Why was France traumatized after WWI but the USSR wasn't traumatized after WWII?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,181
SoCal
#1
Why exactly was France traumatized after World War I but the USSR (Soviet Union) was not traumatized after World War II? After all, France appears to have been very hesitant to go to war again (or even to confront Germany until late 1939) after enduring massive casualties in World War I. However, the Soviet Union's love of militarism and flexing its muscles appear to have been strengthened, rather than weakened, after World War II in spite of the fact that the Soviet Union endured much more casualties (percentage-wise) in World War II than France did in World War I.

To clarify, my question here is this--why exactly did France reject militarism after it endured massive casualties in World War I while the Soviet Union embraced militarism after enduring much more severe (percentage-wise) casualties in World War II?

Any thoughts on this?
 
Jul 2015
892
Netherlands
#2
This has to be explained in terms of cultural psychology I think, but any such a comparative analysis is very complex. (Not being very helpful, sorry).
 
Mar 2010
9,842
#4
Maybe because the people of France couldn't see any real point to what they had fought so hard for. Millions dead and their lives hadn't been changed that much even those area of France under occupation hadn't been so bad.

Where as in the USSR it was obvious to everyone what the consequences of loosing were.
 
Jun 2015
5,723
UK
#5
Because Stalin was an autocrat, an evil man, and perhaps a sociopath to bigger degree thn Hitler was (that's saying something....) I guess people had no choice but to do as he said. And the fact his country and the USA emerged as the major powers of the world probably masked any real humiliation. I'm not 100% sure, but I presume that as France was a democracy, any dissent or "mourning" was readily stamped out by Stalin.
 
Jun 2015
5,723
UK
#6
Maybe because the people of France couldn't see any real point to what they had fought so hard for. Millions dead and their lives hadn't been changed that much even those area of France under occupation hadn't been so bad.

Where as in the USSR it was obvious to everyone what the consequences of loosing were.
Though to be fair, genocide under Stalin or genocide under Hitler wasnt much to choose from. Both messed up the Ukrainians/Belorussians in their own ways.
 
Sep 2013
7,435
Ireland
#8
Because no one had seen that type of human destruction before WW1, that's why it was such a shock to the French. No one was under any illusions in WW2 about what modern weapons would do.
 
Feb 2013
1,283
Second City
#9
Because the French Third Republic and Stalin's Soviet Union weren't the same type of state. Nor did France have a contiguous empire of satellite states to prop up post-War. As it was, both were multiply traumatized by the World Wars.
 
Last edited:
Jun 2013
2,325
Siberia, deep in taiga
#10
Naturally, the answer would be because France didn't experience victory in WWII, their soldiers didn't take Berlin unlike Soviets. But it is just one of the reasons. The main reason, as it was mentioned above, these states were of different nature and it was not Soviet people but Stalin who embraced militarism. It was dictated by time, by conditions of Cold War. Soviet society was never a militaristic one like nazi Germany, though the army was an icon, service in the army was considered honorable and up to mid 90 those who didn't serve in the army were not considered real men and girls didn't marry them.