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  • #31
    Originally posted by Cheetah772
    Tzar,

    Not to support French-bashing, but what about Italians? They were the butt jokes of both world wars.

    Italians certainly have a glorious military history -- they once ruled the Mediterarrean World for 1,000 years (700 or 500 BC to 450 AD, not the exact dates, but you get the general idea), even during Medieval Age, some of Italian cities had formadible armies and they were well-known for erecting some of best fortifications the world had seen up to that time.

    Anyway, I do know France has a pretty good military history, well, not good as America's.

    Just kidding.

    Dan
    Well, Italy does not really have a strong military history after the end of the Roman Empire. Indeed, there were some fine but short-lived city-state armies at one point or another, but Italy does not have the breathtaking achievements of a Napoleon.

    Comment


    • #32
      Italian Military in WW1

      Originally posted by Cheetah772
      Tzar,

      Not to support French-bashing, but what about Italians? They were the butt jokes of both world wars.

      Italians certainly have a glorious military history -- they once ruled the Mediterarrean World for 1,000 years (700 or 500 BC to 450 AD, not the exact dates, but you get the general idea), even during Medieval Age, some of Italian cities had formadible armies and they were well-known for erecting some of best fortifications the world had seen up to that time.

      Anyway, I do know France has a pretty good military history, well, not good as America's.

      Just kidding.

      Dan
      Italy’s performance in WW1 was generally very good. The Italian armies faced its enemy in what may be the best natural fortress in the world, the Scarso (or similar). They launch many bloody and determined attacks to drive the Autro/ Hungarians from these positions with some success. Then came 1917 and the Corporette breakthrough. That calamity can mostly be blamed on the senior Italian General who had a strange (but brave?) philosophy that it was not important what the enemy intended to do, only what you intended to do. Couple that nonsense with the revolutionary tactics of infiltration that was employed by the German units there (Rommel was an infantry company CO there) and a disaster followed. But in the end the Italian army rallied and stopped the attack (with some help from France) after losing much ground. In 1918 the Italian army had some great defensive and offensive operations defeating the Central powers in the area.
      Considering that the Italy was a young nation at the time and its industrial base was nothing like France or the UK the military forces did a decent job as a whole and as far as individual courage goes, just read about the battles of the Insonzo. The Navy had a thing or two to learn but again in the end they had mastered the situation.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by 06 Maestro
        Italy’s performance in WW1 was generally very good. The Italian armies faced its enemy in what may be the best natural fortress in the world, the Scarso (or similar). They launch many bloody and determined attacks to drive the Autro/ Hungarians from these positions with some success. Then came 1917 and the Corporette breakthrough. That calamity can mostly be blamed on the senior Italian General who had a strange (but brave?) philosophy that it was not important what the enemy intended to do, only what you intended to do. Couple that nonsense with the revolutionary tactics of infiltration that was employed by the German units there (Rommel was an infantry company CO there) and a disaster followed. But in the end the Italian army rallied and stopped the attack (with some help from France) after losing much ground. In 1918 the Italian army had some great defensive and offensive operations defeating the Central powers in the area.

        Considering that the Italy was a young nation at the time and its industrial base was nothing like France or the UK the military forces did a decent job as a whole and as far as individual courage goes, just read about the battles of the Insonzo. The Navy had a thing or two to learn but again in the end they had mastered the situation.
        Well, Italy was a young nation just like Germany, it was founded in 1871. The Northern Kingdoms were notably better in their armies, while the Southern kingdoms were mostly consisted of farm peasantry which made poor soldiers historically. Thus, Savony and Piedmont armies (which many officers came from) were flushed with poor southern quality. The Italian King Emmanuel at one point quoted, "No matter how we pick an uniform for our soldiers, they will all run away the same."

        However, no one can dispute that Italians were brave and courageous in that they still even obeyed their officers time and time again even after disastrous charges on the Austro-Hungarian positions.

        In WWII, it can be disputed that Musseuolni wasn't a good leader, because he often designed tanks and other equipment which didn't meet the usual high military standards and in some cases, were cumbersome for regular Italian units to use. There were many instances of Italian bravery and courage if given proper equipment, mostly of it German, and with good officers. This wasn't the case that often, but it's worthwhile to mention anyway.

        Anyway, my point was that every country could claim to have a kind of glorious military history in their own way and that France does not necessarily claim that its military history was the best one in the world.

        Dan
        Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

        "Aim small, miss small."

        Comment


        • #34
          Italy in WW1

          Originally posted by Cheetah772
          Well, Italy was a young nation just like Germany, it was founded in 1871. The Northern Kingdoms were notably better in their armies, while the Southern kingdoms were mostly consisted of farm peasantry which made poor soldiers historically. Thus, Savony and Piedmont armies (which many officers came from) were flushed with poor southern quality. The Italian King Emmanuel at one point quoted, "No matter how we pick an uniform for our soldiers, they will all run away the same."

          However, no one can dispute that Italians were brave and courageous in that they still even obeyed their officers time and time again even after disastrous charges on the Austro-Hungarian positions.

          In WWII, it can be disputed that Musseuolni wasn't a good leader, because he often designed tanks and other equipment which didn't meet the usual high military standards and in some cases, were cumbersome for regular Italian units to use. There were many instances of Italian bravery and courage if given proper equipment, mostly of it German, and with good officers. This wasn't the case that often, but it's worthwhile to mention anyway.

          Anyway, my point was that every country could claim to have a kind of glorious military history in their own way and that France does not necessarily claim that its military history was the best one in the world.

          Dan
          Check. But Italy did have some special situations that made individual soldiers think about what they were doing. When the new national Italian government was formed it confiscated Papal lands. This resulted in the Pope (several?) telling the Italian people not to have anything to do withtheir new government. This problem persisted untill about 1924 when Mussolini finaly was able to settle the matter with the church. You can imagine that this was a problem for all institutions of Italy.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Cheetah772

            Anyway, I do know France has a pretty good military history, well, not good as America's.

            Just kidding.

            Dan
            ROFLMAO

            Sure you are kidding.


            LaPalice.
            Monsieur de La Palice est mort
            Mort devant Pavie.
            Un quart d'heure avant sa mort
            Il était encore en vie...

            Comment


            • #36
              How do you think us Canadians feel. Always being made fun of by Americans for not fighting in there wars. Hell, they won't even take our beef. Everyone knows theres nothing wrong with it. I've seen on countless shows where we are portrayted as "cowards" and "idiots". But really, I just shrug it off and think about all the good points we have. I think thats what this argument about France should be. It's just as much as Britains and the States fault that WW2 started. Look at all the good things France has done and not one screw up they had.
              PvtJohnson

              Hold your ground men, hold your ground!

              Don't be a fool, wrap your tool.

              If your not mad enough to bare nuckel box, your not mad at all.

              Comment


              • #37
                <<But really, I just shrug it off and think about all the good points we have.>>

                Yes, yes, thank for that 3,000 miles on undefended border it's keeps costs down on the defensive side of things.
                If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

                Comment


                • #38
                  I doubt the many of the members here consider the French cowards - I certainly don't - but I do take issue with them. The French (in general) are all to quick to criticize others, especially their NATO allies, but cry bloody murder when anyone dares cast aspersions on them. In addition, the current French administration has been most strident in their vitriolic comments, especially towards the United States. Ambassador de Villepin and President Chirac are especially "guilty" of such conduct. At least since the administration of DeGaulle, the French have been of the mind that they are free to do what they will, while any allies must be strictly bound by any treaty, compact, agreement or any other pact. A prime example is France's 1966 withdrawal from the military structure of NATO, and the lack of any transparency within NATO of the Quai d'Orsay (France's nuclear establishment).

                  Until they climb down off that ivory tower and treat their allies and others with the respect they demand, I have only contempt for the French governmental and military establishments. The people I will reserve judgment on, as I have met few of them.
                  Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                  (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by hogdriver
                    The French (in general) are all to quick to criticize others, especially their NATO allies, but cry bloody murder when anyone dares cast aspersions on them. In addition, the current French administration has been most strident in their vitriolic comments, especially towards the United States. Ambassador de Villepin and President Chirac are especially "guilty" of such conduct.
                    Mmmh, broad-brush painting anyone?
                    While true, I wouldn't say this characterizes the French government only. Same can be said (in general) for many other administrations around the globe, including yours.
                    De Villepin was no ambassador but Minister of Foreign Affairs (now of Interior) and he hardly can be found more guilty of vitriolic comments than Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld or some of his deputies. Both his hair-do and prose are an all different matter...

                    Originally posted by hogdriver
                    At least since the administration of DeGaulle, the French have been of the mind that they are free to do what they will, while any allies must be strictly bound by any treaty, compact, agreement or any other pact. A prime example is France's 1966 withdrawal from the military structure of NATO, and the lack of any transparency within NATO of the Quai d'Orsay (France's nuclear establishment).
                    In 1966 De Gaulle got France out of the integrated command structure of NATO as he insisted on the French president being the only one to issue orders to our nuclear forces, modest as they could be. That apart, France remained a member of the military alliance, with a good share of its army deployed in Germany (after a bilateral agreement had been reached between both countries).
                    The Quai d'Orsay is our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, not our nuclear establishment. You must be confusing it with the nuclear research institute in the city of Orsay. As far as sharing secret goes, my bet would be that the French government and its military establishment are probably as secretive as any other nuclear power on these topics, be it among allies.

                    Originally posted by hogdriver
                    Until they climb down off that ivory tower and treat their allies and others with the respect they demand, I have only contempt for the French governmental and military establishments.
                    Lol, that one nearly had me fall off my chair. Somehow reminds me of the straw and the beam. Anyway, issues and opinions well noted.
                    Originally posted by hogdriver
                    The people I will reserve judgment on, as I have met few of them.
                    You're too soft and politically correct here - we're far worse as a people than our government...
                    Last edited by nemo; 22 Nov 04, 04:08. Reason: Spelling...

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Regarding to performance of French during it.

                      Of course soldiers were not cowards however leaders (both civilian AND military very at least short - sighted but I would prefer a stronger term). In September 1939 they had Hitler and the Wermacht on a silver plate. All they had to do was just grab them.

                      France could have, should have launched offensive aggainst Germans when the bulk of their forces were inolved in Poland. That was an excellent opportunity but leaders were sure that the Maginot Line would stop German. So 100k soldiers perished. As usual soldiers paid for somebody else stupidity.

                      I cannot say which Army performed worse: Italian or French during the war. I would rather vote French. Why? because they had a much bigger potential (in term of military spendings, industry output and such). How many of their military spendings were wasted for bulding of the Maginot Line?

                      I agree such a web sites are made by and for morons. But do French have or had any right to tell the rest of Europe what is right and what is wrong. Chirac is an idiot, plain and simple. Did France gain anything from his anti-American policy? Contrary.
                      Moreover they expected the rest of Europe to against their interest and support Saddam instead of Bush.

                      The most outrageous fact was a comment of Mr Chirac when 10 European prime ministers signed a letter supporting US policy aginst Saddam. So Mr Grand Statesman Chirac said (adressing to new EU members, especially Poland) 'you just missed the opportunity to be quiet'

                      Cheers!

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        The eer...umm.. errr.. French

                        Originally posted by Boromir View Post
                        Chuck, I hear ya.

                        But to equate a millenium, if not more, of French military history with one battle against a revolutionary type of warfare is not fair.

                        Any army would have succumbed to the Germans in 1940.

                        To make a parallel argument, what would one say to the catastrophes the U.S. government suffered at both Bull Runs, Fredericksburg, and Chancelorsville? The C.S. had no business winning any battles against such a superior force, but with some innovative generalship the South nearly won but lost in the end, just like the Germans in WWII.

                        Cheers
                        Still reviving old topics from Day One. This one from '04 very interesting. Especially the comparison with the ACW.

                        French bashing was very evident in the wake of 9/11 and their refusal to support the US/UK invasion of Iraq.

                        About the same time,The History Channel had their WWII Forum swamped with a discussion about the value or otherwise of the French. So much so that it came to dominate the forum to such an extent the moderator had to close the thread down.
                        Which is a pity coz I was gonna post an early version of my topic: "Did the Western Allies pursue an essentially ‘Italy& Vichy France First’ policy from mid 1940-43?" as part of that thread.

                        Does anyone know if those old THC Forums are archived anywhere? They were great.

                        Going to France later this year and hope to at least see Verdun where the grandfather and grand-uncles fought (and a grand-uncle fell).
                        Had hoped to check out other WWI battlefields where other grand-uncles and their cousins fell as well as the Dunkirk/Lille battlefield where my father fought and but unlikely due to other commitments.

                        Anyway I know some current posters have ...err..ummm...aaahh... shall we say strong opinions on the French and their always tricky relationship with the Yanklais (the Anglo-Americans).

                        Often been fascinated with Foch's (my avatar) handling of his Supremo role in WWI when he was responsible for running such a huge allied force (far larger than the one Ike commanded) and under such critical conditions.

                        Anyway hope this generates some new discussion

                        regards lodestar

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Reviving a 10 year old thread...??? Really? and not even a very good thread at that. Some of the answering posts, clearly it shows certain individuals were disturbed at the notion that French soldier could not be called cowards...and that this didn't fit with their preconceived notions in light of the circumstances when this thread was created (2003).

                          Far, far better and analytical threads have since been written regarding the events of 1940, and the years leading up to it. Probably why some of the posters on this thread never bothered to return, to much thinking required.

                          Lodestar, some threads just need fade into obscurity. I think this is one of those cases.
                          You'll live, only the best get killed.

                          -General Charles de Gaulle

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by asterix View Post
                            Lodestar, some threads just need fade into obscurity. I think this is one of those cases.
                            I agree. However, in response to lodestar's comment that

                            Originally posted by lodestar View Post
                            Often been fascinated with Foch's (my avatar) handling of his Supremo role in WWI when he was responsible for running such a huge allied force (far larger than the one Ike commanded) and under such critical conditions.

                            Anyway hope this generates some new discussion

                            regards lodestar
                            Foch didn't "run" the allied force. He eventually was given the power to issue orders to Petain, but didn't have the power to dictate to Haig or Pershing, to say nothing of King Albert, on anything except general strategy and deployment of reserves. Even then, the national contingent commanders had a great degree of independence and particularly with respect to the general strategy, agreement was essential.

                            Foch succeeded in large measure due to his ability to persuade Haig and Pershing to accept his strategy and Clemenceau's decision to subordinate Petain to Foch. Haig was the easier sell. For all the post-war acrimony, they got along fairly well throughout the war and especially after the Allies went onto the offensive in the summer, they saw many of the key unfolding events in a similar way. Thats certainly not to say there weren't difficulties and differences of opinion, but they made the relationship work.

                            Pershing was more difficult to work with for any number of reasons. Nonetheless, through constant cajoling and negotiating, Foch managed to deal with him as well. The Foch-Petain battles and the Foch-Clemenceau relationship are worthy of threads of their own.

                            Anyway, if you're really interested in learning about Foch's role in 1918, skip the compendium works and go straight to "Foch in Command: The Forging of a First World War General" by Elizabeth Greenhalgh. It is far and away the best English-language source available. And if you want to discuss it further, I think you should start a thread or two in the WWI section.
                            Last edited by The Ibis; 06 Jul 13, 11:05.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by MikeJ View Post
                              I'm sure they tired of being bashed constantly so:

                              By G. Brecher

                              The new big thing on the web is all these sites with names like "I Hate France," with supposed datelines of French military history, supposedly proving how the French are total cowards. If you want to see a sample of this dumbass Frog bashing, try this:

                              www.albinoblacksheep.com/text/france.html

                              Well, I'm going to tell you guys something you probably don't want to hear: these sites are total bullcrap, the notion that the French are cowards is total bullcrap, and anybody who knows anything about European military history knows damn well that over the past thousand years, the French have the most glorious military history in Europe, maybe the world.

                              Before you send me more of those death threats, let me finish. I hate Chirac too, and his disco foreign minister with the blow-dry 'do and the snotty smile. But there are two things I hate more than I hate the French: ignorant fake war buffs, and people who are ungrateful. And when an American mouths off about French military history, he's not just being ignorant, he's being ungrateful. I was raised to think ungrateful people were trash.

                              When I say ungrateful, I'm talking about the American Revolution. If you're a true American patriot, then this is the war that matters. Hell, most of you probably couldn't name three major battles from it, but try going back to when you read Johnny Tremaine in fourth grade and you might recall a little place called Yorktown, Virginia, where we bottled up Cornwallis's army, forced the Brits' surrender and pretty much won the war.

                              Well, news flash: "we" didn't win that battle, any more than the Northern Alliance conquered the Taliban. The French army and navy won Yorktown for us. Americans didn't have the materiel or the training to mount a combined operation like that, with naval blockade and land siege. It was the French artillery forces and military engineers who ran the siege, and at sea it was a French admiral, de Grasse, who kicked the crap out of the British navy when they tried to break the siege.

                              Long before that, in fact as soon as we showed the Brits at Saratoga that we could win once in a while, they started pouring in huge shipments of everything from cannon to uniforms. We'd never have got near Yorktown if it wasn't for massive French aid.

                              So how come you bastards don't mention Yorktown in your cheap webpages? I'll tell you why: because you're too ignorant to know about it and too dishonest to mention it if you did.

                              The thing that gets to me is why Americans hate the French so much when they only did us good and never did us any harm. Like, why not hate the Brits? They're the ones who killed thousands of Americans in the Revolution, and thirty years later they came back and attacked us again. That time around they managed to burn Washington DC to the ground while they were at it. How come you web jerks never mention that?

                              Sure, the easy answer is because the Brits are with us now, and the French aren't. But being a war buff means knowing your history and respecting it.

                              Well, so much for ungrateful. Now let's talk about ignorant. And that's what you are if you think the French can't fight: just plain ignorant. Appreciation of the French martial spirit is just about the most basic way you can distinguish real war nerds from fake little teachers'pets.

                              Let's take the toughest case first: the German invasion, 1940, when the French Army supposedly disgraced itself against the Wehrmacht. This is the only real evidence you'll find to call the French cowards, and the more you know about it, the less it proves. Yeah, the French were scared of Hitler. Who wasn't? Chamberlain, the British prime minister, all but licked the Fuhrer's goosesteppers, basically let him have all of Central Europe, because Britain was terrified of war with Germany. Hell, Stalin signed a sweetheart deal with Hitler out of sheer terror, and Stalin wasn't a man who scared easy.

                              The French were scared, all right. But they had reason to be. For starters, they'd barely begun to recover from their last little scrap with the Germans: a little squabble you might've heard of, called WW I.

                              WW I was the worst war in history to be a soldier in. WW II was worse if you were a civilian, but the trenches of WW I were five years of Hell like General Sherman never dreamed of. At the end of it a big chunk of northern France looked like the surface of the moon, only bloodier, nothing but craters and rats and entrails.

                              Verdun. Just that name was enough to make Frenchmen and Germans, the few who survived it, wake up yelling for years afterward. The French lost 1.5 million men out of a total population of 40 million fighting the Germans from 1914-1918. A lot of those guys died charging German machine-gun nests with bayonets. I'd really like to see one of you office smartasses joke about "surrender monkeys" with a French soldier, 1914 vintage. You'd **** your dockers.

                              crap, we strut around like we're so tough and we can't even handle a few uppity Iraqi villages. These guys faced the Germans head on for five years, and we call them cowards? And at the end, it was the Germans, not the French, who said "calf rope."

                              When the sequel war came, the French relied on their frontier fortifications and used their tanks (which were better than the Germans', one on one) defensively. The Germans had a newer, better offensive strategy. So they won. And the French surrendered. Which was damn sensible of them.

                              This was the WEHRMACHT. In two years, they conquered all of Western Europe and lost only 30,000 troops in the process. That's less than the casualties of Gettysburg. You get the picture? Nobody, no army on earth, could've held off the Germans under the conditions that the French faced them. The French lost because they had a long land border with Germany. The English survived because they had the English Channel between them and the Wehrmacht. When the English Army faced the Wermacht at Dunkirk, well, thanks to spin the tuck-tail-and-flee result got turned into some heroic tale of a brilliant British retreat. The fact is, even the Brits behaved like cowards in the face of the Wermacht, abandoning the French. It's that simple.

                              Here's a quick sampler of some of my favorite French victories, like an antidote to those ignorant websites. We'll start way back and move up to the 20th century.

                              Tours, 732 AD: The Muslims had already taken Spain and were well on their way to taking the rest of Europe. The only power with a chance of stopping them was the French army under Charles "the Hammer" Martel, King of the Franks (French), who answered to the really cool nickname "the Hammer of God." It was the French who saved the continent's ass. All the smart money was on the Muslims: there were 60,000 of them, crazy Jihadis whose cavalry was faster and deadlier than any in Europe. The French army was heavily outnumbered and had no cavalry. Fighting in phalanxes, they held against dozens of cavalry charges and after at least two days of hand-to-hand combat, finally managed to hack their way to the Muslim center and kill their commander. The Muslims retreated to Spain, and Europe developed as an independent civilization.

                              Orleans, May 1429: Joan of Arc: is she the most insanely cool military commander in history or what? This French peasant girl gets instructions from her favorite saints to help out the French against the English invaders. She goes to the King (well, the Dauphin, but close enough) and tells him to give her the army and she'll take it from there. And somehow she convinces him. She takes the army, which has lost every battle it's been in lately, to Orleans, which is under English siege. Now Joan is a nice girl, so she tries to settle things peaceably. She explains in a letter to the enemy commanders that everything can still be cool, "...provided you give up France...and go back to your own countries, for God's sake. And if you do not, wait for the Maid, who will visit you briefly to your great sorrow." The next day she put on armor, mounted a charger, and prepared to lead the attack on the besiegers' fortifications. She ordered the gates opened, but the Mayor refused until Joan explained that she, personally, would cut off his head. The gates went up, the French sallied out, and Joan led the first successful attack they'd made in years. The English strongpoints were taken, the siege was broken, and Joan's career in the cow-milking trade was over.

                              Braddock's Defeat (aka Battle of Monongahela) July 1755: Next time you're driving through the Ohio Valley, remember you're passing near the site of a great French victory over an Anglo-American force twice its size. General Edward Braddock marched west from Virginia with 1,500 men-a very large army in 18th-c. America. His orders were to seize French land and forts in the Valley-your basic undeclared land-grab invasion. The French joined the local tribes to resist, and then set up a classic ambush. It was a slaughter. More than half of Braddock's force-880 men-were killed or wounded. The only Anglo officer to escape unhurt was this guy called George Washington, and even he had two horses shot out from under him. After a few minutes of non-stop fire from French and Indians hidden in the woods, Braddock's command came apart like something out of Nam, post-Tet. Braddock was hit and wounded, but none of his troops would risk getting shot to rescue him.

                              Austerlitz, Dec. 1805: You always hear about Austerlitz as "Napoleon's Greatest Victory," like the little guy personally went out and wiped out the combined Russian and Austrian armies. The fact is, ever since the Revolution in 1789, French armies had been kicking ass against everybody. They were free citizens fighting against scared peasant and degenerate mercenaries, and it was no contest. At Austerlitz, 65,000 French troops took on 90,000 Russians and Austrians and destroyed them. Absolutely annihilated them. The French lost only 8,000, compared to 29,000 of the enemy. The tactics Bonaparte used were very risky, and would only have worked with superb troops: he encouraged the enemy to attack a weak line, then brought up reinforcements who'd been held out of sight. That kind of tactical plan takes iron discipline and perfect timing-and the French had it.

                              Jena, Oct. 1806: just a quick reminder for anybody who thinks the Germans always beat the French. Napoleon takes on the Prussian army and destroys it. 27,000 Prussian casualties vs. 5,000 French. Prussian army routed, pursued for miles by French cavalry.

                              You eXile guys might want to remember that the French under Napoleon are still the only army ever to have taken all of continental Europe, from Moscow to Madrid. I could keep listing French victories till I had a book. In fact, it's not a bad idea. A nice big hardback, so you could take it to the assholes running all the anti-French-military sites and bash their heads in with it.
                              I would at first to thank MikeJ for the explanations which he gave us. Indeed, a simple look on the history of Europe and world will show to every honest reader that France was one most major powers on this planet and that her army was one of the most powerful of the world. That is why I have never understood, while France which has never damaged the interests of the United States, on the contrary, this kind of anti-French racism which asserts, against any truth, that France lost all the wars, that the French people are cowards who surrender to the first rifle shot, that they are effeminate even worse. Among these people who hate the French people, there are doubtless ignoramuses but there are also other individuals among whom the contempt and the hatred seem to me inexplicable. Of course, the disaster of 1940 was a considerable event for the French people at first and also the foreigners. It is exactly because the French Army was considered as the best of the world that the disappointment and the trauma were big all the more. However, 73 years after this defeat, the historic knowledge made enormous progress and showed that the explanation by the cowardice of the French people, or their will not to fight, did not correspond to the truth. For the most part of the foreign historians, as Martin Alexander, Robert Doughty, Karl-Heinrich Frieser or Julian Jackson, what occurred in 1940 is at first military matter, with its part of fate and its part of errors even of faults. The disaster of 1940 is less understandable by the quantitative and qualifying insufficiency of our equipment than by its incorrect because of a strictly defensive doctrine imposed by bad generals, appointed, promoted and honored by a blind and powerless political class. Besides, the image of a French army in disarray is not the correct image which we have to have because everything shows that the French army fought with courage and determination and even won battles against the Germans. But the leaders of this army were not as high as the courage of their soldiers and eventually asked for the armistice. Here is the truth. Do not believe however that the collapse of 1940 traumatized only the French people of this time whose the life was dreadful during four years. Today still, the disaster of 1940 is a part of badly closed wounds of our history. In spite of the Gaullism, in spite of the epic of Free France, the Resistance and the Liberation, its bitter memory continues to poison our collective unconscious. For France, it is today still a black year which is not cured yet. That is why the insults or the stupid jokes on this terrible time for our people, are so many inequitable sufferings for us, our parents and our grandparents.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Yes, the English did flee at Dunkirk, because we were watching their a**es - the 51st Highland Division fought a brilliant rearguard action, only being overwhelmed (and the survivors captured) after the beaches were clear.

                                Their brothers, sons, nephews and cousins avenged them at El-Alamein.
                                Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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