American Crimes and the Liberation of Paris

Robbery, Rape and Murder by Renegade GIs, 1944–1947


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About the Book

The Allies’ triumphant march into Paris in 1944 was met with cheering crowds of liberated Parisians. After the cheering stopped, American deserters and their French cohorts violently exploited the city with the ruthless efficiency of the Chicago mobs of the 1920s. Well organized, and heavily armed, these GIs-turned-gangsters made huge profits on the thriving black market with their unlimited supplies of gasoline, cigarettes and other commodities. Along with this illicit enterprise came rape, murder, robbery, prostitution and epidemic venereal disease. American military justice worked at controlling the crime wave, handling nearly 8,000 criminal investigations in the year after liberation, but only the end of the war in 1945 put a stop to it. This book identifies both French and American offenders.

About the Author(s)

Kenneth D. Alford is an internationally known historical consultant for television productions that involve Nazi looting, and is the author of several books. Retired from a career in banking, he lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Kenneth D. Alford
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 49 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9680-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1943-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Introduction 1
1. The German Capture of Paris 3
2. D-Day, June 6, 1944 10
3. The 29th Machine Records Unit 26
4. The Hangings 33
5. The Liberation of Paris 39
6. Paris, City of Lights 51
7. The Officer’s Formal Mess 63
8. The Mess and Billeting Office of the Hotel Astra 69
9. The Black Market 76
10. Paris Detention Barracks 81
11. The Vincennes Gang 88
12. The Channel Islands Crash 103
13. The Voltaire Gang 106
14. The Lola Murder 116
15. The 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment 126
16. The ­Million-Dollar Battalion 130
17. The Arrest of Men of the ­Million-Dollar Battalion 144
18. The Cigarette Trials 150
19. A Review of the Trials 163
20. The Execution of Private Slovik 168
21. Postwar Paris 173
22. Martinez’s Early Years 176
23. Martinez Returns to Germany 180
24. Springtime in Paris 189
25. Murder in La Place Pigalle 198
26. The Trials 208
27. Mannheim Prison: Maximum Security 213
28. The Inevitable End 218
Chapter Notes 223
Bibliography 227
Index 229