The One Man Army – They Named Him Black Death

The One Man Army - They Named Him Black Death

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On the night of May 1918, Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts were patrolling a bridge on the Argonne Forest’s western side.

Johnson, a black American soldier, had been dispatched to France in 1918 to aid the French Army in its battle against the Germans.

When his companion fell asleep, Johnson began hearing a strange noise that only became louder with time. When Roberts refused to wake up, Johnson started preparing his weapons, including a French bayonet and an American bolo knife.

His suspicions were proved right when he noticed several German soldiers approaching them.

Johnson was terrified. But instead of running, he decided to fight.

And thus ensued a battle of one American man against dozens of German soldiers. Johnson’s one-man army took out four soldiers and wounded many, many more.

Although Johnson’s story is one of true courage and heroism, history condemned him to oblivion for many years because of the color of his skin.

Dark Docs brings you cinematic short military history documentaries featuring the greatest battles and most heroic stories of modern warfare, covering World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and special forces operations in between.

As images and footage of actual events are not always available, Dark Docs sometimes utilizes similar historical images and footage for dramatic effect and soundtracks for emotional impact. We do our best to keep it as visually accurate as possible.

All content on Dark Docs is researched, produced, and presented in historical context for educational purposes. We are history enthusiasts and are not always experts in some areas, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with corrections, additional information, or new ideas.


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  1. Gee wizz Angela Joule, why haven't you made a movie on this REAL AMERICAN HERO?! This story is the same as later for Ira Hayes. This segregation shit sucks! And yet is coming back by corrupt politicians. Human beings are human beings no matter the color. All blood is red underneath it all!

  2. At night you know every other man moving is an enemy but they do not. Without using shots he would have been far stealthier too. A very amazing fighter using these things to his advantage

  3. This has inspired me to forge a french bolo to honor him.

    Its a very small way to honor such a brave man, but its what im capable of. Ill gift it to someone who can display it properly and share this story with as many people as possible.

    His story should be told more. Again and again, through generations.

  4. We can’t tell every story of heroism. There was so many hero’s in world war 1 that it’s over 100 years later and we are still sharing new stories.

    No racism here, members of the military don’t care who’s next to them when getting shelled. They just want someone who’s on their side.

  5. Its disgraceful how this country treats people who fight for it, people who have skin considered undesirable, and people who've fall on hard times. Henry Johnson endured all three. Rest in Power, Henry Johnson. May the long overdue recognition for your service brings you some peace.

  6. I joined the Magellantv site. It sucks there is nothing there that I can find like this video just a bunch of the stuff I am trying to get away from (Global warming and other liberal crap)

  7. America uses this guy for propaganda, fucks him out of any disability he might get, treats him like shit because he's black and he dies homeless. classic American story

  8. True heroes cannot be confined by race, colour, creed, religion or sex. True heroes come in all varieties… whether politically & socially convenient or not. All we can do is honour them & their deeds, and hope that someday, we will grow to be a small fraction of what they are.