Oxford AASC: Photo Essay

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PHOTO ESSAY

African Americans in World War I

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Machine Gunners

Image from: Scott, The American Negro in the World War (1919).

The horrific conditions and terrible loss of life that characterized World War I resulted in large part from the application of nineteenth-century tactics to twentieth-century military technology. New weapons such as armored tanks, improved artillery, airplanes, flamethrowers, poison gas, and machine guns transformed the face of war and resulted in such a high number of deaths that the generation that fought in World War I has been called "the Lost Generation." Although American soldiers did not suffer as many casualties as their European counterparts, modern military technology took a terrible toll on both sides. This photograph shows two African American soldiers training with a machine gun in the Marne region of France, 1918.

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