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Old 02-16-2012, 09:56 PM
Pablo O'Malley Pablo O'Malley is offline
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Why were French such gutless cowards in WWII?

Has there ever been a decent explanation given why the French were such gutless cowards in World War II? They had one of the largest armies in Europe and had a large country and lots of people and resources and wealth, so why did they surrender so quickly to the Nazis? Was it really, as I've always heard, that the French didn't want their precious beautiful old buildings, like Notre Dame etc, bombed and destroyed, so rather than fight and suffer bomb damage they decided to surrender to save their buildings? Seems to me the permanent blow to their national reputation--forever being branded as gutless surrender monkeys--far outweighs any buildings that were saved...So why did they give up so quickly?
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:05 PM
RaftPeople RaftPeople is offline
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Before answering the question of "why" it seems like we would have to establish that they were in fact "gutless". Is there data to help us determine the answer to that?
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:06 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is online now
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They were soundly beaten very quickly. They suffered over 100,000 casualties, their armies outflanked and the Nazis were already in their rear supply areas with nothing to stop the Nazis from occupying the entire country as the French army was cut off from supplies and sitting ducks to slaughter as soon as they were encircled. Rather than have a few million young men slaughtered so that armchair warriors would think better of them, they surrendered, went home and many joined the resistance.

In short they had lost every opportunity of victory and faced certain death. In the Franco Prussian war of 1870, Bismarck did pretty much the same thing, France surrendered, signed a treaty of reparations and the Germans went home, taking the Alsace Lorraine in the bargain.

Remember, the French army did something most have never done and will never do: engaged in combat with Nazi blitzkrieg armies using inferior weapons, strategy and tactics.

Last edited by The Second Stone; 02-16-2012 at 10:07 PM..
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:07 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:08 PM
friedo friedo is offline
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The French were dumb, not gutless. By all accounts, the members of the regular French army who fought the Nazis did so with valor, not to mention the bravery of the underground French resistance during the occupation. The reason they surrendered so quickly is because their tactics were so out of date, their intelligence so woefully inadequate, and their border defenses so poorly designed, that the Germans were able to roll across the country largely unimpeded.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:17 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo O'Malley View Post
Has there ever been a decent explanation given why the French were such gutless cowards in World War II? They had one of the largest armies in Europe and had a large country and lots of people and resources and wealth, so why did they surrender so quickly to the Nazis? Was it really, as I've always heard, that the French didn't want their precious beautiful old buildings, like Notre Dame etc, bombed and destroyed, so rather than fight and suffer bomb damage they decided to surrender to save their buildings? Seems to me the permanent blow to their national reputation--forever being branded as gutless surrender monkeys--far outweighs any buildings that were saved...So why did they give up so quickly?
[Moderator Warning]

Pablo O'Malley, I've repeatedly instructed you to moderate your language in General Questions. You've received four moderator notes and two warnings in just over a week. This is an official warning for trolling.

I have suspended the OP for 24 hours while I discuss his status with the rest of the moderation staff.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:13 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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After discussion with the rest of the staff, the OP has been banned permanently. The decision didn't take long.
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