Respect for France Thread

Jun 2017
2,555
Connecticut
Sure, Churchill did not walk on water, but then nobody does. His country was bankrupt and yet it had to bear the brunt of Hitler’s wrath, although Hitler had a very old-fashioned admiration for the British. Churchill had his share of bone-headed moves. Considering the perilous situation Great Britain was in, chewing on the edges of Germany’s newly-conquered Europe may have been the only realistic moves they could make.

Churchill was extremely fortunate to have had great lieutenants who were often more clear-eyed than Churchill himself. The victory in the Western Desert highlighted the fact that while the British (and Indians, and New Zealanders, Free French and Australians and even South Africans) could fight Rommel to a stand-still, they could not eliminate him and his Italian allies alone. I doubt that Rommel could have actually defeated Montgomery. I dont think the Germans and Italians ever had much of a chance of attaining the Suez Canal.

Churchill was wrong about invading Italy and the US was wrong to go along with it - there’s was nothing “soft” about the Italian “underbelly” as the Germans soon taught us both. But, on reflection, it did siphon off significant ground troops, armor and aircraft from the Russian front (and France), equipment that was sorely needed in Russia. Everything has at least two sides to it.

In simple terms, the Luftwaffe was the wrong Air Force to attack Britain with. Germany’s Air Force did well against weak European powers in relatively small countries. It was a tactical Air Force, and not a strategic one. The British one was a strategic Air Force - bigger bombers, lots of great fighters, mosquitoes, etc. The British Air Force - Hurricanes and Spitfires and some really big 4-engined bombers - basically defeated the Luftwaffe over the skies of England. German aircraft simply did not have the range or the staying power (loiter time) in British skies and when a Luftwaffe crew were shot down, they were not recoverable by the Germans which was not the case with Royal Air Force pilots. So when Churchill said that “The Germans know they have to break us in our island in order to win the war”, he was spot on.

I don’t believe that Hitler had any firm idea of what to do with the countries of Europe that he defeated. I’m not sure that he really envisioned what would happen once he knocked off the ancient states of Europe. The peace that followed his initial conquests was a troubled one because the Nazis did not make friends well or easily and that assessment of the Huns was not off the mark at all.

Great Britain would very likely not have invaded Europe at Normandy without the Americans and Canadians (and later Free French). But the British were very likely as good as anyone at spoofing the Germans and providing a great deal of cunning mis-direction which definitely had an effect on the outcome of the invasion. The Americans sometimes felt that these were all unnecessary delaying tactics by the British - who were rightly concerned that Normandy might be a total disaster. They were wrong about that, but they might have been entirely correct. In the end, it didn’t matter because the Germans - who were desperately trying to contain the Russian juggernaut aimed at their heartland - were simply overwhelmed by the avalanche of what appeared to be limitless resources landed at Normandy. Honestly, without Great Britain being in friendly hands, I’m not sure when such an invasion would have been possible. Had Britain been German at the time, the only possibility to me appears to have been an invasion through the south of France. Hard to know. Dieppe and St Nazaire were definitely like a bath in very cold water.

I think I understand Churchill’s reluctance and fear of making the Normandy landings. As an ex-denizen of the trenches in WWI (briefly), the sheer horror of that memory would be a very sobering challenge. The specter of failure would have been enough to make any man blanche because a 2nd invasion of Europe would have been years away if the Normandy landings had not been successful.. The Americans on the other hand, came to Great Britain for one purpose: to invade Europe and eject Adolf Hitler from his criminal throne, so landings were going to happen no matter what.
Well Churchill is often treated as if he walks on water.

Anyway to address this point cause it's close to my former area of study.

"I don’t believe that Hitler had any firm idea of what to do with the countries of Europe that he defeated. I’m not sure that he really envisioned what would happen once he knocked off the ancient states of Europe. The peace that followed his initial conquests was a troubled one because the Nazis did not make friends well or easily and that assessment of the Huns was not off the mark at all.

Hitler actually had a pretty comprehensive plan which had a few years to go into effect before the Third Reich collapsed. During Versailles the French created a Europe with clear winners and losers and while general history focuses on German resentment after WWI, what is often ignored is the other countries that were either humiliated worse(Hungary) or became minorities in the new pro French countries(Slovaks, Croats). Hitler's strategy was to undo the Treaty of Versailles and create a WWI losers club+Italy and he gave Slovakia and Croatia independence and restored Hungarian much of the Hungarian territories(part of why the Hungarians were the most ferocious resistance to the Soviets). At the same time they took over the former French allies(or tried to in the case of Yugoslavia, Tito never really gave up). So they did have a plan and it was basically playing on the resentment of a certain faction of European groups who were dissatisfied with the outcome of Versailles. In this regard the Dual Alliance was in a way revived as most of the pro Austro-Hungarian regions of the former Austro-Hungarian empire ended up fighting on the Axis side as puppets.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
Was curious to see how long it takes till one jumps that it's only in French: 24 minutes :D

OK



______
PS: how to annoy a murican?

Post in French but don't post the translation :D
OR ask why Dubya was proud to be a pubic wig. I heard him say so, more than once . "A'hm proud to be a Merkin":rolleyes:

"A merkin is a pubic wig. Merkins were originally worn by prostitutes after shaving their genitalia, and are now used as decorative items, erotic devices, or in films, by both men and women."

Merkin - Wikipedia

Me? I love France. Still think Paris is the most beautiful city I've ever seen., a wonderful walking city.Well, apart from the dog turds. I must admit I felt like a peasant having to eat at McDonalds at Moulin Rouge because we could't afford the bistro next door. But then, pretty sure there has never been a gentleman in my bog Irish Catholic family.:hug:

The Louvre alone was worth the trip. Although I was underwhelmed by that hideous bloody glass pyramid. What the fluck were they thinking?

Disappointments; The French reputation for arrogance was alive and well in Paris---untilI I began grovelling in my school boy French.Then they would deign to assist me.

The second disappointment was just how ordinaire was the vin ordinaire. I kid you not, it was stuff which would not meet the standards of Aussie cask wine.

Was also slightly peeved that my favourite champagne(Veuve Cliquot) was no cheaper than at home.
 
Oct 2013
1,283
Monza, Italy
I don't support any kind of essentialistic nationalistic vision of the world and of any national culture, yet if we put it in very simple terms nobody can't deny French's decisive role in forging the modern world (Montesquiue, Rousseau)...and also in pointing out its fallacies (De Maistre, Bonald, and so on....)!
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,028
Spain
I don't support any kind of essentialistic nationalistic vision of the world and of any national culture, yet if we put it in very simple terms nobody can't deny French's decisive role in forging the modern world (Montesquiue, Rousseau)...and also in pointing out its fallacies (De Maistre, Bonald, and so on....)!
Well. in 1900 it was said there were 6 great European cultures (3 latin: Spanish-French-Italian; 2 Germanic: German and British; 1 Slaviic: Russian).
 
Likes: Lm1985
Jan 2014
2,292
Westmorland
Disappointments; The French reputation for arrogance was alive and well in Paris---untilI I began grovelling in my school boy French.Then they would deign to assist me.
One wonders how French tourists in either your country or mine would feel about the supposed rudeness of the locals if they turned up in Adelaide or Manchester and insisted on speaking French to everyone they met.

The problem lies with us entitled Anglophones, I'm afraid. I get that we are lucky that English is the lingua franca (pun intended), but it's stil bl**dy rude to waltz into a French cafe or shop like Jack the Lad and assume they can (and should) all speak English.

Don't see it as grovelling to dust off your schoolboy French. Just see it as good manners.