Spotlight: Buffalo Soldiers and Nisei

With all of the recent releases of German troop boxed sets and the excited commotion in the community regarding the imminent Winter Soviets, we thought it time to take a look back at some of the American troop sets on offer:

Nisei

Few units in the history of warfare have earned so many plaudits and decorations in so short a time as did the US Army 442nd Regimental Combat Team in the Second World War. Keen to show their loyalty to the USA, many Nisei (Americans born to Japanese parents), signed up to fight, even if it meant fighting the forces of Imperial Japan. Perhaps sensibly, the War Department sent the young Japanese-Americans to Europe and war against the fascists of Germany and Italy.

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The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a unit composed of three battalions of infantry and supporting arms including artillery, anti-tank and engineers fought in France, Italy and in Germany itself. Their regimental motto, Go for Broke!, summed up their ferocious spirit, and their history does indeed suggest an all-or-nothing approach to fighting that set them apart from other more cautious units.

The Nisei became a legend in just a year, earning eight Presidential citations and 21 Congressional Medals of Honour – far more than any other unit of its size. It paid for it,s dogged mentality, suffering 93% casualties, and was issued with 9,486 purple hearts, a fitting tribute to a truly original and courageous fighting force.

The Nisei Boxed Set contains enough components to make 27 metal and plastic foot figures – with 5 US Infantry Sprues, 3 US Weapon Sprues, a special Nisei decal sheet,  an exclusive metal Nisei Officer model, new bodies, and metal components to create some specialist equipment – including a Flamethrower, anti-tank mines, and more!

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Buffalo Soldiers

Taking the fight to the Axis forces in Italy, the US troops of the 92nd (Coloured) Infantry Division had to overcome not only the enemy but also the prejudice their skin colour brought. Nicknamed Buffalo Soldiers in memory of their ancestors fighting in the American Civil War, they proved themselves and lived by their motto: Deeds not Words!

Deeds not words was the proud motto of the 92nd (Coloured) Infantry Division, the only complete Black American division to see front-line service in Europe in World War II – segregation still being the norm in US forces. They were shipped out to Northern Italy where pro-Mussolini Italian troops and German formations were doggedly slowing the Anglo-American advance to a crawl.

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Despite being raw troops, the Buffalo Soldiers (as they were known in memory of their ancestors fighting in the American Civil War) performed well – much better than many experienced soldiers expected. Mostly fighting as a division, they did attach units to other formations such as the 1st Armoured Division. They also temporarily teamed up with the famous 442nd Regimental Combat Team – American troops of Japanese origin who also had something to prove.

They fought many actions and found reinforcements difficult to obtain. They faced the 4th Italian Mountain Division Monte Rosa, several German grenadier units and the 1st Bersaglieri division.

The Buffalo Soldiers acquitted themselves well, with the casualties to prove it, suffering around 5,000 dead, wounded and missing in just over a year in the line, and received two Congressional Medals of Honour, 1,166 Bronze Stars and 1,891 Purple Hearts.

The Buffalo Soldiers Boxed Set contains enough components to make 28 metal and plastic foot figures – with 5 US Infantry Sprues, 3 US Weapon Sprues, a special Buffalo Soldiers decal sheet, and some additional metal components – including an exclusive officer model, specific Buffalo Soldier heads, a metal BAR gun, and plenty more characterful touches to make your troops stand-out!

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The Nisei and Buffalo Soldiers can be found in the ‘Armies of the United States’ book for Bolt Action!

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