Why did the French beat Americans in the center of Paris in 1944

Why did the French beat Americans in the center of Paris in 1944

Categories: Europe | History

What happened on July 17, 1944 in the heart of the French capital cannot be remembered without disgust. American and British soldiers marched in a column through the streets of the city under the escort of Wehrmacht soldiers, and French men and women rushed at them with fists, spat and tore their clothes. The Germans accompanying the prisoners tried to protect them from the crowd, but they did not always succeed.

Why did the French beat Americans in the center of Paris in 1944

Why did this happen? Why did the French, whose country was occupied by Germany, react so hostile to the fighters who came to liberate them? Let's start in order.

Why did the French beat Americans in the center of Paris in 1944

On June 6, 1944, the famous landing of Anglo-American troops in Normandy took place, which was not successful for all participants. In addition to the huge number of people killed by German bullets and shells and drowned due to mistakes when landing at sea, there were another 20 thousand British, Americans and Canadians who were captured in the first two weeks after the start of the operation.

Why did the French beat Americans in the center of Paris in 1944

The Nazis were well aware that on July 17, a "Parade of Prisoners" was to take place in Moscow, during which thousands of captured soldiers and officers of the Wehrmacht would pass through the streets of the Soviet capital. The Germans decided to arrange their own parade, however, on a more modest scale and not in Berlin, but in occupied Paris.

Why did the French beat Americans in the center of Paris in 1944

Several thousand Allied soldiers arrived in trucks in the city from the POW camps and walked through the central streets to the train station. Unlike the Muscovites, who silently looked at the defeated enemies with disgust, the French behaved quite differently.

It seemed that liberators who were in trouble were not being led through the streets, but hated occupiers who should be torn apart, trampled and destroyed. The Germans had to make efforts so that the crowds of Frenchmen did not maim or kill anyone.

Why did the French beat Americans in the center of Paris in 1944

Historians still argue why the French reacted so strongly to the captured Americans and the British. There are many versions about the reasons for this behavior. Many believe that the bombing of American and British aircraft is to blame for everything, because of which not only Nazi military facilities suffered, but also the homes of peaceful bourgeois.

Why did the French beat Americans in the center of Paris in 1944

It also affected the fact that many Frenchmen were essentially shifters and opportunists who quickly found a common language with the occupiers and settled down well under the new government. Just a month after the shameful parade for Parisians, in August 1944, the city was liberated from the Germans and at the parade of Anglo-American troops, the same Frenchmen climbed up to the liberators with kisses and shook American and British flags.

Why did the French beat Americans in the center of Paris in 1944

Now spitting and slapping will become the lot of the defeated Germans, who will be led through the streets of Paris. And in less than a year, France will be named one of the victorious countries of Germany and it will receive its occupation zone in Berlin. When Hitler said that Europe is like a woman and understands only strength, then, most likely, he meant France.

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