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World War II and Africa


World War II and Africa February 1 World War II On British Side: The Atlantic Charter (1941) - drawn up between President of the United States and the Prime Minister ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: World War II and Africa

World War IIandAfrica
February 1
World War II
  • Two major watersheds in the early colonial
  • - The Great Depression (1929-1935)
  • - World War II (1939-1945)
  • Will Return to Great Depression in context of
    lectures on Nationalism (Feb. 3-5)

World War II
  • WWII grew from Great Depression began in
    America, rapidly spread to Europe
  • Via colonial economic systems Africa
    immediately, deeply affected - altered impetus
    of Colonialism
  • - created new roles for Colonial Africa.

World War II
  • Depression in Europe
  • - exacerbated post-WWI economic problems
  • - contributed to rise of Fascism Hitler in
    Germany, Mussolini in Italy
  • Mussolini, like 19th predecessor Bismarck,
    wanted place in The African Sun1935 invaded

World War II
  • Video Excerpt This Magnificent African Cake
  • (4940 5228min)
  • also listen to Audio Forgotten African
    Soldiers,Addl Rdgs 210 - 342min

World War II
  • World War II
  • - Officially WWII considered to have been fought
    between 1939 1945
  • But many (like Adu Boahan, Video) argue that
    the with Italian invasion of Ethiopia (and not
    Hitlers invasion of Poland) was the first Battle
    of WWII
  • played crucial role in generating African
    support for Allies in War

World War II
  • Situation fully addressed in media outrage about
    invasion. . .
  • Sin-possessed and intoxicated with authority,
    Mussolini, the Fascist Dictator with his "smash
    and grab" doctrine of civilisation has
    announced his East Africa spoils to the world.
    He is also said to be having his hands in the
    Spanish mists. This is as should be expected of
    a child of darkness...

World War II
  • Followed by recognition of larger Fascist
  • There by him we find his brother Hitler, the
    German dictator, dreaming his usual daydreams -
    a German Empire, with Russia as his armrest
    France as his footstool, England as his
    manufacturing nation, and the colonies as
    labourers to work in his Nazi vineyard. His
    continuous dream is of world subjugation..."
  • The Comet, 5 Dec 1936.
  • from BBC Story of Africa, Addl Rdgs. Note
    date is incorrect on BBC website

World War II
  • Recruitment facilitated by several factors
  • Ethiopian occupation, brave but futile resistance
    generated widespread desire to fight Fascism
  • desire fed by active propaganda, knowledge of
    Hitlers racism
  • unemployment (fed by Depression, lack of
    European investment in economic growth)

World War II
  • Recruitment but not all was voluntary
  • as in WWI, much so-called voluntary enlistment
    had to actually be forced by chiefs
  • see BBC Story of Africa, Addl Rdgs Listen to
    Audio Africas Forgotten Soldiers (342 620
  • - complemented by use of forced labour
    everywhere to produce commodities needed for war
    (food, minerals) see next lecture on Rise of
    Nationalism also referenced in Africas
    Fighting Men (video)

World War II
  • Local Media not always supportiveEnlist today!
    Your country needs you! Not for learning how to
    shoot the big howitzers Or how to rat tat tat
    the machine guns Or how to fly o'er peaceful
    countries Dropping bombs on harmless people Or
    how to fix a bayonet and charge at The harmless
    workers of another clime .

World War II
  • Your country needs you! For the rebuilding of
    your shattered homeland. Your homeland ruined
    by exploitation. By the tyrants of foreign
    nations Who would use you as their cats paw
    While they starved you to subjection .
    African Standard, Sierra
    Leone 28 July 1939
  • from BBC Story of Africa, Addl Rdgs Pacifist
    Poem by George Padmore reprinted by local paper
    more under Pan-Africanism

World War II
  • First African Battleground - Ethiopia (1941)
  • - reclaiming land lost to Fascist Italy in
    1935 symbolically important
  • - involved troops from West, East and South
    Africanote reference to Gold Coast troops
    having fought in Abyssinia in video Africas
    Fighting Men, below

World War II

Kings African Rifles, collecting arms from
defeated Italians, Ethiopia (1941)
World War II
  • Second major theatre North Africa
  • - Italy invaded Egypt (1940) unsuccessful
  • - German Afrika Corps (under Rommel Desert
    Fox) fought in western Libya (1941)

World War II
  • February 1941 following Italian failures in
  • - German General Field
  • Marshal Rommel
  • arrived to provide
  • more firepower
  • and new leadership
  • - Soon known as
  • the Desert Fox

World War II
  • New, more suitable Italian troops and equipment
    lent support

Italian Tank on Tunisian Frontier
World War II
  • Rommels Afrika Korps took firm root in North
    Africa invited Allied engagement
  • - British and Germans chased each other
    cat-and-mouse style over next two years
  • - memorialized in novel /movie The English
  • see The North African Campaign, Resources

World War II
British Engaged in Cat-and-Mouse Chase with
World War II
  • El-Alamein 1942 (Oct. 23 Nov. 3)
  • Culminated in Battle of El-Alamein most decisive
    battle in North African Campaign
  • British force twice as strong, Rommel not at
    beginning of attack overwhelming Allied victory
  • - turning point for hugely successful Afrika
    Korps specializing in surprise attacks and
    outflanking maneuvers

Word War II
  • Operation Torch 1942 (Nov. 8)
  • - British and US sea invasion French North Africa
  • - 100,000 men, over 600 ships among the largest
    amphibian invasions in history
  • - faced more resistance than expected from Vichy
    French colonies France had fallen to German
    control see below France and WWII

Word War II
  • - drew/defeated German forces needed in Europe
    into Tunisia
  • - May 1943 Allies controlled 1000 miles of
    North African Coast

World War II
  • France in WWII French Colonies in unique
    situation - France (and Belgium) quickly fell
    to Germany in 1940
  • - France left in hands German puppet regime
    based in Vichy
  • -Frances colonies left without formal
    Colonial Master.

World War II
  • French West Africa (AOF French acronym)
  • part of collaborative Vichy regime, like North
    African colonies that fought with surprising
    resistance when Allies arrived on North African
    shores (Operation Torch, 1942 above)
  • - After Allied victory in 1942 AOF supported
    Free French effort

World War II
  • French Equatorial Africa (AEF) -supported
    government in exile, so-called Free French
    under General Charles de Gaulle, from outset
  • - AEF became base for Free French
  • - Felix Eboue (Chad) critical in preventing
    establishment of Axis base in Africa

World War II
Felix EbouegreetingGeneralCharles
World War II
  • Africans Also Fought in European, Asian Theatres
  • - Italy (Sicily)
  • - France
  • - Germany (Air)
  • - India (Ceylon)
  • - Burma

World War II

See Articlefrom whichthis istaken inAddl
World War II
  • Video ExcerptsAfricas Fighting Men
    (1943)(000-415min 727-130min)
  • full video (1330min) in Suggested Addl Rdgs

World War II

Memorial African, Caribbean,Indian Soldiers in
WWI WWII(London, UK - Marble Arch) One pillar
(not one we can seehere) engraved AFRICA
World War II
  • Brazzaville Conference (1944) promised
    improvements' to colonialism
  • - Response to African Free French support in
  • - African military support (tirailleurs) in
  • - and North African colonies (post-1942)

World War II
  • General principles
  • 1. The French Empire would remain united.
    2. Semi-autonomous assemblies would be
    established in each colony.
  • 3. Citizens of France's colonies would share
    equal rights with French citizens.
  • 4. Citizens of French colonies would have
    the right to vote for the French parliament.

World War II
  • General principles
  • 5. The native population would be employed in
    public service positions within the colonies.
  • 6. Economic reforms would be made to diminish
    the exploitative nature of the relationship
    between France and its colonies.
  • These principles raised hopes among those of
    the more than 190,000 soldiers from French
    Colonies who returned home following 1945

World War II
  • On British Side The Atlantic Charter (1941)
  • - drawn up between President of the United
    States and the Prime Minister of Britain to
    establish joint aims for peace following war. .
    . Of significance Article Three
  • They the Presidents respect the right of all
    peoples to choose the form of government under
    which they will live and they wish to see
    sovereign rights and self government restored
    to those who have been forcibly deprived of

World War II
  • And
  • Article Five And they desire to bring
    about the fullest collaboration between all
    nations in the economic field with the object of
    securing, for all, improved labor standards,
    economic advancement and social security

World War II
  • The Atlantic Charter, combined with the
    experience of War among Europeans raised
    expectations among those of the almost 1 million
    troops who fought in the war and returned home
  • In the words of a Nigerian serviceman writing to
    Nigerian Nationalist leader Herbert Macaulay in
    1945 . . .

World War II
  • We all overseas soldiers are coming back home
    with new ideas. We have been told what we fought
    for. That is freedom.
  • We want freedom. Nothing but freedom
  • cited in Basil Davidson, Modern Africa, p. 66