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Ethnic Minorities & Women At Dunkirk

#1
There's quite a tiff going on over in the Land of the Free that the Dunkirk movie doesn't have enough minorities or women in it.

‘Dunkirk’ review in USA Today warns ‘no lead actors of color’ in WWII-inspired film

At first I thought they were sucking up to the liberal lefties and trying to re-write our glorious history, but after a little bit of research I'm wondering if they might have a point.

To my surprise Indian troops were at Dunkirk as part of a mule logistics train.

The Royal Indian Army Service Corps » Dunkirk 1940 - The Before, The Reality, The Aftermath

upload_2017-7-20_12-15-48.jpeg



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Unfortunately the story goes that they were captured by the Germans before escaping, but according to this story a few of them were saved by the father of Paddy Ashdown.

Ashdown tells how father stood by Indian troops

"Sir Paddy Ashdown revealed yesterday how his father was brought before a court martial for refusing to comply with an order to abandon Indian troops under his command during the Dunkirk retreat.

The order had been "idiotic and disgraceful", said Sir Paddy, who was a Royal Marine captain before he was leader of the Liberal Democrats. His father, who ended the war a colonel, was in the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, based in the Punjab. In 1939 he took a platoon of Indian soldiers and their troop of mules as one of four mule trains to join the British Expeditionary Force in France.


During the BEF's 100-mile retreat in June 1940, the order went out from a senior British officer to set loose the mules and the Indians; the British officers were ordered to make their way to Dunkirk for evacuation, since officers were in short supply.


Sir Paddy's father, John, disobeyed, turning loose the mules but marching his platoon to Dunkirk without loss. There he secured a berth for them all on the last ship out before the jetty was bombed. Back in England, he was reunited with his wife, Lois, but court martialled for disobeying an order. The court martial was subsequently thrown out, according to Sir Paddy.


The Ministry of Defence, when first approached about the story by the Southall-based TV company Zee TV, said its archive department had after two days been unable to find any record of Indian troops at Dunkirk; it also reported it had lost the records of Indian Army court martials. Zee TV located a record of the Indian troops' presence in hours at the Imperial War Museum. The ministry then asserted that the command to cut loose the Indians and mules, made by a single officer, did not amount to an official order.


Sir Paddy said last night: "It may seem that the order was a racist one in the context of our time, but my father thought simply that these were his men, he was responsible for them, and he must bring them back. That was the beginning and the end of it."



I've never heard of any ethnic minority troops being at Dunkirk so I'm pleased to stand corrected, perhaps the movie should have included a few just to make a point that we didn't stand alone? If they were there they also deserve to have their story told.

Does anyone else know of any other parts of British history which weren't 'whiter than white'?

I've always found it rather interesting that if you go to Trafalgar Square and look at the picture at the bottom of the coloumn there's a black chap on the far left.

upload_2017-7-20_12-24-39.jpeg


~DC
 
#2
To which the only response can be "were there any soldiers of colour" in the British Army at Dunkirk? If not why should there be any in the film.

I saw one in the trailer and to be honest it grated a bit.

I have no problems with making modern films reflect modern society in terms of race and sex but frankly equality quota filling is nonsensical in historic films.

Should Churchill be played by a black woman or a Sikh. Ridiculous.
 
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#3
To which the only response can be "were there any soldiers of colour" in the British Army at Dunkirk? If not why should there be.

I saw one in the trailer and to be honest it grated a bit.

I have no problems with making modern films reflect modern society in terms of race and sex but frankly equality quota filling is nonsensical in historic films.

Should Churchill be played by a black woman or a Sikh. Ridiculous.
I quite agree with regards to the regular army, but it would have been very interesting if a minority had popped up and saluted to an officer to report his unit as the RIASC. This would have given a nod to the part played by the empire whilst still maintaining historical integrity.
 
#4
What a load of old shyte from USA Today - which is a rag anyway. Was it racist to leave the 51st Highland Division by detaching it from the BEF to fight with the French Third Army? Should the entire history be changed to include a platoon of Indian Muleteers?
 
#9
The use of mixed race units in WWII films is just as grating.

Racial segregation in the United States Armed Forces, which has included separation of white and nonwhite troops, quotas, restriction of nonwhite troops to support roles, and outright bans on blacks and other nonwhites serving in the military, has been a part of the military history of the United States since the American Revolution. Each branch of the Armed Forces has historically had different policies regarding racial segregation. Although Executive Order 9981 officially ended segregation in the Armed Forces in 1948, following World War II, some forms of racial segregation continued until after the Korean War.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#10
It just occurred to me. Weren't the Septics still segregating units well after the Second Unpleasantness?

The Germans, not surprisingly, segregated their tanks so that Czech T35s and T38s were in separate divisions from the Panzers, so by pure coincidence there were no PzKpfw35(T) or PzKpfw38(T) in the desert.

Equal rights for Czech tanks!

Pot calling kettle.

As an aside, 15/19H were still segregated in the 80s. I cannot recall seeing any diversity at all anywhere in the RAC during my time. Just how it was.

Edit. @Tedsson 's post and mine passed in the post.
 
#11
When retelling a historical event, it would be wrong to "change facts".

There were many "men of colour" on the British side, but the real issue was the US high command. Here is a rather controversial statement:

American military guidelines on the issue of commanding black troops came from Colonel Plank on 15 July 1943...

"Colored soldiers are akin to well-meaning but irresponsible children... Generally they cannot be trusted to tell the truth, to execute complicated orders, or act on their own initiative except in certain individual cases... the colored race are [sic] easily led, extremely responsive, and under stress of certain influences such as excitement, fear, religion, dope, liquor... they can change form with amazing rapidity from a kind or bashful individual to one of brazen boldness or madness, or become hysterical... The colored man does not look for work. He must be assigned a specific task that will keep him busy... The colored individual likes to ‘doll up,’ strut, brag and show off. He likes to be distinctive and stand out from the others. Everything possible should be used to encourage this... In the selection of NCOs the real black bosses should be picked rather than the lighter ‘smart boy.’"
 
#12
It just occurred to me. Weren't the Septics still segregating units well after the Second Unpleasantness?

The Germans, not surprisingly, segregated their tanks so that Czech T35s and T38s were in separate divisions from the Panzers, so by pure coincidence there were no PzKpfw35(T) or PzKpfw38(T) in the desert.

Equal rights for Czech tanks!

Pot calling kettle.

As an aside, 15/19H were still segregated in the 80s. I cannot recall seeing any diversity at all anywhere in the RAC during my time. Just how it was.

Edit. @Tedsson 's post and mine passed in the post.
I recall the Daily Express howls of anger at the first black guardsman.
 
#13
When retelling a historical event, it would be wrong to "change facts".

There were many "men of colour" on the British side, but the real issue was the US high command. Here is a rather controversial statement:

American military guidelines on the issue of commanding black troops came from Colonel Plank on 15 July 1943...

"Colored soldiers are akin to well-meaning but irresponsible children... Generally they cannot be trusted to tell the truth, to execute complicated orders, or act on their own initiative except in certain individual cases... the colored race are [sic] easily led, extremely responsive, and under stress of certain influences such as excitement, fear, religion, dope, liquor... they can change form with amazing rapidity from a kind or bashful individual to one of brazen boldness or madness, or become hysterical... The colored man does not look for work. He must be assigned a specific task that will keep him busy... The colored individual likes to ‘doll up,’ strut, brag and show off. He likes to be distinctive and stand out from the others. Everything possible should be used to encourage this... In the selection of NCOs the real black bosses should be picked rather than the lighter ‘smart boy.’"
While on the subject of movies, Red Tails seemed to often go the other way - making out the Tuskegee Airman as an outfit of supermen
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#14
I recall the Daily Express howls of anger at the first black guardsman.
When I was working in Manning (officers and soldiers) at the Computer Centre in the late 80s they were still getting over the aftermath from the very top, of the executive order that the PL/1 variable WOGIND, a binary value indicating Anglo Saxon or not was to be renamed in the Record of Service code.
 
#15
When retelling a historical event, it would be wrong to "change facts".

There were many "men of colour" on the British side, but the real issue was the US high command. Here is a rather controversial statement:

American military guidelines on the issue of commanding black troops came from Colonel Plank on 15 July 1943...

"Colored soldiers are akin to well-meaning but irresponsible children... Generally they cannot be trusted to tell the truth, to execute complicated orders, or act on their own initiative except in certain individual cases... the colored race are [sic] easily led, extremely responsive, and under stress of certain influences such as excitement, fear, religion, dope, liquor... they can change form with amazing rapidity from a kind or bashful individual to one of brazen boldness or madness, or become hysterical... The colored man does not look for work. He must be assigned a specific task that will keep him busy... The colored individual likes to ‘doll up,’ strut, brag and show off. He likes to be distinctive and stand out from the others. Everything possible should be used to encourage this... In the selection of NCOs the real black bosses should be picked rather than the lighter ‘smart boy.’"
Colonel K.K.K Cracker surely.
 
#16
I think it was a Feminist twunt called Jessica Valenti that complained that there were no Women or ethnics shown storming Omaha beach in Saving Private Ryan and that historic accuracy should be sacrificed to include diversity.

This was a few years ago now and seen as complete arse gravy of the highest order. Nice to see this mindset is now becoming more mainstream. In short, our society is doomed to fail because of identity politics.

I wonder how she'd feel if the recent propaganda fillum "Suffragette" had the leading role played by a Chinese male? It was historically inaccurate enough but no diversity in the leading role.

Shame on them, I will protest using the medium of interpretive dance.
 
#18
The local Afrikaans name for a bullrush is Ka****rskuil.
'N*gger's dick'
There was a river named the K.... River. And obviously it was offensive to many.
So they decided to rename it.
Anyhats, a plan was made - ceremonial unbolting of old sign, and new sign being bolted on.
One small problem - the signs had been nicked.
So at great expense they had more signs made.
And fitted.
On day of ceremony, all the dignitaries pitch up for the jamboree/piss-up/photo op.
And discover that the new signs had been nicked as well!
 
#20
When I was working in Manning (officers and soldiers) at the Computer Centre in the late 80s they were still getting over the aftermath from the very top, of the executive order that the PL/1 variable WOGIND, a binary value indicating Anglo Saxon or not was to be renamed in the Record of Service code.
Which is about as sensible as web "child safety filters"' which cut out Essex, Scunthorpe, Arsenal, Great Tit, album etc.

(Although back in the late 80s, working for Big IT Co, we submitted a proposal for a logistics solution to a very large food company. It was written using Wordstar and "one stop shopping" had been replaced with "arse stop slapping" and "warehouses" with "whorehouses" - no ACL type review process. Luckily the client found it funny and it was resubmitted)
 

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