Hilarious Historical Quote

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by MDFrench, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. Hey all,

    I've been doing some reading on the history of aviation in the 20th Century and while reading "A Passion For Wings" by Robert Wohl, I came across this quote from French writer Emile Driant from around 1910 -

    "[The airplane] is not in the genius of [the German] race, which is prudent and methodical. To take advantage of it, one needs daring, a quality that is above all French."


    No offense to anyone here, but the French have never struck me as being a "daring" society whatsoever.

  2. wackyvorlon

    wackyvorlon One of the Regulars

    Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
    Hmm. I can certainly understand that perspective. It's worth remembering that Napoleon was french after all:)
  3. MK

    MK Founder Staff Member Bartender


    ....well....not actually. See below a history of French military history:

    58 B.C. - The Gallic Wars. Result: Loss.
    France, then known as "Gaul", allows itself to be conquered by the Italians, who were led by Julius Caesar. This war would set the tone, and lower the bar, for French military involvement for the next 2000 years. The war is believed to be the root of the French hate for pasta.

    486 A.D. - The Frankish Invasion. Result: Loss.
    France, still known as "Gaul" at this time, was invaded by the Franks under King Chlodovech. The Roman governor of Gaul, Syragius, started the long-standing tradition of surrender by yielding to Chlodovech. In the aftermath of the Frankish conquest, the natives renamed their land in honor of the Franks (a Germanic people), changing Gaul's name to "Francia", which became France. They also forgot about Syragius and began to claim the great Chlodovech as one of their own, calling him Clovis. This revisionism continued for centuries, culminating in the reign of Kaiser Karl der Grosse, who the Frogs renamed "Charlemagne".

    1336 to 1453 A.D. - Hundred Years War Result: Win. (yes, the ONLY war France ever won!)
    After being invaded by Britain, it took the French over 100 years to get their land back and eventually win the war because the Brits got sick of fighting. This result was achieved only after a French WOMAN (Joan Of Arc), not a French MAN, helped drive out the English invaders. This established the First Rule Of French Warfare, which states:

    "The French Military shall win no battles when at the command of a French male".

    1494 to 1559 A.D. - The Italian Wars. Result: Loss.
    Charles VIII of France invades Italy and holds it, until the Swiss Army (armed to the teeth with multi-functional pocket knives) helps Italy rout them in 1513. France becomes the only country to lose two wars to Italy.

    1562 to 1598 A.D. - Wars of Religion Result: 5 Losses / 4 Draws
    France manages to lose 5 wars, and draw in 4 others, over a 26 year period.

    LOSS: The First War (1562) - Huguenots (French Protestant noblemen) get English and German soldiers to help them defeat the French Military. French women get their first encounters with German and British men.

    LOSS: The Second War (1567) - The French get the Spanish (who were real ass-kickers at the time) to help them defeat the Huguenots. Despite having Spanish muscle behind them, the French lose anyway.

    LOSS: The Third War (1568) - The French get even more outside help, but the Huguenots kick their butts again. Huguenots begin mocking those little curly French moustaches, forcing many French men to begin shaving.
    St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre (1572) - This wasn't a "war", but it demonstrates a significant point in French Military History. After being defeated three times at the hands of the Huguenots, the French decide to massacre the Huguenot leadership by breaking down the door on an early Sunday morning and killing them after awaking them from a sound sleep. This is the first indication that the French can only win when the other side doesn't expect they are coming.

    DRAW: The Fourth War (1572) - The pissed-off Huguenots decide not to pay taxes to the French after the massacre. The French attack, but cannot pull out a victory.

    LOSS: The Fifth War (1576) - The Huguenots, still pissed off, invade the rest of France. When they threaten to take over Paris, the French negotiate the "Peace Of Monsieur", demonstrating for the first time that the French don't like war because they can't win a war.

    DRAW: The Sixth War (1577) - The French try to get back at the Huguenots by invading, but the Huguenot armies survive unscathed. Faced with the fact that they can't win, the French sign the "Peace of Bergerac", ending the war.

    DRAW: The Seventh War (1580) - The French attack again, managing to capture the city of Cahors. But the war ends with another peace treaty, and the Huguenot armies still intact.

    DRAW: The War of the Three Henries (1584) - After losing much French territory, three French military commanders named "Henri" manage only to reclaim lost territory after the longest of the Religious Wars. The name "Henri" begins to be given to boys who wish to grow up to be ballerina's, or other "artsy" types.

    LOSS: The Wars of the League (1589) - The Huguenots finally overrun the French and take control of the country, despite the French receiving assistance from the Spanish. Unfortunately, most of them later leave France and settle elsewhere, removing the only good fighters in the whole land.

    1634 to 1648 A.D. - Thirty Year's War. Result: Draw.
    France only participated in a small phase of this war, during which time they teamed up with the Swiss. In the end, nothing was militarily accomplished, garnering (at best) a draw for the French. However, the French learned how to make "really great cheese with holes in it" from the Swiss.

    1667 to 1668 A.D. - The War of Devolution. Result: Loss.
    France overran the Spanish Netherlands and Franche-Comté, which pissed off Spain, England, and Sweden whom promptly forced France to make peace. The War featured Frenchmen wearing red flowerpots as hats, which signified the beginning of the French "era of style", which served as an inspiration for the 1980's band "Devo".

    1665 to 1678 A.D. - The Dutch War. Result: Draw
    The French attacked Holland and was able to force the Dutch to sign the Breda Treaty (1667). In 1678 the French paid England to NOT come to the aid of the Dutch, but they still could only manage a tie that ended a peace treaty.

    1688 to 1697 A.D. - War of the Augsburg League. Result: Loss (but claimed as a tie by the French)
    Also known as "King William's War" and the "French and Indian War", this was the first extension of "French Military Might" into the "New World". The French started this war by duping local indians to help them burn Schenectady, New York. In the end, the French could only manage a "draw" (in the French mind), and the poor Indians got the living crap kicked out of them. But since the French started the war and couldn't win it, they really earn a loss (in the non-French mind).

    1701 to 1713 A.D. - War of the Spanish Succession Result: Loss
    British and French continue to skirmish in the New World, but the British Navy forces the French to sign the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), which forces France to give up Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough (the "Earl Of Marlborough", not the cigarettes), which they have loved every since (the cigarettes, not the "Earl Of Marlborough").

    1776 to 1777 - The American Revolution. Result: Loss (French Objectives not met)
    American Colonists defeat Britain, and the French take the majority of the credit. This is later to be known as the "de Gaulle Syndrome", which appeared when Charles De Gaulle, a French resistance leader, takes most of the credit for winning World War II by defeating the Nazi's (even though his country was invaded and held for most of the war). This signifies the dawn of the Second Rule Of French Warfare, which states that "France only wins when America does most of the fighting".

    1789 to 1792 - The French Revolution Result: Draw (a Win and a Loss)
    This war created the Third Rule Of French Warfare, "you can assure victory if you fight against yourself". The French people, inspired by the victory of the American people in the American Revolutionary War, and seeing an opportunity to finally win a war (albeit against themselves), are motivated to put down their wine and cheese and overthrow their own government.

    1804 to 1815 A.D. - The Napoleonic Wars Result: Loss
    There were a total of seven wars that made up the overall "Napoleonic Wars". There were some temporary victories for French forces under command of a Italian Corsican named Napoleone Buonaparte (remember the First Rule?) but the final result was the same.

    WON: War Of The 3rd Coalition (1804-05) - Napoleon defeats the Russian and Austrian armies.

    WON: Jena and Auerstadt (1806-07) - Napoleon defeats the Prussian army.

    WON: War Against Austria (1809) - Napoleon defeats the Austrian armies again...barely.

    LOSS: Peninsular War (1807-14) - Napoleon loses Paris, abdicates, and reiterates the French Tradition of running in the face of adversity.

    LOSS: Invasion Of Russia (1812) - Napoleon's string of victories comes to an end at the hand of Russian armies, and the notorious Russian winter.

    LOSS: War Of Liberation (1813-14) - A coalition of allies consisting of Austria, Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, and Sweden send Napoleon packing after killing nearly 100,000 of his men. The battle likely was the beginning of the French's "dislike" of coalitions, which has since compelled them not to be a part of any.

    LOSS: 100 Days War (1815) - With France being overrun by its enemies, Napoleon surrendered to the British and was forced into exile on the island of St. Helena. His continual complaints of, "you call this FOOD?" led to many instances of torture and humiliation at the hands of his guards, including:
    Here I sit with my buns a'clenchin, giving birth to another Frenchman.
    Is it true that the first thing the French Army teaches at basic training is "How To Surrender In 10 Languages"?
    Do you know why the French smell so badly? So that BLIND people can hate them, too!
    I'll bet it's great to be French . . you can surrender at the beginning of a war, then have someone else win it for you.
    The French would be a great member of a military alliance . . we would send you in first to teach the enemy how to surrender.
    Guard: "How many Frenchmen does it take to guard Paris?" . . . Napoleon: "I don't know, its never been done before." (This is literally true. When Paris was taken by the coalition forces in 1814, Napoleon could have easily recaptured it and continued the war, but his generals and advisors, who wanted to SURRENDER, forced him to abdicate.)
    I understand that when France was last invaded, the Mayor of Paris greeted the enemy at the gates of the city and said, "Will you be needing a table for 100,000?"
    Is it true that Frenchmen have moustaches in honor of their mothers?
    By the way . . thank you for planting all those trees along Champs-Elysees . . it makes it a lot easier to march into Paris in the shade.

    1862 A.D. - French Intervention in Mexico. Result: Loss.
    France takes advantage of the American Civil War to flout the Monroe Doctrine and place a puppet Emperor, Maximilian of Austria, on the throne as Emperor of Mexico. The Mexicans, under Benito Juarez, rebelled against their French oppressors and restored freedom to Mexico. So the Frogs invaded them, leading to the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 (Cinco De Mayo), in which 4,000 Mexicans defeated an army of 8,000 Froggies and Mexican traitors.

    1870 to 1871 A.D. - The Franco-Prussian War. Result: Loss.
    France gets its first taste of German domination since the days of Chlodovech by playing "whipping boy" to the Prussian armies. As a result, the German Empire is born.

    1914 to 1918 A.D. - World War I. Result: Draw (saving a certain loss).
    French provocation stemming from their loss in the Franco-Prussian War leads to a German attack on France. America has to save France's butt by sending General Pershing and his Expeditionary Forces to stop a powerful German offensive. Germany finally surrenders, signing the Treaty Of Versailles. As a result of this war, thousands of French women finally find out what it's like to not only sleep with a winner, but also to sleep with a winner that doesn't call her "Fraulein." Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline. In the last months of the war, the Allies were led by a prominent French general named Ferdinand Foch. In keeping with the First Rule of French Warfare, Foch was the son of an Alsatian German and a Basque, which explains why he was successful in spite of his French citizenship.

    1939 to 1945 - World War II. Result: Lost, and then lost again!
    The Germans once again show the French who their "daddy" is, and once again the Americans save their butts and liberate them from Germany. France actually was the only country to lose World War II twice. It lost the war in 1940 by surrendering to the Germans, then joined sides with them under the Vichy government which sent thousands of soldiers to the Waffen-SS. The French were just learning the Horst Wessel Song when we arrived in 1944, causing France to lose again.

    1954 A.D. - War in Indochina. Result: Loss.
    Vietnamese rise up against French forces at Dien Bien Phu. 45 days later, the French desperately asked the United States to intervene. The U.S. refused, and 11 days later the French forces were overrun by the Vietnamese. French excuses included "sickness" which some referred to as the "Dien Bien Flu". The French messed this one up so badly that even we couldn't fix it!

    1954 to 1962 A.D. - Algerian Rebellion. Result: Loss.
    The French defeat in this war marked the first defeat of a western army by a non-Turkish Muslim force since the end of the Crusades in 1291! From this war also came the First Rule of Muslim Warfare, which states: "We can always beat the French." This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese, Austrians, Prussians, Huguenots and Esquimaux.

    2001 to Present - War on Terrorism. Result: What do YOU think?
    France continues to ask for more inspections, including health inspections at most American-owned restaurant chains in France. The restaurant inspections begin at the McDonald's located just beneath the Arc De Triomphe. In tradition with its rich military history, most experts believe that French will at some point "pre-emptively surrender" to Germany or perhaps a Muslim state, just to be safe. Attempts to surrender to the Vietnamese ambassador early in 2003 failed.

    MK, I was just going to ask you for a link to that!

  5. Sergei

    Sergei Gone Home

    Southern Belarus
    Brilliant! Great trivia on Napolean. "The utter Gaul" of the French!
  6. The Wolf

    The Wolf Call Me a Cab

    Santa Rosa, Calif
    Next thing you know, you'll say the Chinese and the Russians helped the Allies. (sentence followed by big winking smiley face sticking out its tongue while laughing)

    A Yank in sheep's clothing,
    The Wolf
  7. Bogie1943

    Bogie1943 Practically Family

    Proctorville, Ohio
    " France though armed to the teeth is pacifist to the core."

    --Sir Winston Churchill
  8. EB,

    What you are missing in WWI and most definitely in WWII is the fact that both times the supplies, war materiel and help given by the US saved europe from a very different outcome. We may not have been over there fighting but these things were coming into europe to buttress the war efforts.
    More specifically in WWII England would have been wiped off the face of the earth and France would have been absorbed into Germany along with it if it were not for the Lend Lease program. Interestingly, both countries were broke and England had no industrial might left to build ships, tanks, guns, airplanes and on and on. Then what happened at the end of the war? All that debt was forgiven. Millions upon millions of dollars. We may not have men on the ground but we had tanks on the land and ships on the water.
    This brings us to the Lusitania. What exactly was it transporting again and why did the Germans sink it? It was carrying American goods (ammunition, food, medical supplies) and passengers to Europe to help the Allies.
    Hmmmm.... I wonder if the Iron Hand would tolerate the same kind of disagreements with them as have arisen with the US. Oh, forgive me. They would all be dead. No protest, no disagreements. :rolleyes:

    Regards to all,

  9. English Bob

    English Bob New in Town


    Ouch! ruffled a few feathers there then, didn't mean to start WWIII. All due credit was given if you noticed. Just making a point of accuracy. Due credit also to commonwealth Bellytank.
    Sorry J, due credit given for the goods, but lend lease payments not cancelled, last payment made on 60th anniversary of VE day 8th May.
  10. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up


    Repayment by the UK of war loans to the United States Government will be completed on 31 December 2006, but the UK has an option to defer payment under the agreemnt with the US. The conditions were of course negotiated between the two parties and the UK has been repaying since 1950.

    After WW1, other countries owed the UK more than the UK owed to the US.
    I think the WW1 loans are still unsettled...

    So- we can hopefully all forget about the UK owing the US for WW2.

  11. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up


    I forgot to say- a big thanks to America for the help of course.
    Doesn't it go without saying(?)

    Thanks America!

  12. English Bob

    English Bob New in Town

    The real point

    to all,
    It seems from the replies that any criticism, however intended, of the US brings an immediate and indignant response and yet you think it is fair to post such a highly critical message about the French, however humourously intended, with no one to defend it. The real point of my response was to defend the French by criticising the accuracy of the content. You made my point for me, by your responses.
    I would similarly defend anyone in the same way, and have done so recently when I have seen some humourously intended but highly inflammatory articles about America. I don't think that there is any place in this lounge for such an openly critical article on any nation state. The French have many great qualities and just because they don't agree with you, then that's called democracy.These brave people lost 1.4m men in WWI and 3.5% of their entire population in WWII - far more than the US and UK combined .
  13. Gee, that's great. It only took over sixty years to get repaid. :rolleyes: I wonder what the interest rate was over that time---if any. Can I get a loan like that for my home where a large portion is forgiven and the rest can be deferred until my grandchildren can pay it for me? :rolleyes: :p
    It is only 80 years since WWI as well. Hmmm... That has got to be a lot of interest. Good loan terms too. ;)
    Thanks for saying "Thanks." I appreciate it because many members of my family went and were never the same when they came back. This is not to mention the rationing of shoes, meat, tires, paper and a host of other hardships that the homefront had to deal with when the men were gone on top of it.
    As for inflamatory, have you heard what is coming out of France, Germany and Russia lately about the US? Come on be realistic. A synopsis of facts doesn't hurt anyone. It is what happened and is surely history as much as Herodotus' account of the Peloponesian Wars. There was a winning side and a losing side.
    The Observation Bar is just the place to discuss such things. It is what is was created for. Just ask the OWNER who posts here often. I didn't see anything posted that is/was inflammatory. It did not incite violence or any action. It was just a post.
    Lastly, yes, I will defend America every chance I get because it has defended me and my family from far more tyrannical governments. If no one else will; I will. :cheers1:

    Regards to all,

  14. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Gee yerself :hamburger
    - it was repaid in the way it was negotiated to be repaid.
    :cheers1: Cheers Bigears.

    God bless you all!

  15. You mean if and when it is repaid. :rolleyes:
    Are you paying for the hamburger? :p
    Bigears? Hmmm... Never heard that one. Is that a brand of bicycle or scooter? :p ;)

    Regards to all,

  16. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Last installment December '06- :kick:

    I think it was Wilson who dropped the ball on the WW1 repayments- still unresolved. :cry:

    'Bigears' is a term of endearment even if the recipient has normal ears-
    -and it rhymes with cheers... :beer: -Black Gold, Texas Tea...


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