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Sad, Sad, but Funny France

 
 
Lusatian
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 04:03 pm
Joe, Joe, Joe

I cannot expend too much time on you (as much as it pains me), so I am forced to condense my response as much as possible. Still, since you maintain the same awkward and pugnacious offense, submitting rebuttal can be done without much effort. One thing rings clear, and that is that you have not had much military training (prob none whatsoever) or education (military education, I mean). I should stress this last, as though you are (quite admirable I may add), stuffed with knowledge of anecdotal and obscure events you try to argue using a complete civilian point of view. Namely, you once again point to unrelated (and quite minor in some cases), events to refute a major one. (Since I'm sure you're familiar with Fuller, he wouldn't include your arguments, check your books).

Alesia - Fought against an army of over half a million organized Gallic warriors. Ended the Roman war in Gaul.
Soissons - Military murmur (almost no historical significance), where a Frankish king fought a Roman administrator when the empire was in total decline and the "legions" (if you could call them that) had rarely a true Roman among them. (But you already know that Joe, don't you).
joefromchicago wrote:
Gallic resistance continued for another year;

That's right, one more year, no battles though, and throughout that year the Gallic tribes sworn alleigence to Rome one by one. (I guess your point is that they managed to stay in hiding for another year and mount minor guerrilla actions that neither deterred or even seriously inconvenienced Ceasar. ... Point taken).

Crecy and Agincourt:
Crecy - Vastly outnumbered English (over 3 to 1), defeat entire French army.
Agincourt - Vastly outnumber English (over 4 to 1) defeat entire French army = leading to the surrender of the nation of France by its king giving daughter to Henry V and naming him heir to the thone of France.
Castillon - Significant, but at the end of a half-century down slope where the English, led by a mercenary, outnumbered (2 ½ to one) lost a losing battle due to artillery.
joefromchicago wrote:
Crecy(1346)--Orléans(1429): Same war

One other thing, if you really consider the Hundred Years War as one war = definitely book-learned civilian. (Name is considered by Army War College as generalization of almost a dozen different conflicts).

Rossbach - Fredrick the Great defeats French handily, eliminating the French from a coalition of allies that opposed the Prussians. (Except for their conflict in America where the English handed them their asses). Historical significance = French part in series of defeats that made Prussian dominance a given till Napoleon.
Fontenoy - 12 years earlier, during unrelated conflict, against unrelated (and insignificant) opponent (com'on Joe Cool ). Historical significance = almost none, as Rossbach cleared it up 12 years later.
joefromchicago wrote:
The Seven Years War would last until 1763;

Not for the French it wouldn't.

Blenheim - British, vastly outnumbered (see any pattern here?) defeat French and coupled with French defeat at Audenarde forced French king Louis XIV (Sun King Cool ) to sue for peace.
Denain - Arbitrary skirmish fought against Eugene of Savoy. So insignificant that that minor victory still bore no repercussions on the Peace of Utrecht (the French still lost), (but you know this???).

Trafalgar - Adm. Nelson defeats combined French-Spanish navies, ending Napoleon's dream of conquering Britain and cementing British naval economic blockade. Historical significance = Everything from Waterloo to The Bulge would have been affected.
Beachy Head - so insignificant hardly merits response. The French not only failed to follow up on the victory, most of the British ships involved survived.
joefromchicago wrote:
Trafalgar(1805)--The War of the Third Coalition would last until the end of 1805;

I could rest my case right here.

joefromchicago wrote:
I offered Beachy Head as an example of a French naval victory over the British.

Offer is a good word. But seriously Cool, is there an iota of comparison. Oh Joe, please don't say yes. Rolling Eyes

Sedan - Battle that crushed French army resistance to invading Prussians. The entire French army actually surrendered on the battlefield. Significance = last battle of a war that ended in total French defeat.
Solferino - 11 years earlier, unrelated, against the Austrians. (You know where they stand in military annals). If anything it is an insult to Austria to bring that up.
joefromchicago wrote:
Sedan(1870)--The Franco-German War would last until 1871;


Joe? Joe? Oh, my bad, it ended a couple months later after the Prussians shelled Paris for four months straight before they surrended. Are you trying to argue my point? Cool

joefromchicago wrote:
all of France in 1940--France capitulated in 1940; the Second World War would last until 1945.


Once again, not for the French it wouldn't. Besides De Gaulle's figurehead actions in London was the next five years of war fought by him? Or were the names known from WWII Eisenhower, Montgomery, Patton, Nimitz, MacArthur. Were any of the major operations (or even minor) in the war spearheaded by French forces? Cool

joefromchicago wrote:
3. The "entire French army" most certainly did not mutiny in 1917. According to Tucker, the mutiny seriously affected 46 of 112 French divisions.


Only 46 out of 112. Joe? Any military trained person would tell you that we have a word for that, it's called "combat ineffective". You even say only 46 were " seriously affected". Are you listening to yourself?

joefromchicago wrote:
I will continue to use facts. And you, Lusatian, may continue doing whatever it is you're doing.


Yes, that is getting back to work for me. And for you, yes you do use facts (plenty, plenty of them), it's where and how you use them that has me scratching my head.

Oh, but for the record, you are the bomb in knowledge I don't deny. Jeopardy?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 04:35 pm
Lusatian wrote:
One thing rings clear, and that is that you have not had much military training (prob none whatsoever) or education (military education, I mean). I should stress this last, as though you are (quite admirable I may add), stuffed with knowledge of anecdotal and obscure events you try to argue using a complete civilian point of view.

Initially, I did not intend to reply to this ad hominem attack, but I've heard this same line from military people often enough that I felt the need to respond.

Military service does not give you a better, more accurate, or more profound understanding of military history than someone without a military background. Just because you have served in the military gives you no more insight into what it was like to fight in Caesar's legions, Spinola's tercios, or Sherman's army than being a capitalist gives you any particular insight into the Fuggers or dei Medici. In short, Lusatian, go show off your medals and ribbons to someone who might actually be impressed by them; they earn you no extra credibility here.

Lusatian wrote:
Namely, you once again point to unrelated (and quite minor in some cases), events to refute a major one. (Since I'm sure you're familiar with Fuller, he wouldn't include your arguments, check your books).

They still use Fuller where you went to school? What state agricultural college did you attend?

Lusatian wrote:
Alesia - Fought against an army of over half a million organized Gallic warriors. Ended the Roman war in Gaul.

You actually believe those inflated figures for the Gauls? You need to read Delbrück.

As for the rest of your battle summaries: so what? Your initial point (if you could be said to have made one) was that the French are pusillanimous losers. Without getting mired in the minutiae of two thousand years of military history, why don't you just explain what point you're trying to make and how this evidence supports it?

Lusatian wrote:
One other thing, if you really consider the Hundred Years War as one war = definitely book-learned civilian. (Name is considered by Army War College as generalization of almost a dozen different conflicts).

True, some people consider the Hundred Years War to have been a series of wars punctuated by a series of truces. Yet the Army War College, despite its prestige and the quality of its faculty (I've met a few), does not get to decide whether the Hundred Years War was one war or many.

Lusatian wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
The Seven Years War would last until 1763;

Not for the French it wouldn't.

The French stayed in the war until the end (even beating the Anglo-Hanoverian army at Kloster-Kamp in 1760). You must be thinking of the Russians.

Lusatian wrote:
Denain - Arbitrary skirmish fought against Eugene of Savoy. So insignificant that that minor victory still bore no repercussions on the Peace of Utrecht (the French still lost), (but you know this???).

I would hardly say that the French lost the War of the Spanish Succession.

Lusatian wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
Trafalgar(1805)--The War of the Third Coalition would last until the end of 1805;

I could rest my case right here.

Are you saying that the Battle of Trafalgar ended the War of the Third Coalition?

Lusatian wrote:
Joe? Joe? Oh, my bad, it ended a couple months later after the Prussians shelled Paris for four months straight before they surrended. Are you trying to argue my point? Cool

Well, Lusatian, somebody has to argue your point.

Lusatian wrote:
Only 46 out of 112. Joe? Any military trained person would tell you that we have a word for that, it's called "combat ineffective". You even say only 46 were " seriously affected". Are you listening to yourself?

Look, Lusatian, you said that the entire French army mutinied. You were clearly wrong. Don't pretend that you were really talking about "combat effectiveness" here: just admit you were wrong and move on.
0 Replies
 
Lusatian
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2004 08:34 pm
Joe

Duties will soon deprive me of access to an internet connection, because of this I will probably have to allow you the last word. It is apparent to me though that it might be best, as I'm rather certain you'd have it no other way.
A small satisfaction of mine is that your argument seems to be losing steam. You've relegated yourself to attacking me on the semantics.
joefromchicago wrote:
True, some people consider the Hundred Years War to have been a series of wars punctuated by a series of truces. Yet the Army War College, despite its prestige and the quality of its faculty (I've met a few), does not get to decide whether the Hundred Years War was one war or many.


Semantics. Maybe not, but you conceded the point.

joefromchicago wrote:
I would hardly say that the French lost the War of the Spanish Succession.


Semantics. I'll reword. They lost the two major battles and were forced to sue for peace and sign said agreement at Ubercht from position of extreme disadvantage. (Only reason they were not uttered defeated is that the British felt that a impotent France would upset the balance of power on the continent in favor of Austria or Germany).

joefromchicago wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
Trafalgar(1805)--The War of the Third Coalition would last until the end of 1805;
Lusatian wrote:
I could rest my case right here.

Are you saying that the Battle of Trafalgar ended the War of the Third Coalition?


Semantics. 1805 ... the end of 1805, com'on, com'on, com'on. Cool

joefromchicago wrote:
Well, Lusatian, somebody has to argue your point.


Semantics. Rolling Eyes

joefromchicago wrote:
Look, Lusatian, you said that the entire French army mutinied. You were clearly wrong. Don't pretend that you were really talking about "combat effectiveness" here: just admit you were wrong and move on.


Semantics. "Combat ineffective" in military terms (read on to see why this "term" thing is important), means unit, or army in this case, is out of action, in this case pending mutiny. LOL

I suspect it is because you are not 100% adamant about it your point (you are incredibly educated), though I may be wrong.

joefromchicago wrote:
Initially, I did not intend to reply to this ad hominem attack, but I've heard this same line from military people often enough that I felt the need to respond.

Military service does not give you a better, more accurate, or more profound understanding of military history than someone without a military background. Just because you have served in the military gives you no more insight into what it was like to fight in Caesar's legions, Spinola's tercios, or Sherman's army than being a capitalist gives you any particular insight into the Fuggers or dei Medici. In short, Lusatian, go show off your medals and ribbons to someone who might actually be impressed by them; they earn you no extra credibility here.


I did not intend the comment to be an ad hominem attack. In fact, I hadn't intended it as an attack whatsoever. I was merely stating fact. One curiosity, the statement seemed to extract the original bile and hostility that amused me (and quickened my responses) from your initial attempted smackdown.
You may be surprised, but I wholeheartedly agree with you. Serving in the military gives one no a special strategic sense. However, several offered courses and specialized training does, and while I have experienced only a fraction of the teachings offered it does provide me with a perspective that you either totally lack or disregard for sake of argument.
You may have read about the Roman legions, and studied the tercios, but do you understand the tactical concerns of the legions, or the practical use of the tercios? Do you know how a concept of operations is generated throughout all chains of command? Do you know how to perform IPB (Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield)? Can you understand combined arms theory, and more particularly how they would be applied on a unit-by-unit sense? (These few I've mentioned have changed in no way but name throughout history). How about "combat ineffective"? I may be wrong here, but I'm willing to venture that you do not. You may be well-read, but I could read for months about every aspect of Wall Street stock trading and still come across floundering if I was called upon to offer opinion on floor procedure, market sentiment, and event ramification.
What I am trying to say is that I am in no way better than you at anything. Nevertheless, you look at historical battles as facts and figures:
This person fought, in this year, with this many troops. Same person defeated this other person, who fought with this many troops.
You may even know some of the play-by-play - the ridges used by Wellington to shield his army from Napoleon's artillery, or the moves Meade employed to buy time at the end of the first day … But, I could study law books in my living room for 8 years and still be lost before a jury.
That is all I was saying, not an ad hominem attack, just a fact.

Lastly, in a reiteration of my original point, the French are constantly involved in military actions throughout their history. They consider themselves one of the warrior nations of Europe. Yes, yes, good, good, but their track record is just about the absolute worst among those who fight as often as they.
Great Britain, Germany, the United States, Japan, and Israel are the main examples of true military prowess. They all have had brilliant war tradition throughout their history. The 20th Century confirmed that in modern warfare these nations have an edge. France had one disastrous conflict upon another throughout 1900-2000 - WWI, WWII, Algiers, Vietnam (where they actually lost pitched battles against the Vietnamese involving thousands of soldiers). (Allow me to preempt you, largest American battles involved two battalions maximum, as opposed to French loss of whole army).
Now, I know you will respond with a top-heavy list of reasons you disagree with me here, and since I won't have the time to reply to each, I will only say, I mean from the general outlook these nations have held their own in more conflicts with distinction, (it took almost the entire combined might of the world to defeat German and Japan, not to mention A-bombs).

Well, best of luck Joe. I think you are a fine debater, but I feel you picked a side where the deck was stacked against you. (I don't think you really believe that the French are historically much good at warfare). I enjoyed your information immensely, and learned a thing or two (less I'm sure than you believe). So, in the words of our mighty warriors who brought us the Maginot Line and Dien Bien Phu, … au revoir.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2004 10:01 pm
Lusatian wrote:
Joe

Duties will soon deprive me of access to an internet connection, because of this I will probably have to allow you the last word. It is apparent to me though that it might be best, as I'm rather certain you'd have it no other way.
A small satisfaction of mine is that your argument seems to be losing steam. You've relegated yourself to attacking me on the semantics.

Funny how those nasty old internet connections fail right around the time you face a serious challenge to your nonsensical claims. For someone who has criticized the fighting mettle of the French, Lusatian, your craven retreat here is positively Gallic.

But then I'm sure if you could maintain your internet connection, you'd simply reply that I was engaging in "semantics" -- which is just another way of saying that you have no reply at all.

Lusatian wrote:
Semantics. Maybe not, but you conceded the point.

Nope, sorry, no concession there.


Lusatian wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
Are you saying that the Battle of Trafalgar ended the War of the Third Coalition?


Semantics. 1805 ... the end of 1805, com'on, com'on, com'on. Cool

Yeah, there was a little thing called "Austerlitz" in there somewhere between Trafalgar and the end of the war.

Oh, and when you re-establish your internet connection, I'll teach you the proper spelling of "c'mon."

Lusatian wrote:
Semantics. "Combat ineffective" in military terms (read on to see why this "term" thing is important), means unit, or army in this case, is out of action, in this case pending mutiny. LOL

I suspect it is because you are not 100% adamant about it your point (you are incredibly educated), though I may be wrong.

You said that the "entire French army mutinied." That is demonstrably false. Fewer than half of the French divisions were seriously affected by the mutiny. You have no evidence that the remaining divisions lost any "combat effectiveness."

There's no question about it, Lusatian, you're definitely wrong.

Lusatian wrote:
You may be surprised, but I wholeheartedly agree with you. Serving in the military gives one no a special strategic sense.

Imagine my surprise when this statement was soon followed by your argument that your military training, in effect, made you more qualified than a "civilian" to give opinions on military history. Really, Lusatian, it is to laugh.

Lusatian wrote:
Lastly, in a reiteration of my original point, the French are constantly involved in military actions throughout their history. They consider themselves one of the warrior nations of Europe. Yes, yes, good, good, but their track record is just about the absolute worst among those who fight as often as they.

Not proven. Not by a long shot.

Lusatian wrote:
Great Britain, Germany, the United States, Japan, and Israel are the main examples of true military prowess. They all have had brilliant war tradition throughout their history. The 20th Century confirmed that in modern warfare these nations have an edge. France had one disastrous conflict upon another throughout 1900-2000 - WWI, WWII, Algiers, Vietnam (where they actually lost pitched battles against the Vietnamese involving thousands of soldiers). (Allow me to preempt you, largest American battles involved two battalions maximum, as opposed to French loss of whole army).

Your argument is that France "has had one disastrous conflict upon another throughout 1900-2000"? Then why bring up examples from 52 B.C.? Really, this has got to be some kind of joke.

Lusatian wrote:
(I don't think you really believe that the French are historically much good at warfare).

Well, they were much better fighters than you are a debater, Lusatian. If I were you, and found that I had to argue my way out of life-or-death situation, I'd make sure I could call in artillery support.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2004 10:09 pm
joefromchicago wrote:

Funny how those nasty old internet connections fail right around the time you face a serious challenge to your nonsensical claims. For someone who has criticized the fighting mettle of the French, Lusatian, your craven retreat here is positively Gallic.


Lusatian is in the army and is deployed abroad. The military tends to interfere with leisure-surfing on the web.

Especially while abroad.
0 Replies
 
Ionesco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2004 11:45 pm
Too broad
"the first two Franks were not victorious over powerful established nations but rather invading hordes, indigenous tribes, and mediocre city-states. "

Are you talking about the brilliant cities of islamic --I hate the term moor-- Andalusia, which brought science, enlightment, and culture to the rest of Europe? If you are, please pick up a history book that covers islamic Spain (Andalusia being the southern tip of Spain) and get rid of your ignorance. Corboda, Seville, Grenada, ..., were all lights for the west from the 8th century to the 13th century, and even later.

Also, it is hard to generalize about the History of France. I mean there was defeats, there was victories. In the end, all we can say is that France had a great and fascinating History; and that like all great empires, it is trufled with successes and of mistakes. Like we say in french, "Qui ne risque rien n'a rien", which would mean "Those who don't risk anything don't gain anything". I mean, successes and mistakes are part of life, for countries as well as for individuals. I personally think that even if France made an awful lot of mistakes, it had it's big big big share of successes in world History. But again, I'll restate my thesis: it's too hard to generalize to make an argument about it. We'd have to go over specific period of history... Maybe, and even then...
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2004 10:09 am
Probably, these have already been covered, but i'm in a situation right now in which i don't have time to read the entire thread. I did note the BS about military service, though--and i'm a veteran, three years in the Regular Army of the United States (which means i enlisted, as opposed to being drafted).

In 1555, Charles V abdicated in favor of his son Phillip. To celebrate, the Spanish invaded northern France, in a friendly little war which they lost to Henri II, despite the general consensus in Europe at that time that the Spanish tercios were the most formidable military force on the continent. Of course, this was just a friendly little set-to between two brother monarchs more interested in slaughtering Protestants unexpectedly.

In 1643, at Rocroi, Conde definitively defeated the Spanish, breaking their military power in the Low Countries forever (and incidentally assuring Dutch independence), as well as ending their military ascendancy in Europe forever.

Throughout the latter part of the Thirty Years War, which was known as the French phase, the French, working in concert with the Swedes, and often directly campaigning with them, dominated the Imperial armies in a manner which greatly facilitated the Protestant settlement in Westphalia in 1648. In particular, Turenne made a name for himself, occupying far larger Imperial forces than the French army he commanded, and often driving those Imperial forces from the Rhineland altogether.

In the War of the Austrian succession, Belisle took Prague in a coup de main assault, by escalade in the night, in a move which astonished all of Europe. The invasion of Piedmont in that war was a textbook example of operating widely separated columns effectively and safely over large distances, which example was the basis for the development of the table of army organization into corps and divisions.

My sweetiepie is after me to go take a shower and get ready to go out now, so i'll have to come back later to continue to ridicule an idea which i suspect occurred to you after someone pointed out to you the facile Google joke about French military victories.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2004 04:40 pm
During the Seven Years War, although Ferdinand of Brunswick performed prodigies in containing the French, they nevertheless defeated him on more than one occassion. During the North American phase of that war, known to Americans as the French and Indian War, Montcalm lead a mixed force of French regulars, Canadian regulars, Canadian militia and Indians south to Fort William Henry, which he succeeded in reducing in the course of an "open seige" (which means he did not surround the fortress--although the Indians fairly well cut off the garrison). Subsequently, Abercromby lead north the largest army which had ever been assembled on the North American continent at that time. Their object was to take Fort Carillon (later renamed Ticonderoga), which could dominate both Lake Champlain and Lake George, and thereby was the key to an invasion of Canada (then still French) by the English. Abercromby's second in command, George, Lord Howe, was killed in a skirmish in the woods as the Anglo-American army made its approach march, and that sealed the fate of the attack, given Abercromby's incompetence. Montcalm had his men fell trees for the field fortifications, and they left the "top hamper" lying among the stumps to act as natural abatis. English foot, Highlanders and Colonial foot threw themselves repeatedly at the French line, and were repulsed with heavy casualties.

In the Indian Ocean, during the American revolution, Admiral Suffren arrived with five ships of the line, and proceeded to humiliate Admiral Hughes, even though there was no French base in the Indian Ocean, and in the course of fighting five desparate actions with the English. To the English, he was known as "Admiral Satan." At the Battle of the Capes, named for the capes at the entrance to the Chesapeake, de Grasse definitively defeated Keppel, and assured that Cornwallis would not be resupplied or evacuated. To the extent that the successful seige of Yorktown was the last major operation on land in our revolution, this French naval victory can reasonably be said to have won the revolution for us.

Leaving aside the very obvious French victories in the Wars of the French Revolution and of the First Empire, i will proceed to the Russo-Turkish War of 1853-55. After the Russian Black Sea fleet destroyed the Turk at Sinope, the allies, who had previously lack direction, decided to destroy that fleet. With the entrance of the Franco-English fleet into the Black Sea, the Russians had hunkered down in Sebastopol on the Crimean penninsula. The English and French landed on the penninsula in September, 1854, marched south to the Alma river, and forced a passage against the Russians in large numbers, and well posted. They then marched south and east of Sebastopol, and settled in for a seige. The English were on the right, with their exposed flank to be the target of the Russian army which had survived the Battle of the Alma, and had been reinforced. In October, the first Battle of Balaclava was fought, also known as the Battle of the Causeway Heights. The Turks, seconded to the English, were in the process of building redoubts along the Worontzov Road leading southeast from Sebastopol, over the the low series of ridges known to the English as the Causeway Heights. On the morning of the 25th, the Russians attacked and drove the Turks from the redoubts, leaving behind the 9-pounder guns the English had dragged into the earthen fortifications. The Russian cavalry had pushed on past the Turkish line, but had been stopped by Highlanders, in the action from which the expression "thin red line" was coined. When the Russian cavalry reformed en masse, about 5-7,000 troopers, General Scarlett lead his Heavy Brigade of fewer than 800 troopers in a charge which carried them deep into the Russian line--they cut their way through, turned, charged again, and cut their way out again. Once again, the Russians paused. Lord Raglan saw that the Russians were about to drag off the 9-pounders, and sent an order to Lord Lucan (Lord Look-on to the troopers under his command), who then ordered Lord Cardigan to "attack the guns." Due to a misunderstanding not relevant here, Cardigan's Light Brigade charged down the valley to the north of the Causeway Heights, and directly at the Russian artillery. In the words of one French officer present, "C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre." Cardigan demonstrated that he was just as pig-headed and arrogant as Lucan, but he gave nothing away to any man in personal courage. Cathcart's division was on the way, but likely would not have arrived in time, when General Canrobert ordered les Chausseurs d'Afrique to charge the Russians. The French colonial troopers executed the order so effectively, and so promptly, that the Russians decided to call it a day, and withdrew before English and French infantry arrived.

On November 5, the second Battle of Balaclava took place, usually referred to as the Battle of Inkerman. The Russians attacked at dawn, through man-high scrub, in a heavy fog, and for more than ten hours, roughly 3,000 Englishmen held off more than 35,000 Russians, who were repeatedly hurled at them in columns numbering 8-10,000. (Ooo, good, i get to repeat my favorite military anectdote!) As Raglan and Canrobert looked on, Raglan turned to his French counterpart, and said: "Mon General, nous sommes . . . nous sommes . . . il y a un mot qui exprime ce que je veux dire." "Ah, nous sommes foutus . . . mais j'espere que non, Milord." Canrobert had brought French infantry completely across the siege lines (of course in rear of the lines, "the long way around"), who were hurled at the Russians, in a bloody climax to one the bloodiest days in the history of the English Army.

Subsequently, the English, though reinforced, deteriorated as a fighting force. The letters and journals of English officers in the Crimean describe the French as better equipped, better clothed and shod, better sheltered and better supplied than the English. In the final assault on the Russian defenses, the English failed miserably, but the French, paying a very high price indeed, took all of their objectives, including those which were only to be assaulted after the English neutralized Russian strongpoints, and drove into the city, ending the seige, and, effectively, the war.

In 1859, Napoleon III himself lead the French into northern Italy, and in the horrible slaughter at Solferino and Magenta, broke the back of Austrian power in Italy. Despite Napoleon's efforts to thwart Cavour and protect the Papal States, this campaign effectively assured the victory of Garibaldi and Cavour, and the foundation of the modern Italian state. This campaign probably represents the zenith of French military dominance.

Any contention that the French don't have a brilliant military history is either the product of ignorance, or a willful desire to slander them.
0 Replies
 
Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2004 05:44 pm
One other point that should be made. The French were always willing to experiment with new technologies while every one else dithered. At Yorktown they were using an improved siege cannon the bounded the British fortification to pieces. At Sebastopol they were using the minie bullet not the round ball. They were also the first to use submarines.
0 Replies
 
Lusatian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 11:34 am
Setanta

I will not try to rebutt each and every point you bring up for numerous reasons of which I will specify only a few. For starters your "copy/paste" inclusion of long winded military examples would take me too long than I have the time or disposition to counter. Know that there are innumerable arguments which I could effectively make against your position, as I'm sure there are which you could return to reinforce them. Another reason I won't dignify the diatribe to respond piece meal, is that you selectively choose scattered victories the French enjoyed over history to justify some of the most monumental failures of classical and modern warfare. Names such as Montcalm, de Grasse, and Canrobert, and the mediocre victories they no doubt acheived all pale in the comparison when looked at from a strategic viewpoint.

Did Montcalm win the war for France? No, the French lost much of their holdings in present day America, and they lost all of Canada. Successful indeed.

Did de Grasse win the Revolution for us? He certainly assisted, but it was the resilience and the triumphs of American troops, American generals, and the American public in general that won that war. The French were supporting cast.

Most of the other examples you raise are all similar in stature - victories in the specific instance, though most of the time occuring in a war or conflict that the French were ultimately humiliated in (i.e. Seven Years War, French and Indian [I know they're the same], War of Spanish Succession, etc). These isolated successes are supposed to balance centuries of loss by French fighting forces. Laughable.

The French have had their moments of brilliance, namely Napoleon. But, without him they would be a country that leaps into every fray and which most of the time scurries out with their tails between their legs. (BTW, some of their only victories were only won with the help of the British - i.e. Russo-Turkish or Crimean War, WWI, let's not even start on WWII).

I think evidence would support the statement that in the context of victory, and more importantly consistency, the English are the most successful warrior nation in Europe. Their greatest defeat in a war fought on the field were at the hands of the Colonials, who were, that's right, their relations.
The Germans have proven more formidable when it comes to battle than the French ever could. They lost repeatedly, but except for during Napoleon's zenith, it took most of the combined might of Europe to bring about such defeat.
Sweden is more successful then France if judged by how many wars they've entered. Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII, were geniuses. And you bring me Montcalm and Canrobert.

Amazingly well-versed Setanta (you really are), do you really believe in your point?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 11:39 am
Lusatian

When you say "the French lost much of their holdings in present day America" and use this as an argument, and then try to convince us about the success of Sweden - any idea about the seize of today's Sweden and that 100, 200, 300 or -even better- 350 years ago?
0 Replies
 
Lusatian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 12:02 pm
Walter,

Please reread point made. Sweden could be considered successful merely because they engaged in far less conflicts. In the classical period they were slightly more beligerent, and yet they were formidable at the time. When they lost - Poltava - they ceased to enter every military contest they came across. That means that, unlike the French, they learned.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 12:14 pm
Hoo Boy! A couple of Dreadnoughts circling each other with guns blazing. IMO Lusatian gets an A for effort but a D for logic. Comparing the military histories of the US and Israel with France Germany and England is a specious argument to say the least. Not enough time has elapsed to make a comparison. Ignoring the efforts of the French in WWl was a debate breaker in itself. I have read extensively and although the mutiny was noted it was never thought of as a defeat. To say that the AEF won the war is laughable except in the sense that the German high command were able to see the writing on the wall. The opening months of WWll however, were an ignoble French defeat and could be used in the thesis. Again, IMO the thread post was interesting but not very historically accurate
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 01:51 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Lusatian

When you say "the French lost much of their holdings in present day America" and use this as an argument, and then try to convince us about the success of Sweden - any idea about the seize of today's Sweden and that 100, 200, 300 or -even better- 350 years ago?


A cogent point Walter--at the beginning to the career of the insane Charels XII, before the Great Northern War broke out, Sweden controlled Pomerania, Stettin, Stralsund, Courland, Livonia, Ingria, Karelia and Finnland as territories outside their present boundaries. They had lost it all except for Stralsund by the time Charels XII finally escaped the Turks and returned to Sweden.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 02:04 pm
Lusatian wrote:
Setanta

I will not try to rebutt each and every point you bring up for numerous reasons of which I will specify only a few. For starters your "copy/paste" inclusion of long winded military examples would take me too long than I have the time or disposition to counter.


This is as far as i will go with your BS--your original thesis partakes of none of the character of the back-pedalling you have been doing since you got shot down. I copied and pasted nothing. Simply because your memory is insufficient of recall such examples to mind does not mean that mine is equally poort. I wrote those responses while visiting my sweetiepie in Toronto, and therefore had none of my personal library to refer to; and, whether or not you believe it, i did not cut and paste any of it, i wrote it out from memory in the few minutes available to me in a schedule otherwise dedicated to my enjoyment of the company of my friends in Toronto. That you may not believe that is a matter of complete indifference to me. You started with a specious statement, you got shot down, and now you're trying to revise your original thesis without admitting it, while heaping contempt upon those who have refuted your feeble premise.

I'll waste no futher time on you.
0 Replies
 
Lusatian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 03:22 pm
Oh dear, have I awakened the beast? Are memories of schoolhouse bullying flooding back? No, no, dear Setanta, I had no intention of angering you to the point of sputtering self-justification. I find your thoughts factual and well-studied, even though I feel their usage is outclassed. That you think you "shot me down" with said barrage is humorous, and I will gladly allow you to think so if it preserves your self-esteem.

I personally feel that I in no way modified or revised my original statement. In fact, you make me feel much better as for a while I was wondering if I am becoming redundant. I'm sure you wrote all of your examples from memory (I often do so myself). And I'm sure you are loved and cherished in Toronto, and needn't be convinced of your popularity.

I now hope you do not take too much offense to me saying that I do not think that I was "shot down". Heckled, perhaps we can grant. I feel that my point is still rather unrefuted, save for scattered examples ignoring the "bigger picture". I'm rather surprised to have survived such an onslaught from two very developed intellectuals (Setanta and Joe from Chicago). You may be amazed, but I hold no contempt for you, though the ironies generated by your latest post make me think you're rather funny. You are a very smart individual with a great personal library, excellent memory, and foxy friends in Toronto, and I wish you the best of luck.

So long Setanta. Thank you for taking the time to post something (let's leave it at that) on my thread. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 03:54 pm
Dude, all the patronizing foofaraw in the world can't hide the fact that your thesis was flawed. And that's the"bigger picture". Come back with a new thread. I'll look forward to it.
0 Replies
 
Lusatian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 06:08 pm
Panzade

Don't even get me started on you. French efforts in WWI (not including those won due to English presence)? Allied victory in WWI not due to AEF? Besides those two you offer a lame jab about my comparing the US and Israel to France and Germany. First problem Panzade, I didn't compare them. Second, the claim that it was a specious argument (BTW nice reminding Setanta of that word), is rather off kilter as I repeatedly mentioned that for the conflicts each were involved in, the results and consistency (or lack thereof) of their victories can be measured.

At least Setanta brought with him a number of factual strikes and parries. You, on the other hand, sound like someone holding three of a kind in high-stakes poker. Best of luck. Confused
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 06:25 pm
Lusatian,

You've substituted a sneer where there should be debate. panzade is correct, in lieu of support for your thesis you choose to patronize the disappearing audience.
0 Replies
 
Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 07:19 pm
<a slightly uncomfortable break in the action...>

<Flag-hoisting Murricun toddles in, yells>

SUCK IT, FRENCHIE

<smiles really big, exits>
0 Replies
 
 

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