It was Anzac day yesterday and I thought I’d post an old Seekers rendition of Waltzing Matilda. The vocalist is Judith Durham.
Aussies and Kiwis…great people. I believe the Aussies are the only allie we have that has stuck with us through every engagement since WWII.
New Zealand is heaven. Great people, scenery,sailing , free grass tennis courts,.The South Island is a wonder with trekking you can’t believe. Forget Paris go to those two countries.
On Anzac day I like to listen to this song:
Godspeed to the diggers.
Bonzer there mate! And a nice rejoinder from Qwerty1. Good on both of ya.
At ANZAC Day Dawn Services throughout Australia and New Zealand, at Gallipoli, Villers Bretoneaux, attendances are increasing every year.
100s and 100s of 1000s of people of all ages and backgrounds gather together in the early light of dawn.
24 hour News, the Internet, cheap airtravel bring in to sharp relief the blessings we have.
And the Sacrifice that it took to create our community.
We are so very Thankful.
Godspeed, to the “Diggers”,
and to their families and loved.
Nerys Egan sings a “Song for Grace” – Grace was Ted Egan’s mother, her 3 brothers were at Gallipoli.
“Poster Girl” is wonderful! Upfront!!
I spent several years as a child in Papua New Guinea. I got to see battlefields and debris leftover from WWII in some of the harshest terrain imaginable.
The ANZAC troops there had to have been some of the finest soldiers in the world.
I hope we have the strength and character to stand with them, as they have with us, when they have their yet to come challenges in the future.
Wretchard, I wish you’d write a few sentences on what Anzac Day is, and why it’s celebrated. Or remembered. I could, of course, google it but think that you might have more to offer than wikipedia.
Why do you care, and why should we care, too?
Aaron, their trek over the Owen Stanleys in order to attack the enemy camp from landward –is one of the epics.
also wanted to mention that to me the film Gallipoli is one of the bittersweet masterpieces. The image of the officer (who was no doubt historically accurately portrayed) in his dugout listening to his scratchy wind-up Victrola is a film indelible. He knew the morning would bring his murderously doomed attack –with the added feature of being unneccesary, and even a result of botched comms up the chain of command. He knew all this, had tried to repair it, but time had run out, and he had his orders. He was listening to Italian opera –some deeply tragic voice full of sadness. Wonder who that was.
The same war, sometime a bit later on the Western front, French units began to refuse such orders. A clear, serious comparison is thus laid. But i don’t know what it is that’s to be compared –only that something is. One the one hand, those Anzacs were heroic and that charge an exemplar of devotion to duty and principle. But they died 19, while their French counterparts lived on to raise children and grandchildren for another half century. Somewhere in there the Big Question fights to emerge.
Anzac day has always been a mystery to me. The day I penetrate it will be hour in which I understand Australia. I don’t; not in that way. My own history has other emotional furnishing. But I do know that each year, people of all ages stopped and remembered things in a special serious way. And though I couldn’t understand the particulars, I fully recognized the exercise for what it was. Australia had one thing it could never make fun of; something beyond parody. Dostoevsky described the thing beautifully at the end of Brothers Karamazov in the chapter where they buried Ilusha.
And whatever happens to us later in life, if we don’t meet for twenty years afterwards, let us always remember how we buried the poor boy at whom we once threw stones, do you remember, by the bridge? and afterwards we all grew so fond of him. He was a fine boy, a kindhearted, brave boy, he felt for his father’s honour and resented the cruel insult to him and stood up for him. And so in the first place, we will remember him, boys, all our lives. And even if we are occupied with most important things, if we attain to honour or fall into great misfortune — still let us remember how good it was once here, when we were all together, united by a good and kind feeling which made us, for the time we were loving that poor boy, better perhaps than we are. My little doves let me call you so, for you are very like them, those pretty blue birds, at this minute as I look at your good dear faces. My dear children, perhaps you won’t understand what I am saying to you, because I often speak very unintelligibly, but you’ll remember all the same and will agree with my words some time. You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home. People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in one’s heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us. Perhaps we may even grow wicked later on, may be unable to refrain from a bad action, may laugh at men’s tears and at those people who say as Kolya did just now, ‘I want to suffer for all men,’ and may even jeer spitefully at such people. But however bad we may become — which God forbid — yet, when we recall how we buried Ilusha, how we loved him in his last days, and how we have been talking like friends all together, at this stone, the cruellest and most mocking of us — if we do become so will not dare to laugh inwardly at having been kind and good at this moment! What’s more, perhaps, that one memory may keep him from great evil and he will reflect and say, ‘Yes, I was good and brave and honest then!’ Let him laugh to himself, that’s no matter, a man often laughs at what’s good and kind. That’s only from thoughtlessness. But I assure you, boys, that as he laughs he will say at once in his heart, ‘No, I do wrong to laugh, for that’s not a thing to laugh at.’
Anzac Day is when Australia remembers the one thing it cannot laugh at. For so long as this remains true, Australia will have a soul.
the quote in #9 is the answer to the question in #8.
–always steered away from the Russian masters because one must read a translation. But…
My dear children, perhaps you won’t understand what I am saying to you, because I often speak very unintelligibly, but you’ll remember all the same and will agree with my words some time. You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home. People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in one’s heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us.
…is almost too fine to bear.
An aside: Can we stop disparaging the military character of the French? They may not be everything they once were (maybe we aren’t either), but their record in war is at least as good as America’s, and much longer and bloodier: we never marched to Moscow, or endured a Verdun. This habit so common on the web of singling out the French as unwarlike is an inversion of history as absurd as deriding the record of the British at sea, and it is particularly out of place in regard to WWI, in which they made such fearsome sacrifices, the 1917 mutinies notwithstanding.
Bill, i appreciate your sentiments and agree with them. i didn’t mean to disparage anyone. had the mutinies been by brit or american or anyone elses’ units i would still have used them since i was trying to refer to that age old question of ‘how to be’, framing two different instances of an order to infantry to charge across an open no man’s land into wire and entrenched overlapping automatic weapons fire.
#11–plus they threw in with us at Yorktown, admittedly for their own reasons. Yes, they were plenty good, took on most of Europe all at once, etc. Actually they will fight when it suits them, in the right spot, but haven’t been much help to us the last 50 years. I think that’s why we’re often mad at them–letting us do the heavy lifting.
I agree with Buddy’s point–given that most soldiers are brave enough, what does it take to grind them down into mutiny? Nations may differ but not that much overall. They can only take so much and then that’s it. But then, the Brits took similar losses in WW I and didn’t mutiny. And their generals were just as lousy.
Australian Karen on the GPS device is Karen Jacobsen
When I was in Perth/Freemantle they said it was the most isolated European City on Earth. It is closer to Singapore than to Melbourne. As I’m sure I mentioned before in Albany, a lovely town that is as far South as you can get in Western Australia, there is a war memorial overlooking the bay. That is where the Anzac gathered and departed for war in 1915-16. It is one of the most beautiful spots on you will ever see. The monument was originally erected in Alexandria to mark the jumping off point for the Gallipoli expedition. Nasser in his pride and folly cast it down so the Australians gathered up the pieces and reassembled it above St. George’s Bay.
There was an ANZAC Day Dawn Service held at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC. The photo shows the color party and the wreaths. The wreaths represent (From the left): Embassy of Australia, Embassy of New Zealand, The Ataturk Society, British Embassy, Embassy of Canada, Embassy of France, The US Dept. of Labor/VETS, The Korean Embassy, The Returned & Services League, The American Legion and Kiwi Expatriates Abroad Association.
Re Korean War, don’t know about other combatants, but a factoid: the US military lost 12,000 KIA in the two year stalemate/coda, between the enemy request for armistice talks and the conclusion of those talks. Those young fellas knew they were in a half-war as far as their nation was concerned. it’s called the “Forgotten War” but that’s too kind to the nation –we actually didn’t need to forget it, we never had remembered it. 7th Cavalry was terribly hit in that two years, and didn’t even get a parade after their win. Yet they’re still getting parades for the loss on the Little Bighorn in 1876. Communists are just so completely depressing, they’re even icky to fight. Black holes of gloom, even to be agin ‘em is blah, it seems.
It is sadly ironic to know that Gallipoli need not have happened, at least not as it did. Fortunes of war, ill fortune for the Australia New Zealand Army Corps. The Royal Navy had the reputation, in 1915, of being able to do whatever it set out to do, so when the RN showed up with a bunch of pre-dreadnoughts, the Turks began evacuating Istanbul, convinced the Brits would be there very shortly. The old battleships took out the shore batteries one by one, advancing deep into the strait, and were poised to clear the way to Istanbul, when a Turkish junior officer, in command of a minelayer, lay a string of mines in the path of the British fleet. The next morning a ship ran into one of the mines, and the British commander,fearful of losing his command to mines in the narrow waters, held a council of war, at which council it was determined to wait for the arrival of a couple of brand new Queen Elizabeth class battleships. The respite gave the Turks, and Germans, time to reorganize, and the landings at Suva Bay were decimated.
“Forget Paris go to those two countries.”
umm “romantism” still makes of Paris the first world destination for “just marrieds”, any question ? in Paris Kangroos look like sirens
buddy, check the videos
“Lets not get to carried away with the short version of the Naval campaign. This information from Answers.com, and which corresponds to my recollections of events, covers March 18, 1915. The mines were laid ten days earlier and six big ships were sunk or seriously damaged.
“The French ship Bouvet exploded in mysterious circumstances, causing it to capsize with its entire crew aboard. Minesweepers, manned by civilians and under constant fire of Ottoman shells, retreated leaving the minefields largely intact. HMS Irresistible and HMS Inflexible both sustained critical damage from mines, although there was confusion during the battle whether torpedoes were to blame. HMS Ocean, sent to rescue the Irresistible, was itself struck by an explosion and both ships eventually sank. The French battleships Suffren and Gaulois were also badly damaged. All the ships had sailed through a new line of mines placed secretly by the defenders 10 days before.”
For the NZ survivors of Gallipoli and for the new soldiers in training, the Western Front lay ahead. A small extract from the NZ Official History of The Great War puts indescribable tragedy into the driest language. “Passchendaele :
“Preparations for the 12 October 1917 attack on Bellevue Spur, especially the positioning of the supporting artillery, could not be completed in time because of the mud. As a result, the creeping barrage was weak and ragged. Some of the shells dropped short, causing casualties among the New Zealanders waiting to advance. To make matters worse, the earlier artillery bombardment had failed to breach the obstacle presented by the German barbed wire. Another key target, the Germans’ concrete pillboxes with their deadly machine-guns, were also left largely undamaged.
Troops from 2nd Brigade and 3rd (Rifle) Brigade advanced at 5.25 a.m. in drizzle that soon turned to driving rain. As they struggled towards the ridge in front of them, they found their way blocked by the uncut barbed wire. Exposed to raking German machine-gun fire from both the front and flank, the New Zealanders were pinned down in shell craters in front of the wire. A few determined individuals tried to get through the barrier, but they were quickly killed.
Orders came for another push at 3 p.m., but this was mercifully postponed and then cancelled. The troops eventually fell back to positions close to their start line. For badly wounded soldiers lying in the mud, the aftermath of the battle was a private hell; many died before they could be rescued.
The toll was horrendous. There were more than 2700 New Zealand casualties, of which 45 officers and 800 men were either dead or lying mortally wounded between the lines. In terms of lives lost in a single day, this remains the blackest day in New Zealand’s Military existence. ”
At the Going Down of the Sun and in the Morning, we will remember them.
and the Brits retreat, ya know they wanted to God save the perfid Albion, the legend of the great tommies forgot to mention that they left the continent to the scheme german planes/tanks
see ya in this movie : “Les Anglais à droite, les Français a gauche, gehe schiessen in your bloody hell”
Korea, the French went there too, sumthin forgotten in your annals
and a bataillon of volontaries
It is possible, aside from the many actions in which the Australians and New Zealanders were engaged during the Korean War, that the Battle of Kapyong (Korea) would be a special focus of remembrance.
For those unfamiliar, a mountain pass was held against perhaps 200,000 with the Australians on one side, the Canadians on the other and behind them on the valley floor, British tanks acting as support artillery.
It went on night and day for days, hand to hand, giving opportunity for other allied forces to strategically withdraw from the onslaught.
Bill Befort @ 11
In 1914(one of) my Grandfathers(step)ran away from his home in England at the age of fifteen and joined the British Cavalry.(later to become a machine-gunner).
He spoke little of the grisly detail but on occasion something would seemingly inadvertently be revealed…the sabre wounds, the gas, this time shot, that time shot, the left for dead…. with (over the decades) annotated notes in the margins and points on maps in histories of WWI on the western front.
But nothing of the war.
This month I finished reading a recently published two volume history of Canadians in the the Great War.
It tells me everything of the war.
In that near five years of the war that drove men mad, the British used the Australians/New Zealanders and Canadians as shock troops.
The British and the French did it their way, the Anzac and Canadians did it their ways.
We tried their ways, our ways worked.
As a consequence the British experienced a sense of success while the French, until the end, merely chewed up 100,000 at a timed.
The French soldier did not so much as mutiny, rather they collapsed not from a lack of courage but from an exhausted heart.
Happy ANZAC Day to wild colonial boys.
Since WW2, which America had to win for the French, Chirac travelled the world convincing countries to be anti-American while his poodle de Villepin lied in Colin Powell’s face before denouncing him and America before the United Nations.
I have absolutely no use for the FRench at all now, and watch with some small amount of glee as their socialist utopia goes belly-up under the double whammy of intransigent and greedy unions and arson-loving Muslims.
I confess to using the short version. You are correct about the mines being laid 10 days prior. The point was at the time of decision whether to press on in spite of losses or wait for the Queen Eliabeths, deRobeck made the decision to wait. I have just consulted John Keegan, and he says that was the correct decision. But who knows? A bold move might have forced the straits and forced Turkey out of the war in 1915. We shall never know.
A note to history buffs.
Should you wish to expand your understanding of the conditions under which men endured the First World War, the book is:
“Canadians Fighting The Great War” by Tim Cook.
Vol.I “AT THE SHARP END” (1914-1916)
Vol.II “SHOCK TROOPS” (1917-1918)
You know that I traveled extensively during my CIA years. One of the temporary duty stations was Alice Springs in the outback of Australia. I spent six months there. Similarly I spent another six months in ChristChurch, New Zealand.
I was in each place during the day of tribute ..ANZAC…needless to say I knew quite a few Aussies and Kiwis. After talking with them, many of whom had fathers or grandfathers that had fought in the ill fated Gallipoli Campaign.
As best I could tell from their stories and emotions it is their most heroic effort, and those who fell to the Turks. We have, as far as I can tell no single day of national reverence except perhaps July 4th, but our celebration is for a different reason.
The Aussies and Kiwis seem to be moved beyond what the average American usually is in these situation. One mentioned that their countries were so small in population and lost so many young men that it touched everone in that part of the Empire very deeply. I really don’t have the prose to adequately explain thier emotions, all I can attest to is that dry eyes are a rare thing to find on that day.
“Foch and World War I
On the outbreak of the war, Foch was in command of XX Corps, part of the Second Army of General de Castelnau. On 14 August the corps advanced towards the Sarrebourg-Morhange line, taking heavy casualties in the Battle of the Frontiers. The defeat of XV Corps to its right forced Foch into retreat. Foch acquitted himself well, covering the withdrawal to Nancy and the Charmes Gap, before launching a counter-attack that prevented the Germans from crossing the Meurthe.
He was then selected to command the newly formed Ninth Army, which he was to command during the First Battle of the Marne and the Race to the Sea. With his Chief of Staff Maxime Weygand, Foch managed to do this while the whole French Army was in full retreat. Only a week after taking command of 9th Army, he was forced to fight a series of defensive actions to prevent a German breakthrough. It was then that he spoke the famous words: “Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I attack.” His counter-attack was an implementation of the theories he had developed during his staff college days, and succeeded in stopping the German advance. Foch received further reinforcements from the Fifth Army and, following another attack on his forces, counter-attacked again on the Marne. The Germans dug in before eventually retreating. On 12 September Foch regained Marne at Châlons and liberated the city. The people of Châlons greeted as a hero the man widely believed to have been instrumental in stopping the great retreat and stabilising the Allied position. Receiving thanks from the Bishop of Châlons, Foch piously replied, “non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam.” (Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, Psalm 115:1)
Foch’s successes gained him a further promotion, on 4 October, when he was appointed assistant Commander-in-Chief with responsibility for co-ordinating the activities of the northern French armies, and liaising with the British forces. This was a key appointment as the so-called “Race to the Sea” was then in progress. Joffre had also wanted to nominate Foch as his successor “in case of accident”, to make sure the job would not be given to Galliéni, but the French government would not agree to this. When the Germans attacked on 13 October, they narrowly failed to break through the British and French lines. They tried again at the end of the month during the First Battle of Ypres; this time suffering terrible casualties. Foch had again succeeded in co-ordinating a defence and winning against the odds. On 2 December 1914, King George V of the United Kingdom appointed him an honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. In 1915, his responsibilities by now crystallised into command of the Northern Army Group, he conducted the Artois Offensive, and, in 1916, the French part of the Battle of the Somme. He was strongly criticised for his tactics and the heavy casualties that were suffered by the Allied armies during these battles, and in December 1916 was removed from command, by General Joffre, and sent to command in Italy; Joffre was himself sacked days later.
Just a few months later, after the failure of General Nivelle, General Pétain was appointed Chief of the General Staff; Foch hoped to succeed Pétain in command of Army Group Centre, but this job was instead given to General Fayolle. The following month General Pétain was appointed Commander-in-Chief in place of Nivelle, and Foch was recalled and promoted to Chief of the General Staff.
On 26 March 1918, Foch was appointed Supreme Commander of the Allied Armies with the title of Généralissime (“supreme General”) with the job of co-ordinating the activities of the Allied armies, forming a common reserve and using these divisions to guard the junction of the French and British armies and to plug the potentially fatal gap that would have followed a German breakthrough in the British Fifth Army sector. Despite being surprised by the German offensive on the Chemin des Dames, the Allied armies under Foch’s command ultimately held the advance of the German forces during the great Spring Offensive of 1918 and at the Second Battle of Marne in July 1918. The celebrated phrase, “I will fight in front of Paris, I will fight in Paris, I will fight behind Paris,” attributed both to Foch and Clemenceau, illustrated the Generalissimo’s resolve to keep the Allied armies intact, even at the risk of losing the capital. On 6 August 1918, Foch was made Marshal of France.
Along with the British commander Field Marshal Haig, Foch planned the Grand Offensive, opening on 26 September 1918, which led to the defeat of Germany. Foch accepted the German cessation of hostilities in November, after which he refused to shake the hand of the German signatory. On the day of the armistice, he was elected to the Académie des Sciences. Ten days later, he was unanimously elected to the Académie française. On 30 November 1918, he was awarded the highest Portuguese decoration the Order of the Tower and Sword, 1st class (Grand Cross).”
nanscie, qui te demande quelquechose ?
stay in behind your computer et fais dodo while you dream of the big Leboski
Marie Claude, when he said that the mutineers were exhausted, this was a compliment to the poilu, who had fought temporarily beyond his power to recover and needed respite. Respite was not offered so he took it. Then Petain came in and replaced the general who had as a point of order refused to acknowledge the ghastly size of the butcher’s bill, and so poilu recovered and went back to work. Poilu was not insulted by the remark, poilu was saluted. your English is superb but on this point it did let you down a wee bit. But far better you in English, mon amie, then me in French!
a very short but useful overview of the war in the year 1917. Observe the stunning casualties in ratio to the military gains/losses.
Several yrs ago we were on a cruise ship and we passed Gallipoli on ANZAC Day. I know we had some Aussie onboard. I wondered what they thought as they passed this place.
As to the French, it is hard to imagine the losses they suffered in WWI. I believe that they may have had heavier lossed than the Brits. Be that it may, we should never pass judgement on them because after several yrs of a grinding war they just lost their soul. All countries concerned had heavy losses. What today we could not comprehend.
..Bill Befort, #11 : America was historically pro-French and suspicious of Britain but that changed in WWII. American men died in 1944 and 1945 to free France because French men couldn’t find the will to resist Nazi’s for more than 5 weeks in 1940. Most of France collaborated with the German forces during that war. My grandfather served in the U.S. Navy in France in WWI, my father was a 100% disabled WWII vet from a teller mine on the French/German border. Our debt to France is paid, paid in full. We owe them nothing, least of all, military respect.
I guess I could have said it’s like a Memorial Day and left it at that but that simply doesn’t evoke the depth they seem to have for this day.
The 4th of July evokes a celebration of joy over our independenace and Memorial day, a day or reverence. Place the 4th at the top of our list and ANZAC at theirs. ANd still I am failing …apologies.
because French men couldn’t find the will to resist Nazi’s for more than 5 weeks in 1940. Most of France collaborated
yeah, you learnt that in “Pif the dog” !
after 5 weeks, the Brits too, the Belgian too, the Hollanders too …
collaboration, yeah, not as much as the Belgian, the Hollanders, the Poles, the … the… in percentage of population comparatively to the number of inhabitants !
umm during the revolution war of yours, how many of your compatriots collaborated with the enemi ? A guess, as much or more than us, if not, you wouldn’t have need that we made that war for you
“war they just lost their soul”
nah, we still have it, but you don’t notice it when that fits your legend !
My thanks for your attending to an explanation of my intent to honour the French soldier of the Great War.
Aware of the need for brevity in comment I failed to consider a wider audience and account for it.
The fault is mine.
Marie Claude @ 29
Je suis tres desole. Je regret mon Francais est tres pauvre mais ce necessaire pour vous a connaitre je n’ intend pas a insulte les gens Francais du (des?) Premiere Guerre du Monde.
Je pense les hommes demonstre plus du courage temps apre temps mais les “grande fromages”, ne tous pas ils capable a formule le tactic de success.
C’est vrai pour les “Grand Fromages” de les autres aussi, mais ces fortunes de guerre attendre a aidez son do do’s.
Hey You Kids
i grew up among the French. The people of the Longfellow poem “Evangeline”. Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana. As a youngster many a classmate’s grandparents didn’t even speak English. i love them –they are fine hard-working fun-loving people, loyal and honest. But Chirac and de Villipine can kiss my ass.
hykgoml/38; –thanks –happy to lend the hand –i could tell you’d decamped the site for the nonce –
…as far as ‘collaboration’, certainly a shadow and a sorrow and a pity, but in my own mind more than balanced by the supurb and sacrificial French Underground, the widespread and invariable solicitousness for downed allied airmen, later to including the dogfaces, as well as the excellent Army of Le Clerc.
Actually the Australians that stopped the Japs on the Kokoda Trail were, believe it or not “chokos”, that is reservists.
Australia’s best troops were on the way back from Tobruk and such places in North Africa and Churchill was trying desperately to retain control of them and divert them to Singapore while the Australian Prime Minister Curtin was trying to get them home post Pearl Harbor to defend their homeland.
The Regulars got up into the jungle and handed the Japs their first military defeat on land in many years.
8. buddy larsen:
“But they died 19, while their French counterparts lived on to raise children and grandchildren for another half century. Somewhere in there the Big Question fights to emerge.”
I disagree, Buddy. The French fought valiantly in WWI and had some very forward thinking Generals, unlike the English. When we (in the form of Pershing and his boys) got to Europe in WWI we had to locally source tanks, planes and that sort of thing because we weren’t up to speed with that stuff. We turned to the French because the British were pains in the butt, stolid, haughty, unimaginative, sclerotic in organisation and generally more trouble than they were worth. The French lost the best of a generation and that is partly why they performed so poorly defending their homeland against the Germans in 1939.
The Australians had the highest casualty rate of any Commonwealth (Empire?) Army in WWI but they were all volunteers while the other armies were full of draftees. A litle known subtext of the whole affair is that Australia knocked back conscription twice in WWI largely as I understand it because of Australian Labor Party and Irish Catholic resistance to fight “The Pommies War”. Their Regiments shrunk through attrition to battalions due to inadequate replacements.
One wonderful old friend of mine in the Rocke family in Melbourne told me his family refused to speak with his uncle for 20 years after the Armistice because he had fought for the English. The Rockes are Irish, of course, and prolific.
Rommel is reliably reported to have said, in 1942, that if he had two New Zealand divisions he would rule the world. ‘Nuff said.
Wretchard your comment “Anzac Day is when Australia remembers the one thing it cannot laugh at. For so long as this remains true, Australia will have a soul.” Hits the spot, ANZAC day is a reminder to everyone of the willing sacrifices made not only by Australia and New Zealand, as it includes not only the young men that fought but their families as well, but countries all around the world in securing freedom. For the ANZACs what makes it all the more poignant is that these young men and their families made this sacrifices for world that many had never seen before, it was their personal believe and courage that drove them into immortality.
What is also very interesting in today’s society is that it is the only day that it appears to be acceptable to appreciate the sacrifices of our veterans and current defence force.
I conclude with the ‘Ode of Remembrance’ which always brings shivers, and brings us back to reality.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.
I think we backed up too far after shortselling what the French did in WWI.
They acquitted themselves very honorably then.
But that was their last shot. They have done poorly since.
I reckon the poison infected their culture in The Great Terror after the French Revolution and they have never recovered.
Worse, their intellectual toxin has infected the rest of western civilization to the point where it cannot even reproduce or even deal effecdtively with attacks by idiot barbarians on a mission from a very twisted god.
Wretchard, I went to the ANZAC Day dawn service in Kyogle about 700km north of you. There were a lot of young people there, some wearing their grandfathers’ medals. There were also, of course, a lot of vets.
But it was very much a community thing. There was no jingoism and we repaired to the Senior Citizen’s Centre for an RSL breakfast after Last Post was sounded. That’s Bundy and milk for the unitiated. Bundy is a dark rum best described as an acquired taste.
There was a parade later.
A few WWII vets still, a few from the Korean War, more from the Malaysian jungle campaign that preceded their efforts in Vietnam. Lots of Vietnam guys. The Mayor and all the local councillors were there and a couple of uniformed honour guards from the Army.
It’s still very mainstream event here in small town Australia and in the cities.
There are no Code Pink type organisations that I know of in Australia and I wouldn’t think they would be game to show up for ANZAC Day if there was.
If you want to get a feel for the spirit behind the way they remember it’s well worth visiting the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Not bloodthirsty at all but doesn’t shy away from the real drum about what happened.
Even after what happened at Gallipoli they, unlike the French, stepped up to the plate again in WWII, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.
And their new Defence White Paper has called for a huge investment in defence in this uncertain world. They’ll continue to pull their weight and man for man they are good, in fact very good.
Bob, i guess i reaally blew that sentence –i meant a tiny sliver of the French soldiery –i meant, those mutineers who would have died during the duration of their mutiny had they not mutinied –a number that makes for an arguendo comparison to the boys who fell in the charge portrayed in the film Gallipoli. i explained myself somewhat i thought way upthread, positing that the being-French part was not even a point in the musing, other than that in the life-preserving mutiny contemporary that ANZAC charge into epic and legend, those guys were French.
to muse on the meanings of nation, of history, heroism, virtue itself, when its price is young death, is not for us to do –as Lincoln said at Gettysburg. what is for us to do is ponder their actions, and try to pay them back in the only coin we have. respect, i guess. love –continuity –memory –gratitude.
to judge, from our place of very little knowing, is to judge very little, so it’s good that to muse on these things, doing so is not needful.
Kitegiant, “Ode of Remembrance” –thank you for that.
48. buddy larsen
“try to pay them back in the only coin we have. respect, i guess. love –continuity –memory –gratitude.”
That kind of person asks no more, Buddy.
But the other thing is to honor the society that puts forward such people.
I read a book by young Pommie historian Andrew Roberts entitled “A History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900″ which puts it all in context IMHO.
Basically it traces the efforts of the Anglosphere which saw off the fascisms of the 20th century, Prussian militarism, Fascism, its Nazi variant and finally Marxism (except in our universities:))
As for the Australians in World War I there is a breathtaking book by a wonderful Australian journalist and writer Les Carlyon called, “The Great War”. It’s impact on me was as much emotional as intellectual, rather like the Civil War TV documentary. It’s a houmungus book,about 800 pages, and none of them wasted. Lovely reading.
As for the US relationship with the British and the French in WWI I think David Eisenhower’s book “Yanks” is a good read.
The “RSL OdeRSL Ode is part of what you wrote: (Goto Symbolism at the link):
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.
A couple of points about the poem and the poet. “First, this poem [For The Fallen] was first published in The Times in September 1914 — only a few weeks, in other words, after the outbreak of war and long before the terrible pitched battles of the later years when the dead were counted in their hundreds of thousands. It is also the work of a middle-aged civilian [Laurence Binyon] who’d not yet experienced war. All the other War Poets were young front line fighting men.”
PS.Sorry about bold on my 50 post.
Apparently “Matilda” was the nickname the German Army gave their packs a long time ago.
And Waltzing Matilda was a slang term for walking with your pack.
There were a lot of Germans here in Oz right from gold rush times (early 1850s) and perhaps before.
There’s no way of proving it now but that keeps coming up as the origin of the term Waltzing Matilda.
36. Marie Claude
“umm during the revolution war of yours, how many of your compatriots collaborated with the enemi ? A guess, as much or more than us, if not, you wouldn’t have need that we made that war for you”
MC., allow me to help you out with some of your history. During our revolution we we’re not a nation yet, so collaboration with the “enemy” is a wholly misguided term. We were fighting for our independence. Those who prevailed, Washington.et.al. did so out of dogged determination but they were the ones in rebellion.
Secondly your French fleet showed up at a time way past what they had promised as they stayed in the calm waters of the Caribbean hoping to swoop in and grab more of the sugar business which was tremendous. But make no mistake they were looking out solely for French interests (some things never change) and only came north to Yorktown once the rabble in arms has the Brits in a bind with the sea their only escape …then the Frogs showed up seeking as the Russians did at the end of WWII to get the goodies from Japan after victory was in the bag.
Since that time the French have been a pain in the ass.
“The French lost the best of a generation and that is partly why they performed so poorly defending their homeland against the Germans in 1939″
so did any other european country, the Brits were lucky that the Channel protects them
the problem we had was due to our poortactic, we hadn’t trained our forces with planes + tanks + infantry, no military head that still was in ofice (about 80 years old and that had made 1870 and 1914 wars) had an idea of what a modern war was about ; besides we hadn’t enough planes, and the tanks were used separatively from the rest of the corps, so !
that doesn’t witness of the lost of combativity, but of an erroneous reading of the enemis forces
Funny how the Germans were eager to read all the theories of a modern army by de Gaulle and his counterpart in UK, and applied the ideas to the new german army, while our old senile elite thought de Gaulle was a rebel, that didn’t know that all our historical conflicts with Germany passed through the eastern way, where the Maginot line is built.
This is the proof that if an army still wants to stay competitive, it must regularly renew its head frames, younger men are more likely aware of the new technical progresses and can better adapt strategies from them
To further Marie Claude’s comments:
1. Christie, a US inventor, invented the Christie Chasiss which revolutionized tank design. The US was not interested. The Russians purchased the design and its world beating tank was based on it.
2. Lidell Hart, a British strategist, wrote the mobile combined arms strategy, the Brits didn’t use it, the Germans did.
3. As far as the will to fight is concerned – Marie Claude will be able to fill in the details – When the French were well lead they could put up a good fight. The battle along the defense line before Paris resulted in the loss of, I believe, 246,000 frenchmen. That doesn’t happen unless soldiers are fighting to hold ground.
On another WWI Matter – From what I have seen and read in the past few years, the French pioneered the concept of moving in smaller groups during mass attacks across no-man’s land. The mutinies at the front were caused by a number of factors, not the least of which was the desire of some to bring down the government.
I think the term cheese eating surrender monkeys developed within the last ten years and is quite appropriate for today.
BTW..when were the French last well lead?
I’m quite comfortable describing them as a pain in the ass.
One day in the not too distant future people will describe the USA “as a ONCE great nation”
Nothing is constant nut change.
Nothing is constant nut change ?
Jeez, Habu, Patton must be auto-writing through you –the typo of the ages –yes, that’s JUST what we need!.
I can’t type, I can’t proofread, and when people on the blog start to describe sociopaths I begin to worry…..but it’s all good. yeah …
Somebody tell me again how we ended up with obama in the WH? Please.
Habu, be careful you already talk from “outretombe” LMAO
and I bet that you were among the conspirators gang that spread conveniently rumors on us, the pain was really in your ass, yeah, we couldn’t care less of the great american manoeuvers in ME !
um, humble Chirac lieutnent in Algeria campain
Comment no 54 from Marie Claude : I recall being told that the French Supreme HQ during 1940 had ONE telephone line in and TWO Post or Despatch Riders out and in each day. No way to fight a rapid war of movement. As to the ‘Poilu’ they fought well – when they got the chance. The Panzers did halt before Dunkirk – the Germans had fought themselves to a standstill and needed to resupply and re-equip before taking on the rest of France.
“When were the French last well lead?”
Algiers and then DeGaulle stabbed them in the back.
The French parachutists and Foreign Legion won the war and then the French surrendered.
I had several interesting sessions with the OAS in Strasbourg in 1964-65 while they were setting off bombs and wanted to kill DeGaulle.
Funny thing was all the Foreign Legion ex-Wehrmacht NCOs sat at the next table but wouldn’t join us. As one of them told me, “Could you imagine us getting busted for trying to roll DeGaulle?” with a big smile.
59. Marie Claude:
“…we couldn’t care less of the great american manoeuvers in ME!”
Of course not, the French have so little principle left (left being the operative word) that they can’t even defend their odorous and self-loathing permutation of western culture in their own Parisian Arab neighborhoods.
Your battle also is internal, and you are losing.
And, of course, France’s failure to reproduce means that time and demography will cure their ills, though the changeover to political dominance by Islamic fundamentalists might be a tad messy.
Perhaps, Marie Claude, you may live long enough to see whether Obama beceomes America’s Trudeau. They have never recovered from his French toxin.
Habu the counter-agent taler :
“allow me to help you out with some of your history. During our revolution we we’re not a nation yet, so collaboration with the “enemy” is a wholly misguided term. We were fighting for our independence. Those who prevailed, Washington.et.al. did so out of dogged determination but they were the ones in rebellion.”
how easy are your escuses, umm, some fair guis would say that their ancesters sided the English while they ought o have served for the american nation
“Secondly your French fleet showed up at a time way past what they had promised as they stayed in the calm waters of the Caribbean hoping to swoop in and grab more of the sugar business which was tremendous. But make no mistake they were looking out solely for French interests (some things never change) and only came north to Yorktown once the rabble in arms has the Brits in a bind with the sea their only escape …then the Frogs showed up seeking as the Russians did at the end of WWII to get the goodies from Japan after victory was in the bag.
Since that time the French have been a pain in the ass.”
“When you’re working on the Revolutionary War, as I’m doing now, you realize what the French did for us. We wouldn’t have a country if it weren’t for them,” McCullough claimed in his recent interview with American Heritage. And though it is usually fruitless to speculate about “what if’s,” a look at the facts shows that French support was indeed vital for the success of the American Revolutionary War.
In February 1762, French foreign minister Choiseul had declared that he had “only one foreign policy, a fraternal union with Spain; only one foreign policy for war, and that is England.”1 He thought that war might come within five years. It took thirteen years, but the shots fired at Lexington and Concord had hardly been heard in Paris when French financial and military aid began flowing to the rebellious colonies via Beaumarchais. Almost 100 volunteers, some more useful than others, provided crucial expertise for American artillery, engineering, and map-making. The victory at Saratoga was won with French guns and French powder. A few months later, in February 1778, France became the first foreign country to recognize the United States as an independent nation; military action beginning later that year occupied British forces from Gibraltar to India and from Senegal to the Caribbean, keeping them from the American theatre of war. In the spring of 1780, the comte de Rochambeau brought over 5,000 officers and men across the ocean and forced the surrender of Lord Cornwallis fifteen months later. Yet the presence of Rochambeau’s forces on the American mainland had consequences well beyond its small numbers. By the time most of them departed from Boston in December 1782, they had decided the outcome of the war.
In July 1780, Rochambeau had arrived with over 5,000 officers and men; the ships that left Boston on Christmas Eve 1782 carried about 1,000 fewer men. About 700 men remained behind, the last of which returned to France in November 1783. A few days later, on January 8, 1783, Rochambeau and a small entourage of officers sailed from Annapolis for France. A final transport of 85 sick soldiers left Baltimore on October 5, 1783. The expédition particulière had come to an end.2 During the 30 months that the 492 officers and 6,038 men of the expédition particulière had been in, or on their way to and from America, about 600 men (including 70 in the six months following the return in 1783) died, though only about 75 of them from battle or battle-related wounds. Another seven were executed. Some 316 men, of whom only 26 were native Frenchmen, deserted, including 80 men recruited in America.3 140, including 30 “American” recruits, were discharged. 31 officers, but only 14 enlisted men, retired with military pensions in the
1 Quoted in Eccles, “French Alliance,” p. 148.
2 Noailles, Marins, pp. 407-408.
3 Some of these deserters seem to have found America not to their liking: In July 1785, French consul Martin Oster wrote from Virginia that he had granted passports to 13 of them to return to France under an amnesty granted by the king earlier that year. J. Rives Childs, “French Consul Martin Oster reports on Virginia, 1784-1796″ Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 76, (1968), pp. 27-40, p. 37.
New World. To put these figures into perspective: within six months of returning to France, Rochambeau’s units discharged 832 men whose enlistment had expired!4
Unlike German or German-speaking soldiers from Alsace or Lorraine, French soldiers rather risked the dangerous transatlantic voyage than stay in America. Despite officially fostered friendhip and numerous addresses of gratitude — the Boston Gazette and Country Journal claimed in its issue of December 9, 1782, that the “Behaviour of these Troops … sufficiently contradicts the infamous Falsehoods and Misrepresentations usually imposed on the World by perfidious Britons — Franco-American relations had always remained tenuous at best. The allies simply never trusted each other. Axel von Fersen informed his father in November 1782 that “the time we have passed with them (the Americans) has not taught us to love or esteem them.” Even an enlisted man such as Flohr felt the mistrust in an alliance held together only by a common enemy. For mid-December 1782 he reported in his journal: “Since we continued to remain there (in Providence) for some additional time, the Americans never felt quite at ease but continued to believe that the French wanted to make continued use of that area (i.e. permanently occupy it) since they didn’t seem to want to move on at all, and thanked us a second time for the aid we had provided.” Such fears, as we know, were unfounded, but their continued existence even after the victory was won and after all that France had done in support of American independence, shows how deep-seated and long-living they were!
Because Rochambeau’s troops were not the only French forces to fight in America before, or after, Yorktown. In fact they represent only a fractions of the total number of Frenchmen fighting for American Independence, which historians have estimated at 18,000 soldiers and 31,000 sailors. At Yorktown alone, some 14,000 Frenchmen, including 5,200 Marines in reserve, joined 5,800 American Continentals and 3,000 Virginia militias against 6,000 British and their German allies. It was French expertise in siege warfare, not to mention the French siege artillery brought by Rochambeau’s forces, which eventually forced the surrender. The French contribution to American victory becomes even more obvious when we look at the role of the French navy. It was Admiral de Grasse’ fleet which kept the Royal Navy from making contact with Cornwallis when it sailed out to meet the challenge in the Battle of the Capes in early September 1781. Without the French fleet, British Admiral Graves might just have succeeded in rescuing Cornwallis from Yorktown. The Continental Navy would have been unable to stop him: in 1781, the Royal Navy had about 140 ships of the line, the French had 67 capital ships, Spain had 58, the Dutch 19, and the United States had none.
French expenditures for the war were enormous: Robert D. Harris sets the total French cost for the war for the years 1776-1782 at 928.9 million livres (as opposed to 2,270.5 million livres for the British), with another 125.2 million to be added for the year 1783! At the same time the total ordinary income of the French crown stood at 377.5 million livres for the year 1776. More than half of the cost of the war had to be funded by loans, and by the end of 1782 the total constituted debt of the French monarchy had reached 4,538 million livres. Even if most historians agree today that these additional outlays for the war were not the primary cause of the French Revolution, there can be no doubt that
4 All figures are taken from the various articles published by Sam Scott cited above. More than 1/4 of all desertions in the French forces occurred during the last three months before departure.
an extra billion livres in expenditures, and annual expenditures of some 207 million livres just to service the debt, did nothing to enhance the financial situation of the French monarchy between 1783 and the outbreak of the revolution in 1789.5
Most of these funds were spent on the navy: the annual naval budget rose from 33 million livres in 1775 to 169 million in 1780 and peaked at almost 200 million livres in 1782.6 During these same years, however, the army budget increased only marginally from 93.5 million in 1775 to 95 million in 1783.7 Expenditures on the American war were minimal within the overall French war effort. According to Claude C. Sturgill, “all of the monies directly appropriated for the entire cost” of Rochambeau’s little army amounted to exactly 12,730,760 livres or a little over 1% of the total cost of the war!8 In addition the American rebels received 18 million in loans, to be repaid after the war, as well as outright subsidies of about 9 million from the foreign affairs department and other aid for a total of about 48 million livres spent in support of the American Revolution.
For France, the American struggle for independence was never more than a side-show, a convenient “excuse” for resuming the century-old struggle against British supremacy in Europe and on the oceans of the world. But the financial figures are just one indication for the marginality of the expédition particulière within the French war effort. A look at the number of personnel involved also helps to place Rochambeau’s army in perspective. In 1780, the budgeted strength of the French line infantry, cavalry, and light troops stood at some 130,000 officers and men: the 6,000 men of Rochambeau’s troops formed but a small fraction of the total French military strength. In 1776, France had stationed 19 battalions of infantry in her Caribbean possessions; in the course of the war she sent another 29 battalions there for a total of 48 battalions. Rochambeau brought all of 8 infantry battalions with him in 1780. At Yorktown, Rochambeau suffered not even 200 casualties in dead and wounded: between March and December 1781, the French navy operating in the Caribbean suffered over 5,000 casualties, the equivalent of almost the entire force under Rochambeau’s command. In the disastrous defeat in the Battle of the Saints in April 1782, Admiral de Grasse suffered over 3,000 casualties, more than fifteen times what Rochambeau had lost before Yorktown.
What did France have to show for all her exertions? The answer is: not much if anything, not least because of the actions of her American allies. Not that she had wanted any territorial gain: in article 6 of the alliance of February 6, 1778, Louis XVI had “renounce[d] for ever the possession of the Islands of Bermudas as well as of any part of the continent of North america which [had been French] before the treaty of Paris in 1763.” Besides taking revenge on Britain for that treaty, Vergennes had wanted exclusive fishing rights off Newfoundland, or at the very least keep the British out. But when the time came to negotiate the peace settlement, he found out to his dismay that Franklin and his fellow commissioners had made peace without him in clear violation of article 8 of
5 All figures from Harris, “French Finances,” pp. 233-258. For a refutation of claims that a transfer of the ideology of the American Revolution played a significant role in the French Revolution of 1789 see the articles by Samuel Scott cited above.
6 Dull, Navy, pp. 346/47.
7 Sturgill, “French War Budget,” p. 182, and Sturgill, ” Money,” p. 24.
8 Sturgill, “Observations,” p. 183.
their 1778 agreement. “Neither of the two Parties shall conclude either Truce or Peace with Great Britain, without the formal consent of the other first (my emphasis) obtain’d.”
But that was exactly what Franklin and his colleagues had done when they signed the Preliminaries of Peace in November 1782, thereby forcing the French hand. Franklin told Vergennes that his negotiations with Britain behind Vergennes’ back were “a mere breach of etiquette,” but the Frenchman was under no illusion that if he would not agree to end the war on British and American terms, the Americans would sign a separate peace treaty with Britain, leaving the French to continue the war by themselves. France did not even gain the exclusive fishing rights she had wanted. In article 3 of the preliminaries the United States and Great Britain had agreed “that the People of the United States shall continue to enjoy unmolested the Right to take Fish of every kind on the Grand Bank, and on all the other Banks of Newfoundland; Also in the Gulph of St Laurence, and at all other Places in the Sea where the Inhabitants of both Countries used at any time here-tofore to fish.” An embittered Vergennes wrote to the Chevalier de la Luzerne, French representative in Philadelphia, that if “we can judge the future by what passes presently before our eyes we shall be paid badly for what we have done for the United States of America, and for having assured them of that title.”9
In the short run it seemed as if Vergennes’ prediction would come true. The alliance of 1778 had been an alliance of convenience, which had served its purpose once American independence had been won. In 1793, now President, Washington abrogated the 1778 treaties in light of the events of the French Revolution and the French declaration of war on Austria. The United States must not, and would not, get drawn into European affairs, the “foreign entanglements” of Washington’s Farewell Address.
Seven years later, in December 1800, the United States rather unceremoniously cancelled the “Perpetual Alliance” of 1778 and subsequent agreements altogether since they were not “able to agree at present” as to what the treaties implied. The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 reaffirmed American isolationism, and for the remainder of the century America looked west, to the Pacific Ocean, rather than east across the Atlantic.10
Events in Europe in the second decade of this century forced the United States to look to the Old World and to abandon her isolationist stance, at least temporarily. It was then that Vergennes too was proved wrong. In 1783, Count de Aranda, Spanish Ambassador to France, had written to Louis XVI that in America a “federal republic is born a pygmy but a day will come when it will be a giant, a colossus, formidable for this country.”11 That day came in 1917. Almost 135 years after France had helped ensure American
9 Quoted in Eccles, “French Alliance,” p. 161.
10 During the 1860s because of the attempts by Emperor Napoleon III of France to place Maximilian on the throne of Mexico, France and the United States came to blows over the enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine. It is one of the ironies of history that the French 99th Regiment of Infantry, the successor regiment to the Royal Deux-Ponts, whose standard then, as well as today, had the name “Yorktown” embroidered on it, would fight against American troops in Mexico in support of Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg.
11 Ibid., p. 162.
independence, America “paid her debt to Lafayette,” first in 1917/18, and again in 1944, when American troops under General Dwight D. Eisenhower helped liberate France.12
France honored General Eisenhower and his men with a Voie de la Liberté tracing their route from the beaches of Normandy to Paris and victory. Maybe the time has come for America to honor the comte de Rochambeau and his men — French, German, Irish, Dutch, Swiss and Swedish, Black and white — with a Voie de l’Indépendance tracing their route from Newport across Connecticut to Yorktown and victory.
MC, afraid Bob has a bit of a point, imho. Your people will need less sang-froid and more Saint Bartholomew’s Days (only not vs protestants this time).
Kim and Bob
you like to pass your true alliees under the bus,
a guess, it’s a old habit in the new world
so, don’t be surprised that we can’t forget it sometimes !
France’s failure to reproduce
um the same ratio as in the US, the 1rst in EU, and 90% from french origin
and our surburbs have a lower criminal rate than the US’
and represent 10 % of our later immigrants, all cofounded nationalities
MC, the jihadi sleepers, and the frozen dirigisme, together put the great nation of France en transit to third world status.
le moment est venu de chanter l’alarme
MC, you stand up pretty well for a Frog.:) Thanks for the account of the French role in the American revolution. You’ve got my curiosity up. I will read more.
I haven’t noticed your name here before. Welcome to the Belmont Club.
don’t worry, we may be are the awarest nation in EU of communautarism danger, and that’s why we still rely on our republican secular principles, besides we have more than a millenarium of history with the muslims, the late event were in the nineties terrorist attacks, but we were not helped by our perfid neighbour that diddn’t want to release us their GIA chief, until the London terrorist attacks
Bob, blindness is a quality by your standards
MC mon amie, est-il possible que vous danser et chanter dans le cimetiere?
The great era of French influence began at Hastings 1066 and ended at Moscow 1812. At Hastings William won by the steadfastness of his Breton wing –transplanted Englishmen, i believe Saxons chased off the island by the Angles and Jutes (those who stayed became the Welsh and Cornwalls). At Moscow there were no Anglo-Saxons to help, and the Volgamen and Asiatics won.
Great era of French influence began at Hastings 1066?
I’d reckon it began with Charles Martel and was amplified by his grandson Charlemagne.
We might be muslim if it wasn’t for Martel. There’s a neat eyewitness account of his battle against the Moors on The Medieval Source Book.
One bit of irony that just kills me about French linguistic/cultural arrogance (almost as bad as our arrogance about our own language) is that their condescending comments about the accents of Norman officials and students in Paris so angered one of the Norman kings of England that he declared English the official language and that ended any sporting chance of French becoming the dominant language of any place that mattered in the greater scheme of things.:)
budder no, I’m no “gothic” fan
though I guess what you ment
“At Moscow there were no Anglo-Saxons to help, and the Volgamen and Asiatics won.”
the English were fighting us too through monarchies coalitions
the first time we became both allieees was for Crimea war
“One bit of irony that just kills me about French linguistic/cultural arrogance (almost as bad as our arrogance about our own language) is that their condescending comments about the accents of Norman officials and students in Paris so angered one of the Norman kings of England that he declared English the official language and that ended any sporting chance of French becoming the dominant language of any place that mattered in the greater scheme of things”
It couldn’t be the Normans, they still were king of half of France too (through marriages), must be after the centenary war
because french was the court of England language, and imagine the reffinment that the english nobles added to it, when we were improving popular expressions
um, the reason was that the crown of England still had some requests upon french territories, and that until the 19th century, this is why they kept to study french, besides queen Elisabeth or Charles speak perfectly french.
Author Joseph Ellis,David McCullogh and others (I am not going into encyclopedic format) would of course recognize the “French guns” that our Gen Knox retrieved from Fort Ticonderoga and brought to Boston during that seige and placed on Dorchester Heights, thus forcing the British to abandon Boston…not a Frog in sight. And BTW taking Dorchester Heights was a stroke of military genius the British did not expect.
The facts, as I have stated were that the French fleet showed up much later than agreed to as the sat down in Carribean to see if they could pick off a few of the West Indies and it’s sugar. Only when it became apparent that that the Americans had the British bottled up at Yorktown did the French fleet move in to help.
Other than that they were basically a non factor in the victory Washington’s Army achieved.
You are correct that at that time Jacques Necker was bankrupting the French which of course lead to the French Revolution and the world ended up with Paris as the hub for every terrorist to hide out in ofr the next 150 years.
Let me add this to save you more keyboard time.
The French Army and Navy were, are, and forever will be the GREATEST fighting machine the world has ever seen or will ever see.
There ya go.
OK, the GREAT HABU, but you’v been brainwashed at your agence, I’m sorry
beside you haven’t proved your argument with any sources
The French Navy was the first to build an island landing strip camoflaged to look like an aircraft carrier.
“The French Navy was the first to build an island landing strip camoflaged to look like an aircraft carrier.”
So now we have to give the Fench credit for building an environmentally friendly aircraft carrier – no petroleum products used for propulsion.
and already in perfect combat position to invade uh, itself.
Ummmmmm Davod, if I remember correctly, the French have spent several years with one of their their last aircraft carriers a “ship of shame” looking for a place to be scrapped.
700 tonnnes of asbestos in the Clemenceau and the French were incapable of cleaning up their own mess.
Even the Indians wouldn’t touch it.
I think the English had to clean it up for them in the end.
hey lascars, “cry me a river….ahahahaha ooooh”
LOL –MC, you scamp, you!
80. Marie Claude
MC, no need for THE GREAT, just plain Habu will do nicely. I cited two known authors, both prize winning. I could name more but I’m not going to take the time.
The history is there. You are attempting to give credit in the Revolutionary War to a nation that fought the Seven Years War (French and Indian) to subdue the English colonists and establish dominion if not hegemony over the Colonies. The French lost that fight.
So then the American Revolution.
Where were the French at Boston?
Where were the French at New York?
Where were the French at Trenton?
Where were the French at Princeton?
Did the French fleet even attempt to stop the English armada sent to put down the revolution? No. Did they raid the English supply ships? No.
Were they at the mall? Damn near..sunning themselves in the Carribean. Their entire fleet.
When Washington’s Army was marching barefoot through the snow at Valley Forge, where were the French? Providing food and supplies..NO
Time and again the French hedged, waiting for another chance to establish hegemony if the Brits were weaken and withdrew and the Colonials were spent.
The French finally showed up at the end, way past the date they had promised when they saw Washington was going to gain the final victory. Yes, Washington liked the Marquis de Lafayette but Washington knew how to dig trenches prior to Lafayettes arrival at Yorktown.
The French as a whole were opportunists who blew their opportunity because they had bankrupted themselves attempting to do what they couldn’t do then and can’t do now …fight and win. The history is there. The French were on the margin and even then reluctantly.
I don’t suppose you want to talk about French colonial Africa or IndoChina.
You really snookered us on that last one.
La seule vraie contribution par la France a la guerre moderne, c’est la capitulation.
why not ? I can’t wait to read what you would bring on board !
La seule vraie contribution par les Etats-Unis à la guerre moderne, c’est le soutien aux fascites d’extrême droite de la terre entière, aux musulmans intégristes, excepté Saddam, va savoir pourquoi !!! uh si, il était un tyran séculaire, mais ce connard avait nationalisé les compagnies anglo-saxones qui exploitaient le petrole en Irak, et le bourreau de Bagdad était sur le point de faire payer ses factures en euros, putain de merde !!! c’est la banqueroute annoncée pour le dollar er… ummm, pour les cow-boys aussi LMAO
93. Marie Claude: How rude to exclude the American dudes ..shame on you.
The only true contribution by the United States to the modern war, it is the support for the fascites of extreme right-hand side of the whole ground, for the integrist Moslems, except Saddam, will know why!!! uh if, he were a secular tyrant, but this jerk had nationalized the companies anglo-saxones which exploited oil in Iraq, and the torturer of Baghdad was about to make pay his invoices in euros, whore of shit!!! it is the bankruptcy announced for the dollar er… ummm, for cow-boys also LMAO
So you are a typical French communist attempting to sell the same old tripe.
You froggies have nothing to be proud of..what I remember of France …picture of a little man on a horsey, a large building made with coathanger wire and a single teat showing woman in a painting shown holding a flag…
You should be on your knees thanking the USA for saving your ass in WWII ..WSL is correct, you do know how to surrender.
As for as Indochina, I remember how the colonists supported each other.
Mountbatten re-armed the surrendered Jap army and used them to keep Ho and his lot down while the French tied to cobble together some troops that knew which end of a gun the projectile came out and then the Royal Navy gave the Frogs a ride out to reclaim their colonies.
Didn’t last long.
Same idiotic mentality that built the Maginot Line built a fortress in a valley surrounded by mountains they assumed the Viet Minh couldn’t haul artillery over.
There was a difference between Dien Bien Phu and Saigon 1975, MC. We were already gone.
And our pseudo Frenchmen in the Democratic Party cut off military supplies and support to the South Vietnamese in their time of need.
It’s going to be a close run thing but French toxin might yet prove to be stronger than what’s left of western civilisation. It permeates everything.
The world is a poorer place for France’s existence since about 732 by my reckoning.
traité de Paris 1763, the British took over the french colonies, it wasn’t enough, they burnt houses and deported the French colons
no, tea party was yours ! but anything that could undermine the Brits was welcome for the French
Cheesapeake is a successful blocus, as well the divertion in the Caraibeans, that prevent the english armada to get along the eastern american coasts
sunning ? have you read how many died of sunning ?
why then that the history books mention Yorktown as the decisive battle ?
until there, the american army was kinda heteroclite and unprepared
Time and again the French hedged, waiting for another chance to establish hegemony if the Brits were weaken and withdrew and the Colonials were spent.
no, it wasn’t in the alliance treaty, but having a revenge on the Brits was quite a joyful dream
The French finally showed up at the end, way past the date they had promised when they saw Washington was going to gain the final victory. Yes, Washington liked the Marquis de Lafayette but Washington knew how to dig trenches prior to Lafayettes arrival at Yorktown.
umm, not quite !
The French response was swift and powerful. Washington retreated to his hastily erected Fort Necessity and awaited both reinforcements and a French attack. When the French attacked on July 3rd, Col. Washington had only 284 men fit for duty. By evening, in a pouring rain, with a third of his men dead or wounded and their powder wet, it was clear that the English position was untenable. The French offered terms, and Col. Washington surrendered. The French now, for a time, were masters of the Ohio country.
would you still pretend that he was such a good tactician ?
no, we had the same rights to be in America, this was a war against the english preheminence, that we unfortunately lost, but your people whose culture was anglo-saxon did quite a good job to eradicate what was french
I must say that Virginia still kept some remembrance for french help, La Fayette got a placee, idem for Louisiane…
otherwise the Anglo-saxon settlers made sure that the French that complied and that accepted the dominent rules, forgot the french culture and the french language
Habu, je pensais que tu étais un peu plus subtil que ça, tu n’as pas compris que je répondais à une idiotie de WSL !
mais je crois que tu partages le même esprit
so, je ne regrette rien LMAO
merci pour les insultes, j’en attendais pas de meilleures
Boby, fais dodo colas mon p’tit frère !
yeah, America is great, to lecture the others !
732, the Year of the Hammer.
Charlemagne & the Holy Roman Empire was a grand era for the area of France. Sullied somewhat by the Thirty Years War, said by many to have been the vilest conflict ever.
Yes, old Giap tried for a double Dien Bin Phu with Khe Sahn –same drill, hauling on human-back arty in pieces and digging it in deep (what really defeated the French air). B-52s then dropped more bombs on ‘em than the allies had expended in the entire WWII Pacific Theater thru 1943, and they went to the great commune in the sky.
what I remember of France …picture of a little man on a horsey, a large building made with coathanger wire and a single teat showing woman in a painting shown holding a flag…
tell me wasn’t it of an Arab ?
again I had like to see your source
Ave Caesar, your highness, may I polish your shoes ?
yeah, your parents were brave, but, you, and the alikes, aren’t of their stuff, you’re only their stoopid, arrogant, spoiled offsprings, that want to get litanies of compliements for what you haven’t done yourself
MC, beware, this thread has some tough hombres on it –who have indeed “done” a lot. Including me –why, it would take dozens of words to describe it all –
Gee, MC, your mother’s generation polished German shoes well enough from 1939 until we showed up.
But perhaps the French have never forgiven us for liberating them since their culture lacked the integrity and cajones to liberate itself or even defend itself in the first place.
It must be embarrassing for a culture so haughty, with so little reason to be, having to get bailed out again and again by upstarts.
Our parents were brave? I guess you have to admit that because it was your country we liberated. And then kept your buddies the commies at bay while the French continued to betray their culture, and freedom, and the responsibility for taking responsibility for their actions, or lack of same.
We’re still defending western civilisation against the barbarians, and not much help from the euro weenies who have forgotten or rejected the spiritual and perceptual basis of western civilisation and can no longer even figure out why they should defend it.
Sometimes words aren’t enough, MC.
And I just love the irony of your use of the term arrogant; the pot calling the kettle black. At least the Yanks’kettle still holds water and can still take the heat.
French culture is all mouth and no ass, MC. A legend in its own mind.
Boby,do you provide shoe shine ?
“We’re still defending western civilisation against the barbarians ?”
how clever, the Barbarians never were so powerful since you were after them ! please don’t mess outside your borders anymore.
“And I just love the irony of your use of the term arrogant”
isn’t it funny ? this is the quality you allotted us, must be your anglo-saxon hubris LMAO
“French culture is all mouth and no ass”
umm you don’t speak french, that’s why you can’t appreciate it, beside english language became “culturable” thanks to us
I’m telling you that you are beyond your feets, the educated elite (right and left) of your country learnt to think thanks to our culture
your con elite insults people and countries anytime they don’t comply to your interests
and you wonder why the whole world don’t rever you anymore ! because you have become a “monster”
sorry for the people of your country that are not of that (your) sort
Buddy, no offense intended to raisonable persons, like you
MC, we have been picking up after your nuanced nancies for 70 years.
Talk all you want. It and French culture mean SFA in the real world. The French talked in 1939, 1953-54 and 1954-62 and lost all three times.
Perhaps we will both watch with amusement developments in each other’s countries over the next 10 years.
I know where I would place my bets, given France’s historical track record.
But only time will tell.
Personally I think the US should not intervene again to save Europe from itself and its goofball mental projections (including Marxism and Fascism). Possible exceptions would be Poland, the Baltics, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
My only concern with France is that it’s little pile of nuclear weapons would fall under the control of its replacement population, the one that already lives there. Perhaps we shall have to nuke or snatch them.
Do you think you shall grow old in comfort on a French pension given France’s likely future, MC? You reckon all your Mohammeds are going to go out and earn big money and pay taxes to keep your pension up?
you won’t have that chance
the Chinese said it “dollar is over”
the Russians said your union will separate
but some other say that Mexico and Canada will join it
the most probableis that they will annex some convenient states
so, in these times revolution the original confederation of the 13 states will find its shape back
don’t count on us to bail out your reconquista then
you’re going to eat the black bread
107. Marie Claude
I’ve made my points. History will judge which country was the most important, made the greatest impact, and produced more freedom for mankind. Let me give you a hint. I won’t be the French. Finally.
You said. yeah, your parents were brave, but, you, and the alikes, aren’t of their stuff, you’re only their stoopid, arrogant, spoiled offsprings, that want to get litanies of compliements for what you haven’t done yourself Well we have a saying, “It ain’t bragging if you’ve done it”
You haven’t mentioned much about what your life has amounted to. I assure you I can top your achievements with real world deeds on every continent on this globe.
As for the rest of my generation, well , like all generations we have our successes and failures. Bill Gates and his ilk have provided us with a portion of this great computer software archetecture. Other boomers at places like IBM have pushed speeds beyond comprehension. We’ve outdone the entire world combined in achievements. It’s not even close.
We have been more philanthropic than any generation in history and been the greatest producers per capita the world has ever seen.
The French are socialist,scared to death of their Muslim population, aren’t reproducing at a sustainable rate, aren’t very productive and in general,as I have stated, have been a pain in the ass for the free world.
Why you insist on offering challenges to us verses your superiority is risible.
Enjoy your fantasy. Enjoy your communism, but realise it doesn’t play well here in the USA.
I shall waste no more time responding to your absurdities, life’s too short to argue with a frog.
MC, that’s six months behind-the-times. Les utilisateurs de langue anglaise ont appris qu’il est nécessaire de sauvegarder. Comme d’habitude, nous allons aller de l’avant première du monde et de réparation pour toutes les autres personnes.
“You haven’t mentioned much about what your life has amounted to.”
surviving is quite a long life hobby
You haven’t mentioned much about what your life has amounted to.
there a few discoveries and inventions that we can be proud of in transport, in medecine, in war strategies, in images production… in litterature and arts or ideas in which you borrowed a lot
Bill Gates and his ilks ? I am glad that you’re referring to them as of your family, I read sometimes that you consider them as dirty lefties
question of era, the Chineses, the indians, the arabs, the Incas, the Mayas… the Cromagnons made it too in their eras, with the “good” and the “bad”, or if you prefer a more nuanced term the “yin” and the yang”
all right, seen from your prism, but I don’t care we are happy with our system, don’t blur yourself with your logical propheties, our birth rate is 2,2% (and not from muslims’), our production rate per hour is the higher in the world, I concede you when we are not on vacations ! but sometimes it’s better to conciliate a family life, leasures and work in harmony, I know, you work 10 h a day x6 days, umm how long people stay on computers to watch porn, or chat, or play pogo games ? beside you don’t product anything anymore, all made in China or whatever, your economy is based on virtual services and up to lately in banking… see your future is vascillant
philantropy, yeah, dollars papers made that, one should look behind the curtains too
why argumenting anyway ! LMAO
life’s too short to argue with a frog.
consider you had preferred to subjugate us, and we may agree
Buddy, I hope that for you
Wie wir in diesem Land sagen. Sie erhielten kein Spiel.
Habu, Sie sind kein Spieler aber ein Betrüger
Sie tricksen mit einem Gefühl der Überlegenheit
Jedes Mal, wenn Sie versuchen zu lügen, ich werde hinter Ihrem Rücken sein.
Aufwiedersehen, mein Herr Kaporal
Hoe het het spelen voelt loop de hele tijd de achterstand in, kennend u can’ t bereikt ooit uw doel?
OK, t’es un singe savant, même pas drôle
ha ha –you two LOVE each other’s wit –despite yourselves –
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