• At the risk of going way off topic….

    First off, my deepest thanks to your grandfather, and to yourself if you have inherited his fighting qualities and outlook on life. The sad fact is that the French, as a whole, fought poorly. So did the Italians, for that matter. Granted, individual units performed heroically, but by and large the greater mass of both countries was absolutely ineffective.

    Read “France under the Germans” by Phillipe Burrin. Excellent story of how deep collaboration was between individual French men and women and the occupying Germans.
    Read “To Lose a Battle” By Alistaire Horn. Excellent read on how and why France (and the BEF) lost the Battle of France.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love France and the French influence on culture. I do, however, call a spade a spade when necessary. Napoleon was a great leader, and had incredibly brave French soldiers under him. WWI also had a very tough French defense against the Germans. However, in WWII the French, through a combination of factors, were whipped like schoolboys on and off the battlefield.

    The French resistance is grossly exaggerated as well. It had less than 100,000 members until June 6,1944, when numbers swelled immensely (people “joining the bandwagon”) A common joke is the Resistance had 100,000 members at the time of the D-Day landings, 500,000 at the end of the war, and 42 million after the war! (quote from a  French resistance member: “If we had known there were so many of us, we could have licked the German Army by ourselves!”)

    Also unexplored is the fact that the Spanish Civil War had just ended, and many refugees/fighters from that war, heavily leftist, fought against the invading Germans as well in France. The Polish and Spanish figure prominently among these. In fact, many Maquis bands in Southwest France were composed entirely of Spanish veterans of the Civil War.

    Some good links:

    http://seacoast.sunderland.ac.uk/~os0tmc/occupied/resist.htm

    Time for a good joke:

    Q: Why do the French plant so many trees on their roads?

    A: So the Germans can march in the shade!


  • First off, my deepest thanks to your grandfather, and to yourself if you have inherited his fighting qualities and outlook on life. The sad fact is that the French, as a whole, fought poorly. So did the Italians, for that matter. Granted, individual units performed heroically, but by and large the greater mass of both countries was absolutely ineffective.

    It was Alphonse Juin, commander of the French Expeditionary Corps in Italy, that devised the plan to break the Gustav Line and have the Allies charge into Rome. It was the FEC who compromised the entire German defense by flanking them in the mountains. I’d say that’s a pretty big achievement by itself.

    At Bir Hakeim, the Free French brigade there stalled the Afrika Korps for 16 days, as Rommel could not risk simply bypassing the fort. Cut off, with virtually no support from the British, they suffered minor casualties while inflicting twice as much casualties on the Afrika Korps. They only evacuated when they ran out of ammunition. The French stand at Bir Hakeim has often been cited as one of the major factors in helping the British 8th Army gain precious time to re-organize and halt the Axis advance completely at the First Battle of El Alamein.

    I wouldn’t exactly call those minor successes. Also, the Italians fighting poorly was a result of British propaganda. Yes, their equipment was old and their commanders inept, but the Italians knew how to fight when cornered, and would be especially vicious in Sicily.

    Read “France under the Germans” by Phillipe Burrin. Excellent story of how deep collaboration was between individual French men and women and the occupying Germans.
    Read “To Lose a Battle” By Alistaire Horn. Excellent read on how and why France (and the BEF) lost the Battle of France.

    Read the first, read the first half of the first one, need to go to the library to check it out again  😐

    Don’t get me wrong, I love France and the French influence on culture. I do, however, call a spade a spade when necessary. Napoleon was a great leader, and had incredibly brave French soldiers under him. WWI also had a very tough French defense against the Germans. However, in WWII the French, through a combination of factors, were whipped like schoolboys on and off the battlefield.

    The French would be the last people to deny that the Germans gave them a terrible beating. But we were outnumbered and outgunned. Our tactics were woefully outdated, and poured our military budget into the Maginot Line. But they still resisted bitterly, especially the French rearguard at Dunkirk.

    The French resistance is grossly exaggerated as well.

    Only around 10% took part in actual resistance. The rest of the population were either indifferent, sympathetic to the Resistance (i.e. turning a blind eye, reading a Resistance newspaper). However, Patton cabled General Koenig, the French commander of the FFI (French Forces of the Interior), that the spectacular advance of his army across France would have been impossible without the fighting aid of the FFI. During D-Day they kept entire German divisions tied down, one of them famously being the 2nd SS “Das Reich” Panzer Division. They have not been exaggerated in our history books, but they certainly were a valuable asset to the Allies.

    Also unexplored is the fact that the Spanish Civil War had just ended, and many refugees/fighters from that war, heavily leftist, fought against the invading Germans as well in France. The Polish and Spanish figure prominently among these. In fact, many Maquis bands in Southwest France were composed entirely of Spanish veterans of the Civil War.

    Oh believe me, it’s quite explored. There is a monument in Bordeaux to the Spanish members of the Resistance.


  • Glad to hear we are on the same page.

    Did individual Frenchmen, and units, perform heroics in WWII? Undoubtedly! Bir Hakeim is a shining example of this.

    Did the French army (as a whole) perform miserably? Also undoubtedly!


  • So I’m confused.  If the French are the “worst army in the world” and “always retreat”, and Italy was beaten in battles by France in WW2 (at least until Germany took Paris) why is Italy never harassed like France is?  I mean I’ve heard of battles where Italy lost over 4:1 against the UK in Africa, Italy surrendering with Pancakes in Southern Italy, etc.


  • Oh, they are lambasted mercilessly.

    I guess one big difference is that France was attacked, and Italy was not.


  • @reloader-1:

    Glad to hear we are on the same page.

    Did individual Frenchmen, and units, perform heroics in WWII? Undoubtedly! Bir Hakeim is a shining example of this.

    Did the French army (as a whole) perform miserably? Also undoubtedly!

    They did perform miserably, not because of individual courage, but because of their commanders, withering old men whose minds were still in 1918. If we had more men like de Gaulle, Leclerc, and so on, I doubt we would have fallen in merely six weeks.


  • A friend of mine just got her game and she was missing the German pieces.  How much does that stink.  She is gonna use Japan’s pieces to play Europe until she gets them from WOTC.  I guess it’s bound to happen.


  • It’s really quite sad that WOTC cannot produce copies of AAE40 with all pieces, considering how much hype there has been and how many other games they have made if AA… 😐


  • Manufacturing error. Happens all the time.

    Stop whining.


  • In all honesty the French were bled white by the first world war, they took huge losses and the war was mainly fought on their territory. They just lost the will to fight after what happened in WWI.


  • @maverick_76:

    In all honesty the French were bled white by the first world war, they took huge losses and the war was mainly fought on their territory. They just lost the will to fight after what happened in WWI.

    They’re still French.


  • @reloader-1:

    Manufacturing error. Happens all the time.

    Stop whining.

    I guess your right, there are probably a lot more games bought without errors.


  • I got all French units.
    I got all German units.

    But the Russians are nowhere to be seen ….

    • is off to send an email to WOTC, and suggest using another manufacturer next time *

  • @Dylan:

    @maverick_76:

    In all honesty the French were bled white by the first world war, they took huge losses and the war was mainly fought on their territory. They just lost the will to fight after what happened in WWI.

    They’re still French.

    OK? Point being?


  • @UN:

    @Dylan:

    @maverick_76:

    In all honesty the French were bled white by the first world war, they took huge losses and the war was mainly fought on their territory. They just lost the will to fight after what happened in WWI.

    They’re still French.

    OK? Point being?

    There still French, to me thats enough said.


  • Oh boy, I really got the ball rolling.  Sorry to anyone who got offended it was just a little friendly jab.  Since everyone is throwing in their two cents I will add mine.

    During WWII it was really not a question of individual bravery or inability that lost the fight, it was poor leadership and some bad strategic chooses that were compounded by a bold German plan.  I would say the individual french soldiers performed admirably and too many paid the ultimate sacrifice, you can not take anything away from them for many died with their guns in their hands.

    The french simply fought poorly because they were poorly led, had they had Field Marshals whom could think outside the box and whom could fight more offensively then the common view of the French would have been different.  It is too bad that some of us (myself included) sometimes fault an entire nation for the actions of just a few of their leaders.


  • Honestly the main problem was that they were using pre-WWI equipment, they actually reverted back to calvary and stopped producing tanks. It was a horrid chain of events that led up to them getting run over like they did. They didn’t have an air force, ther generals were all old and still in the mindset of WWI tactics (anyone just has to look at the maginot line to see that they still believed in trench warfare).


  • @maverick_76:

    Honestly the main problem was that they were using pre-WWI equipment, they actually reverted back to calvary and stopped producing tanks. It was a horrid chain of events that led up to them getting run over like they did. They didn’t have an air force, ther generals were all old and still in the mindset of WWI tactics (anyone just has to look at the maginot line to see that they still believed in trench warfare).

    Uh, a lot of armies at that time still used cavalry, including the Soviet Union, Germany, and the United States.

    We had better tanks than the Germans, and although our air force (which we did have, we do have the world’s oldest airforce after all  :-D) was mostly made of outdated planes (though not bi-planes), the D.520 fighter was actually a very modern aircraft, comparable to the German Me-109 or the British Spitfire. There was also the LeO 45, a very effective bomber, but only saw limited use

    So it wasn’t that we lagged behind in military development; we just lagged behind in producing enough of that good, modern stuff.


  • Most historians contest that France had ancient tactics and equipment when fighting the invading Germans. Every time I think of it I see the video of a calvary charge with their swords unsheathed. I think I saw on the World at War series.


  • @maverick_76:

    Most historians contest that France had ancient tactics and equipment when fighting the invading Germans. Every time I think of it I see the video of a calvary charge with their swords unsheathed. I think I saw on the World at War series.

    Not sure what historians you saw.  :? We definitely had modern equipment; our heaviest tank, the Char b1, had better armor and firepower than the Panzer II or III, the mainstream German tanks at that time. It was, however, a gas guzzler, and was pretty slow.

    And like I said, the D.520 fighter was modern for its time, as was the LeO fighter, but they saw little action as it was too late to mass produce them. Same with the other modern equipment we had, including the Char b1 tank.

    Not sure where you got the French charging the Germans with cavalry. Not a single reported incident of that happened. Same with Poland, where there’s a myth of them using horses against panzers.  :roll:

    But ancient tactics? Well, 1918 tactics. Only a few like Charles de Gaulle advocated modern warfare. Actually, Heinz Guderian, one of the big developers of blitzkrieg, read de Gaulle’s book, compared it to his own, and found many similarities. So yes, the French High Command was still thinking 1918; the Germans were thinking 1940.

    However, in comparison to the Army, the Navy was very well trained and had modern ships. Small wonder the British were desperate enough to bomb the fleet at Mers El Kébir!


  • @UN:

    @maverick_76:

    Most historians contest that France had ancient tactics and equipment when fighting the invading Germans. Every time I think of it I see the video of a calvary charge with their swords unsheathed. I think I saw on the World at War series.

    Not sure what historians you saw.  :? We definitely had modern equipment; our heaviest tank, the Char b1, had better armor and firepower than the Panzer II or III, the mainstream German tanks at that time. It was, however, a gas guzzler, and was pretty slow.

    And like I said, the D.520 fighter was modern for its time, as was the LeO fighter, but they saw little action as it was too late to mass produce them. Same with the other modern equipment we had, including the Char b1 tank.

    Not sure where you got the French charging the Germans with cavalry. Not a single reported incident of that happened. Same with Poland, where there’s a myth of them using horses against panzers.  :roll:

    But ancient tactics? Well, 1918 tactics. Only a few like Charles de Gaulle advocated modern warfare. Actually, Heinz Guderian, one of the big developers of blitzkrieg, read de Gaulle’s book, compared it to his own, and found many similarities. So yes, the French High Command was still thinking 1918; the Germans were thinking 1940.

    However, in comparison to the Army, the Navy was very well trained and had modern ships. Small wonder the British were desperate enough to bomb the fleet at Mers El Kébir!

    I think in Poland, the calvary was attacking German inf, and then tanks showed up.


  • @calvinhobbesliker:

    @UN:

    @maverick_76:

    Most historians contest that France had ancient tactics and equipment when fighting the invading Germans. Every time I think of it I see the video of a calvary charge with their swords unsheathed. I think I saw on the World at War series.

    Not sure what historians you saw.  :? We definitely had modern equipment; our heaviest tank, the Char b1, had better armor and firepower than the Panzer II or III, the mainstream German tanks at that time. It was, however, a gas guzzler, and was pretty slow.

    And like I said, the D.520 fighter was modern for its time, as was the LeO fighter, but they saw little action as it was too late to mass produce them. Same with the other modern equipment we had, including the Char b1 tank.

    Not sure where you got the French charging the Germans with cavalry. Not a single reported incident of that happened. Same with Poland, where there’s a myth of them using horses against panzers.  :roll:

    But ancient tactics? Well, 1918 tactics. Only a few like Charles de Gaulle advocated modern warfare. Actually, Heinz Guderian, one of the big developers of blitzkrieg, read de Gaulle’s book, compared it to his own, and found many similarities. So yes, the French High Command was still thinking 1918; the Germans were thinking 1940.

    However, in comparison to the Army, the Navy was very well trained and had modern ships. Small wonder the British were desperate enough to bomb the fleet at Mers El Kébir!

    I think in Poland, the calvary was attacking German inf, and then tanks showed up.

    Polish cavalry never charged German tanks or entrenched infantry or artillery, but usually acted as mobile infantry (like dragoons) and reconnaissance  units and executed cavalry charges only in rare situations against foot soldiers. Other armies (including German and Soviet) also fielded and extensively used elite horse cavalry units at that time. Polish cavalry consisted of eleven brigades, as emphasized by its military doctrine, equipped with anti tank rifles “UR” and light artillery such as the highly effective Bofors 37 mm antitank gun. The myth originated from war correspondents reports of the Battle of Krojanty, where a Polish cavalry brigade was fired upon in ambush by hidden armored vehicles, after it had mounted a sabre-charge against German infantry.


  • @UN:

    @maverick_76:

    Most historians contest that France had ancient tactics and equipment when fighting the invading Germans. Every time I think of it I see the video of a calvary charge with their swords unsheathed. I think I saw on the World at War series.

    Not sure what historians you saw.  :? We definitely had modern equipment; our heaviest tank, the Char b1, had better armor and firepower than the Panzer II or III, the mainstream German tanks at that time. It was, however, a gas guzzler, and was pretty slow.

    And like I said, the D.520 fighter was modern for its time, as was the LeO fighter, but they saw little action as it was too late to mass produce them. Same with the other modern equipment we had, including the Char b1 tank.

    Not sure where you got the French charging the Germans with cavalry. Not a single reported incident of that happened. Same with Poland, where there’s a myth of them using horses against panzers.  :roll:

    But ancient tactics? Well, 1918 tactics. Only a few like Charles de Gaulle advocated modern warfare. Actually, Heinz Guderian, one of the big developers of blitzkrieg, read de Gaulle’s book, compared it to his own, and found many similarities. So yes, the French High Command was still thinking 1918; the Germans were thinking 1940.

    However, in comparison to the Army, the Navy was very well trained and had modern ships. Small wonder the British were desperate enough to bomb the fleet at Mers El Kébir!

    I never said that the film I saw was an actual charge, I’m pretty sure it was just a propaganda piece. This link is what I was talking about, not sure where it is at though.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waDKwtvAOvI&feature=related


  • The French equipment was top of the line. (tanks especially).

    They had serviceable fighters and other equipment. That is probably one of the reasons why they are disparaged so much, is that they cannot blame losing on inadequate equipment.

    The French soldier was capable of bravery. However, they were so ineptly led and trained that they were near useless in combat. It is sad that the war ended so fast for mainland France, for they were unable to develop a national “character” of their soldiers. For example:

    Russia = Soldiers developed a reputation for tenacity - no matter what, they would keep fighting, no matter the costs
    Japan = Developed a reputation for sheer lack of the fear of death - until a Japanese soldier was dead, he wouldn’t stop fighting
    UK = Brave, resolute, steadfast and dependable. They may not be the quickest to achieve an objective, but they would take it.
    German = “Thinking” soldiers. They would outthink you on the battlefield, using flanking movement etc. Also very brave.
    US = Not giving up. It may take thousands and thousands of rounds, but they would not give up. NUTS!
    Italy = Not really in the war, they would surrender due to apathy and inferior equipment (and rightly so).

    The only possible image we have of France is of a near immediate surrender. (Hence the jokes) I really feel that the blame lies on commander from the Sergeant level up - the French soldier was not motivated enough, and that is inexcusable, especially when your country is invaded.


  • @reloader-1:

    The French equipment was top of the line. (tanks especially).

    They had serviceable fighters and other equipment. That is probably one of the reasons why they are disparaged so much, is that they cannot blame losing on inadequate equipment.

    The French soldier was capable of bravery. However, they were so ineptly led and trained that they were near useless in combat. It is sad that the war ended so fast for mainland France, for they were unable to develop a national “character” of their soldiers. For example:

    Russia = Soldiers developed a reputation for tenacity - no matter what, they would keep fighting, no matter the costs
    Japan = Developed a reputation for sheer lack of the fear of death - until a Japanese soldier was dead, he wouldn’t stop fighting
    UK = Brave, resolute, steadfast and dependable. They may not be the quickest to achieve an objective, but they would take it.
    German = “Thinking” soldiers. They would outthink you on the battlefield, using flanking movement etc. Also very brave.
    US = Not giving up. It may take thousands and thousands of rounds, but they would not give up. NUTS!
    Italy = Not really in the war, they would surrender due to apathy and inferior equipment (and rightly so).

    The only possible image we have of France is of a near immediate surrender. (Hence the jokes) I really feel that the blame lies on commander from the Sergeant level up - the French soldier was not motivated enough, and that is inexcusable, especially when your country is invaded.

    What about ANZAC and China?

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