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Royal West African Fronter Forces.

The colonial administration of W Africa (particularly Nigeria) did not cover themselves in glory, with regard to recruiting troops for both Divisions.

Simply put, they recruited the 'wrong' people: some bright spark believed that Nigerians from the plains and forests would be as equally at home in the jungles of Burma and Malaya.

Also, immediately post-war, many of those who returned were-administratively-very poorly treated, so much so that there were several mutinies.
 
Nonetheless, the 'wrong people' managed to aquit themselves rather well; and the Japanese seem to have been terrified of them.

You misinterpret my comments: 'wrong' as in 'initially, unsuited to their new environment'. That initial phase of operations led to some less than positive comments regarding their fighting effectiveness.

However, as you say, once retrained they proved more than capable of meeting and defeating the Japanese.
 

Drew5233

Old-Salt
Some sound advice given...Drop me a PM if you want some help. I do quite a lot of research on WW2Talk for forum members from all over the world :)
 
I wouldn't mind having a look at the collection you have. My grandfather served with one of the Nigerian Regiments. He died in 1992. I have his Burma Star medal, which is in the village house. I look forward to polishing and preserving it better.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Heads up for those that are interested, free webinar on West African Colonial Forces, Dec 3rd, University of Calgary, just follow the link to register

 
There used to be an old Frontier Force hand who drank in my local years ago. He spoke very highly of them as soldiers, but wouldn't trust them for much else ISTR. The Japanese didn't like their encounters with the Africans.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Did they fight for Britain or we're they fighting for something else while under British command?

Depends on the soldier, some were volunteers, some were actively "pressganged"
 
Depends on the soldier, some were volunteers, some were actively "pressganged"
All volunteers, at least in theory! An English teacher of mine, who had served in KAR during WW2, illustrated the idea of "demagoguery", by replicating the speech to encourage soldiers to volunteer for deployment: "King Georgi wants you..."
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
All volunteers, at least in theory! An English teacher of mine, who had served in KAR during WW2, illustrated the idea of "demagoguery", by replicating the speech to encourage soldiers to volunteer for deployment: "King Georgi wants you..."

Barnaby's book cites instances of more vigorous recruitment in some areas, "pressganging" puts it mildly.

Will be signing up, a sadly neglected area of UK & Imperial military history.

18:30 Calgary Time
01:30 UK Time

Might be of interest to you @ugly , I seem to remember you mentioning a family connection
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Barnaby's book cites instances of more vigorous recruitment in some areas, "pressganging" puts it mildly.

Will be signing up, a sadly neglected area of UK & Imperial military history.

18:30 Calgary Time
01:30 UK Time

Might be of interest to you @ugly , I seem to remember you mentioning a family connection
Post war though
 
All volunteers, at least in theory! An English teacher of mine, who had served in KAR during WW2, illustrated the idea of "demagoguery", by replicating the speech to encourage soldiers to volunteer for deployment: "King Georgi wants you..."
John Hamilton's 'War Bush' also mentions West African imams invoking jihad against the Japanese and a lot of muslim recruits joining up for that reason.
 

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