Senegalese riflemen in the First World War

In 1914, the call to the colonial troops place as of the entry in war of France. These soldiers come from the French West Africa (AOF) and engaged in the conflict will border the 200,000 men. Known for their commitment with the combat, the Senegalese riflemen – who bear this name because the first regiment was created in Senegal –, is one of the military bodies belonging to the Colonial army. It was made up on July 21st, 1857 by Louis Faidherbe, general governor of the AOF, which wished to have indigenous units of combat in order to stage with the insufficiency of metropolitan manpower. For the little story, the term “rifleman” indicates, according to the military terminology, “a combatant who progresses in order dispersed while drawing on several occasions, with insistence”


Military information gathered on the rifleman Wadé

The military archives of the Historical Service of Defense with Vincennes mention the rifleman Wade in manpower of the 67e battalion of Senegalese riflemen (BTS) as of the first months of the conflict, simple rifleman in the 6th section of the 1st company. The 67e is engaged in the war and the Western face at the time of the first battle of Ypres in Belgium by October 1914, undergoing heavy losses, the riflemen lacking reference mark, of training, but also of a tested framing. Several reports note the absence in particular non-commissioned officers of career to direct the sections; some fall without to have drawn only one shot, mown by the grapeshot or terribly precise German artillery. If the recorded losses – but classified confidential defense – are consequent, the rifleman Wade seems to have escaped from it.


Paris : The other character

Paris: a great setting for a fantastic story.

Paris is steeped in History but has not yet found itself a contemporary legend like other capitals which can offer an experience that partly involves the imagination.


The secrets files

In Book 1 of the adventures of Wadé, we discover the character’s origins through a strange meeting. The narrative begins: “Wadé: it is under this name that we have identified him. According to our sources he was born in Cameroon in 1897 of a French father who worked in military intelligence and whose identity is still classified as a ‘defence secret’, and a Cameroonian mother.”


Wadé’s origins

Wadé tells us about his childhood:

“As far back as I can remember, I have this image of my father, a toubab, a white colonizer. But I hardly knew him. I just remember that he wore a uniform. My mother was Cameroonian… From Douala, more precisely. My mama. It’s good to think back to the little house where I lived happily till the age of 10.


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