Is France the most successful military power in European history ?

Feb 2016
4,129
Japan
It was on TMP or the Napoleon Series where they bragged about their deliberate attempt to trash GB.

Most of he factual errors concern minutae of uniform details. It’s still useful if you need a quick check on unit organisation.
 
Jun 2015
5,539
UK
France at points also had largest armies in Europe. You didn't know that ?

Napoleon ? Did you forget bout 5 wars that were won by French in that period ?

You can't put Spanish Succession into the same category as Franco - Prussian war. France managed to install Bourbons on Spanish throne and broke ,, Habsburg encirclement ''. France also managed to retain all it's territorial gains in Europe for last 30 years, except few cities in Spanish Netherlands.

There were no wars besides Seven Years War , Franco - Prussian , Spanish Succession and World Wars ? Please, go study some military history and history of France.

Here is another thing for you : Even Macedonians weren't superior in every possible aspect to their foes during Alexander's campaign and had serious difficulties or times of crisis on battlefield. Don't even need to talk about how big of difference in resources was between Achaemenid Empire and Macedon.

This is just ridiculous.
Since the 19th century, few miitary innovations have have been French,
And the wars I mentioned were examples. The Spanish Succession war was status quo ante bellum and neither side thus won or lost.

Breech-loading rifles, tanks, radar, sonar, depth charges, automatic rifles, etc were not French inventions.
 
Jul 2017
43
France
Sonar is also a French invention (Paul Langevin and Constantin Chilowski).
Breechloader rifle too (even if it is more complicated because many nations have contributed )

French tanks were invented separately from the English tanks, the Renault FT was the best tank of the first world war and even the British troops were asking for it.

Renault FT - Wikipedia

"was among the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in history. The FT was the first production tank to have its armament within a fully rotating turret. The Renault FT's configuration – crew compartment at the front, engine compartment at the back, and main armament in a revolving turret – became and remains the standard tank layout. As such, some historians of armoured warfare have called the Renault FT the world's first modern tank."

In any case, it is rare from the 19th century onwards that a nation invents something only on its own, it is always a series of developments, and when France does not invent something, you can be sure that it has at least participated in improving that thing.

Same thing for aviation, for example, many countries can claim to have invented aviation, but the truth is that it is a long process in which several countries have participated, nevertheless, the first aviation force in the world was the Aviation Militaire of the French Army formed in 1910. The same thing for the helicopter, we can rather say that it was invented by France, but if you look closely at the history of the helicopter you will see that there were other nations that participated in it.

For example, for me no nation can claim the invention of radar, it is a series of improvements by several nations ( Emile Girardeau, Robert Watson-Watt, Robert Morris Page, Hans-Karl von Willisen, they have all contributed separately! )


But even today France is probably the European nation that innovates the most in the military field (France developed the Rafale without any help), Britain needs France for most of its military projects (Dassaut System, Thales group ect), for example the HMS prince of wales or the HMS Queen Elizabeth, use Thales radars (S1850M radar).
Another example: Great Britain cannot produce a submarine-launched ballistic missile (nuclear) without the help of France or the United States, but France can do it alone ( M51 SLBM )


So to say that France has not made any military innovation since the 19th century is totally false, and even today (Airbus, Safran, Dassaut System, Thales group, Naval Group,
MBDA ect) in terms of military innovation France is probably in the top 5.
 
Likes: Gvelion
Sep 2016
751
Georgia
Since the 19th century, few miitary innovations have have been French,
And the wars I mentioned were examples. The Spanish Succession war was status quo ante bellum and neither side thus won or lost.

Breech-loading rifles, tanks, radar, sonar, depth charges, automatic rifles, etc were not French inventions.
First, you just said that Spanish Succession war was a defeat. You put into the same category as Franco - Prussian war. Here is a quote :
Napoleon, Seven Years War, Spanish Succession, and Franco-Prussian War, were all defeats.
Those are your words. Yes, your words ! Now you are contradicting yourself. Make up your damn mind.

Second, Spanish Succession was not status quo ante bellum. Do you even know what that term means ? Results of the war :
Austria gained Southern Netherlands, Milan, Sardinia and Kingdom of Naples.
Savoy received Sicily
Britain gained Gibraltar and Menorca from Spain.
In North America, France ceded to Great Britain its claims to Newfoundland and to the Hudson's Bay territories in Rupert's Land. They also ceded the Acadian colony of Nova Scottia. The formerly partitioned island of Saint Kitts was also ceded in its entirety to Britain.
Austria received Freiburg and several other small areas at its eastern borders from France, but France retained Landau.
Bourbon dynasty was installed by French on Spanish throne. ,, Habsburg encirclement '' of France was finally broken.

Result of the war was not ,, status quo ante bellum '' in any shape or form.

All things considered, I would say that it was French overall defeat. However, we still can't put it into the same category as Seven Years war, Franco - Prussian war or last Napoleonic wars. Spanish succession was much more successful conflict for France than those wars were.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,405
Sydney
for two centuries the French development of the flintlock was a standard
an English parson ,fond of bird hunting was annoyed of the birds taking flight , developed the mercury cap
combined with the French invention of the Minie bullet , this allowed the use of rifles rather than smooth bore
the American civil war was fought with those
in 1886 the minister of defence General Boulager had a brainstorm
he ordered the Armories to develop a magazine fed breach loaded using the new nitrocellulose smokeless power
.....in six months
this resulted in the ground breaking Lebel 1886 which started an arm race , everybody had to have a new rifle
Lebel Model 1886 rifle - Wikipedia

Actually , the usual development is to start by choosing a bullet and designing the gun around it
to save time , the armories had kept the same percussion system , resulting in a severely tapered bullet

This came to be a drawback when in 1915 the French developed the first assault rifle ,
the rather miserable if useful Chauchat
 
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Likes: Gvelion

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,859
This came to be a drawback when in 1915 the French developed the first assault rifle ,
the rather miserable if useful Chauchat
The Chauchat-teams were the most decorated units in the French army in WWI. So yeah, "useful" is the word, with 250 000 of the things made.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,405
Sydney
Yes , it was used by the German storm troopers on occasion
It was specifically designed for marching fire and give automatic support during an assault
the Machine guns were bulky , a nightmare to move in the mud and required four men crew
when moving
while some call it the first light machine gun , its proper designation is automatic rifle ,

1549368551719.png
absolutely everybody damned it's lousy magazine
it took TWO YEARS for the French admin to issue canvas protectors
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,859
while some call it the first light machine gun , its proper designation is automatic rifle ,
"Fusil mitrailleur", but English struggles a bit with separating that for the "mitrailleuse", the MG proper. :) (Bit curious how English has no apparent problem with "machinegun", but would somehow forego an analogous "machine rifle"?)

Works fine in German as a "Maschinengewehr", a machine rifle. (And if I were to render a designation it in Swedish military lingo it would be a "ksg".)
 
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