The Complete Military History of France

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by jonwilly, Oct 16, 2008.

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  1. The Complete Military History of France

    ***Please note that the Web designer is not American and blaming the Web designer for America's history is illogical. Though you may criticise this oversimplified French history all you wish, blaming or threatening the Web designer is not nice.

    We are still accepting submissions from history researchers.
    Last update: May 4, 2005.

    - Gallic Wars
    - Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian. [Or at this time in history, a Roman -ed.]

    - Hundred Years War
    - Mostly lost, saved at last by female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare; "France's armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman." Sainted.

    - Italian Wars
    - Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.

    - Wars of Religion
    - France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots

    - Thirty Years War
    - France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.

    - War of Revolution
    - Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.

    - The Dutch War
    - Tied

    - War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War
    - Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Frogophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.

    - War of the Spanish Succession
    - Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved every since.

    - 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.

    - The Napoleonic Wars
    - Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.

    - The Franco-Prussian War
    - Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.

    - World War I
    - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States [Entering the war late -ed.]. 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.

    - World War II
    - Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.

    - War in Indochina
    - Lost. French forces plead sickness; take to bed with the Dien Bien Flu

    - Algerian Rebellion
    - Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare; "We can always beat the French." This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese and Esquimaux.

    - War on Terrorism
    - France, keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe. Attempts to surrender to Vietnamese ambassador fail after he takes refuge in a McDonald's.

    The question for any country silly enough to count on the French should not be "Can we count on the French?", but rather "How long until France collapses?"

    "Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. All you do is leave behind a lot of noisy baggage."

    Or, better still, the quote from last week's Wall Street Journal: "They're there when they need you."

    With only an hour and a half of research, Jonathan Duczkowski provided the following losses:

    Norse invasions, 841-911.
    After having their way with the French for 70 years, the Norse are bribed by a French King named Charles the Simple (really!) who gave them Normandy in return for peace. Normans proceed to become just about the only positive military bonus in France's [favour] for next 500 years.

    Andrew Ouellette posts this in response:

    1066 A.D. William The Conquerer Duke and Ruler of France Launches the Largest Invasion in the history of the world no other was as large until the same trip was taken in reverse on June 6th 1944 William Fights Harold for the Throne of England Which old king Edward rightfully left to William but Harold Usurped the throne Will fights the Saxons (English)wins and the French Rule England for the Next 80 Years. then the French start the largest building and economic infrastructure since the fall of the Roman Empire the Norman Economy skyrockets and the Normans inadvertantly start England to become a major world Power Vive La France-

    Matt Davis posts this in response to Andrew Ouellette above:

    Oh dear. We seem to have overlooked some basic facts. Firstly, Philip the First (1060 - 1108) was King of France at the time of the Norman invasion of 1066 - William was Duke of Normandy and, incidentally, directly descended from the Vikings. William was, therefore, as alien to France as the experience of victory. Since Philip did not invade England, the victory at Hastings was Norman - not French. Normandy may be a part of France now but it most certainly wasn't in 1066. Therefore, William's coronation as King of England had nothing whatsoever to do with the French. As usual, they were nowhere near the place when the fighting was going on. The mistaken belief that 1066 was a French victory leads to the Third Rule of French Warfare; "When incapable of any victory whatsoever - claim someone else's".

    Mexico, 1863-1864.
    France attempts to take advantage of Mexico's weakness following its thorough thrashing by the U.S. 20 years earlier ("Halls of Montezuma"). Not surprisingly, the only unit to distinguish itself is the French Foreign Legion (consisting of, by definition, non-Frenchmen). Booted out of the country a little over a year after arrival.

    Panama jungles 1881-1890.
    No one but nature to fight, France still loses; canal is eventually built by the U.S. 1904-1914.

    Napoleonic Wars.
    Should be noted that the Grand Armee was largely (~%50) composed of non-Frenchmen after 1804 or so. Mainly disgruntled minorities and anti-monarchists. Not surprisingly, these performed better than the French on many occasions.

    Haiti, 1791-1804.
    French defeated by rebellion after sacrificing 4,000 Poles to yellow fever. Shows another rule of French warfare; when in doubt, send an ally.

    India, 1673-1813.
    British were far more charming than French, ended up victors. Therefore the British are well known for their tea, and the French for their whine (er, wine...). Ensures 200 years of bad teeth in England.

    Barbary Wars, middle ages-1830.
    Pirates in North Africa continually harass European shipping in Meditteranean. France's solution: pay them to leave us alone. America's solution: kick their asses ("the Shores of Tripoli"). [America's] first overseas victories, won 1801-1815.

    1798-1801, Quasi-War with U.S.
    French privateers (semi-legal pirates) attack U.S. shipping. U.S. fights France at sea for 3 years; French eventually cave; sets precedent for next 200 years of Franco-American relations.

    Moors in Spain, late 700s-early 800s.
    Even with Charlemagne leading them against an enemy living in a hostile land, French are unable to make much progress. Hide behind Pyrennes until the modern day.

    French-on-French losses (probably should be counted as victories too, just to be fair):

    1208: Albigenses Crusade, French massacared by French.
    When asked how to differentiate a heretic from the faithful, response was "Kill them all. God will know His own." Lesson: French are badasses when fighting unarmed men, women and children.

    St. Bartholomew Day Massacre, August 24, 1572.
    Once again, French-on-French slaughter.

    Third Crusade.
    Philip Augustus of France throws hissy-fit, leaves Crusade for Richard the Lion Heart to finish.

    Seventh Crusade.
    St. Louis of France leads Crusade to Egypt. Resoundingly crushed.

    [Eighth] Crusade.
    St. Louis back in action, this time in Tunis. See Seventh Crusade.

    Also should be noted that France attempted to hide behind the Maginot line, sticking their head in the sand and pretending that the Germans would enter France that way. By doing so, the Germans would have been breaking with their traditional route of invading France, entering through Belgium (Napoleonic Wars, Franco-Prussian War, World War I, etc.). French ignored this though, and put all their effort into these defenses.

    Thomas Whiteley has submitted this addition to me:

    Seven year War 1756-1763
    Lost: after getting hammered by Frederick the Great of Prussia (yep, the Germans again) at Rossbach, the French were held off for the remainder of the War by Frederick of Brunswick and a hodge-podge army including some Brits. War also saw France kicked out of Canada (Wolfe at Quebec) and India (Clive at Plassey).

    Richard Mann, an American in France wants to add the following:

    The French consider the departure of the French from Algeria in 1962-63, after 130 years on colonialism, as a French victory and especially consider C. de Gaulle as a hero for 'leading' said victory over the unwilling French public who were very much against the departure. This ended their colonialism. About 2 million ungrateful Algerians lost their lives in this shoddy affair.

  2. I don't like the French either. There I did it in 6 words.
  3. I concur as to the comments as to military issues.

    I would note however that they make great pastries and excellent food in general. I would also note that during travels in the UK the best food I have found has been in places with names like "Chez Pierre".

    British food is not something the British should brag about. It is better that the cooking of my late unlamented Mother-in-law but not by much.
  4. I have few experiences of the French, all of them bad. I was fleeced in Paris a couple of weeks ago when my flight was delayed (For 2 days!) oh, and just for good measure, I won't be flying air bloody france again

    12 Euros for a beer - My Arrse!
  5. The only decent French military formation are the FOREIGN Legion. Funny that. They should really stick to what they are good at, namely fine food, fine wines, blockading ports, having affairs and burning sheep.
  6. And France's greatest ever Naval Victory?

    The sinking of The "Rainbow Warrior", Auckland Harbour, 1986
  7. I'm rather impressed that the Septics won WW1. There was me thinking that the British Empire did the greater part of the Hundred Days.

    Oh well you learn something new every day. :eek:
  8. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    Did any one country "win" WW1?
    The French committed more troops and suffered more losses than any other allied country - what should the "winning" criteria be :roll:
  9. The British Army, with 59 Divisions under command, attacked and defeated 99 German divisions over The Hundred Days, taking 150,000 prisoners and leading Ludendorff to admit that Haig was 'Master of the field'...
  10. Treaty of Versailles indicates we won, otherwise it would of been called the treaty of Bognor-Regis. Given the treaty was given a French name it was doomed to failure.
  11. I'm no big fan of the French,as my signature will verify. But I am not prepared to take a history lesson from the Sceptics FFS.

    The Napoleonic Wars
    - Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.

    Only a spam would describe the Duke of Wellington as a footear designer.

    World War I
    - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States [Entering the war late -ed.]. 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.

    My gast is well and truely flabbered on this take of WW1. The author has obviously never heard of Verdun. (mind you it did happen before the sceptics joined in)

    - War in Indochina
    - Lost. French forces plead sickness; take to bed with the Dien Bien Flu

    I don't recall the spams doing any better in this region either.

    Has the US ever won a war single handed?
  12. War of Independance - didn't the French have something to do with that?
  13. But as has been quoted elsewhere the Seppos were English then anyway.
  14. That is it mate. You've broken my diet! You and I are in complete agreement for once - this calls for a lunchtime beer :D :D

    On a more serious note for the NAAFI the Russian Empire lost more than the French. And I'm not denigrating the French on this one! The Serbians lost the highest number military and civilian deaths per capita of population -16%. The Italians also lost a helluva lot.

    The winning criteria is - we came first! The Germans went home and lost their colonies and fleet - and their Army and Air Force. The Ottoman Empire was broken up.

    The Treaty of versailles was of course the start of WW2!
  15. The Complete Military History of France - Summary

    The dawn of time to 1 AD – Shít.
    The first millennia – Shít.
    The second millennia – 1 x Got 'Lucky' (1066) and a brief period of brilliance: From 1796 (Napoleon’s first campaign) but going tits up by 1811 and status quo (Shít) restored by 1815. The remainder of the 19th & 20th century – Shít.
    The third millennia to date – Shít.

    Have I missed anything?