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 Paris' thriving black market with their unlimited supplies of cigarettes, gasoline 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 details the exploits of these liberators and identifies both French and American offenders.
Kenneth D. Alford is an internationally recognized historical consultant for television productions involving Nazi looting and is the author of several books. Retired from a career in banking, he lives in Richmond, Virginia, USA.