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US Troops Shot French Civilians On & After D-Day

 
 
contrex
 
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 02:16 pm
"Saving their ass"?

http://www.u.tv/News/An-ugly-carnival/87b0bff7-da6e-4bc3-b3b5-a593fb986ca4

"While many allied troops were sympathetic to France's suffering under the occupation, a considerable number had their worst prejudices confirmed by what they saw. American troops who had never been abroad before tended to see France itself as an enemy country, despite the attempts of the military authorities to inform them of the true situation. Some officers gave orders to arrest or shoot any French civilians encountered in the immediate invasion areas. Certainly French men and women found with German weapons were shot on the spot before they had a chance to explain. The possibility that they might have been collecting these weapons for the resistance never occurred to the soldiers concerned.

An extraordinary battlefield myth soon spread like wildfire. This maintained that young French women, the lovers of German soldiers, were fighting as snipers against the allies. These rumours were soon picked by British and American war correspondents eager for sensational stories. But a number of incidents also found their way into official reports without any doubts expressed about their authenticity. For example a lieutenant with the American 1st Infantry Division reported that they had encountered "four women in German uniform as snipers in trees and five in the town. I only saw one closely enough to identify her as a woman. She wore the German uniform and looked like a French woman."

Churchill heard these stories of women snipers during his visit to Normandy on 12 June and wrote about them to Anthony Eden on his return. British officers, however, later became increasingly sceptical of these "latrine rumours".

[...]

"The French, meanwhile, were shocked by the attitude of some American soldiers, who seemed to think that when it came to young French women "everything can be bought". After an evening's drinking, they would knock on farmhouse doors asking if there was a "mademoiselle" for them. Supposedly useful gambits were also provided in daily French lessons published by the US Armed Forces publication Stars and Stripes, including the phrase for "My wife doesn't understand me."

Americans and British saw liberated Paris not just as a symbol of Europe's freedom from Nazi oppression, but as a playground for their amusement. "As we neared the city we were seized by a wild sort of excitement," wrote Pogue. "We began to giggle, to sing, yell and otherwise show exuberance." But when Pogue reached Paris, he was shaken to find that American military authorities had taken over the Petit Palais and erected a large sign announcing the distribution of free condoms to US troops. In Pigalle, rapidly dubbed "Pig Alley" by GIs, French prostitutes were coping with more than 10,000 men a day. The French were also deeply shocked to see US soldiers lying drunk on the pavements of the Place Vendôme. The contrast with off-duty German troops, who had been forbidden even to smoke in the street, could hardly have been greater."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 2,950 • Replies: 37

 
joefromchicago
 
  0  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 02:26 pm
@contrex,
contrex wrote:
In Pigalle, rapidly dubbed "Pig Alley" by GIs, French prostitutes were coping with more than 10,000 men a day.

USA! USA!
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 02:35 pm
@joefromchicago,
"Coping with...".

It is an odd thing for a business to complain about needing to "cope with" customers.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 02:36 pm
@contrex,
où étaient les poilus?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 02:44 pm
Il n'y en avait plus . . .
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 02:45 pm
Panzade wrote:
où étaient les poilus?


They were old and tired, if they had survived the Big War (WWI)..
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 02:47 pm
eBrown wrote:
It is an odd thing for a business to complain about needing to "cope with" customers.


Not really, by the criteria of the time.

The pimps made them work hard and overtime...
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  0  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 02:50 pm
i believe lady marmalade said it best

voulez vous couchez avec moi, ce soir
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 08:51 pm
Is there a context in this thread that has not been brought up? That is that the generation of men from WWI, that were killed off, and the WWII generation of men were not from the same society as existed pre-WWI? Meaning many WWII French men may have been the so called "love children" from older men (that were not killed off during WWI) and single women? If there is any truth to that, perhaps, that was part of the cause for the image of French sexual mores being far from the Victorian era?

While many G.I.'s married English women that they met during WWII, I believe the number of American/French marriages were much less. A difference in cultures, or language barrier? And, likely few French spoke English, so the inability to explain things might have been problematic. That might be a downside to pride in one's language (aka, being mono-lingual in Europe).
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 10:28 pm
@Foofie,
Hunh?
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 01:59 am
@joefromchicago,
Please, Joe, for the sake of your own sanity, don't try to make sense out of anything that Foofie posts.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  3  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 02:02 am
@contrex,
So nobody cares to address the shooting part. Just the prostitutes.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 05:34 am
@Foofie,
While many G.I.'s married English women that they met during WWII, I believe the number of American/French marriages were much less
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The soldiers was base in England for a fairly long time period compare to France where they was kind of busy fighting their way across the country and onto Germany.

0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 05:36 am
@contrex,
So nobody cares to address the shooting part.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No we do not as it is nonsense on it face.

Similar to claims that we never landed on the moon not worth addressing.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 05:39 am
@BillRM,
Quote:
No we do not as it is nonsense on it face.

Similar to claims that we never landed on the moon not worth addressing.


No. It is historical fact.

From other posts on the board, I see BillRM is a well known idiot. Any people with brains willing to come in here?
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 06:09 am
@contrex,
I don't really know much about the shooting of French civilians by US troops.

On the other hand, on the contrary of foofie's silly assumptions, there was a huge lot of American-French relationships and marriages.

Among many other sources, take a look here
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 06:46 am
Prior to the Normandy invasions, Ike had secured authority to control all bombing missions, and his staff came up with the "Transportation Plan." If you'll read the Rommel Papers, you'll see that Rommel correctly interpreted the new bombing missions as intending to isolate Normandy, and predicted the invasion would take place there.

But after the actual invasion, with the rail and highway communications of France already shattered from months of specially targeted raids, the RAF and the USAAF had run out of targets. So they just began dumping their bomb loads on any crossroads they saw, most of those in Normandy--although there were many instances of French workers killed in railway yards into which the Germans had marched them to repair the earlier damage.

Far more of the French, and especially the Normans, were killed by the random bombings that continued for months after the invasion, until RAF bomber command and Ninth USAAF were released to resume the bombing of Germany and Austria.

Of course, Contrex wouldn't have this opportunity to smear the Americans (for things which happened over 50 years ago) if he were to admit that the Transportation Plan, as carried out by USAAF and RAF units, killed more of the French through indiscriminate bombing.
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 06:49 am
@contrex,
I don't doubt that American soldiers shot French civilians (I'm far more dubious about the rumors of French snipers killing allied soldiers). The battlefield is a pretty chaotic place, and scared men with firearms making life-or-death decisions don't always make the right ones. We certainly know of American soldiers killing Iraqi civilians -- I don't see why the notion of American soldiers killing French civilians during WWII should be so implausible or even so surprising.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 07:10 am
@joefromchicago,
I suspect that in Contrex's little world, the Tommies never did anything so awful.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 07:13 am
Hey Contrex, what about Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris and Winston Churchill's revenge bombing of German cities, which went on for years on end, and which was essentially the deliberate area bombing of residential neighborhoods. The pathetic fig-leaf they used to cover that sin was that factory workers who can't get any sleep aren't very efficient at work the next day.

The RAF bomber crews, displaying the kind of "wit" for which you and your countrymen are famous, referred to themselves as "Arthur Harris and Sons, House Removals."

What about Dresden, Contrex?

Oh . . . silly me . . . this isn't about who did what to whom . . . this is about how vile the Americans are, always have been, and always will be.
 

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