Taken by Force: Rape and American GIs in Europe during World War II

TitleTaken by Force: Rape and American GIs in Europe during World War II
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsLilly, J. Robert
Number of Pages235
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
CityNew York, NY

Sociologist and criminologist Professor Bob Lilly makes unprecedented use of military records and trial transcripts to throw light on one of the overlooked consequences of the US Army's presence in Western Europe between 1942 and 1945: the rape of an estimated 14,000 civilian women in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. By focusing on a group of men -- the 'greatest generation' -- more commonly idolized in the Western historical imagination, the study makes an important and original contribution to our understanding of sexual violence in armed conflict. Taken by Force speaks as often as possible through the protagonists themselves and examines the differing social contexts prevailing in each country where the crimes were committed. Attention is also given to the racial dimension of this issue: the disproportionate number of black GIs prosecuted and the relative harshness of their sentences when convicted.

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