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Battling While Black: General Patton’s Heroic African American WWII Battalions

Battling While Black: General Patton’s Heroic African American WWII Battalions

Imagine that you are an eighteen-year-old Black man growing up in the Jim Crow South of the 1940s. You have maybe a seventh-grade education, and you enlist in the Army, where you become trained to operate and fight from a new Sherman battle tank. But many in the Army do not want to fight alongside you.


Only reluctantly did the Army send its African American tank battalion and other segregated Black battalions to serve in WWII under General George Patton. Chronicling four diverse, segregated African American Army units in General Patton’s Third Army from D-Day to the end of WWII, Battling While Black (the military version of “driving while Black”) reveals the discrimination Black soldiers experienced during the war and exposes another view of General Patton’s personality not widely known.

Pages: 318
Pub Date: 10-03-2023
Softcover: 19.95 979-8-88824-084-7
Hardcover: 28.95 979-8-88824-086-1


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Major General Peter J. Gravett, (US Army, Retired) is the first-ever Black division commander in the Army National Guard and the former Secretary for the California Department of Veteran Affairs. He began his military career by enlisting in the then segregated California National Guard. He has commanded at every level from platoon to mechanized infantry division. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern California and executive diplomas from the University of Virginia and Harvard University, and is graduate of the FBI National Academy, as well as the Army War College. General Gravett and his wife, a retired Army National Guard Colonel, reside on the Palos Verdes Peninsula of Southern California where they enjoy the cool breezes of the Pacific Ocean.

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