FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Madagascar's Service and Sacrifice during World War I

I had the distinct honor and privilege to attend the opening of a week-long exhibit showcasing the service of sacrifice of Madagascar in World War I.  The public exhibit opened at the city hall downtown on Independence Avenue.  Remarks were given by the Prime Minister, the chief archivist and some type of special delegate for Antananarivo (far right)--only the Minister of Defense did not give remarks.

Over 29, 000 Malagasy soldiers served in WWI and over 2400 ultimately gave their lives.  The exhibit also notes that some 2500 Somalis and Comorans served in WWI with 500 sacrificing their lives.

As you can see on one of the photos, there's a website that has some great historical photos and narratives on the campaigns of Malagasy soldiers abroad.

My biggest critique of the exhibit was that it only ran for a week--it would be nice if they put it all online so that the rest of the country could see it.

Interested in learning more about the role of Africa during World War I?

You can start by following this account on twitter: https://twitter.com/WWIAfrica  The author has a great website on the same subject as well.

Other Links and books:

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