Compatriots when it suited France, immigrants when the work was done: few remember the story of the 500.000 Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian tirailleurs.
500,000 men from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia fought on France’s side in the Second World War and helped liberate a country that, at the same time, did not for a second consider bestowing their native countries the same honour. Soldiers from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia fought outside France before finally liberating “the motherland” on its home soil. Afterwards the Americans are and continue to be celebrated as heroes, while few remember the bravery and the sacrifices by the African tirailleurs.
In December 1944 a platoon of African soldiers fought a battle that turned into a veritable massacre in -15°C in the French region of Alsace without proper equipment and backup with a fatal outcome. Sixty years after the tragic event those who were there are trying to understand what happened and who should be held accountable for the shameful tragedy.