Chicago Boyz

What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?

  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Bastille Day

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on July 14th, 2015 (All posts by )

    Liberté, égalité, fraternité.

    Vive la Republique.

    Vive la France.


    “Ils ne passeront pas!”


    Verdun 1916

    Bir Hakeim

    Bir Hakeim 1942

    French Tricolor blue sky

    Reprise: Thoughts on Bastille Day 2014.

    First image from Wikipedia

    Second image from Australians on the Western Front, 1914-1918

    Third image from Wikimedia

    Fourth image from CVS Flags Blog


    17 Responses to “Bastille Day”

    1. Mike K Says:

      I’ve been in Paris on Bastille Day. The French like fireworks as much as we do.

      We are still living with the consequences of the French Revolution. Chou en Lai was not wrong that it is too soon to see the effects but they are not as far ahead as they were when he was asked.

      The Iran agreement is a step to war in the next decade.

      I don’t understand Germany’s role in the European difficulties. I understand they work hard and save money. Just to be in Venice when a German tour bus arrives helps us to understand this. The Venetians hate them. They sleep and eat on the bus and march through the city getting in everyone’s way but spending nothing.

      The French entrepreneurial class all leave France, mostly for Britain. The working British live in and around London with most of the rest of the European achievement class. The rest of Britain is on the Dole.

      At least the violent underclass of Paris is on the periphery and not in the center of the city. Chicago should be so lucky.

    2. GFV Says:

      Years ago I acquired a vintage French Infantry rifle.

      What a bargain!

      It was never fired and only dropped once.

    3. Mike K Says:

      “It was never fired and only dropped once.”

      Is that like an Italian tank ? Four speeds in reverse ?

    4. Grurray Says:

      Or how about –

      Who shot Mussolini?
      1000 Italian sharpshooters

    5. Mrs. Davis Says:

      France’s soldiers were as courageous as any Americans. Their problem is that they were led by a secular elite with no values and no will to win. Something with which Americans are becoming familiar.

    6. Lexington Green Says:

      “It was never fired and only dropped once.”

      Tell that to the poilu at Verdun in the picture above.

      Tell that to the French troops attacking at Bir Hakeim in the picture above.

      The whole idiotic business about the French being cowards really got going among American conservatives when they chose not to participate in the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

      The French were right.

      The invasion of Iraq was a tragic mistake. The French were smart, not cowardly, for not getting involved in it.

      As to 1940, the one time the French surrendered quickly, instead of after spilling buckets of enemy blood, the Germans outfought them. The Germans were at the top of their game in 1940. The Americans did not even have an army, in any meaningful sense, in 1940. Americans sat out that war. Were they cowards to do so? We expected the British and French, our allies in the previous war, to stop the Nazis by themselves. Was that honorable or brave conduct by the USA? The American military, it had been in that fight, would have been trounced by the Germans. The first time the Americans faced the Germans in that war, they humiliated us. The US military beat the Germans because the Soviet Union suffered and inflicted 90% of the casualties. The USA had to fight as hard as it could just to finish off the scraps leftover from the conflict in the East.

      Americans have had the good fortune to live next to Canada and Mexico, two weak countries, for our entire national existence.

      France has been surrounded by powerful enemies for the better part of a millennium. In that snake pit, France has preserved its national independence by centuries of constant warfare, and usually successful warfare.

      This canard about French cowardice and supposed military incompetence is baseless and idiotic and one of many reasons to be embarrassed and disgusted by my fellow Conservatives in the age of social media and the rapid circulation of vapid, ignorant memes.

    7. Jonathan Says:

      Let’s not get carried away about the French in 2003. To a significant, perhaps decisive, degree the French leadership opposed the invasion because they were on the take from Saddam Hussein. Remember de Villepin’s press conference after one of the final UN votes, when he refused to express a preference between the USA and Iraq?

      There were many heroic French in WW2. There were also many collaborators. The French, unlike the Italians, Dutch, Danes and Bulgarians, rounded up their Jewish countrymen for delivery to the Nazis, and most French Jews didn’t survive the war.

      There is much to admire about France. There is also much not to admire.

    8. RonaldF Says:

      The West was counting on the French Army to do all the heavy lifting against Hitler. We had an ocean, the British had the Channel, and Russia had vast expanses of land. France could not afford one mistake and when this happened they had nowhere to re-group. The US was completely unprepared for war. The French units that chose to fight in North Africa gave us a bloody nose. These same troops captured Monte Casino after 3 failed attempts by other troops. They are not cowards, but obviously consider their own interests first.

    9. Dan from Madison Says:

      The euro was $1.37 when I went to France last year. It is now around $1.10. I wish I hadn’t skipped going this year but I have many more trips to make for cycling. French food, wine, fashion, and so much more is absolutely excellent. In the rural areas, people are as friendly as they are in any rural area in the US. I have vacationed in the Pyrenees several times (cycling) and plan on eventually heading to the Alps – the scenery, hiking and cycling in the Pyrnees will be hard to top, and there is a lot of history there as well. I highly recommend a trip if you can swing it.

    10. Mike K Says:

      “Tell that to the poilu at Verdun in the picture above.”

      Tell me why South Dakota pheasants run instead of fly and I will explain French cowardice in 1940.

      The flyers and the fighters got shot. Remember the term Pour Encourager Les Autres?

      That was WWI after the mutinies.

      Much the same is now true of Germany. They are more lovers than fighters although they are still better workers than the French.

      Don’t get me wrong. I had plans of retiring to France until my marriage took a 25 year hiatus. We are too old now.

    11. Lexington Green Says:

      “Tell me why South Dakota pheasants run instead of fly and I will explain French cowardice in 1940.”

      Meaningless. Explain it to me.

      “Remember the term Pour Encourager Les Autres? That was WWI after the mutinies.”

      You obviously have failed to acquaint yourself with most of the pertinent facts. Retain shot very few people to put down the mutiny, only a few ringleaders. Further the French Army units that mutinied had been fed pointlessly into a meat grinder by Nivelle, who falsely promised victory in a single bound. Reasonable treatment by the high command, and not being asked to do the impossible ended the mutiny, not the small number of firing squads. The French fought hard for the rest of the war.

    12. Mitch Says:

      The French lost over 200,000 killed in the 6 weeks of the Battle of France. The US lost 400,000 killed in the 4 years we were in the war. No question the French army had problems, but willingness to fight was not the big one. Moronic strategy, incompetent tactics, political shortsightedness… yeah, you can have those, but not cowardice.

    13. David Foster Says:

      From what I’ve read, the quality of fighting varied greatly from unit to unit…unfortunately, the units that were positioned to defend the Ardennes route, which was erroneously believed to largely impassible for large units, were lower-quality units composed largely of middle-aged reservists.

    14. Mike K Says:

      “You obviously have failed to acquaint yourself with most of the pertinent facts”

      Ah, I turn over my king to you sir.

    15. GFV Says:

      “This canard about French cowardice and supposed military incompetence is baseless and idiotic and one of many reasons to be embarrassed and disgusted by my fellow Conservatives in the age of social media and the rapid circulation of vapid, ignorant memes.”


      What Does “Maginot Line” mean in French?

      “Speed bump ahead”

    16. Will Says:

      Can’t speak to the effectiveness of the French Army, but those Paris motorcycle cops sure can ride, one of the first things I noticed upon my arrival. Also, witnessed them address a street protest over near Montmartre. No helmets, shields or body armor. Just a bunch of guys in vans, on bikes and in short-sleeves. Old-school ass-kicking. People being dragged by the scruff of the neck. Café guy told me he was almost sixty, that “they had been doing it as long as he could remember” Wouldn’t mind having that bunch watching my back.

    17. Anonymous Says:

      Mitch, the French suffered over 200,000 casualties in 1940, of which 85,000 were killed (some estimates go as low as 55,000, which is more in line with common killed/wounded ratios of the time). They did suffer 210,000 military dead in all of WWII. Some at American and British hands while defending the pro-Axis Vichy regime.

      Had Britain and France acted in 1936, or even in 1938, there would’ve been no fall of France in 1940. An intact France and undistracted England would surely have given the Japanese pause in 1941. We’d started re-arming in 1940 when it was apparent that war was coming, but even by November, 1942, we weren’t ready to take on Germany in a full-on land war. We had a hard enough time in North Africa and then in Italy in 1943.