FRANCE: Anti-Americanism

From Paris, Alain de Benoist wrote: : During D Day, 50 000 French civilians were killed by American bombings; the losses of the German army were not so heavy.  Randy Black counters:  Perhaps Mr. Benoist might provide a source for such a claim regarding the D-Day invasion. From all Internet sites, the highest figure for French victims of Allied (not just American) bombings was 15,000 to 20,000.  German dead is factually known as 77,866.


Randy Black criticized as excessive the numbers given by Alain de Benoist of French  killed on D-Day by US bombing. Randy cited his sources. Alain responds: I do not know what means « all Internet sites?» (they seem not very serious). The figure I gave is the official one, as established in detail in many serious books entirely devoted to the subject of allied bombings on France during the German Occupation. The total number of french civilians killed by Anglo-American bombings was 70 000. Some cities, like Le Havre, were also completely destroyed.  RH: If they cite official or scholarly sources, internet sites cannot be dismissed as not very serious.  We would like exact references to the studies Alain quotes.

Randy Black gave figures to show that Alain de Benoist exaggerated the number of French civilians killed by Allied bombardments, Alain defended his figures, but without giving their source. Christopher Jones comes to his rescue: A  book by AFP journalist Christophe Beaudufe, L'été 1944, le sacrifice des Normands, Perrin, Paris 1994 chronicles the destruction of the city of Le Havre.  In total, the Allies dropped one tonne of explosives per 720 square meters or one incendiary bomb every 43 square meters.  These bombs were dropped in the center of the city and not on military objectives.  Between the 4th and the 10th of September, 1944, a whopping 85 % of the city was leveled to force the surrender of a few discombobulated Germans (I think 600).  However, it is indeed difficult to obtain a clear number on the internet, very probably because that number is politically "incorrect." Most of the numbers are broken down into towns and villages on separate internet addresses, making it harder to find the total.  A France Inter radio program places the total French dead from Allied bombing at 67,000 and recommends another book by Eddy Florentin Quand les alliés bombardaient la France again published by Perrin.  

Here is a passage from a broadcast (1/29/03) , "Quand les Alliés bombardaient la France" by Patrick Facon, wgi has written about the subject in a new magazine, Le Magazine du 20eme Siecle:

« Seuls les bombardiers nous donneront la clef de la victoire. » Winston Churchill 3 septembre 1940

Tout a commencé le 12 juin 1940. Ce jour là, à 16 h. 53, quelques avions de la Royal Air Force larguaient leurs bombes sur le port de Boulogne. Certes, depuis le 25 mai, la ville était tombée entre les mains des blindés du général Guderian. Mais on était à 12 jours de l’armistice et la Grande Bretagne était encore l’alliée de la France. On comprend la surprise des habitants de Boulogne et la colère des familles des 14 victimes civiles de ce bombardement. Les premiers morts d’une tragédie oubliée mais qui a profondément traumatisé les Français. Pendant cinq ans, les avions anglais et américains ont lancé plus de 600.000 tonnes de bombes sur plus de 1500 localités françaises provoquant la mort de 67000 civils. On n’en parle plus guère aujourd’hui, mais tous ceux qui ont subi les rigueurs de l’occupation allemande se souviennent aussi de cette époque où, pendant cinq ans la France fut, après l’Allemagne, le pays le plus bombardé d’Europe.

RH: This argument is like that about the number of Iraqi civilians killed in the American invasion.  Each side tries to doctor the figures. The fact that Boulogne had been occupied by a German army under Guderian would seem to make it a legitimate target.  What do the people of Sicily and the Italian mainland thing about the Allied invasion? The bombing of the French fleet in Oran caused indignation among the French.  We have to assume that the Allied leaders adopted the strategy they deemed best to ensure victory. The French and the Italians should be told: You cannot have it both ways- Would you have preferred that your countries not be liberated?  What cannot be denied is that French, Italian and German cities suffered horribly.  I knew them both before and after World War II.

Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: February 27, 2005