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1 Comment | Vintage
The French were relatively unusual in having an integrated military before any other European nations. Germany actually used it for propaganda during the first world war – they accused the French of letting African "barbarians" run rampant over German territory.
However, this is absolutely not proof of the French military’s progressiveness; its reasoning was that black soldiers would be inherently unreliable, so any unit would need a certain proportion of white soldiers to be effective. Black soldiers were almost never given technical roles or promotions.