1943. The first black action hero in Hollywood cinema.
Tambul mows down attacking German Afrika Korps in the wartime film Sahara.
In an era when such heroics were exclusively reserved for white characters, casting a man of color in this role was made more palatable to white audiences by the fact that his opponents were uber-evil Nazis.
Sergeant-Major Tambul of the 4th Sudanese Battalion (note his many service ribbons), portrayed by the legendary Rex Ingram.

Ingram was able to forge an acting career while almost always playing dignified characters--a difficult task for black actors at the time. He appeared in classics such as Thief of Bagdad and Cabin in the Sky.

Sahara was produced, written, and directed by the masterful Zoltan Korda, ostensibly as wartime propaganda. Because of the prevailing "all-for-one" wartime sentiment, Korda was allowed to shift the black character from the usual subordinate position to the most pivotal role in the entire narrative!
Tambul finds himself with a group of stragglers aboard the American tank "Lulubelle," attempting to reach their respective units, just before the Battle of El Alamin.
A DAK Luftwaffe pilot is shot down, captured, and searched by the Sudanese. The tank commander (Humphrey Bogart) snidely remarks to the captive Nazi, "not to worry about him being black, it won't come off on your pretty uniform."
Tambul guides the Allies to an old desert fort that contains a watering hole. Using his native skills, Tambul extracts precious water from the almost empty well, saving his comrades' lives.

"We both have much to learn from each other."
Tambul converses with one of the Americans about Muslim philosophy.






Tambul pursues and kills an escaping German before the prisoner can reveal a secret that the Allied forces are hiding from the encircling Afrika Korps.
A racially charged action sequence such as this would not be seen again in a Hollywood film until the blaxploitation cycle of the late '60s and early '70s.


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Sergeant-Major Tambul unloads on Fieldmarshall Rommel's finest with a 1928 model Thompson submachine gun (the same "Tommy gun" seen in the movie's poster at left), in the climactic finale of Zoltan Korda's 1943 masterwork.


More North Africa action with THE RAT PATOL!
AUSWEIS BITTE!
1/6-scale I.D., papers, booklets, and personal effects, for your German soldier's pockets or haversack--or just tuck 'em into their jackets.

These facsimiles have NOT been scanned in from some World War II collectibles book; each one has been photographed or scanned DIRECTLY FROM THE ORIGINAL ARTIFACTS!

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