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French History of Warfare
AlbinoBlacksheep ^

Posted on 08/12/2005 1:39:29 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler

 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 critisize 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.

- 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. 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.

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 then 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.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; Political Humor/Cartoons
KEYWORDS: cowards; defeat; france; french; frogs
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1 posted on 08/12/2005 1:39:29 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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To: Jeff Chandler

As General George S. Patton said, "I would rather have a German division in front of me then a French division behind me."

Watch Babylon 5 there was an episode with an English Guy Marcus, he played a Ranger, when comming into contact with a "First One" commander Ivonova said, "He can understand english but chooses not to speak to me in it"

Marcus replied, "Just like the French."

2 posted on 08/12/2005 1:52:31 AM PDT by Michael121 (An old soldier knows truth. Only a Dead Soldier knows peace.)
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To: Jeff Chandler
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. All you do is leave behind a lot of noisy baggage."

hahahaha... love this article... to be fair though, i know there are some French men who are good warriors... still recognize the Legionaires or maybe GIGN... but most of the datas presented in your thread is True... good post dude..

3 posted on 08/12/2005 1:56:44 AM PDT by ChristianDefender (If you can't fight with M16/M4.. then use prayer, if not just choose whose side are You!)
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To: Jeff Chandler


Why are they in the UN!? Why hasn't Germany comquered them already? or Great Britain! They need to have some guidence. To bad the Americans were using Condoms after WWI. We may have been related and had a strong ally.

4 posted on 08/12/2005 1:57:08 AM PDT by 26lemoncharlie ('Cuntas haereses tu sola interemisti in universo mundo!')
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To: Jeff Chandler

hehehe! Especially the WW1 description!

5 posted on 08/12/2005 1:58:43 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (Logic test: Pearl Harbor is to 911 as Harry Truman is to .....)
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To: Jeff Chandler

This is always good for a laugh. Go to Google, type in French Military Victories and hit "I'm Feeling Lucky"

6 posted on 08/12/2005 2:11:10 AM PDT by jsh3180
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To: jsh3180; All
Did you mean: french military defeats  

No standard web pages containing all your search terms were found.

Your search - french military victories - did not match any documents.


- Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
- Try different keywords.
- Try more general keywords.
- Try fewer keywords.
Also, you can try Google Answers for expert help with your search.

7 posted on 08/12/2005 2:28:05 AM PDT by Neil E. Wright (An oath is FOREVER)
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To: Jeff Chandler
Should be a very quick study. LOSE, LOSE, LOSE, LOSE, ect...........
8 posted on 08/12/2005 2:28:19 AM PDT by Anti-Christ is Hillary (If Moreen Dowd can call herself a journalist than so can I.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

All these wars tell you only one thing: France has been the pest of Europe since the end of the Roman Empire. In fact, the best rulers Gaul ever had were Italian.

9 posted on 08/12/2005 2:36:58 AM PDT by quadrant
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To: Jeff Chandler

Don't forget the Rule of French Culture: When in doubt, imitate the Italians, and then do it badly.

10 posted on 08/12/2005 2:46:02 AM PDT by WestVirginiaRebel (Carnac: A siren, a baby and a liberal. Answer: Name three things that whine.)
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To: Jeff Chandler
Image hosted by
11 posted on 08/12/2005 2:55:15 AM PDT by bad company (Sam Brownback '08)
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To: Jeff Chandler

This amusing list of French military achievements is for ever popping up, but the humour wears thin after a while, and in any case it's wildly inaccurate; nobody with any sense or access to a decent history book could really believe that the French don't have a very respectable military record, all told (I say that as an English guy who doesn't really like them all that much). They've had their ups and downs, of course, like all other countries, and their defeat in the Second World War still rankles today. But to be fair, the German military machine at that time was pretty formidable, and we British too lost against the Germans in 1940. The tragedy for the French was that they had no Channel behind which to regroup.

But if nobody else (for example French people) can be bothered to refute all the other over-the-top points on the list, I won't deign to either. All you need to do is read some books.

But what of the USA's military achievements? First I thought I'd write a list of American victories against major powers without foreign assistance, but oh dear, I found there weren't any. On the other hand, America has fought very few wars compared with most European countries, so it's feasible to list them all. On the othe hand, the list makes no claim to completeness – I can't be bothered with the numerous interventions in Central America.

The American Revolution
The American colonists refuse to pay taxes like everybody else. The British win most of the battles but lose a few crucial ones. It's the intervention of another European power that finally ends their strategically and logistically impossible attempt to subdue the revolting colonists. Many senior British politicians were opposed to the war anyway, so they give it up as a bad job. An American win thanks to their good friends, and an end to taxation in the USA. So far so good!

War of 1812
The British (like almost all the other European countries) are fully engaged in the 20-year life-or-death struggle to defeat France. The Americans as allies of the French take advantage of the distraction and try to conquer Canada, but fail rather miserably against the locals and a few British detachments. They win one or two battles, but their capital city is captured and the White House is burnt down (not usually a sign one's winning), and Canada stays British. Best call this one a draw…

Mexican War 1846-8
The Americans decide they'd like to steal a large portion of Mexico, a "major" power at that time. They win not least due to the incompetence of the Mexican leaders. U.S. Grant disapproved strongly of this war of aggression. Obviously some kind of traitor. Disputes about the slave/free status of the ex-Mexican states lead to…

The American Civil War
A clear-cut victory for the USA! A long struggle, with many setbacks in the first two years (Bull Run - twice! - Chancellorsville, and others too tedious to list), but in the end the Union triumphs against the Confederate surrender monkeys (Vicksburg, Appomatox et al.).

Wars against the Indians from 1770s to 1890
Ultimate victory is achieved against savage tribes who had been squatting on United States property since time immemorial. Some of these hostiles are men of military age, and many of these are actually armed! Nevertheless, the US Army heroically slaughters them, despite a number of mishaps suffered by some officers (St.Clair, Fetterman, Custer etc.).

The Spanish-American War
Another "major" world power is defeated, mainly at sea, although there is one "major" battle involving some uniformed cowboys assaulting some hill or other. An American win! Leading to the…

US-Philippine War
The US army takes only a couple of years to defeat a bunch of natives armed with sharp sticks. An American win!

The Moro Wars, 1901-1913
VERY sharp sticks.

Boxer Rebellion in China
The Americans fight quite well (as do the British, Germans, French, Russians, Italians, Austrians and Japanese). The USA's first victory as part of an allied effort.

First World War
The British and French (among others) have fought the Germans to the brink of collapse in four years of costly trench warfare, resulting in several million deaths. The Americans join in towards the end and actually fight a few battles against tottering German forces in the closing months of the war. Afterwards they claim they won the whole war on their own. They only lose some 100,000 or so men in this short time. Another allied victory.

Second World War
The US really want to sit things out and profit from the war (which started in 1939, not in 1941! Please remember this). Unfortunately, the Japanese put a spanner in the works. In late 1941 most of Europe has already fallen to the mighty German war machine at its peak, but the latter is being ground down by the Russians, and defeat is staring Germany in the face long before any US troops see combat against the Wehrmacht (luckily for the GIs). However, the tanks, planes and material the USA produces helps Britain while it's on its own in the West (it would be churlish to criticise that the US made Britain pay back every penny, this debt finally being paid off a few years ago). The Russians too can thank US trucks for making their army more mobile, while the USAAF is adept at downgrading enemy resources (i.e. killing civilians).
There are of course a few mishaps for the US again (Kasserine, Rapido River, Omaha, Ardennes etc.), but on the whole they acquit themselves quite well. Incidentally, at the end of the war the nutcase General Patton wants to stab his Russian allies in the back and team up with the Nazis to fight the Soviet Union, but is fortuitiously killed in a road accident before he does any real damage.
After Pearl Harbour and mass surrenders in many of their Pacific possessions, the Americans get lucky against the Japanese at Midway, and then it's all "plain sailing" with relatively light casualties, until they get fed up and drop atomic bombs on Japan. But America played a big role in the Pacific war, alongside the British and Australian forces, so they can be counted as a winner here.
All in all, an allied victory. However, the Americans have been bragging incessantly ever since that they won it all by themselves. The British in particular never tire of hearing this, so when Americans visit the UK the should always remind the locals about it. The British in turn ponder whether the next time America gets into a war, they should wait a few years until the fighting's nearly over before they join in, and then claim all the credit.

Korean War
After the North Koreans cross the 38th parallel, the Americans (and numerous allied contingents) defeat them and the Chinese comprehensively; the war ends with the new border along … er… the 38th parallel. Let's be charitable and call it a win anyway.

The Vietnam War
The Americans win this one too comprehensively, culminating in their triumphant withdrawal (from the embassy roof in Saigon) in 1975 and the victory of capitalism and the American Way of Life in the newly united Vietnam.

Another resounding triumph against a formidable enemy. The Queen is not amused at this attack on a Commonwealth island.

Another triumph. Stop laughing.

Gulf War 1
A mighty coalition of American, British, French, Syrian and Saudi forces (among many others) smacks down the uppity Saddam, their erstwhile ally against the Ayatollahs, but leaves him in power to preserve order in Iraq. Well done, USA!

A wildly successful attempt to reimpose order on a failed state. Not many killed.

US planes destroy Serbia's infrastructure and hostile civilians. The loss of a Stealth bomber worth more than Serbia's GNP mars the victory.

Gulf War 2 Another mighty coalition of American and British forces (but no French, Syrian or Saudi troops this time) deposes still-uppity Saddam and annilates his pitiful troops, many of whom were trained and armed. Yet another US triumph! The grateful Iraqis make the US troops very welcome.

The Cold War
Not really a war, more an arms race. Eventually the USSR falls behind technologically and runs out of money; on top of that, US-funded Afghan rebels trounce its army. These fighters also go on to trash their own country in a prolonged civil war, finally won by the Taliban. Victory for someone, leading to…

The Global War on Terror
The USA is winning this one, and will continue to do so for decades to come. Afghanistan and Iraq are now peaceful (apart from minor insurgency and terror), and the USA will generously and gladly expend many hundreds of troops and many billions of dollars to eliminate the aweful threat posed by thousands of fanaticised civilians, many yet to be born, and to establish stable theocracies across the Middle East. Thank you, GWB, The Warrior Against Terror.

I hope this is taken in the spirit it is intended. The reactions will be interesting.

12 posted on 08/12/2005 2:59:06 AM PDT by ukman
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To: Jeff Chandler
You left off an important win for France. While not a war, they did win a battle against the Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace ship.


13 posted on 08/12/2005 3:04:00 AM PDT by MarkL (It was a shocking cock-up. The mice were furious!)
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To: ukman
I am not sure in what attitude to take it, if I may say so. I will say that I would put my asbestos underwear on if I were you--insulting the US on a nationalist US website is not going to make you many friends.

Also, a quibble about your "American timeline": The list for the French only included major wars (except Indochina), whereas your American list included multiple conflicts never declared as "wars" (for example, Vietnam, Somalia, Kosovo, etc.).

14 posted on 08/12/2005 3:21:16 AM PDT by The Grammarian
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To: Jeff Chandler
There was one French victory: The Pastry War

On one such occasion in Puebla, in 1928, a French bakery and shop was destroyed by angry soldiers. The irate baker demanded to be paid for the damages, which he estimated at 60,000 pesos. The Mexican government refused to pay for the compensation. Along with this disaster, Mexico still had an outstanding debt to France. The following turn of events would lead on to start the Mexican-French Pastry War....

Finally, in November of 1838, the blockade turned into an all out invasion on Veracruz. The small Mexican Navy could not defend and hold the strong French force. As the French invaded Verazcruz Mexico was practically unopposed with only a small Mexican Navy at anchor. Because of Mexico’s national debt no central strong army could be created. The only decent military force thus far in Mexican history was factions or radical armies behind independent generals....

After Santa Anna and his troops had left, the French were willing to leave stating that they received satisfaction, but they would not leave until they received payment, including compensation for the blockade. Finally in 1839, Mexico agreed to pay the French 600,00 pesos for damages. Along with mediation from Great Britain, Mexico and France resolved the conflict with two treaties.

These are excerpts from this site.

15 posted on 08/12/2005 3:24:14 AM PDT by raybbr
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To: Jeff Chandler

To be fair to Napoleon, he only really lost when he began to rely heavily on Frenchmen to do their share of the fighting...

16 posted on 08/12/2005 3:28:52 AM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: coconutt2000

Well, his first major defeat was still with a mixed army--he just overextended his lines and didn't prepare for the weather. I speak, of course, of the drive to Moscow that saw 600,000 leave and only a fraction of that return (100,000? I don't remember the exact statistic).

17 posted on 08/12/2005 3:35:09 AM PDT by The Grammarian
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To: The Grammarian

All true. Napoleon's loss in Russia was due to an overextension of his supply lines, and the sheer size of Russia. If the Russians had been more productive in their farming, Napoleon probably would've been fine, but during this time neither Poland nor Russia were well known for their surplus. And the Russian army habitually burned standing crops rather than leave them for Napoleon.

Napoleon's retreat wasn't any better, since they had to pass through land they'd already foraged clear of any supplies. And I think he rode ahead and left his troops to come out of Russia on their own, which didn't help matters either.

By the time Napoleon engaged in his Russian campaign - I fear he had been infected with French arrogance and logic. Both being detrimental to the success of military endeavors...

18 posted on 08/12/2005 3:48:28 AM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: Jeff Chandler

19 posted on 08/12/2005 3:57:23 AM PDT by Jaxter ("Vivit Post Funera Virtus")
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To: The Grammarian

Thanks for your concern! This is a nationalist website? I thought it was just conservative.
It's just a bit of fun really, and I'm sure that the people on this site will be able to laugh at themselves like we British do. After all, it's no more to be taken seriously than the French list. I'm thinking about a similar British listing, but there are too few defeats to work on! :-)
You're right of course about minor conflicts, I could have left them out, but I do think the Vietnam conflict was a major war, albeit undeclared.

20 posted on 08/12/2005 4:15:09 AM PDT by ukman
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