Approximately 73,290 West Africans traveled to South Asia during World War II, but relatively little is known about their activities on the subcontinent. The photographs of African soldiers in India published in the British Army’s RWAFF News, a Bombay-printed newspaper specifically designed for West African troops overseas, provide a rare and little-known insight into the lives of African soldiers in India. Existing accounts of African military service in India often outline the soldiers’ experience of India in only very general terms and typically privilege the combat experience of troops in Burma. The images described in this brief article reveal a very different face of African overseas military service: they depict a group of soldiers visiting the Taj Mahal and encountering the Mughal monument. Although published and choreographed by the British, these images reflect a moment of South-South encounter between West Africans and India’s Islamic history.

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