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PostRape and Pillage: Marshal Juin and the Moroccan Goumiers in Italy (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 10/19/14 5:21 am)
When commenting on my post of 17 October, John E asked about the Wikipedia entry on Marshal Alphonse Juin. When Wikipedia states that Marshall Juin "took steps to curb the abuses" committed by his troops in Italy, this is far worse than Wikipedia's typical "political correctness." This is a falsehood and an outrage.
Marshal Juin (ex-prisoner of the Germans and then man of Vichy in North Africa) was, in Italy, commander of the Corps Expeditionnaire Français. He devised an excellent but very difficult battle plan to break through the Gustav Line. The plan was to use his Moroccan mountain troops (Goumiers) in the rough mountains, where the Germans (and the few RSI groups) had not positioned many troops, as the area was deemed impregnable.
To motivate the Goumiers for Operation Diadem, the Marshal on 10 May 1944 made a long proclamation to his troops: "For fifty hours you will be absolute masters of what you find behind the enemy. Nobody will inquire about what you may do... " He went on very explicitly.
At least 800 civilians were killed, 2000 women (but also many men) were raped, and countless cases of syphilis and gonorrhea and unwanted pregnancies occurred. General Mark Clark did nothing about these crimes, and the same nothing was done by the so-called Italian government of the South.
To remember only one fact: the priest of the small town of Esperia was the first to go toward the "liberators," but then he tried to defend Giulia and Cesarina Cappelli, so he was tied to a tree and repeatedly sodomized. He died shortly afterwards. See Filippo Giannini, Dal 25 luglio a piazzale Loreto, Rome: Edizioni Settimo Sigillo.
JE comments: To be fair to Wikipedia, it does state that Marshal Juin "allegedly" goaded the Moroccans by telling them they would have a free hand for rape and pillage.
Luciano Dondero has also written, to remind us that these horrors were depicted in the classic Sophia Loren film, Two Women.