Thought this one apropos for this week’s Friday funny. Enjoy.
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French Military History in a Nutshell
Gallic Wars: Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by – of all things – an Italian.
Hundred Years War: Mostly lost, saved at last by a female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare: “France’s armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman.”
Italian Wars: Lost. France becomes the first and only country ever to lose two wars when fighting Italians.
Wars of Religion: France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots.
Thirty Years’ War: France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.
War of Devolution: Tied; Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.
The Dutch War: Tied.
War of the Augsburg League/King William’s War/French and Indian War: Lost, but claimed as a tie. Deluded Frogophiles the world over label the period as the height of French Military Power.
War of the Spanish Succession: Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved ever since.
American Revolution: In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as “de Gaulle Syndrome”, and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare: “France only wins when America does most of the fighting”.
French Revolution: Won, primarily due to the fact that the opponent was also French.
The Napoleonic Wars: Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.
The Franco-Prussian War: Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France’s ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.
WWI: Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States. Thousands of French women find out what it’s like not only to sleep with a winner, but one who doesn’t call her “Fraulein.” Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.
WWII: Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.
War in Indochina: Lost. French forces plead sickness, take to bed with Dien Bien Flu.
Algerian Rebellion: Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a Western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare -“We can always beat the French.” This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Eskimos.
War on Terrorism: France, keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe.
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A personal anecdote that seems to fit here. I once served briefly with a guy whose mother was German (she met and married his dad after World War II). While he was a kid, his dad was stationed in France on an accompanied tour.
They were in France in 1966. That was the year de Gaulle pulled France out of NATO and told US forces to leave.
As he told the story, his mom was absolutely livid when she first heard that news. Then she suddenly got real calm – and muttered to herself, in German-accented English: “1870 . . . 1914 . . . 1941 . . . ja, it’s about time for us to come back again to teach them some manners!”
Have a great weekend, all!