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A Big Hit in France

 
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112 Gripes About the French
At the end of the Second World War American GIs serving in France grumbled so much about the habits of the natives that th eUS War Department was forced to take drastic action.
In 1945 it printed this booklet for the troops addressing some of their most common complaints.
The booklet was translated and re-published in France last year and bcame a huge hit selling over 30,000 copies.
What did these frogs contribute to the world anyway ?
The French won't accept new ideas.
The French are not our kind of people. The Germans are.
Interesting responses. For instance , the French were America's allies duing the American Revolution.
[ January 04, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
HS Thomas
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77. "The French don't even have enough men to stand up against the Germans."
True. That, in fact, is one of the things the Germans counted on in 1870, in 1914 and in 1939.
France never fully recovered from the results of World War I. Here is what the French lost from 1914 to 1918:
1,357,800Killed or died
4,266,000Wounded
537,000Prisoners and missing
Total.6,160,800

The French had mobilized 8,410,000 men. They lost 6,160,800 -- or 73.3% No nation had ever suffered such a staggering loss. No nation had shown a greater record of sheer courage and tenacity. There was scarcely a family in France that did not number one or more of its members among the dead. World War I. left France weak and exhausted - for the second war Germany launched against her within a generation.
The catastrophic effects of the first World War hit France particularly hard because they were added to the serious problem of a declining birth-rate. By 1939, largely because of the losses of World War I, the proportion of the French population under 20 years of age was small - and growing smaller ; the proportion of Frenchmen over 60 years of age was large - and growing larger.
In 1940, after occupation, the Germans tried to cripple France permanently by a policy of deliberate starvation and the segregation of the sexes. The Germans held nearly 2,000,000 French men in German prison and work camps - away from French women. The German policy of malnutrition worked so well that in 1945, when the French government was drafting men to re-create a French army, it was found that 40% of all Frenchmen called up for physical duty were physically unfit. In 1942, at the height of German occupation, there were 500,000 more deaths than births in France.
 
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during mobilization of german army in 1914 there wa a very popular believe that they would have easy game against the french.
Germans used to think that french were only good for passing lazy days in Bistrot drinking cognac, chasing french women, wearing nice cloth and digesting over-sophisticated meals.
In the 4 years to come the french had enough time to teach the germans of that time that they were a bit wrong.
[ January 04, 2004: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
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It seems to me that the fatal character shortcoming of Europeans in general and the French in particular is a lack of moderation and pragmatism. Once they get an idea into their heads, they ignore reality and pursue it to ridiculous excess.
For example, it is good to be patriotic and to be willing to risk one's life for one's country. But the French in WWI took it to a ridiculous extreme, basically allowing their leaders to exterminate an entire generation through pointless "gallant" infantry charges against embedded machine guns. Now, they go to the other extreme and utterly condemn patriotism and honor, and are in the process of giving away their country to immigrants who have nothing but contempt for France.
For example, it is good to be God-fearing and religious. But the French conservatives a hundred years ago took it to an improper extreme, acting as though membership in one specific Christian denomination (Catholic) was an absolute requirement to being truly French. Now, they go to the other extreme; hardly anyone but superstitious old provincial women go to church regularly.
In one century they set out to colonize as much of the 3rd World as they can -- not to bring freedom or to fight enemies but to enhance their own wealth, power and prestige. Then, a hundred years later, they act as though any grievance claimed against the West by a savage nation automatically has a moral basis.
Why is it so hard for Europeans to recognize the limits of their theories and ideas by testing them against reality?
 
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The French made a big mistake in Indochina = Vietnam

Ring any bells???
 
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

Interesting responses. For instance , the French were America's allies duing the American Revolution.


Not to discount the importance of French support in the 18th century, but I think it's fair to say they were just as much, if not more, enemies of the English, and mindful of the value of helping support a ally in North America.
But the French ultimately do derive from different cultural roots than most Americans do. It's not hard to figure out why most of us have trouble understanding where they're coming from.
 
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

The French had mobilized 8,410,000 men. They lost 6,160,800 -- or 73.3% No nation had ever suffered such a staggering loss.


I believe Austria lost more.


No nation had shown a greater record of sheer courage and tenacity.


This is funny if it wasn't sad, let's just say, there is no evidence for such an outrageous claim....
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
during mobilization of german army in 1914 there wa a very popular believe that they would have easy game against the french.
Germans used to think that french were only good for passing lazy days in Bistrot drinking cognac, chasing french women, wearing nice cloth and digesting over-sophisticated meals.
In the 4 years to come the french had enough time to teach the germans of that time that they were a bit wrong.
[ January 04, 2004: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]


Why did the Germans think the French would be easy?
Could it have been the fact that the Germans and other Europeans regularly pummeled the French, with few exceptions, for the prior 400 years?
And the "4 years" you speak of would not have been had not the British lent their significant help to the French.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:
112 Gripes About the French
At the end of the Second World War American GIs serving in France grumbled so much about the habits of the natives that th eUS War Department was forced to take drastic action.
[ January 04, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]


My Uncle was stationed in France in WWII. Used to comment that the farmers had the habit of stacking their animal's manure in a pile in what he called their front yard and he thought them a very unclear people.
 
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
I believe Austria lost more.

The Austria-Hungarian Empire had a 74% causalty rate.
 
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:

This is funny if it wasn't sad, let's just say, there is no evidence for such an outrageous claim....


Er, I was quoting from the book. The French have contributed a lot for Western civilisation IMO. Contributions As to being culturally at odds I am sure that both Britain and America derived more from the French than they realise. The English language, for one, is derived mostly from the French language.
High English was almost French until Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales for the masses and from then on, Middle English was more widely spoken.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
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The English language, for one, is derived mostly from the French language.
Not sure what "derived" means here... Maybe large vocabulary borrowings? "Genetically" French and English belong to different language families: French to the Italic (together with Spanish and, well, Italian) and English to the Germanic (German, Dutch, Swedish etc). Both families originate from the same Indo-European root, though.
 
HS Thomas
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Map is right.
Olde English is Germanic based. Vocabulary borrowings is a better description of French language (and presumably culture) on the English.
 
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Hi Map,
I think that HS Thomas was right . As a french-speaker (but I am Belgian, not French) I know that English is easy to learn because of the many words which are exactly the same as in French. And they are because they come from French.
I learned that at school, but it's so far away that I forgot the details.
The borrowed words are the abstract ones, and generally speaking the words which were used by the "high society".
For instance, "house" is germanic ("haus" in German and "huis" in Dutch), but "castle" comes from the old French word "castel". Most of the english words ending in "tion" (like "attention", "revolution", "narration", ...), all abstract ones, are borrowed from French without any spelling difference (which is French too and spells "diff�rence" in French BTW ).
Moral of the story : it's a shame that so few French-speakers don't speak English. No excuse ! (mmh... "excuse" is French too )
Just for the fun, here are the words I didn't need to learn in English in the last sentences from Map and HS Thomas :
Map : ... s�r ... "d�riv�"... large vocabulaire ...? "G�n�tiquement"... diff�rent langage familles
HS Thomas : ... bas�. Vocabulaire ... description ... langage ... culture
Is English still germanic ? I think it's now a mix of germanic roots and latin roots (through French). And it's not impossible that it helped English to become the de facto worldwide esperanto : Latin and germanic people all may find "easy" words in English (but not the same ones).
Regards,
Phil.
 
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I liked this one


They are proud. They are individualists. So are we. That's one reason there is friction between us.


is it time to change my signature
 
Axel Janssen
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english is more romanic than germanic I would say.
Reading a swedish or a dutch text, I often understand a lot. Its less close than portuguese-and-spanish or spanish-and-italian, but there are lots of similarities with german.
English is quite different.
My spanish vocabulary helps me a lot more in understanding not-that-common-english words than german.
When people speak slavic languages I don't understand one single word. Its like chinese.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
Steven Broadbent
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How about this:- My girlfriend is a spanish speaker but we met while working in Italy, so our only common language is Italian. However I can understand 60% of a spanish novel. Likewise with Dutch as I speak German.
May come in handy as we are thinking of trying Belgium - spent new year their together and it was very nice.
Phillipe, how is the java situation in Belgium, any advice would be
appreciated.
 
HS Thomas
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It may be easier to learn German if English is the first language because conjugation is so systematic, I think. Perhaps the few German root words helped too.
wasser - water - l'eau
salz - salt - sel
sehen - see - voire
Gott - God - Dieu

Pass the salt translates to : (at the risk of sounding rude)
F�hren Sie das Salz.
Passez le sel.
Bad example as it gives my theory the boot.
Olde English seems to have borrowed God from Gott which is likely as Early Christianity in these shores were Celts. High Church / High English borrowed from Latin and French IMO. All in all English is an interesting mess that worked.
Words borrowed from Hindi/Indian dialect :
verandah
cummerbund
dungarees
jodphurs
goolies
jungle
cheetah
bandanna
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Axel Janssen
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

F�hren Sie das Salz.


F�hren doesn't fit here.
Reichen Sie das Salz.
(worse but acceptable: Geben Sie das Salz).
reichen might have same root as reach (but its used here to describe an active process. don't know if its possible to use it this way in english).
geben has same root as to give.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
Philippe Maquet
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wasser - water - l'eau
salz - salt - sel
sehen - see - voire
Gott - God - Dieu


You just confirmed what I wrote above : they all are "basic" words (though "see" is a bit "abstract").
But I just made a random choice of 4 abstract words in French. Here are the translations in English and German :


Funny, isn't it ?

Steven:
Philippe, how is the java situation in Belgium, any advice would be appreciated.


I looks like there are a lot of open positions for Java developers here in Belgium. But I guess it's not different from any other european country, is it ?
Best,
Phil.
 
Philippe Maquet
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verandah
cummerbund
dungarees
jodphurs
goolies
jungle
cheetah
bandanna


Didn't you forget Mowgly ?
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:
All in all English is an interesting mess that worked.


100% pure is good for nothing 100% of the time.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

Er, I was quoting from the book. The French have contributed a lot for Western civilisation IMO. Contributions As to being culturally at odds I am sure that both Britain and America derived more from the French than they realise. The English language, for one, is derived mostly from the French language.
High English was almost French until Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales for the masses and from then on, Middle English was more widely spoken.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]


Well, the claim the book makes; "No nation had shown a greater record of sheer courage and tenacity" is still baseless and quite exceedingly silly.
I notice you made no attempt to defend it beyound saying "Er". The distracting comments about French language and culture are just a cover for the indefensible statement (besides being inaccurate as well).
 
HS Thomas
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Etymology of Selected Words of Indian Language Origin
To date about 700 words were adopted in the English language and now their use is recognised as English.
Have any words been adopted in French or other European languages? I suspect they would be of tech origin if anything. I can't think of any mainstream word that could be attributed to the current revolution.
Something more interesting than internet, web.
 
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:

Well, the claim the book makes; "No nation had shown a greater record of sheer courage and tenacity" is still baseless and quite exceedingly silly.
I notice you made no attempt to defend it beyound saying "Er". The distracting comments about French language and culture are just a cover for the indefensible statement (besides being inaccurate as well).


Seems to me that the battle of Verdun (and the Siege of Paris before it) showed an extremely impressive 'record of sheer courage and tenacity'. At least if measured by the losses. We greatly honor the English for their forebearance and courage during the Battle of Britain. And rightly so. But total English losses from air attack during WWII were probably about 20,000 people. France lost at least 500,000 soldiers dead at the battle of Verdun alone. Many more than that when you consider the whole of WWI.
Fortunately for us the US hasn't had to show that kind of fortitude since the Civil War, and even the losses at the great Civil War battles don't amount to the French losses in WWI.
I dislike the attitude of the French toward the Iraq war, but that doesn't mean that French history isn't full of courage. That little book has a lot of truth in it.
 
Philippe Maquet
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HS Thomas:
Have any words been adopted in French or other European languages?


From the list of Indian words you mentioned above, I put in bold the ones commonly used in French :

verandah (but spelled "veranda")
cummerbund
dungarees
jodphurs
goolies
jungle
cheetah
bandanna


Regards,
Phil.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: Philippe Maquet ]
 
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:

Well, the claim the book makes; "No nation had shown a greater record of sheer courage and tenacity" is still baseless and quite exceedingly silly.
I notice you made no attempt to defend it beyound saying "Er". The distracting comments about French language and culture are just a cover for the indefensible statement (besides being inaccurate as well).


I am in discovery mode not defensive mode. "Er" indicated the element of surprise at the objection to the statement. I think the statement is meant to be read in the context of WWI and WWII. Putting away all things like number of tanks, weapons, superiority in war etc, I hadn't realised that the French were that defenceless and they did get whupped.
Another discovery: German prisoners of war held in Japan were treated like guests and had a good time and more than a few remained to open beer halls and German restaurants and they thrived. By WWII the treatment of prisoners of war went to the other extreme. So what happened in Japan in the space of 30 years - the effect of the events in Europe ? Some "borrowings" from a part of Europe that they respected ? I also read some comment from the Japanese on examining their history that the war against them was the best ( ) thing that happened to stop the rot. Needless to say I find that statement very confusing.

If France, so beaten down, could hold up their end by threads, I think, the statement has some truth in it. And the British were allies, first and foremost, to protect their own shores.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:
Etymology of Selected Words of Indian Language Origin


How to sue the site for wrong information ??

India is the cradle to one of the first civilizations of the world, founded in the banks of the Lower Indus River in Southern India. This culture flourished from 2500 BC, and was named Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, by contemporary archeologists, after the two main cities found in the excavation sites.

Both cities are in north of India and at present in Pakistan
another misinformation

The geographical barriers of rivers, mountains, deserts and forests made it difficult for these languages to mingle, and hence even today, as one country, the languages and dialects spoken in India are very different from each other - either in written script, spoken words, grammar or tones.

If I take only written script then Gujrati, Rajasthani, Hindi, Marathi and Bangali has more or less same script.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

I think the statement is meant to be read in the context of WWI and WWII. Putting away all things like number of tanks, weapons, superiority in war etc, I hadn't realised that the French were that defenceless and they did get whupped.
...

If France, so beaten down, could hold up their end by threads, I think, the statement has some truth in it. And the British were allies, first and foremost, to protect their own shores.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]


Reading the statement in context of WWII makes it even more ludicrous (France fell in 40 days, widespread Nazi collaboration in Vichy France, etc) and makes it insulting as well to the other nations who fought on bitterly agasinst overwhelming odds (Britain stood essentially alone against Nazi war machine for some time, also Soviet Union was ravaged to a very great extent).
I do not believe France should be held up as an example "sheer courage and tenacity" that no other nation has equalled.( For more on their military history see the humerous, but with factual underpinnings, http://army.ca/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/10/240 )
 
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by R K Singh:

How to sue the site for wrong information ??
Both cities are in north of India and at present in Pakistan


Harrappa and Mohenjo-Dahro were Dravidian sites. Are there any Dravidians in Pakistan ?
My source of information is the same site but I remember reading this elsewhere.
The Role of English and Other Foreign Languages in Japanese Society
Looking for the adoption of German words in the Japanese language they seem mainly technology based. The adoption of te swastika went horribly wrong.
"Swastika - The emblem of the Nazi Germany, officially adopted in 1935. In Buddhism and Hinduism, a religious symbol representing noble qualities and good luck.
An ancient cosmic symbol formed by a Greek cross with ends of the arms bent at right angles either clockwise or a counterclockwise direction."
"The next most influential, though its influence seems to be waning, is German, which has made numerous contributions to the lexicon, particularly in the fields of medicine, mountain climbing, philosophy, and literature (Haarman, 1984b). These new words appear to enter Japanese as "raw, unassimilated foreign words", later to be reduced phonologically and orthographically into the angular katakana syllabary and then, perhaps, abbreviated (Suzuki, 1987). Haarman (1984a) suggests that one of the ways loan words enter colloquial Japanese is through what he terms "commercial Japanese"--the Japanese and foreign language mix used in commercial texts intended for Japanese audiences. In addition to media personnel, Loveday (1986) includes copy-writers, journalists, translators, and academics among the main Japanese agents of dissemination.
The motivation for this massive lexical borrowing came from the rapid westernization and modernization that occurred after the coming of Commodore Perry (Loveday, 1986) and frantic industrial and economic growth after the Second World War (Takahara, 1991). It allowed the Japanese people to distinguish between traditional and Western styles (nomiya--bar and kimono--suits, for example) and to avoid the connotations of some of their established lexical items, while adding the social prestige associated with Western culture."
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by R K Singh:

How to sue the site for wrong information ??

India is the cradle to one of the first civilizations of the world, founded in the banks of the Lower Indus River in Southern India. This culture flourished from 2500 BC, and was named Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, by contemporary archeologists, after the two main cities found in the excavation sites.


Sumerian civilization predates 2500 BC
 
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:

( For more on their military history see the humerous, but with factual underpinnings, http://army.ca/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/10/240 )


So the French haven't won any wars ?
"American Revolution - In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare: "France only wins when America does most of the fighting."
French Revolution - Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French."
It is a humourous site.
"World War I - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States. Thousands of French women find out what it's like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her "Fraulein." Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline."
 
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:

Reading the statement in context of WWII makes it even more ludicrous (France fell in 40 days, widespread Nazi collaboration in Vichy France, etc) and makes it insulting as well to the other nations who fought on bitterly agasinst overwhelming odds (Britain stood essentially alone against Nazi war machine for some time, also Soviet Union was ravaged to a very great extent).


But doesn't the booklet go a long way to explain why ? Millions of men separated from the women and put in German concentration camps. Five years without soap. Exhorbitant prices for basic food.
Personally I don't think the French gab. I love to watch and listen to them talk. I think they show/derive great appreciation for the small details.
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

Harrappa and Mohenjo-Dahro were Dravidian sites. Are there any Dravidians in Pakistan ?


Neither now and nor then there was any Drvidians in that area.
Because the temples etc which are found at the site belongs to Aryans and as per one theory Aryans made original inhabitants to move to south of India, and later they are called Dravidians.
ANd for sure that Harrappa and Mohenjo-Dahro were never in the "southern India"
An ancient cosmic symbol formed by a Greek cross with ends of the arms bent at right angles either clockwise or a counterclockwise direction."

If I am not wrong then Swastik [Hindu one]has to be clock wise.
 
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by R K Singh:

ANd for sure that Harrappa and Mohenjo-Dahro were never in the "southern India"


Dravidians were the predominant race in India before the Aryans, right ?
And were pushed to the South ?
"ginger" has Dravidian origins but we all think the word is English. If the site is to be believed.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

Dravidians were the predominant race in India before the Aryans, right ?
And were pushed to the South ?


right.
But the temple and Gods which are found in Harrapa and Mohanjodaro are of Aryans.
Even I am not sure of Dravadian theory. You can say, sort of, I dont believe in this Dravadian theory.
And again both places were never in South of India. [you check the Map yaar ]
 
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by R K Singh:

And again both places were never in South of India. [you check the Map yaar ]


I never suggested they were in the South. We had some great programs showing some submerged ancient cities. There was no explanation why some were abandoned. Possibly like Pompeii or that the sea came too close and troubled their life. So they moved near to the Himalayas and set up some learning centres in new cities. Sanskrit was presumed to be the language of instruction. So maybe you are right that they were an Aryan people.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Bela Bardak
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

So the French haven't won any wars ?
"American Revolution - In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare: "France only wins when America does most of the fighting."
French Revolution - Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French."
It is a humourous site.


Cute site. It does leave out a few inconvenient wars which the French did win. Specifically Charles Martel's victory against the Muslim invaders at Tours which stopped the western limb of the great Jihad. Also the fact that Martel's grandson, Charlemagne united much of Western Europe in one realm and founded the Holy Roman Empire.
What is today called France was actually a group of independent states including Normandy, Brittany, Aquitaine, Langedoc, Provence, and Burgundy. Many of which were much larger and more powerful than Ille De France, the core 'French' area surrounding Paris. The unification of the territory today called France included brilliant victories against the English, Bretons, Spanish, and Burgundians as well as many others.
They also bundle a whole series of conflicts as 'The Napoleonic Wars' and call that a defeat when the actual record included notable victories (Northern Italy, Netherlands, Prussia, and Austria) as well as defeats (Russia, Spain, Egypt).
The French defeated the Austrians in the War of Italian unification in 1859.
The US did not do most of the fighting in WWI. Take my word for it. The US may have provided the margin of victory between two exhausted alliances.
The French had a tendency to overreach which got them into wars which were hard to win conclusively. Certainly the 30 Year War, 7 Year War, and the War of Spanish Succession qualify in this category, and possibly the Napoleonic Wars as well. Later one they were simply overmatched in the Franco-Prussian War and both World Wars. They were invaded in all three wars by Germany, a country with twice the population of France. No wonder they lost. But they fought gamely to the end in both the Franco-Prussian War and WWI and fought gamely at the beginning of WWII. They had been bled white in WWI and therefore collapsed in WWII for lack of men and resources.
Let me point out one enormous difference between the US and France: The US is geographically extremely fortunate. The only significant military threat to the North American mainland was the UK - ever. The Mexican army was formidable until 1848 but not after. The US has therefore been able to pick where and when it wishes to fight. France has not been so fortunate sharing a border with Germany and with the UK close by.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
 
HS Thomas
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Charlemagne always sounded more German to me. But those wins you listed Bela are impressive and definitely not to be dismissed.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Bela Bardak:
Cute site. It does leave out a few inconvenient wars which the French did win. Specifically Charles Martel's victory against the Muslim invaders at Tours which stopped the western limb of the great Jihad. Also the fact that Martel's grandson, Charlemagne united much of Western Europe in one realm and founded the Holy Roman Empire.
They also bundle a whole series of conflicts as 'The Napoleonic Wars' and call that a defeat when the actual record included notable victories (Northern Italy, Netherlands, Prussia, and Austria) as well as defeats (Russia, Spain, Egypt).


Well, you are going back over a thousand years to find a French victory when speaking of Charles Martel. An important fact to note that at that time there was no France. The Franks at the time of Martel were a Germanic tribe that had immigrated recently enough to still retain Germanic fighting prowess, which was later lost through poor breeding with native "French" tribes. So, I really can't count this as "French" victory, since the Franks had not become distinctly French yet at that time.
Secondly, Napolean was not French.
And lastly, Napolean did eventually lose, so it seems the French did not win any war (although they did win battles).
 
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