OCCUPIED FRANCE AND WHAT PALACE HISTORIANS DON’T TELL US
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Following the so-called liberation of France John Eisenhower, the American General’s son, reported: “I saw absolutely no evidence of German abuse of the population… The attitude of the French was sobering indeed. Instead of bursting with enthusiasm they seemed not only indifferent but sullen. There was considerable cause for wondering whether they wished to be ‘liberated.”
General Eisenhower’s British aide conceded that “The people looked well-fed and the children healthy and well-dressed.”
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Sir Alan Brooke, the British Army Chief of Staff, observed: “The French population did not seem in any way pleased to see us arrive as a victorious army to liberate France. They had been quite content as they were and we were bringing war and desolation to their country.”
Referring to the French town of Carentan, Montgomery wrote: “I see SHAEF communique said yesterday that the town had been liberated. Actually, it has been completely flattened and there is hardly a house intact; all the civilians have fled. It is a queer sort of liberation.”
As Irving inform his readers: “An ordeal began for the French who stayed behind in Normandy to welcome their liberators. They were liable to be vandalized, robbed, raped, and murdered. Indeed, the behaviour of GIs throughout liberated Europe was causing apprehension in Washington. The Joint Chiefs reviewed a report from Rome too that conditions now were worse than when the Germans had been there.”
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. In Paris, 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.
Following a visit to Caen, B. H. Liddell Hart, the famous British military strategist and historian, pointed out that “Most Frenchmen speak of the correctness of the German Army’s behaviour. They seem particularly impressed that German soldiers were shot for incivility to women and compare this with the American troops’ bad behaviour toward women.”
On 5 November 1944, Eisenhower’s driver and girl friend, Kay Summersby, recorded: “General Betts reports that disciplinary conditions in the army are becoming bad. Many cases of rape, murder, and pillage are causing complaints by the French-Dutch, etc.”
A month later (Dec 1944), General Leroy Lutes remarked: “The French now grumble that the Americans are a more drunken and disorderly lot than the Germans and hope to see the day when they are liberated from the Americans.”
Lutes discovered that the Allied propaganda which portrayed the Germans as brutes was untrue: “I am informed the Germans did not loot residences, stores, or museums. In fact, the people claimed that they were meticulously treated by the Army of Occupation.”
By the end of the war, over 450 GIs were sentenced to death by courts-martial, nearly all for having committed non-military offences like rape and murder in France alone.
It is also a little-known fact that allied air attacks on France alone resulted in far more deaths and injuries than from German attacks. “It is a grim fact that British soldiers, occupying France after the Germans had been driven out, unlike the German troops, were confined to barracks for their own safety.”
Between the time of the German victory in the Battle of France and the liberation of the country, the Western Allies bombed many locations in France. In all 1,570 French cities and towns were bombed by Anglo-American forces between June 1940 and May 1945.
According to Wikipedia, the total number of civilians killed was 68,778 men, women and children. The total of injured exceeds 100,000. The total number of houses completely destroyed by the bombings was 432,000, and those partly destroyed was 890,000.
Take the historic walled city of Saint-Malo: the brightest jewel of the Emerald Coast of Brittany, France, which was almost totally destroyed by the Allies in August 1944. Of the 865 buildings within the walls, only 182 remained standing and all were damaged to some degree. Thirty thousand valuable books and manuscripts were lost in the burning of the library.
In contrast, Germany’s mercy had been substantial. Hitler had left a large part of France and the French colonies unoccupied and secure from the war under a semi-independent government led by Field Marshal Petain.
Following their overwhelming victory, they (German Forces) exhibited scrupulous correctness as noted by one of America’s most prominent foreign correspondents, Sidney Huddleston, policies that continued throughout the early years of the Occupation.
Yet the 1944 Normandy landings and subsequent German withdrawal opened the doors of power to Communist forces, who “engaged in an orgy of bloodletting probably without precedent in French history, surpassing even the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution” with perhaps 100,000 or more civilians being summarily butchered on the basis of little or no evidence.
All in all, what appears to have been an unprecedented orgy of terror, killings, rapes and looting has been soothingly re-christened “the Liberation” and almost entirely removed from our historical memory, except for the famously shaved heads of a few disgraced women. CONTRIBUTOR to Russian Insider.
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Michael Walsh Was awarded Euro Weekly News ‘Writer of the Year 2011’. With 60 books bearing his name, thousands of news stories and columns, Michael is arguably Britain and Europe’s most prolific author of multi-topic books.
MICHAEL WALSH is a British born Irish journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 60 books include best-selling REICH AND WRONG, WITNESS TO HISTORY, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH , HEROES HANG WHEN TRAITORS TRIUMPH , THE ALL LIES INVASION and SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS .
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