Cover image for Buffalo soldiers in Italy : Black Americans in World War II
Buffalo soldiers in Italy : Black Americans in World War II
Hargrove, Hondon B., 1916-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [1985]

Physical Description:
viii, 199 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D769.31 92ND .H37 1985 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The 92nd Infantry (Buffalo) Division was the last segregated (all-black) U.S. Army division and the only black division to fight in World War II in Europe. The few media references to the division have reflected generally unfavorable contemporary evaluations by white commanders. The present work reflects an analysis of numerous records and interviews that refute the negative impressions and demonstrate that these 13,500 soldiers gained their share of victories under hardships no others were expected to meet. The photographs are on 16 pages of special, high-quality, glossy plates.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Because of the paucity of well-documented studies of American black military history, Hargrove's book is necessary, but it is poorly executed. Its failures, however, make one pine for a better effort. Although the author is properly sensitive to the problems facing a segregated division fighting some of Germany's finest divisions, he is inadequate to the task of recounting the exploits of individual black soldiers while keeping his reader's attention focused on the larger issues. Hargrove takes readers through, in excruciating detail, the daily (often hourly) combat of various units of the 92d Division, but never prepares them for the terrible indictment by white generals (echoed by at least one prominent black War Department civil servant) that black troops ``melted away'' from contact with the enemy. Hargrove supplies the ammunition to refute allegations of racial cowardice (which no one today seriously argues); but because of his inept organization, he does not provide the basis for the vicious allegation in the first place. He also fails to supply a useful summary of the 92ds exploits, leaving readers utterly flat at the end of his work. Nevertheless, there is nothing else available on the 92d in Italy, so this accurate but flawed book is needed by public and academic libraries at all levels.-A.L. Gropman, National War College

Table of Contents

Dedicationp. ii
Introductionp. vii
1 Origins and Traditionsp. 1
The First Buffalo Soldiersp. 1
Buffalo Soldiers in World War Ip. 2
Struggle for Identityp. 3
Preparation for Combatp. 4
Festering Turbulencep. 7
2 Pre-Combat Operationsp. 11
The 370th Combat Team Landsp. 11
Allied Situation in Italyp. 12
The Allied Offensive Planp. 14
Fifth Army Planp. 14
3 From the Arno to the Gothic Linep. 15
First Bloodp. 15
First Score-Cardp. 24
A New Battle Arena--New Line-Upsp. 26
Balance of the 92nd Division Arrivesp. 30
The 365th Combat Team Is Committedp. 36
Back to the 371stp. 36
370th Combat Team--Heavy Action in the Serchio Valleyp. 39
The 366th Infantry Regiment Enters the Frayp. 47
An Abundance of Heroesp. 49
4 The Battles for the Serchio Valleyp. 53
Probing and Harassing the Enemyp. 53
Increased Activity in the Serchio Valleyp. 56
Surprise Enemy Counterattack in the Serchio Valleyp. 59
Opening Movesp. 62
Action on the Left Bankp. 68
Delays in Support Dispositionsp. 71
Action on 27 December--East of the Riverp. 73
Operations in the Coastal Sectorp. 77
Aftermathp. 78
5 February Attack in Coastal Sectorp. 82
Plan Fourth Termp. 82
Diversion in the Serchio Valleyp. 84
The Main Attack Begins--8 Februaryp. 88
The 370th Infantry Attack on Strettoia Hillsp. 89
The 371st Reaches for the Higher Groundp. 94
The 366th--Ordeal on the Plainsp. 98
The Second Day of Battle--9 Februaryp. 107
The 371st Continues the Attackp. 110
The 366th Fights Onp. 112
The Third Day of Battle--10 Februaryp. 116
The 371st Continues to Reach Forwardp. 118
The Last Battle for the 366thp. 121
The 371st Clings to the Ridge Line--11 Februaryp. 123
Elements of 370th and 371st Give Groundp. 124
Results of the Attackp. 126
Evaluationp. 127
6 Dismemberment of the Buffalo Divisionp. 145
High Level Discussionsp. 145
7 The Spring Offensive--5 April-2 May 1945p. 149
The Allied Planp. 149
Early Moves--Troop Dispositionsp. 150
The 442nd Moves on the Mountainsp. 155
Destruction and Pursuit--11 April-2 Mayp. 163
Prize for the Braziliansp. 169
Tedesco e Finito--(The German Is Finished)p. 170
Results of the Offensivep. 171
365th and 371st Detached from Main Effortp. 174
The Partisansp. 176
Organizationp. 176
Chapter Notesp. 181
Bibliographyp. 187
Statistical Data, Tablesp. 191
Indexp. 195