Academic journal article Military Review

Buffalo Soldiers: African American Troops in the US Forces 1866-1945

Academic journal article Military Review

Buffalo Soldiers: African American Troops in the US Forces 1866-1945

Article excerpt

BUFFALO SOLDIERS: African American Troops in the US Forces 1866-1945, Ron Field and Alexander Bielakowski, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2008, 232 pages, $25.95.

Buffalo Soldiers provides an illustrated narrative history of the contributions made by African American troops to the U.S. military--from the post-Civil War era to the racial integration of the services shortly after World War II. Originally, the name Buffalo Soldiers was applied by Plains Indians to the black cavalry and infantry Soldiers that fought so doggedly against them in the plains and southwest because, to the native warriors, they resembled the shaggy beasts they hunted both in their physical appearance and in their stubborn courage. However the book extends this moniker to all African-American troops that served, not only in the Army, but in the other services too.

The authors are well-known military historians who have written on this and related subjects. Ron Field wrote Buffalo Soldiers 1866-91 for Osprey Publications and Alexander Bielakowski authored another Osprey book--African American Troops in WWII. The present book is good, solid, and very readable. It is intended for the general reader as well as military history enthusiasts--although academic historians will also find pleasure in it.

In true Osprey fashion, Buffalo Soldiers is lavishly illustrated with period photographs, drawings, and impeccably detailed illustrations of Soldiers and their equipment that are an Osprey signature specialty. …

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