In the victory parade to celebrate the liberation of France at the end of WWII the French president De Gaulle made a deal with American and English authorities to guarantee that it would be a French led and All-White parade of troops. This is despite the fact that white soldiers only made up about 40% of the Free French Forces, and some 17,000 black African recruits from French Colonies died defending france in 1940. Farcically they couldn’t even find enough white french soldiers to fill the parade so many of the so called friench soldiers that led the parade were infact Spanish.
“For France’s West African Tirailleurs Senegalais, however, there was little to celebrate. Despite forming 65% of Free French Forces and dying in large numbers for France, they were to have no heroes’ welcome in Paris. After the liberation of the French capital many were simply stripped of their uniforms and sent home. To make matters even worse, in 1959 their pensions were frozen.”