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Old 04-28-2014, 05:19 PM
 
554 posts, read 683,713 times
Reputation: 622

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muscovite View Post
Thanks. Interesting. I hope that Strasbourg isn't dangerous. I'm going to visit to it someday.
I was there for only a hour during the midday and haven't any problems, but perhaps I was fortunate. The only thing that annoyed me was that some jesting fellows garbaged a little in the basilica.

I heard that some people find Marseille dangerous, but haven't been there.
Strasbourg is quite safe.

When I mean dangerous it's not war zones. You're still unlikely to have any trouble, but much more than somewhere else, especially at night.

Marseille's problems are pickpockets and drug dealers. So for you, only pickpockets. Anyway, in most big French cities there is a pickpocket problem. It's like some people think it's a normal job. And it's quite hard for the police to stop them. Violent problems are very very rare in the whole country but if you are part of a gang or you are really really looking for troubles. I think the main risk is rape for girls, but no more than in any developed country. In the last 3 years in Paris, I saw only one fight (no blood).. and I go out a LOT at night. But I saw, and were the victim once, of pickpockets quite a few times, and almost everyone I know were at least a victim once.

 
Old 04-28-2014, 05:23 PM
 
1,419 posts, read 1,332,197 times
Reputation: 1094
Default Vichy France

Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
I've seen it all the time. Depictions, jokes in the American media about how the French are cowardly, eat cheese and surrender. It's ironic though, since France was at times among the most powerful countries militarily in many times in history. Napoleon's army, for instance, was quite a force to be reckoned with. Even today, the French are pretty tough. For instance, as a contemporary example they intervened in Mali when many countries wouldn't. The French Foreign Legion is well known for it's toughness. Why then is there the opposite perception, that the French can't put up a good fight?

Where did it start and how did it become an idea of mockery as part of popular culture? Did it start from WWII? If so, I'd find it odd that French people get singled out in history as many groups, peoples and nations have been on the losing/surrendering end at least once in their history.

... or a witticism from the first Gulf War. "Taking the French into battle, is like taking an accordion deer hunting."
 
Old 04-29-2014, 09:42 AM
 
Location: London
4,336 posts, read 3,628,376 times
Reputation: 1977
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miserere View Post
John

But Nazis failed to realize that the Lebensraum Theory does not work on heavely populated territories or taking up land of powerful countries. The Americans had success because they invaded wild, almost empty land, and when they took California from Mexico, the territory was scarcely populated, also Argentina, as Argentinians tried to remove entirely all the Indian population and Australia.
The German idea was to create a German USA by expanding east. The population was too big in the east so it would be eliminated, like the Americans did to the native Indians. Indeed the Germans started this elimination process as they moved east as we all know. The acquired territory would be populated by Germans as the Americans did in the conquered lands to the west.
 
Old 04-30-2014, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Port Murray
239 posts, read 341,535 times
Reputation: 139
Goodness, we don't dislike the French, but right about now, we cannot focus on old wars, but instead terrorism, which is currently in our radar.
 
Old 05-01-2014, 11:49 AM
 
9,815 posts, read 10,048,698 times
Reputation: 5248
Honestly, I think it is simply a backlash to the perception that French regard America as culturally inferior. It's similar to the reaction many people have to the rich. People tend to think that the rich are more morally bankrupt than the poor.

It is a distasteful stereotype. In WWII the French were not more cowardly, they just simply were overwhelmed by a military force that was far more massive. There was no difference with Poland, BENELUX, or Sudetenland. After Mussolini was forced out of power, Nazi Germany simply walked through Italy as well.

Britain fought bravely, but they would eventually have been conquered if Germany had not chosen to go to war with Russia.
 
Old 05-01-2014, 12:02 PM
 
Location: London
4,336 posts, read 3,628,376 times
Reputation: 1977
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
It is a distasteful stereotype. In WWII the French were not more cowardly, they just simply were overwhelmed by a military force that was far more massive.
French forces were larger than German.
Quote:
Britain fought bravely, but they would eventually have been conquered if Germany had not chosen to go to war with Russia.
You need to do some reading on WW2.
 
Old 05-01-2014, 12:39 PM
 
554 posts, read 683,713 times
Reputation: 622
Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post
French forces were larger than German.
No, they weren't. During the Battle of France, Germany had more soldiers than France. But they had fewer if you add the UK, Netherlands and Belgium. They had also more aircraft, but were less motorized. And French were fighting Italians in the south as well.
In 1939 Germany had 70 millions inhabitants, France 41 millions without colonies (which gave some soldiers, but needed some as well for obvious reasons).
Because France had a low birth rate since many decades, French soldiers were significantly older than Germans. France had to conscript almost all its male manpower from the first day. That's one of the reasons French troops were less effective than Germans, many units were composed of farmers, teachers, etc.. while Germans troops were more young and professional.

Anyway. French soldiers didn't lose the war, in many confrontation they did quite good. But French leaders (and in some way their allies too) were the crappiest since the Battle of Azincourt.
 
Old 05-01-2014, 12:44 PM
 
1,600 posts, read 1,453,106 times
Reputation: 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post
French forces were larger than German.

You need to do some reading on WW2.
French forces were also more divided,they had obsolete tactics regarding tanks and aviation support and didn't have the initiative but they indeed put up a good fight in France against an overwhelming enemy who was better led and directed.
It'll enough to say that 92,000 French soldiers died during the campaign.
 
Old 05-02-2014, 01:30 PM
 
Location: London
4,336 posts, read 3,628,376 times
Reputation: 1977
Quote:
Originally Posted by xander.XVII View Post
French forces were also more divided,they had obsolete tactics regarding tanks and aviation support and didn't have the initiative but they indeed put up a good fight in France against an overwhelming enemy who was better led and directed.
It'll enough to say that 92,000 French soldiers died during the campaign.
Adam Tooze, Wages of Destruction.
Page 371.
"The German army that invaded France in May 1940 was far from being a carefully honed weapon of modern armoured warfare. Of Germany's 93 combat ready divisions on May 10 1940, only 9 were Panzer divisions, with a total of 2.438 tanks between them. These units faced a French army that was more heavily motorised, with 3,254 tanks in total."
Half the German tanks that invaded the west were armed only with a machinegun!! The German Army was not on equal footing with the French when in fact it was vastly inferior.

By May 1940 Britain had 7 regiments equipped with 28 light tanks plus 44 scout carriers each. There was also 1 regiment of armoured cars with 38 Morris light reconnaissance cars. There was also an Army Tank brigade with two regiments of infantry tanks. That gave a total of 308 tanks 23 of which had a 2pdr gun the rest had machine guns. Ist Armoured Division started to arrive in France from late May. However many of the Cruiser tanks were so recently issued that their crews had only been half trained on them and many lacked wireless sets, sighting telescopes and even armour piercing ammunition. -Source The Great Tank Scandal.

Dutch, Belgian, UK & French tanks in total was 4,200 tanks.

Tooze, page 371/372.
"Nor should one accept unquestioningly the popular idea that the concentration of the Germans tanks in specialised tank divisions gave them a decisive advantage. Many French tanks were scattered amongst the infantry units, but with their ample stock of vehicles the French could afford to do this. The bulk of France's best tanks were concentrated in armoured units, that, on paper at least, were every bit a match for the Panzer divisions."

Page 377
"The Germans not only committed "all" their tanks and planes. In strictest conformity with the Schwerpunkt principle, they committed them on an astonishingly narrow front"
"the Luftwaffe sacrificed no less than 347 aircraft, including virtually all its transports used in the air landings in Holland and Belgium".

Page 378
"if Allied bombers had penetrated the German fighter screen over the Ardennes they could have wreaked havoc amongst the slow moving traffic"
"highly inflammable fuel tankers were interspersed with the fighting vehicles at the very front with the armoured fighting vehicles"
"The plan called for the German armoured columns to drive for three days and nights without interruption".

The drivers were put on "speed" pills.

Page 379
"success would not have been possible had it not been for the particular nature of the battlefield. The Channel coastline provided the German army a natural obstacle to pin their enemies, an obstacle which could be reached within few hundred kilometres of the German border."
"the Germans benefited from the well made sense network of roads"
"In Poland in 1939 the Wehrmacht had struggled to maintain the momentum of its motorized troops when faced with far more difficult conditions."
" a close analysis of the of the mechanics of the Blitzkrieg reveals the astonishing degree of concentration achieved, but an enormous gamble that Hitler and the Wehrmacht were taking on May 10."

Page 380
"because it involved such a concentrated use of force, Manstein's plan was a "one-shot affair". If the initial assault had failed, and it could have failed in many ways, the Wehrmacht as an offensive force would have been spent. The gamble paid off. But contrary to appearances, the Germans had not discovered a patent recipe for military miracles. The overwhelming success of May 1940, resulting in the defeat of a major European military power in a matter of weeks, was not a repeatable outcome"

Tooze, page 373:
"In retrospect, it suited neither the Allies nor the Germans to expose the amazingly haphazard course through which the Wehrmacht had arrived at its most brilliant military success. The myth of the Blitzkrieg suited the British and French because it provided an explanation other than military incompetence for their pitiful defeat. But whereas it suited the Allies to stress the alleged superiority of German equipment, Germany's own propaganda viewed the Blitzkrieg in less materialistic terms."

Tooze page 380.
"In both campaigns [France & Barbarossa], the Germans gambled on achieving decisive success in the opening phases of the assault. Anything less spelled disaster".

If the belt broke the whole movement stopped. The Germans though they had formulated a version of Blitzkrieg in France that was a sure-fire success. They used this in the USSR, just scaling up forces. They did not have the intelligence to assess properly, that the reason for their success was allied incompetence not anything brilliant they did.
 
Old 05-04-2014, 05:59 AM
 
1,600 posts, read 1,453,106 times
Reputation: 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post
Adam Tooze, Wages of Destruction.
Page 371.
"The German army that invaded France in May 1940 was far from being a carefully honed weapon of modern armoured warfare. Of Germany's 93 combat ready divisions on May 10 1940, only 9 were Panzer divisions, with a total of 2.438 tanks between them. These units faced a French army that was more heavily motorised, with 3,254 tanks in total."
Half the German tanks that invaded the west were armed only with a machinegun!! The German Army was not on equal footing with the French when in fact it was vastly inferior.

By May 1940 Britain had 7 regiments equipped with 28 light tanks plus 44 scout carriers each. There was also 1 regiment of armoured cars with 38 Morris light reconnaissance cars. There was also an Army Tank brigade with two regiments of infantry tanks. That gave a total of 308 tanks 23 of which had a 2pdr gun the rest had machine guns. Ist Armoured Division started to arrive in France from late May. However many of the Cruiser tanks were so recently issued that their crews had only been half trained on them and many lacked wireless sets, sighting telescopes and even armour piercing ammunition. -Source The Great Tank Scandal.

Dutch, Belgian, UK & French tanks in total was 4,200 tanks.

Tooze, page 371/372.
"Nor should one accept unquestioningly the popular idea that the concentration of the Germans tanks in specialised tank divisions gave them a decisive advantage. Many French tanks were scattered amongst the infantry units, but with their ample stock of vehicles the French could afford to do this. The bulk of France's best tanks were concentrated in armoured units, that, on paper at least, were every bit a match for the Panzer divisions."

Page 377
"The Germans not only committed "all" their tanks and planes. In strictest conformity with the Schwerpunkt principle, they committed them on an astonishingly narrow front"
"the Luftwaffe sacrificed no less than 347 aircraft, including virtually all its transports used in the air landings in Holland and Belgium".

Page 378
"if Allied bombers had penetrated the German fighter screen over the Ardennes they could have wreaked havoc amongst the slow moving traffic"
"highly inflammable fuel tankers were interspersed with the fighting vehicles at the very front with the armoured fighting vehicles"
"The plan called for the German armoured columns to drive for three days and nights without interruption".

The drivers were put on "speed" pills.

Page 379
"success would not have been possible had it not been for the particular nature of the battlefield. The Channel coastline provided the German army a natural obstacle to pin their enemies, an obstacle which could be reached within few hundred kilometres of the German border."
"the Germans benefited from the well made sense network of roads"
"In Poland in 1939 the Wehrmacht had struggled to maintain the momentum of its motorized troops when faced with far more difficult conditions."
" a close analysis of the of the mechanics of the Blitzkrieg reveals the astonishing degree of concentration achieved, but an enormous gamble that Hitler and the Wehrmacht were taking on May 10."

Page 380
"because it involved such a concentrated use of force, Manstein's plan was a "one-shot affair". If the initial assault had failed, and it could have failed in many ways, the Wehrmacht as an offensive force would have been spent. The gamble paid off. But contrary to appearances, the Germans had not discovered a patent recipe for military miracles. The overwhelming success of May 1940, resulting in the defeat of a major European military power in a matter of weeks, was not a repeatable outcome"

Tooze, page 373:
"In retrospect, it suited neither the Allies nor the Germans to expose the amazingly haphazard course through which the Wehrmacht had arrived at its most brilliant military success. The myth of the Blitzkrieg suited the British and French because it provided an explanation other than military incompetence for their pitiful defeat. But whereas it suited the Allies to stress the alleged superiority of German equipment, Germany's own propaganda viewed the Blitzkrieg in less materialistic terms."

Tooze page 380.
"In both campaigns [France & Barbarossa], the Germans gambled on achieving decisive success in the opening phases of the assault. Anything less spelled disaster".

If the belt broke the whole movement stopped. The Germans though they had formulated a version of Blitzkrieg in France that was a sure-fire success. They used this in the USSR, just scaling up forces. They did not have the intelligence to assess properly, that the reason for their success was allied incompetence not anything brilliant they did.
Which is what I stated here Blitzkrieg has never existed!
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