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

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