Viewing page 63 of 96

Furthermore, opinion among general officers did not uniformly support the Army's traditional policy.  As early as 1922, a distinguished general, a Southerner, warned the Army that the employment of Negro troops in large separate units wasted manpower and fomented trouble.  Racial friction, this general declared, most frequently developed not between individuals but between groups, and he advised the Army to intersperse Negro soldiers one or two to a squad.  In this general's opinion, the internal esprit which inevitably developed in a small group of men engaged in the same task would assure the Negro of acceptance and protect him against discrimination.  The result wold be more effective utilization of Negro manpower, less trouble and better morale.  The same counsel was offered to the Army by another general officer at the beginning of World War II.

Most of the difficulties which the Army had experienced in World War I were repeated and multiplied in World War II.  By the spring of 1945, the Assistant Secretary of War heading the Special Troop Policies Committee, which had been created to deal with the mounting problems connected with Negro troops, came to the conclusion that, whatever arguments that might be adduced in support of the Army's racial policy, military efficiency and high morale were not among them.  The Assistant Secretary urged the Army to conduct a thorough staff and field study of the results of its racial policy and to revise that policy on the basis of past experience.  

As a result of reports by field commanders throughout the war and the exhaustive study undertaken in response to the recommendation of the Special Troop Policies Committee, the Army had also come to the conclusion by the fall of 1945 that its policy of a long period of years had not proved satisfactory and that changes must be made in the utilization of Negro troops in the postwar Army.

{49}
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.