the dissident frogman

12 years and 8 months ago

Great moments at the French Etat-major

the dissident frogman

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One of many, that is:
French expectation of victory in the Franco—Prussian War of 1870 was so great that its officers were issued maps of Germany, but not of France: "Alas, maps of the roads leading to Paris would have been more useful, so fast was the enemy's advance."—Geoffrey Blainey, The Causes of War
Pas si vite! Funny as it is, that doesn't beat sitting idly (crapping your pants listening to the defeatist tune of the anti-war Left) while Adolph H. remilitarizes the Rhineland, the Wehrmarcht guts Poland, invades Denmark & Norway and regroups its forces for a Summer of Love in the gay Paris while you stack men and tanks at the Maginot Line even though you know perfectly well that the bulk of the Teutonic Horde is elsewhere.

Compared to the abject pacifist apathy of 1940's French army and society, there is something of an appeal in its mindless 1870 optimism, no matter how misguided1.
  1. Ha-ha. You know, misguided, coz they had like, you know, no maps and all.

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