Thursday, February 10, 2005

Great French Generals of the 20th Century

I've been struggling for something serious to write recently. Two of the long pieces I've been working on are based on academic research and can't be posted yet in case some of my fellow students might be tempted to incorporate some of it into their essays over the next couple of months. I'm part way through finally getting that write up on the Pakistan Tribal Areas conference written up but can't face finishing it yet.

But I've come up with an idea that I might pursue over the next few weeks.

Being British, it goes without saying that I am a virulent Francophobe. But - perhaps like many Brits - I have a strange love/hate relationship with the French. This extends to the French armed forces.

Anyway, I'm fed up of the received wisdom that the French haven't achieved anything militarily since the time of Napoleon. Aside from being smug, it's ahistorical and completely untrue. So over the next few weeks I think I'm gonna try to find time to flag up some of the very serious achievements of the French in the field of military affairs over the past hundred years or so.

No, this is not a joke.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go for it.

I recommend Marshall Petain for his fine work in WWI, though which was very unfortunately eclipsed by his collaboration in the Vichy.

General de Lattre did well in his brief tenure in Indochina during that COIN, prior to the untimely death from cancer.

General Juin did well in WW2 Italy, but I must confess to not having studied that campaign in detail.

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...

The recent book by Douglas Porch on the Mediterranean theater (The Path to Victory in the US) is quite complementary about Juin's accomplishments

10:47 PM  
Blogger praktike said...


10:09 PM  

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