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Clayton A. France, Soldiers and Africa

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Clayton A. France, Soldiers and Africa
London: Brassey's Defence Publishers, 1988. - 444 pgs. A thorough history of the French Army in Africa and of the native peoples of Africa who came into contact with the French. The contains an excellent review of all the components that made up French armed forces in Africa. These are the black, Arab, and Berber natives, as well as the white colonials in the zouaves. Other units made up of Europeans but intended for service in Africa were the Foreign Legion and penal battalions. The author equally examines factual history, reputation, and cultural legacies. There is plenty of color and action supporting detailed listings of units raised. All this is against the backdrop of France's first invasion of North Africa in the 1830's, the long growth of the colonial empire in the rest of the century, and the violent loss of empire after World War II. The book is richly informed by the author's lifelong research on French military and political history, as well as contact with veterans of the last colonial wars of the 1950s and '60s.
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