In Living Color: Reliving the Heroes and Horrors of World War II

May 30, 2024

African Americans and Their Role in World War II

Step back in time and immerse yourself in some of these haunting images of World War II. Through a collection of captivating photographs, we uncover the bravery of soldiers on the front lines, the resilience of civilians amidst devastation, and the final battle that would put an end to everything. From Adolph Hitler's invasion of France to the famous battle of Leningrad, these photos relive the heroic actions and horrors of World War II.

 

source: reddit

In World War II, African American troops played an important and often overlooked role in the conflict. Despite facing racial discrimination and segregation in the military, African Americans served with distinction and courage.

One of the most notable contributions came from the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces. They flew combat missions with skill and bravery, escorting bombers and engaging enemy aircraft in aerial combat. Their accomplishments helped pave the way for desegregation in the military and challenged stereotypes about African American abilities. African American soldiers also served in segregated units, such as the 92nd and 93rd Infantry Divisions, fighting in Europe and the Pacific. Despite facing prejudice both at home and abroad, they fought valiantly, earning commendations for their bravery and resilience on the battlefield.

One of the Longest Sieges in History: the Siege of Leningrad

(Vsevolod Tarasevich/Russian International News Agency via Wikimedia Commons)

The Siege of Leningrad lasted from September 1941 to January 1944, and it was one of the longest and deadliest sieges in history. German forces, along with their Finnish allies, surrounded the city, cutting off its supply lines, trapping its inhabitants, and forcing them to undergo relentless bombardment and starvation.

By January 1943, Leningrad had endured over a year of unimaginable suffering. Food supplies were scarce, and many residents began eating their pets, leather, and even glue to survive. In the middle of this desperation, the Soviet Union launched a major offensive, in an attempt to save the city. While the offensive didn't immediately break the siege, it boosted morale and demonstrated the city's resilience. The Siege of Leningrad continued for another year, finally ending in January 1944 when Soviet forces managed to push back the invaders.