Why Do We Assume Otherwise?

Turns out that GIs in WWII weren’t quite as gentlemanly as we like to think:

In the port city of Le Havre, the mayor was bombarded with letters from angry residents complaining about drunkenness, jeep accidents, sexual assault — “a regime of terror,” as one put it, “imposed by bandits in uniform.”

Sex was certainly on the liberators’ minds. The book cites military propaganda and press accounts depicting France as “a tremendous brothel inhabited by 40 million hedonists…

War is never pretty. And it is ridiculous to suppose that it would breed morality. We train people to kill other people for pete’s sake. However just and necessary a war may be, the fact remains that killing is never going to go over easy on ones conscience.

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