This one almost looks like a picture of someones model kit. :lol:
French had Baby-Blue uniforms?
*must resist urge to make French joke*
RR, you really shouldn't make a joke about France and WWI. She paid the price then. WWI was what made France into the mere shell of herself she is today (okay, the Revolution is responsible for a lot of France's problems, but I mean militarily.) Dead and still-missing - almost 2,000,000. Wounded? Another 4,000,000>. Over 3/4 of France's entire mobilized forces were wounded. Think about that. Three out of every four soldiers, sailors and airmen that were sworn into the French armed forces had their bodies torn or broken in that war.
We talk about Britain's "lost generation", and she did suffer horribly (over 1,000,000 dead and missing, and total casualties over 35% of armed forces). But France truly did lose almost an entire generation of its manhood.
The French generals were even more reckless with their men's lives than the British, and they continually attacked even when the strategic situation called for defense. They wasted their men far more profligately than even a butcher the likes of Sir Douglas Haig. And they used the language of the 18th and 19th century in talking about the "honored dead" and their "glorious sacrifice" which would "never be forgotten", and so on.
The French people saw this, and of course virtually every family in France lost someone. Thus a terrible cynicism about patriotism, the military, the French government and authority in general was born. The church, already badly damaged by over a century of post-Revolution un-belief, went onto virtual life-support, where it still languishes today.
WWI is the reason France folded like it did in WWII. In 1940, wounds of 1914-18 still open, the people didn't trust their generals or their leaders, and saw no reason to sacrifice their lives as in WWI. So they laid down their arms and lived. And to this day most Frenchmen don't believe in anything but their own lives.
So don't joke about France and what she did in WWI - she gave so much she still hasn't recovered.
I know of the French losses, and I wasn't trying to make fun of the dead. But who fights a war with baby-blue uniforms? Atleast the Jerries had grey/brown.
Then again, when you and the enemy stay in fixed positions for years on end, the color doesn't matter much, does it?
Well, ya got a point.
RexRaptor;3758063I know of the French losses, and I wasn't trying to make fun of the dead. But who fights a war with baby-blue uniforms? Atleast the Jerries had grey/brown. [/quote]
The color is blue horizon for trench warfare.The brown was the color of the colonial units.
[quote=jumjum;3757725] WWI is the reason France folded like it did in WWII. In 1940, wounds of 1914-18 still open, the people didn't trust their generals or their leaders, and saw no reason to sacrifice their lives as in WWI. So they laid down their arms and lived. And to this day most Frenchmen don't believe in anything but their own lives.
Good explanation, But about 1940, french didn't really give up in 1940. With 100000 to 120000 KIA, you can't really say they "saw no reason to sacrifice their lives as in WWI". It is rather the old Petainist version which survives over the decades " i'm your father, poor french people" where vichy has openely break french moral to control it more easily with the paternal face of Petain.
French surrendered because they had no more reserve, no more capacity to resist, no more allies to fight correctly on 2 fronts ... France had lost most of his equipment and good units in the north and its reserve on the Loire and lack in modern warfare. GB couldn't send troops before the next spring And USA only cares about their business. So no need to find extra reason.
Joke about french army etc ... is only done by redneck. It just make the joker stupid
Good points Seth Soldier. I took a course this year at university that focused on France and the occupation during WWII and much of what you mentioned played a large role in how events unfolded.
Only one thing i kind of disagree with, the whole giving up in 1940, it seemed that long before the war began France had given up on winning another continental war. Much of this was due to the very fragile state of government and how politics were carried out post WWI, but it was also partly due to the large losses incurred during WWI as well.
Instead of developing a very modern army, they government decided to put most of its funds into building the Maginot line, already it seemed that France was focusing on defense and if another war with Germany broke out, they felt they could only defend instead of attack. One theory behind the defensive choice was the belief that the French total population could not provide for an offensive war since the total pop. had declined dramatically after WWI while Germany's had continued to grow.
Also the mindset of the troops going to the front was not like the first war, they remembered the losses and gruesome injuries of WWI and they also remembered the success of Nazi Germany's involvement in the Spanish Civil war. This, coupled with the targeting of the Allied C3 (command, control, communications) and the bypassing of the maginot line, sealed the fate of France. Many troops fought valiantly but with no command structure, the allies fell apart and fell back to the coast.
There were some officers such as DeGaulle who pushed for new forms of warfare and equipment such as mass tank formations, but due to old viewpoints and the almost molasses like state of the government in the years leading up the 1939 (it is rumoured that DeGaulle pitched his ideas directly to Leon Blum but Blum couldnt focus becase his phone was ringing every five minutes with another complaint), nothing changed in time for the eventual war.
By the time the French forces began to re-arm and re-equip in the face of the gathering storm clouds of war it was far too late and the rest as we say is history. So you could say the seeds of the French defeat in 1940 were sown long before the battles took place.
I totally agree with you though that the French Forces are some of the best troops out there today, and throughout history. Although those blue uniforms...;)
indeed ;), About maginot lines, it wasn't supposed to be a pure defensive but give the time for the mobilization and slow ennemy movment. Like you said ww1 has bleed french people, so facing a country 2 time bigger, ww1 conception which has led to victory (petain lines system) stayed. (contrary to germany which has developped the blitzkrieg because of the restriction ....) Petain is also one of the person responsible for this defensive position about the equipment (about tank, french has multiple war plans but it is the infantry tank which has been chosen because of ww1 experience ). The fact that france was re-arming is also an important point like you said. In 1941, french would have certainly been able to stopped germany. Weygand lines has proved to be efficient but due to the lack of equipment (aa,mine, tank and reserve) failed.
=p thx for support to kill this myth, the more we are , the easiest it will be to kill it ;)
Seth_Soldier;3758422But about 1940, french didn't really give up in 1940....
I agree with that, and agree as well as that the French didn't just give up without any reason - they found themselves hopelessly out-maneuvered by Germany's blitzkrieg. But the fact remains that France did not sacrifice nearly as much in WWII as she did in WWI, some reasons for which I suggested above. IMO if Great Britain or the US had suffered the same proportional casualties as the French in WWI, their attitude about opposing Germany in WWII might well may have been very different.
What amazes me is that Germany, which also suffered devastating casualties in WWI (some 7,000,000 killed, wounded or MIA - a 65% casualty rate) could have even contemplated fighting a war, with the same opponents, so soon afterwards. Even more remarkable to me is that WWII for Germany was not a war for the literal defense of its borders, but was aimed at outright conquest of other nations, and thus, arguably at least, was "optional". It seems to me that had the Germans been victorious in WWI, or at least come out of it without feeling so aggrieved, perhaps they would have been less eager to have sacrificed another generation of young men.
A couple of possible lessons here. The first is that we should never underestimate the power of a nation's hunger to avenge a perceived humiliation. The second might be called the Patton school of thought, that "the Hun is either at your knees or at your throat". That is, the Germans' collective warlike nature is such that the winners can never be sure they have really won unless Germany has been utterly laid waste.
Me, I'm not sure that going significantly lighter on Imperial Germany in 1919 would necessarily have prevented the rise of Hitler and WWII. Maybe, but I wonder if it might not have been more convincing to the German people if the Allies had ignored the German request for a cease-fire, and continued fighting until no one could deny that Germany's armies had been militarily defeated. As it was the argument could be made, and most certainly was made, that the German armies didn't lose, but were "stabbed in the back" blah blah.
The supposed unfair humiliations imposed at Versailles (remember Germany started WWI just as much if not more than WWII) might not have been the burr under the saddle it became if the German people had to admit to themselves and the world that their asses had been well and truly kicked. A thorough whipping, fairly given, sometimes works to give the whip-ees a marvelously clear sense of reality.
Oh, yeah, color WWI photos are, uh, great. Sorry about that. Again.