Jeff Sanders' Blog

Return to

Home > November 2016 > The Goumier

The Goumier
By Dr. Jeff Sanders

The government of France was knocked out of World War II in 1940, but not all of its fighting men.  Charles De Gaulle (along with a few other French generals) led the charge to keep Frenchmen fighting against the Nazi tyranny.  By 1943 the French colonial Army of Africa had officially joined forces with De Gaulle 's Free French Army and were now ready to help the Allies on the continent of Europe.  Their first test would be slogging up the Appenine Mountains of Italy.  

The French Expeditionary Force was composed of regular French Army troops. . . and the Goumier.  The who?  The Goumier were North Africans. . . specifically tough tribal people from Morocco, but Tunisians and Algerians were given this label too.  Under the leadership of General Alphonse Juin, this 90,000 strong force swung into battle against the hated Nazis in January of 1944.  After weeks of fighting, the Germans learned to fear the knife-wielding "Goums" (as the Brits would call them).  One story has it that a French officer said he would love to get a German made wrist watch.  His "Goum" soldier was only too happy to oblige.  He went out on patrol, and came back later with a beautiful wristwatch wrapped up in a cloth to give to his officer.  Of course, unfortunately the watch was still wrapped around a German's arm and hand!  

The Goums proved themselves in battle against some of the best of the Wehrmacht.  The Moroccans, Tunisians, and Algerians savagely fought their way up a 3,100 foot peak at Monte Majo near Monte Casino to flank the Germans.  The Germans were forced to pull back, leaving the town of Esperia to be liberated by the French.

Sounds great doesn't it?  The French fought very, very well against the Nazis in Italy.  But there is a dark side to the liberation.  Apparently no one told the Goumier that liberation means we treat the people of Italy as free people.  They thought it meant people were free for the taking.  And raping.  There were hundreds of reported cases of North African soldiers raping Italian women and girls, and even men!  Even priests were raped!  

The poor Italian people had thrown off one group of monsters for another. Their liberators had become their tormentors.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 09:13 PM

Email to a Friend  |  Printer Friendly Page  |  Permalink | Comments

Bookmark and Share

Jeff Sanders' Bio


Past Posts

The Valley of Vision
Why ISIS Lost in Syria and Iraq...For Now
Some Things I am Grateful For
Gettysburg National Park
12 Years A Slave
The Best Thing That Happened at the Akron Marathon
ISIS in the Philippines
Antifa and Fascism
Who Are The Antifa

October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009

Search this blog:

Copyright 2008 American Policy Roundtable