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“Conscious of Myself as a Kenya African”: The Effect of the Second World War on Colonial African Soldiers

Discussion of how the Second World affected African soldiers fighting in Asia.

Bram Hubbell
Bram Hubbell
3 min read
“Conscious of Myself as a Kenya African”: The Effect of the Second World War on Colonial African Soldiers
East Soldiers serving in the King’s African Rifles in Burma with a captured Japanese flag, c.1945. Source: Imperial War Museum.

During the Second World War, the British relied heavily on soldiers from their colonies. The King’s African Rifles was a regiment of soldiers from Britain’s East African colonies. During the war, they fought the Japanese in Burma and spent extensive time in British India. While stationed in British India, these soldiers also saw Indians participating in the Quit India Movement and challenging British rule. When they returned to East Africa after the war, these experiences encouraged many former soldiers to participate in anticolonial activities in Africa.

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