French authorities trained these Senegalese soldiers in the 1930s. Such troops were expected to help defend France’s claims to French West Africa against European rivals.
Tirailleurs Senegalais in World War I France.
The Tirailleurs Senegalais were West African Colonial Army troops who fought for the French during World War I, World War II, and in numerous conquest, police, and colonial counterinsurgency operations. Despite the name, the Tirailleurs Senegalais were composed of soldiers recruited and conscripted from throughout French West Africa and not just from Senegal. However, recruitment and casualty burdens for Senegalese soldiers often numbered among the highest of the Tirailleurs Senegalais.
The Tirailleurs Senegalais were created as the first permanent units of black African soldiers under French rule in 1857. From 1857 to 1905 the Tirailleurs Senegalais was primarily a mercenary force composed of slaves and Africans from low social ranks although a small group of well-born Africans ...read more