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Thread: The Ultimate French Failure!

  1. #1
    Member Megas Methuselah's Avatar
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    Thumbs up The Ultimate French Failure!

    Remember that old joke? You know: "The French would rather eat and make love with their faces than fight." Yeah, the old stereotypical cowardly French.

    Well, guess what just happened!!

    I was fightin a 2v2 battle on mp and, to make a long story short, it ended up being a very balanced battle. GB (me), Prussia vs Austria and France. However, the Austrians and French ended up winning the ensuing melee by a very small margin. My entire army broke, but while I was being forgotten, a battered unit of 9 artillerymen reformed a pathetically small line.

    So, the French and Austrians finish off my Prussian ally, then notice my artillerymen manning their mortars on the other side of the map. So, to end the game quickly, they charge their survivors across the map to take me out.

    A 40-or-so man unit of French line infantry, backed up by an artillery unit less than half that size finally reached me well before their Austrian allies did. They were all that the French had left. However, my mortars wouldn't fire, as the horses musta ran off with the ammo or something. So here I am, groaning at my inevitable defeat. My ally and I were counting on one shot from my mortar to rout the French, who were thoroughly exhausted from their long run.

    In exasperation, I charged my 9-man unit of artillery at the French. I was cursing the horses for routing with the mortar ammo when I noticed, amazingly enough, my 9 artillerymen quickly routed 50-60 French soldiers in the melee following a ridiculously pitiful charge! WTH?!?!?!?! I couldn't stop laughing!

    Then a much larger unit of Austrian line infantry charged and slaughtered my remaining 2 artillerymen. It was a good battle and, excluding the French (who's general, coincidentally, was the only one to not die fighting. He routed early), everyone fought bravely.

  2. #2
    Member Member Dradem's Avatar
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    Wink Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Don't laugh with the french
    just type in Google french military victories and then press I'm feeling Lucky

    apologizes to everyone whose french or none french and finds this offensive
    New lords, new laws

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  3. #3
    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dradem View Post
    Don't laugh with the french
    just type in Google french military victories and then press I'm feeling Lucky

    apologizes to everyone whose french or none french and finds this offensive
    Thats pretty silly though really. France has won as many if not more victories than most other European nations. It's onlry recently that they have been beaten in combat.

    Those French soldiers clearly thought that the artillery men had something up there sleeve, and legged it before they could find out your cunning plan.

    "No one could be stupid enough to attack with 9 men... it must be a trap!"


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  4. #4
    Member Member Maleficus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Beane View Post
    It's onlry recently that they have been beaten in combat.


    I would remind you, good sir:


    Battle of Agincourt

    Battle of Crecy

    Battle of Poitiers

    Battle of Pavia
    "Romanes Eunt Domus"

    - Brian of Nazareth


    "We always have been, we are, and I hope we always shall be, detested in France."

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  5. #5
    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maleficus View Post
    Yes they lost a couple of battles, but they probably won as many as they lost. You'll notice that despite the so called poor military of the French Britain was eventually driven right out of France, and never managed to take any of it again. Then look at the rampage Napoleon went on. He was so succesful that certain rulers dubbed him the anti-christ.

    I think it was on QI (a sough of urban-myth busting program for those who haven't seen it) where they looked at the ratio of wins to losses and found that France actually have one of the best records of a European country.


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  6. #6
    Member Member Maleficus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Beane View Post
    Yes they lost a couple of battles, but they probably won as many as they lost. You'll notice that despite the so called poor military of the French Britain was eventually driven right out of France, and never managed to take any of it again. Then look at the rampage Napoleon went on. He was so succesful that certain rulers dubbed him the anti-christ.


    On the other hand, if Henry V had managed to live a few months longer he would've been king of France too.



    Napoleon was an exception to the rule. Praising the French military on the basis of Napoleon's successes is like saying Macedonia have a tremendous military record just because they were top for a decade or so under Alexander.


    Besides, even Bonaparte couldn't beat the good ol' Duke of Wellington.....
    "Romanes Eunt Domus"

    - Brian of Nazareth


    "We always have been, we are, and I hope we always shall be, detested in France."

    - Arthur Wellesly

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Originally posted by Maleficus
    I would remind you, good sir:


    Battle of Agincourt

    Battle of Crecy

    Battle of Poitiers

    Battle of Pavia
    Judging the performance of a nation in war is somewhat innapropriate, especially between completely different eras - things depend on circumstances, numbers, resources, technologies available, wealth and assistance from allies/other powers in the struggle.

    In the medieval times the English Military was quite small but professional and effective, while the French one was large in numbers but was lacking good leadership and organisation.

    However, smart commanders and strategists like Bertrand Du Guesclin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_du_Guesclin), bypassed completely the enemy strengths (the longbows) because the English tactics were static and reactive by nature - they demanded the enemy to attack. Guesclin didnt gave battle often, and when he did he made sure that the conditions fully favored the French armies. He played on the French strengths; that is the vastness of the land and French numbers that meant the English could not maintain sieges (that were essential in winning as otherwise proper control of the land could not be established) for too long. This is what gave rise to their raiding strategy - the dreaded English Chevauche.

    Guesclin often defeated them without even giving battle or in ambushes (in a memorable encounter he even caught them off guard by a noisy ambush (he had trumpeteers blowing as the cavalry charged) that came while the English sieging army was... admiring a bunch of French peasant girls asked to stroll by the other side of the ambush on purpose). Now all this doesnt sound the heroic, manly way to fight wars - but it was smart and effective and it paid dividens for France at the time.

    Agincourt, Crecy and Poitiers are indeed great and crushing victories - and there were many minor ones too for the English armies of the time. French Voctories however did also take place and although some were not less great, they are far less trumpeted, especially by English-speaking people, Say for example the battle of Patay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Patay), were the inspirational guidance of Jean D Arc actually caught the lonbows off guard and the French Knights charge devatsted them giving a swift and crushing defeat for the English for almost nil French casualties (3? IIRC), the lonbowman corps of whom never recovered its strength since (as it took a long time to train men to use the longbow).

    By the end of the 100 years war the English army was becoming obsolete, while the French army by comparison was *modernised* in structure, organisation, doctrine and equipment.

    Napoleon was an exception to the rule. Praising the French military on the basis of Napoleon's successes is like saying Macedonia have a tremendous military record just because they were top for a decade or so under Alexander.

    Besides, even Bonaparte couldn't beat the good ol' Duke of Wellington.....
    There is no comparison between Napoleon and Wellington in military achievements and insights. Napoleon is up there with the greats, if not the greatest of them - while Wellington was an averagely good commander that gets his fame primarily for... having beat Napoleon once under the conditions that he did beat him. World history has also judged Napoleon thus - except perhaps English history.

    Last edited by gollum; 03-13-2009 at 11:41.
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Charles Martel, Charlemagne, Bertrand du Guesclin, The Great Conde, Vicomte du Turenne, Vauban, Claude Louis Hector de Villars, Maurice de Saxe, The Marquis de la Fayette (whom, at least, Americans should know)...

    Is Napoleon an exception to the rule? I suppose Massena, Davout, Desaix, Soult, etc., etc., etc. must be exceptions to the same rule. Continuing on, what about Jean-Baptiste Estienne (father of the Tank) and Ferdinand Foch?

    The Google search thing has long since gone beyond funny to being just plain stupid and ignorant.
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  9. #9
    Member Member Kulgan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    That google search joke is indeed retarded, my orginal answer used to be :

    Try and type ' american idiot ' and watch getting thousands of hits. But I won't because it's retarded.

  10. #10
    Loitering Senior Member AussieGiant's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Yes indeedy,

    the myopic view of a few individuals, based on the last 80 years, should do nothing to deter those French who know and love the previous 1400 years of history in which gore, guts and not less that a few major ass kicking’s make up a pretty good set of success stories.


  11. #11
    Confiscator of Swords Member dopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Do the French get their 'cowardly' reputation from World War 2? They seem to be really good up to that point.
    Last edited by dopp; 03-13-2009 at 13:27.

  12. #12
    Loitering Senior Member AussieGiant's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by dopp View Post
    Do the French get their 'cowardly' reputation from World War 2? They seem to be really good up to that point.
    spot on dopp, up until then, the French were a bunch of fairly aggressive blood thirsty chaps.

    I'd describe them as a mixed bag of results though...

    ...a couple of periods of outstandingly successful savagery in the middle ages and the time of Napoleon, spread amongst some down periods of average success

  13. #13
    Member Member Maleficus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    There is no comparison between Napoleon and Wellington in military achievements and insights.

    I didn't say there was.

    I said Wellington beat Napoleon and that is fact, not opinion.
    "Romanes Eunt Domus"

    - Brian of Nazareth


    "We always have been, we are, and I hope we always shall be, detested in France."

    - Arthur Wellesly

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    Member Member Oleander Ardens's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Battle_of_Formigny

    Battle_of_Castillon

    Battle_of_Patay

    Battle_of_Bauge


    Looks like the English did a good deal of running too.


    In WWII the British got just as hammered as the French by the brilliant German offensives with inferior forces (expect the airforce) The only big difference was that they got bugger off to an Island to fight another day and most French forces could not. Every major British victory against German forces after the airbattle over Britain (arguably with odds on the British side) is down to massive amounts of material, men and most of all huge allies. Among them the small Free French forces you did well.
    Last edited by Oleander Ardens; 03-13-2009 at 13:49.
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    Loitering Senior Member AussieGiant's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    There you go guys. Things seem to be getting a little more balanced now.

  16. #16
    Member Member Maleficus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Don't laugh with the french
    just type in Google french military victories and then press I'm feeling Lucky

    apologizes to everyone whose french or none french and finds this offensive
    Today 09:13




    I tried the google search, just to see what happened. TBH, even I expected more than this:



    "Romanes Eunt Domus"

    - Brian of Nazareth


    "We always have been, we are, and I hope we always shall be, detested in France."

    - Arthur Wellesly

  17. #17
    Confiscator of Swords Member dopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Well, Britain also did a lot of 'running away' in WW2. In Asia, I found that Britain (surprise, surprise) has the reputation for poor fighting spirit, after some really bad defeats in Burma and Malaya during WW2. Is the pot calling the kettle black?
    Last edited by dopp; 03-13-2009 at 16:20.

  18. #18
    Member Member 0rly?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    I think the main point is that the British did considerably better than the french throughout pretty much every period in history, 100 years war anyone?.....

  19. #19
    Member Member Maleficus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by 0rly? View Post
    I think the main point is that the British did considerably better than the french throughout pretty much every period in history, 100 years war anyone?.....


    I'd keep quiet about that one if I were you. Yeah, Henry was named heir to the French throne, but he died first and it was all downhill from there......






    *Quickly references peninsular war. Hopes no one notices*
    "Romanes Eunt Domus"

    - Brian of Nazareth


    "We always have been, we are, and I hope we always shall be, detested in France."

    - Arthur Wellesly

  20. #20
    Member Member 0rly?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    until they got back to the top of the hill again am i right?...

  21. #21

    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Originally posted by Maleficus
    I didn't say there was.

    I said Wellington beat Napoleon and that is fact, not opinion.
    Originally posted by gollum
    There is no comparison between Napoleon and Wellington in military achievements and insights. Napoleon is up there with the greats, if not the greatest of them - while Wellington was an averagely good commander that gets his fame primarily for... having beat Napoleon once under the conditions that he did beat him. World history has also judged Napoleon thus - except perhaps English history.
    Please make sure you read my posts next time you reply to them. Thanks.

    Anyway the demographics of this thread shows who is who and why who is what.

    Dearest Brits, its Friday and its getting pub time so lets all drink to your lovely country and your brave people - but without nationalistic prides involved please.



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    Member Member Maleficus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by 0rly? View Post
    until they got back to the top of the hill again am i right?...


    Not really. We kicked their arses all over the place for a while, culminating in King Henry being promised the French throne so long as he could outlive King Charles. Unfortunately, some pesky French chef (probably) fed Henry some dodgy eggs.

    Anyway, the French got damn lucky because Henry died (of dyssentry) only a few months before Charles did (of I'm not sure what, possibly old age, I can't be bothered to check right now).

    So the English throne passed to Henry VI who was a baby and so unable (and later unwilling) to fight himself.

    The French had some good luck, the English had some bad luck. Before you know it England's holdings in France were reduced to Calais.


    We didn't really give them a good kicking again until the 1750's when we booted them out of Canada.
    "Romanes Eunt Domus"

    - Brian of Nazareth


    "We always have been, we are, and I hope we always shall be, detested in France."

    - Arthur Wellesly

  23. #23
    Member Member 0rly?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maleficus View Post
    Not really. We kicked their arses all over the place for a while, culminating in King Henry being promised the French throne so long as he could outlive King Charles. Unfortunately, some pesky French chef (probably) fed Henry some dodgy eggs.

    Anyway, the French got damn lucky because Henry died (of dyssentry) only a few months before Charles did (of I'm not sure what, possibly old age, I can't be bothered to check right now).

    So the English throne passed to Henry VI who was a baby and so unable (and later unwilling) to fight himself.

    The French had some good luck, the English had some bad luck. Before you know it England's holdings in France were reduced to Calais.


    We didn't really give them a good kicking again until the 1750's when we booted them out of Canada.
    My point being that it wasn't all "downhill" from there as you said. as we went to shape the world as we know it.

    All this is besides the point anyway, the french get their bad name as "cheese eating surrender monkeys" because they promptly surrendered and collaborated with the Germans early in WW2

    We may have beat a retreat from a few fights in our time but never in our own back yard.

  24. #24

    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by 0rly? View Post
    I think the main point is that the British did considerably better than the french throughout pretty much every period in history, 100 years war anyone?.....
    Not really. Britain and its various peoples have spent the majority of known history as a backwater on the peripheral of the major European power of the time. For all of the English military successes during the hundred years war, it still ended with the French ascendant on the stage of European affairs and England reduced to a minor power for the next several centuries.

  25. #25
    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re : Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maleficus View Post

    OMG WAIT, no other country/kingdom/dukedom lost battles during the middle age, right?

    I could list as many battles won by French people, and that still wouldn't change the fact that from 1204 to 1940, France had been the most feared, and arguably the most powerful European country, and kicked pretty much everybody's ass at some point.
    Probably, there must have been a reason to this.
    The reason France lost some battles/wars badly is because the country has been chronically led by conservatives people, who were reluctant to use any modern doctrine/strategy (ie. heavy knights charges during most of the HYW, defensive trench warfare during WW2), and often divided on a domestic level (it was true during the HYW, but also during WW2).

    And Napoleon isn't the only successful french general. I suggest you read a few history books before posting such things.

    So yeah, linking a few different battles before saying 'lol dude the french r suxxorz' make you look bad.
    Last edited by Meneldil; 03-13-2009 at 14:44.

  26. #26
    Member Member 0rly?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Varam View Post
    Not really. Britain and its various peoples have spent the majority of known history as a backwater on the peripheral of the major European power of the time. For all of the English military successes during the hundred years war, it still ended with the French ascendant on the stage of European affairs and England reduced to a minor power for the next several centuries.
    delicious sour grapes

  27. #27
    Member Member Maleficus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Strategy View Post
    Is Napoleon an exception to the rule? I suppose Massena, Davout, Desaix, Soult, etc., etc., etc. must be exceptions to the same rule.
    That'd be the same Massena Wellesley beat at Fuentes de Onoro, would it?




    And Soult, who lost at Grijo, Porto, Sorauren, Nivelle, Nive and Orthez? Wow, he must have been good!
    "Romanes Eunt Domus"

    - Brian of Nazareth


    "We always have been, we are, and I hope we always shall be, detested in France."

    - Arthur Wellesly

  28. #28

    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Being a patriot is a good thing - being stubborn and one-sided is not. Have it your way.

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  29. #29
    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re : The Ultimate French Failure!

    All this is besides the point anyway, the french get their bad name as "cheese eating surrender monkeys" because they promptly surrendered and collaborated with the Germans early in WW2

    We may have beat a retreat from a few fights in our time but never in our own back yard.
    Surely, being on an Island, with huge colonies to fight for you (hint: India), might help, right? If you still think nowadays that the British Isles have never been invaded (on a serious scale) since the early middle-age because of some inherent british awesomeness, well, that's good for you.

    delicious sour grapes
    England indeed became a minor European power after the HYW (mostly because of the internal divisions that followed the war), and it took quite some time for it to regain her former rank.

    That'd be the same Massena Wellesley beat at Fuentes de Onoro, would it?
    The fact he lost some battles doesn't make him any less successful. And, dear god, even some anglo-saxon historians regard him as one of the best military leader of the era.

    Anyway, glad to see that British nationalists look as funny now as they did 100-200 years ago Do you still think of Napoleon as a baby-eating ogre?
    Last edited by Meneldil; 03-13-2009 at 15:01.

  30. #30
    Member Member 0rly?'s Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ultimate French Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by gollum View Post
    Being a patriot is a good thing - being stubborn and one-sided is not. Have it your way.


    you were right earlier, 'tis friday!!!

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