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In the sweep of history the french military reputation towers over the german.......


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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 11:00:07 PM PDT
<patrick says:
what was Sedan in --1840--...?>

oops ... typo ... 1870. Franco-Prussian War ... The Battle of Sedan was one one of largest battles of history. Napolean III was captured. The Prussian/Germans won.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 11:00:31 PM PDT
<I'm goin' surfin' says:
rob ... do you mean 1870? >

Yes ... typo

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 10:21:30 AM PDT
*Mainly due to Napoleon, who is unequaled in the modern era. Anyway, I'm sure there's some who think I'm giving the germans an unfair judgement, ie think of 1870 and all that. By the way by german I do mean it's antecedant and sattelite nations, esp prussia ( to let Frederick into the argument)

Not just Napoleon France as been a military powerhouse since Charlemane. Most of our miliary vocabulary is derrived from French words. The Frech dominated Europe for hundreds of years miliarily and culturally. The Germans were a fragmented collection of states lead by Austria and the Holy Roman Empire.

We can even ask today what is left of German milliary power?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 10:22:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 4, 2012 10:24:51 AM PDT
*I can't settle the argument, but it does seem ridiculous for so many Americans to dismiss the French as sissies when they helped us win the American Revolution. And they did take Moscow,which the Germans never managed to do.

They also took Jerusalam in 1099. The French took England in 1066. The French took out the Tmplars in 1307. The French have a very long and successful mailitary tradition.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 12:34:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 4, 2012 12:35:03 PM PDT
Laker Fan says:
Surfin wrote:
"France has a very fine military record filled with wonderful successes and catastrophic losses, just like everyone else."

Nicely said. I tend to agree with others who have said the French military is unfairly judged by 1940, and by Dien Bien Phu. Based on your cavalry experience, what is your opinion of NATO ground forces (France, Germany, Italy). We know UK is first-rate.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 1:10:03 PM PDT
IGS says:
Germany excellent as to Italy and France ... I have absolutely no experience whatsoever beyond watching a bunch of drunk Geman rugby players throw a number of boisterous French drunks unceremoniously out of a gasthaus into the snow one fine December evening in Strasbourg ... the take away ... don't f with German rugby players.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 1:46:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 4, 2012 2:20:50 PM PDT
briefcandle says:
If you were to rank the german military achievements at the top must be two astounding and unexpected conquests of france- 1940 and 1870. They almost pulled it off in 1914 too, but not quite. Balance against this Napoleon's annihilation of prussian arms in 1806-7, having seen off austria in 1805, fighting his battles deep in the home territory of his opponents.

As for comparing german/french invasions of russia- both were flawed in conception and execution ( aren't all human enterprises?) and tempt the student of the campaigns to ask 'what if...

I would definitely have to say that hitler's attempt, though famously catastrophic always seemed to be pulling up just a little short of victory, at least til kursk. Napoleon's invasion, though briefly claiming the prize of moscow, always seemed more brittle, and when the tsar and his government would not treat after the capture of moscow the whoe campaign looked as if based on a false premise.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 3:02:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 4, 2012 3:04:43 PM PDT
patrick says:
yes, German ethos mixed with Rugby ethos could be interesting and frightening, actually...the half-time coach pep-talk could be humorous and illuminating..

actually Ive seen one or two robust spats even with German soccer players...the German spectators seem to appreciate violence or the prospect of it anyway...they produce this high-pitched whistling sound to indicate their approval and encouragement..

I guess that they dont just all stab and slash at each other like the British soccer fans--whistling is a better way of doing things.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 6:25:11 PM PDT
Yes, that's true -- and I believe cooked and ate some of their enemies on the way to Jerusalem. So if the reputation of Franz arms has gone down in the world, the reputation of French cooking has gone up.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 5:46:56 AM PDT
Suet says:
I heard they ate them raw. But that was the 'pauperes', not the knights.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 8:59:17 AM PDT
R. Largess says:
Check out online the Battle of Stonne (May 15-17, 1940). After the Germans thrust through the Ardennes and crossed the Meuse, the French tried to hold them at a ridge a few miles south of Sedan. They counterattacked with their 1st DCR (armored division), and for a brief period had the Germans really scared. One of their Char B tanks took out 11 German III's and two IV's in a single brief action; it took 140 direct hits at close range without a single penetration. the French fought courageously and skillfully with their best troops and equipment, and the village of Stonne changed hands 17 times over the three days. However, the Germans were better and stronger and still won.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 1:18:12 PM PDT
briefcandle says:
By this measure it's true, but 'people killed' isn't the sole measure of military reputation. By this measure you're right, the soviets had their buts handed to them, even though they added several millions in the german column, but they did get to keep berlin, not the other way around, and they did get to make slaves of their enemies. By body count the US is also the incontestable loser of the ACW (America minus 1mil, foreigners nil)..... but hey, I think I make my point about body count.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 2:53:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 5, 2012 9:11:28 PM PDT
IGS says:
It matters in the Russian case.

Body count is one major reason why there was a soviet union and no Romanov's. Body count is why 1 in 4 men in service age were dead in the USSR by 1945. The repercussions of this are beyond calculation.

Body count matters. A very great deal. It is a mortgage of your future if it goes too high. Ask the French "Lost Generation". To suggest otherwise is just foolishness.

In addition to hurting their enemies, they also got to make permanent enemies as part of the bargain. Ask the Poles how they feel about the Russians, ask the Ukrainians, the East Germans, and so on. That is really worth the exchange?

Nope, if it matters in anyone's case, it's the Russians, probably more than any other people on the planet. Body count is the why of the hatred in the Treaty of Versailles. To suggest that it doesn't matter is curious. Strangely, there is a place where it is true, it doesn't matter to countries where people don't matter. Places were people are ignorant, uneducated, offering of nothing more than you would a pack animal. Where people are educated and have serious value they represent serious value. Then the number of dead is THE single most important factor. To help fix your mind on this point say we scale for present population, can you honestly say that if the US suffered 40 million dead and another 50 million wounded you would tell me it did not matter? That is what happen to the USSR during WWII. This was in fact a human catastrophe of almost unimaginable impact and you would suggest to anyone reading your post that it was worth "they did get to keep berlin, not the other way around, and they did get to make slaves of their enemies." You sir are living in a fantasy land.

Body count matters and it speaks for itself ... or rather its ghosts do.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 11:25:52 PM PDT
patrick says:
interesting...prompted me to read up on the Blitzkrieg phase of WW2 tank warfare, went to a book called "Iron Fist"..not a bad concise history of armoured warfare..everyone has heard about the British tanks at Arras 1940, but I hadnt heard of Stonne..

Apparently many experts feel that the French had the best all-round tank of the three armies in the campaign- the Hotchkiss Somua 35..

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 4:47:00 AM PDT
briefcandle says:
body count matters, but not to military reputation-that's the topic- reputation. To take the losses, not to fold, then to come out on top- that builds reputation

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 12:55:06 PM PDT
IGS says:
brief

The Russians have never had a good military reputation. They have a single game plan and it does not work if your enemy does not play by the same rules.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 4:04:18 PM PDT
patrick says:
I think they kind of wound up with a similiar outcome in the Crimean War as the Turks wound up with in the Dardanelles...but I guess the Crimean campaign was hopelessy incompetent by the anti-Russian coalition...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 3:53:54 AM PDT
briefcandle says:
Oh sure, it ain't the best reputation but the best description would be that it can rise the occasion, and then plummet to the depths- this is especially true of soviet rather than broader russian reputation. You can stack it up against the russians depending how far back you go. Consider their napoeonic era rep. Ultimately they wind up camped on the champs elysees, but as part of an allied effort, in 1812 they maintain the prescence of mind to realise thatthe loss of moscow is not the defeat of russia-they stick it out- and when N quits moscow one battle at maloyaroslavets deflects his plan to retreat southwest from russia, to a direct west retreat- across the route ravaged by his own army and scorched by the russians- thus converting N's prospects of mere monumental defet into something much worse. Kutuzov knew what he was doing :-)

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 8:22:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 7, 2012 8:30:42 AM PDT
IGS says:
Brief

I suspect your background in military history and analysis of campaign needs some work, that's okay, it does for all of us.

"Oh sure, it ain't the best reputation"

Hence your comment of earlier is unsupportable. Here by your own admission.

"but the best description would be that it can rise the occasion, and then plummet to the depths"

The best military reputation is one that can kill the enemy, inflict a staggering defeat on an enemy without serious loss to himself. Especially if you can defeat him before they even know what has happened. Napoleon, Ulm. Napoleon, Austerlitz. That is what it is to have a towering reputation. History remembers Napoleon, not Kutuzov, not Barclay de Tolly, not Dokhturov, not Raevsky, not Sacken, not Langeron, not Sabaneev, not Yermolov, not Wintzingerode, not Vatutin, not Rossokovsky, hardly even the only marginally competent commander they ever had Zhukov.

"Consider their napoeonic era rep."

Lets do that.

"Ultimately they wind up camped on the champs elysees,"

They end up in Mannheim when the whole thing is done, sending representatives to Paris with hat in hand so they can end the Napoleonic Wars in worse condition than they started.

"in 1812 they maintain the prescence of mind to realise thatthe loss of moscow is not the defeat of russia"

It never has been, they had to torch one of their treasured cities to save the fight. Imagine torching Paris. That was a positively greaaaaaat military achievement.

"prospects of mere monumental defet into something much worse." ?????

"Kutuzov knew what he was doing"

Ahh, yeah, run like hell. Brilliant. If that is the case, de Graziani was the epitome of genius. Kutuzov had no choice in what he was doing. Just like at Austerlitz.

Is Russian military prowess why 1/3 of all Russians have Mongolian bloodline haplotypes?

Whose reputation does Russia's tower over, Italy's? Please, pick a better example. Britain perhaps.

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 2:08:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 7, 2012 2:22:28 PM PDT
briefcandle says:
surfin'-
Italian military rep-
WWII- largely abysmal
WW1- 11 battles of the Isonzo-tough gig
Adowa 1896 (worse than isandlwhana)

and then you have trouble defining italy and italians as they go preunification (as you do with germany/germans). It's a cheap trick. Italians served in the armies of their imperial masters with enough distinction not to deserve contempt, but that shores up the rep of italians (as opposed to italy).

I guess one of the great Italian victories of the early modern era lies within the victory of Lepanto 1571. The fleet, with a very large spanish component was mostly venetian/genoese/tuscan/savoyard, you get the picture? As the poles and austrians saved europe from the turks in 1683, so the italians had done so a century earlier in the med.

Surfin'-You have to look past the stereotypes.

"Is Russian military prowess why 1/3 of all Russians have Mongolian bloodline haplotypes?"
-A people who maintain themselves on the great eurasian plains will get this. My problem with this figure is not the presence of the mongol haplotype or any gene frequency indicative of mongol influence, but where do you begin defining 'russians' in the era of dna sequencing? Like putin, perhaps, you define a russian by his/her passport?

Given the number of eastern slavs who have become american citizens I would also suggest that the mongols have reached continental USA.

and PS
ofcourse the presence of 'mongol' genes must be in some part a relic of mongol conquest, the more interesting and more sophisticated question is what frequency did these genes enjoy in mongol and russian pops before the mongol conquest. After the last iceage russia and mongolia were repopulated as the icesheets retreated. Mongol and russian pops migrated from ice age refuges whose proximity may also be instructive re gene frequencies.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 2:21:29 PM PDT
IGS says:
"Given the number of eastern slavs who have become american citizens I would also suggest that the mongols have reached continental USA. "

LOL

One could guess they were the original settlers of this place

As for the Italians, I just finished reading "Inferno" and it is a wry comment on the Italians of the 1200-1300's. A more destructive bunch slutty incestuous infighters I've never heard tell of. This does nothing for their military reputation.

But truth be told, when does a Russian become a Russian?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2012 6:49:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 8, 2012 9:59:05 PM PDT
Lientje says:
Napoleon lived a pretty long time ago.

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 2:06:31 PM PDT
arcorelli says:
Someone talking about the military reputation of Russia and not talking about Suvorov should hide (and I guess that he should count about rev-napoleonic war times)

And WWII, the germans themselves thought that although the russians suffered tactically, the russian high command got quite a good grasp of strategy.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2012 2:14:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 8, 2012 2:45:30 PM PDT
briefcandle says:
When does a russian become a russian? I have no idea. I do know that vlad will give you a russian passport if he needs a reason to intervene beyond russia's borders.

I think it's the usual definition of nationality/ethnicity : one must claim to be a russian and have russians accept that you are such. I really don't have an insight on who is in and who is out. Presumably there is the usual racism and silliness around these issues. You might just as easily ask who is a german, orwho is a celt.

As for the mongol haplotype- it doesn't actually appear in the top 4 russian haplotypes which cover a range fom 60% to 6% frequency. They tend to represent ancient migration rather than historical origin, and in the source I consulted (it starts with 'W') the ukrainians,russians,poles and slovenes are lumped together as a fairly indistinguishable genetic continuity.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2012 2:26:53 PM PDT
briefcandle says:
Hi Arcorelli

Suvorov is not actually prenapoleonic, his campaign in italy (which involved a crossing of the alps and a battle of trebbia) unwound N's conquest in italy. If only N had not gone to egypt we may have had an historical clash of these greats.
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  26
Total posts:  244
Initial post:  Jun 2, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 10, 2012

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