The Allied invasion of France

A woman accused of collaboration has her head shavedA woman accused of collaboration has her head shavedThere's an interesting review of Anthony Beevor's new book over on the Economist. The book investigates the Allied invasion of France during WWII starting with the Normandy landings on D-Day. Among the interesting titbits was the finding that more French civilians were killed by Allied troops than British civilans were killed during the Blitz (70,000 compared to 43,000). This is because Allied troops preferred to shell the hell out of towns before they advanced, leading to huge destruction of life and property.More interesting still is the analysis of the punishment meted out to collaborators by French civilians. Approx 14,000 collaborators were killed, a third of them women. Women's crimes were typically 'collaboration horizontale' or having sex with German troops . Beevor suggests that the victimisation of these women was probably linked to young men's attempts to beef up their patriotic credentials and paper over their non-participation in the Resistance. Of course, the majority of these women were prostitutes, the German occupation and war-time impoverishment unsurprisingly led to a huge growth in prostitution in France, which was later called the Golden Age for French brothels. The German troops were so much into these brothels, that it was considered an act of sabotage for venereal diseases to be unreported.