Monday, 1 February 2010

UK's allies; France - quoi?

Certain physical exercises have left me homebound on a school day much to my dismay. Alas the work will have to be done at home instead. No problemo. On a completely different note I would like to highlight this article produced in the Times which suggest that we should form stronger military relationships with France. I usually take the piss out the French, in good humour, and then people take the piss out of me for taking the piss out of the French ad infinitum. I would just like to highlight a comment from that article which explains precisely why I think that any form of military alliance with France displays a historical naivety of monstrous proportions. There is a reason why we have spent the past centuries submerged in mutual suspicion, that wont go away just because the world became a bit more connected.
In 1982 the French rushed to supply their Argentinian friends with Exocet missiles in order to get them into service in time for them to be used against our task force sent to liberate the Falklands.

Throughout the Cold War the French were quite happy for British troops in Germany to protect Western Europe whilst they refused to be a full member of NATO and made it clear that should the Russian's cross the Elbe they the French wouldn't get involved unless France itself was threatened.

In 1940 with less than a 1/5 of France occupied by the German's the French surrendered. Even though the British had landed 3 BEF in Western France and was rushing these troops to the front to replace those evacuated from Dunkirk and Calais. When France surrendered they wanted 3 BEF to also surrender and opposed moves to evacuate it from Normandy. They then spent the rest of the war collaborating with the German's, fighting British troops in Palestine/Syria, North Africa and the Indian Ocean.

In 1916 the French Armies mutinied and British troops had to hold the line from the North Sea to South of Verdun.

Allying ourselves is absolute madness. The French governments for the past 100 years have proved themselves untrustworthy in time of war.


Unknown said...

I am a history graduate and I discover here facts I never heard of. Thanks very much.
I am sure you have reputable sources for every one of your assertions.
For instance, I had no idea that the French at the same time rushed to supply the Argentineans with missiles and offered political help to the British government and technical expertise to the Royal Navy. What an example of duplicity !
I was not aware that the French government refused throughout the Cold war to be a full member of NATO. I used to know that France was a full member of NATO until 1966.
I did not know that the British landed three BEF forces in western France after the collapse of the front line. Can you name those divisions ?
I never suspected that the French Army mutinied in 1916. I always was told that a few units mutinied in 1917.
So, the British Army in 1916 manned the line from the North Sea to the South of Verdun ? How strange, I cannot find it in Liddell Hart's A History of the World War (1914–1918).

13th Spitfire said...

Excellent lets have a sarcasm filled history discussion, just what I need after a long days work. I presume that you think because you are a history graduate you thus pull the longer straw on every issue and I am not allowed to contradict you because of your degree? Well walk on the dear boy for you are sadly mistaken if you think that is the case.

Yes lets talk about the Falklands, I too have written alot about that little triffle. I suppose you did not know either that Mi6 trekked the globe in order to buy all the exoccet missiles and that they are currently somewhere in the UK, the lot of them, or destroyed.

Are you seriously saying that a nation cannot have ulterior motives? What kind of polytechnic history do you have exactly? Yes, I do belittle polytechnics quite right.

Mers-el-K├ębir was just a trifle as well I take it.

As for the Cold war, I imagine the person who's quote this is assumed that the Cold war started in or around the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Precisely why he chose to assume it to be the entire Cold war, well who knows. Maybe, as I believe, French was a non entity in NATO up until it left anyway so there was not really much to loose for the rest of the allies safe for De Gaulle kicking out the Americans - very grateful that was. Also, for a history graduate, I am not very impressed I must say. In 1966 France withdrew not from NATO but from NATO's military organisation.

Shall we go on? Or leave it there, I must say I am not very impressed by your history degree. The funny thing is that you appear to be thinking that because you have a history degree you automatically know more about history, when a history degree is a specialised course of very select topics. If you want to boast about your history knowledge (or in this case; lack thereof) you would be better of with an A-level.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your honest and direct answers. I mentioned my history degree only to explain my interest in history. I regret if I gave the impression of being sarcastic.

I didn't know that the « Mi6 trekked the globe in order to buy all the exocet missiles and that they are currently somewhere in the UK, the lot of them, or destroyed. » It's an astonishing and remarkable success. I understand now how wrong I was believing that Mi6 agents only acted as arms dealers to
divert Argentineans from the very few missiles available (for instance in Peru).

I must confess that I used a wrong choice of words about the 1966 French decision of abandoning the military organisation of the Atlantic Alliance.

Who cared, anyway, as you write « France was a non entity ». Has anything changed today ?

So, if the cold war started with the Cuban crisis in 1962, how your quote qualifies the period 1947-1962 ?

It's a pity you didn't' humble me on the other points I mentioned because it's always a good thing to learn from a knowledgeable man.

13th Spitfire said...

What?! You cannot suddenly be nice, that is no fun... that means my conscience forces me to be nice. Crap!

Oh dear, I shall have to write something nice now. Well soon.