This Day in History: 1944-05-18
1944: German troops are forced to withdraw from their defense of Monte Cassino, Italy, by Allied troops including a division of Moroccans. That night the Moroccans — 12,000 of them — left their camp and swarmed over the mountain villages around Monte Cassino. They raped every village woman and girl they could get their hands on, an estimated 3,000 women, ranging in age from 11 years to 86 years old. They murdered 800 village men who tried to protect their women. They abused some of the women so badly that more than 100 of them died. They selected the prettiest girls for gang-raping, with long lines of dark-skinned Moroccans waiting their turn in front of each one, while other Moroccans held the victims down. They raped some of the young men as well.