: 2015-07-07T16:00:00+00:00

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1916 by Keith Jeffery

FORCES NOIRES

The ambitious French notions of a ‘force noire’, whereby Africa could provide a virtually inexhaustible supply of fighting manpower for use in any theatre of operations, were not on the whole shared by the British who were much more hesitant both about employing indigenous Africans outside the African continent itself and also using Africans in combatant roles. During 1916, however, the continuing drain on manpower led some British policymakers to consider the recruiting potential of Britain’s African territories for service elsewhere. When the matter was raised in London in June 1916 there was no thought of using non-white personnel as combatants. If they were to be used at all, black Africans would only be employed in labour battalions and the like. From the start of the war white South Africans had been adamantly against using non-whites as troops. When a leading black politician, Walter Benson Rubusana, offered to raise a 5,000-strong unit to fight in the war, the secretary of defence replied that the government did ‘not desire to avail itself of the services in a combatant capacity of citizens not of European descent in the present hostilities’. Since ‘the present war’ had its origins ‘among the white peoples of Europe’, the government was ‘anxious to avoid the employment of coloured citizens in warfare against whites’. Underlying this refusal were clear worries that black African involvement might raise African political expectations and upset the prevailing racial hierarchy in southern Africa.34

White South Africans had already been alarmed by the British intention to use Indian troops in the war. ‘If the Indians are used against the Germans,’ argued the East Rand Express in 1914, they would ‘return to India disabused of the respect they should bear for the white race’. The British Empire, it asserted, ‘must uphold the principle that a coloured man must not raise his hand against a white man if there is to be any law and order in either India, Africa, or any part of the Empire where the white man rules over a large concourse of coloured people’. With heavy sarcasm Solomon Plaatje (a founder member in 1912 of what became the African National Congress) mused that perhaps ‘the South African Government is so deeply in love with the Natives that they are scrupulously careful lest the Natives should singe so much as a hair in the present struggle, and that white men alone may shoot and kill one another’.35

 

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1916 by Keith Jeffery

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1916 by Keith Jeffery

Author:Keith Jeffery , Date: July 8, 2019

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Author:Keith Jeffery

Language: eng

Format: epub

ISBN: 9781408834312

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Published: 2015-07-07T16:00:00+00:00
FORCES NOIRES

The ambitious French notions of a ‘force noire’, whereby Africa could provide a virtually inexhaustible supply of fighting manpower for use in any theatre of operations, were not on the whole shared by the British who were much more hesitant both about employing indigenous Africans outside the African continent itself and also using Africans in combatant roles. During 1916, however, the continuing drain on manpower led some British policymakers to consider the recruiting potential of Britain’s African territories for service elsewhere. When the matter was raised in London in June 1916 there was no thought of using non-white personnel as combatants. If they were to be used at all, black Africans would only be employed in labour battalions and the like. From the start of the war white South Africans had been adamantly against using non-whites as troops. When a leading black politician, Walter Benson Rubusana, offered to raise a 5,000-strong unit to fight in the war, the secretary of defence replied that the government did ‘not desire to avail itself of the services in a combatant capacity of citizens not of European descent in the present hostilities’. Since ‘the present war’ had its origins ‘among the white peoples of Europe’, the government was ‘anxious to avoid the employment of coloured citizens in warfare against whites’. Underlying this refusal were clear worries that black African involvement might raise African political expectations and upset the prevailing racial hierarchy in southern Africa.34

White South Africans had already been alarmed by the British intention to use Indian troops in the war. ‘If the Indians are used against the Germans,’ argued the East Rand Express in 1914, they would ‘return to India disabused of the respect they should bear for the white race’. The British Empire, it asserted, ‘must uphold the principle that a coloured man must not raise his hand against a white man if there is to be any law and order in either India, Africa, or any part of the Empire where the white man rules over a large concourse of coloured people’. With heavy sarcasm Solomon Plaatje (a founder member in 1912 of what became the African National Congress) mused that perhaps ‘the South African Government is so deeply in love with the Natives that they are scrupulously careful lest the Natives should singe so much as a hair in the present struggle, and that white men alone may shoot and kill one another’.35

In fact, during the first two years of the war, over 50,000 non-white South Africans were employed as non-combatants in German South-West Africa and in East Africa, but in 1916 it was proposed to extend this to service in Europe. Since the cost was to be borne by London, the South African prime minister Louis Botha did not have to refer the matter to the South African parliament (where it would have met with considerable opposition). Recruitment began in September 1916 for what became known as the South African Native Labour Contingent. The scheme was widely supported

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