Unintended consequences

“Among those crossing the Rhine on March 12 [1945] was the 5th Platoon of Company K of the 394th Infantry Regiment. Singular only because they were black, these GI riflemen were among fifty-three platoons of ‘colored’ infantry mustered from volunteers to help remedy manpower shortages. Many had surrendered sergeant’s stripes earned as cooks, drivers, and laborers in black service battalions for the privilege of fighting as privates. ‘Hitler was the one that got us out of the white folks’ kitchen,’ one black observer later said.” – Rick Atkinson, The Guns at Last Light

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