Existence Means War: the Case of France, Western Civilization

No country, arguably, has a fiercer and longer military history than France. Only China compares…However, not really since China, like India was composed of several very different ethnicities, until very recent times (whereas France was all united under the Romans for centuries, before she went from “Gallia” to “Francia”… even then, the language, the lingua Franca, didn’t change; France had one language, Latin, and three underlying Celtic languages; China had around 100, although with one writing system… India, several, of both).

The history of the world is the history of victories, military or philosophical. Countries such as the Central State, China, exists, because they didn’t lose crucial battles, or when China did lose to Genghis Khan, and then Ogedei, China awed the Khan enough for him to spare it (it had been proposed by Mongol generals, after the crushing Mongol victory, to eradicate China’s population and ecology, solving the Chinese problems many Mongols thought they had).

The Mongols did annihilate several highly original civilizations. And mauled others beyond recognition; for example the Mongols eradicated the Republican spirit in Russia, along with all its independence, for three centuries.

France is the successor state of Rome: the first king of the Franks was Roman imperator (he had the “imperium”), and Roman Consul. France could only exist through a long string of victories.

Most notably against the Muslims; considering what the Muslim invaders and their Islamist ideology did in North Africa, a total eradication not just of history, but of the will to civilization, the defeat of Islam was the defining moment of Western history. As the great historian of Rome Edward Gibbon put it:, had the Muslims won at Poitiers in 732 CE (or Toulouse, in 721 CE or Narbonne in 737 CE, the city itself being evacuated by the Islamists in 759 CE):

“the Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet.”

Instead, as I have alleged, the repeated Muslim exterminations in France brought the collapse of the Arab Umayyad dynasty in 750 CE (destroying the myth of the Arab Caliphate just then: after that the influence of Iran was overwhelming…)

But for Russia and Ukraine, which were abandoned to their sad fate when the Mongol “Golden Horde” invaded them in the 13C, pretty much all of Europe was molded by Francia. (Including more or less directly Scandinavia, as the kingdom of Denmark waged a long war against France, starting under Charlemagne when it refused to return Saxon refugees and lords.)

From there on, Russia resented Western Europe, for child abandonment… Hence the jostling for power with France in the Middle East, which brought the Crimean War. (To some extent, Putin is repeating the pattern…)

Capture of Crucial Tower During the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimea, 1855. Notice the pretty red pants of the French army. From a Provence plant. German gunners found those scarlet pants most practical for target practice in 1914, when the French army suffered up to 23,000 killed in one day during unsuccessful counterattack (before successfully counterattacking 2 weeks later). This a painting by French painter Vernet, not plutocratic-we-own-the-world-because-we-say-so  thug like “Getty”…

The military might of France, driven by her central position, history and demography, was considerable: not only the French invaded England, creating the UK we have now, but at Bouvine in 1214 CE, a grand coalition including England and the Roman-German empire, was defeated by Philippe Auguste. And on it went: fascist Catholic Spain was ultimately broken by France, creating the Netherlands in the process.

The war of Spain against France lasted two centuries. Its initial aim was for some Spaniards to capture the French possessions in Southern Italy and Sicily which had been wrestled from the Muslims, centuries prior.

The war of France with ultra-militaristic, fascist and racist Prussia started in the mid 18C. Prussia was financed by Britain, and things didn’t go well for France, which lost the 1756-1763 world war (7 year war, “Indian and French war” in Americanese). Ultimately, though, Prussia and its thought system (racism, anti-Judaism, anti-Slavism, ultra militarization, etc.) were annihilated in 1945, in ALL ways.

Animated by a spirit of vengeance, France created the American Republic (king Louis XVI was warned that he was creating a republic in America; he shrugged that off). France won that war against the UK, but the financial cost was so great, that the French Revolution ensued (not only French agents contributed to the insurrection, but France provided more than 90% of the ammunition used by the American rebels. The war finished with two French armies (generals Rochambeau, Lafayette) converging on the besieged British army blockaded by the French fleet (admiral D’Estaing).

Since the Napoleonic era, or, rather, the Napoleonic error, France won many victories. Some were military, some philosophical (but with major military consequences). The military victories enabled France to keep on existing (Europe too). The philosophical ones, well, as Chou En Lai said, when asked to evaluate the French Revolution, it’s too early to tell how much impact they will have on humanity.

 

France defeated the pirates and potentates of Algeria (1830), then occupied and modernized this enormous country (half of my family is from, so I guess I am a French victory too!).

French and British armies and fleets defeated China, which had to make a number of treaties, opening up to trade and the world (1856-1860;1884-1885; UK got a tiny help from the USA).

France and Britain, mostly France, defeated Russia in Crimea (in many ways reminiscent of today’s demons.).

 

France crushed the Austrian empire at the battles of Magenta and Solferino (24 June 1859). That freed Italy from Austria, creating Italy as a state. And even a nation. Ironically, later the dictator Benito Mussolini would force Northern Italians to speak “Italian” (whereas before they often spoke other languages closer to French, or German…)

 

France lost the war of 1870–1871 with Prussia. However, when Prussia, now the German empire attacked to finish the French Republic in August 1914, it nearly lost its entire army six weeks later (First battle of the Marne). Ultimately, after enormous losses, and thanks to delayed but considerable British help, France won, and had won even before the USA came fully to the rescue of victory (France had cut off the German food supply in the south, and the entry of the USA in the war had cut off Germany from crucial US help through the hypocritical Netherlands!)

France declared war to the Nazis (September 3, 1939). Victory was delayed several years by the stupendous and improbable loss of the Battle of France (deadliest battle on the western front in WWII). That was lost through a combination of bad luck, treason (Duke of Wales told Hitler of the Allied weak point), major incompetence of the French commander (who was warned by his second in command of exactly what happened), fighting Germans battle hardened in Spain for four years (thus superior tactics and training in the first week, when the battle was lost).

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The next crucial French victory was Bir Hakeim, a modern Thermopylae, but with a much lethal, yet positive outcome (June 1942). The French were around 3,300 men (and one woman!) Those heroes resisted incredible pounding, preventing Rommel’s Afrika Korps from encircling the defeated British Eighth army, by stopping him for weeks. Half of the force was evacuated in the end, half died on the spot.

The French Republic won the Algerian war, militarily (using torture, true, but so did the other side, which was also in terrorist bombing against innocent civilians). However, De Gaulle was an epistolary racist and wanted Algeria cut off from France. France was also getting enormous pressure from the USSR and the USA to become a secondary power (“decolonization”), so he treacherously gave Algeria to a party of thugs, the FNL (which still has it, complete with the last surviving character from the 1950s as dictator).

There were other French victories, of a more subtle type: the leaders of Communist China and Vietnam were instructed, not to say indoctrinated by French Communists in Paris. When negotiating with them, French Socialists gave them half of Vietnam. Many in France viewed the “defeat” in Vietnam as a victory (of French Communism!).

The greatest French victory of all was the establishment of the United Nations (the SDN, prototype of the UN in which the US refused to partake, was actually a French idea from 1916, later captured by US racist president Wilson, the guy who operated a U-turn in World War One, when he saw that the Franco-British victory was in the cards… said victory was delayed by the collapse of Russia, itself due to the Kaiser allying himself with Lenin and his henchmen…)

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Conclusion: The history of the West, post-Rome is pretty much the history of France. By 800 CE, Francia had officially “renovated the Roman empire”… And the Eastern Roman empire, saved by the annihilation of three successive Islamist invasions of France (721 CE to 748 CE) could only agree. In 846 CE several Frankish army  annihilated the Muslims who had raided Rome, burned the Vatican.(one army was headed by Frankish Dux Guy… often Guy is presented as a “Lombard” because the Franks decided they were Lombards… after, and because having defeated the Lombards. Actually Charlemagne proudly wore their Iron Crown; the Lombards, Long Beards, had come into Italy from Northern Germany, and occupied it for two centuries before the Franks consented to submit them to stop the whining of the Popes, who the Franks tortured… through the Lombards…)

And what of China? China, by my own reckoning, spent 6 centuries under foreign occupation, most of it under the “Jurchen” later self-relabelled as “Manchus”. However the Mongol invasions and occupation were a near-death experience. China is mightier than ever

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Morality: Sometimes, war should give peace a chance. Yet, without war, by those states most advanced in matters philosophical, not only peace has no chance, but nor does civilization. Philosophical correctness means you can’t have your dictator and eat it. If you want to eat it, you have to make war. That’s French lesson number one.

Patrice Ayme

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Note 1: I allude above to one of the scariest moment of history. The most capable and efficient general Subotai was put in charge of the assault against the Jin in their emergency capital of Kaifeng. Subotai wished to massacre the whole of the population, and change the ecology (from agricultural to pastoral, Mongol style). But fortunately for the North Chinese, general Yelu Chucai was more humane, wiser, and under his advice Ogodei rejected the cruel suggestion of eradication which had befallen many civilizations which opposed the Mongols, including the longest existing and mightiest Buddhist empire of the Xiaxia.

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Note 2: The preceding essay was motivated by an impudent, ignorant, dumb and offensive (“troll-like”) question in Quora: Did France have any major combat victories since the Napoleonic era?”

 

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3 Responses to “Existence Means War: the Case of France, Western Civilization”

  1. G Max Says:

    What consequences in today’s world?

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Everything, stay tuned. The USA is pretty much the child of France (rather than Britain). The US Republic’s aggressive posture is best understood by looking at France (Britain is also a child of France, anyway: both countries were officially the same until 1815 CE, according to London, if not reality…)

      Like

  2. G Max Says:

    I mean like the US is much bigger than France. So are you saying that Trump’s tough policies is what the doctor ordered, the civilization doctor?

    Like

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