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48

Before answering, just to take issue with the premise of the question. Yes, France received a permanent seat on the Security Council, not to mention her own occupation zones in Germany and Austria. But France was not accorded a status anything like the "Big Three" in most other respects. From May 1943 De Gaulle was operating independently from French ...


14

The main reason for the status of France after the WW2 was Churchill's position. Soft power and colonies are important, but nothing prevented the US & SU (both with strong anti-colonialist sentiment) from breaking up the French colonial empire. The war contribution of France was mostly in denying Germany the use of the French navy. The rest ...


14

Many French may have borne arms for the Axis, but it was very soft support; not many of them ever fired a shot in anger for the Axis. Even in October/November 1942 with the Axis at flood tide, Vichy North Africa rapidly switched allegiance after the Torch Landings at Casablanca, Oran and Algiers, despite some initial confused opposition. Following the ...


12

Here is the map of colonial possessions by 1945: The French possessions are in blue. As you can see, France controlled a territory comparable to the US, USSR, British and Chinese. Adding them meant adding representatives of a large portion of the world's population to the security council.


10

You might want to reivew the history of the NATO alliance, Charles De Gaulle, and the special relationship. In particular Immensely patriotic, de Gaulle and his supporters held the view, known as Gaullism, that France should continue to see itself as a major power and should not rely on other countries, such as the United States, for its national ...


9

I'm not into proscribing a lot of collective guilt onto modern peoples for acts of their cultural ancestors. In fact, its damn silly. However, if someone else is trying to do this publicly, they should be really careful, because when it comes to slavery almost no culture on earth has clean hands. This includes Muslim society, and local Negro1 cultures. ...


9

Pieter Geerkens answer is excellent and should be selected, but I want to add a few well-known facts which show that the "brutal statistic" is actually wrong by an order of magnitude. Western Front 1940 More than 2,200,000 French soldiers fought on the Western Front in 1940. This alone dwarfs the total number of any kind of military personnel under ...


8

If one interprets this question as Why were the Merovingians so reviled at the peak of their power?, then the answer is easy: they weren't. At the peak of their power, the frankish kingdoms were the most powerful geopolitical entities in Western Europe, were recognized as such and their kings were treated accordingly. The early Carolingians reviled the ...


8

To better answer this question you need to go back to the opening stages of the invasion. Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Northern France took place beginning on June 6th 1944. However, it took several weeks for the Allied forces to break out from their initial positions and by the time this happened most of the German forces that had been in ...


8

A quick Google search solves this question. Pausing at the tomb of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, he [John J. Pershing] was reputed to have uttered the famous line "Lafayette, we are here," a line spoken, in fact, by his aide, Colonel Charles E. Stanton. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_J._Pershing That statement cites ...


8

The answer lies, I believe, in the obscure end of the Merovingian epoch and is quite hard to understand from a modern perspective seeing that the geopolitical entitles involved disappeared completely under the Carolingians (at the risk of being off-topic, I still remember fondly reading these stories as a child and not understanding a word, so foreign seemed ...


7

Without a major fight! Where do you get your facts? Loss of over 1.5 million prisoners in less than 6 weeks, loss of virtually 100% of fighters and modern tanks, plus 100% of the artillery, firearms and ammunition stored in the Maginot Line left France completely defenceless. Sixty one of 117 total divisions had surrendered, the BEF had evacuated twice, ...


7

France has a lot of major (part) foreign weapons systems. It too operates E-3s, and prior to that E-2s for example. And many of the British systems are historically part British, developed either as joint ventures with other countries, produced under license in the US, or substitution British systems for part of the equipment in a system (the RAF's F-4 ...


7

Let's split that 20 year period up into foursegments and address the key factors at play in each one: 1792-1799 (approximately Valmy through Napoleon becoming First Consul) 1800-1802 (approximately Heliopolis through Peace of Amiens) 1803-1805 (Camp at Boulogne) 1805-1812 Valmy through First Consul: The French are winning consistently through this ...


6

The French Revolution occurred from 1789 to 1799. The period covered by Les Miserable which is the June Rebellion of 1832. Articles on the June Rebellion indicate the restored king was Louis Phillipe.


6

From my French point of view, I would like to add a few things to Mark's post. First, the UK and France were rival countries for a long time (the UK is often referred in French as our “greatest enemy”). After the WW2, the moral impact of the war made those countries to choose ways to protect themselves from another war. However, their responses were quite ...


6

The timing difference merely reflected the previous difference in deadline presented to Germany for withdrawal from Poland: 11:00 am the deadline presented by Great Britain, and 5:00pm that presented by France. Both countries promptly declared war as the respective deadlines passed without any withdrawal by Germany from Poland. The deadlines themselves had ...


5

There is a contemporary portrait of Joan of Arc in the art section of this site. However, none of it can be verified as being accurate and the artist had never seen Joanne. There are some short descriptions of her during her trial (here and here) and a biography here that do go into some detail of what she might have looked like. Of course, you can get ...


5

France was a world power in 1945, as pointed out by Anixx's colonial map, and still is (after a fashion), today. Along with the three defeated powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan), it is a member of the G-7, which also includes the United States, Britain and Canada (and does not include Russia or China). This is true even though the war basically reduced ...


5

Note that (according to Churchill anyway) Britain also declared war on Japan several hours before the USA did. You'll have trouble finding anyone arguing that this showed that the USA was a "junior partner". Churchill put it down to the difference in the two governments. In the USA, a formal declaration of war requires an act of Congress. Both houses didn't ...


5

If you'll take Ken Jennings as a source (as he does seem to know his literature), he not only agrees that there is no evidence that Louis XIV said this, but goes a step further and says that Louis XIV probably wouldn't have said it. He claims not only that it wasn't true that the French monarch was equivalent to the state, but that Louis XIV probably didn't ...


5

I am not well enough read in French history and governance to offer a good answer, so I shall offer a poor answer. My understanding of the comment is that all the governance of France originated in and was legitimized by Louis. What we now call the legislative, executive and judicial functions of the government were vested in Louis' person. Any of these ...


4

Balancing the Budget is very different from eliminating the National Debt. A Balanced Budget simply means that a country made a decrease, no matter how small, in the National Debt over the specified time period (usually a year). Given the horrendous expense of running Louis XIV's court, it is easy to see how the Budget might have improved simply in ...


4

Mers-el-Kebir was indeed a tragic episode in the history of Anglo-French relations. And it wasn't the only incident of its kind (though it was by far the costliest in lives). A number of engagements made up "Operation Catapult". British sailors used force to seize various French ships, some of them, like the giant submarine Surcouf already in British ports. ...


4

At that time there were tons of institutions called "Notre Dame", so it is pretty hard to find. According to French Wikipedia, first communion was at age 7-8 in 1910. Not sure about before, but that might be from a école élémentaire (or the equivalent at that time). Your best bet is to find similar anchors in this list of city blasons, and check whether ...


4

There was a set of reforms introduced by Napoleon into conquered countries The law based on Napoleonic code. The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs should go to the most qualified. The code declared presumption of innocence, competitive trial and right to an attorney. The code prohibited ...


4

Broadly speaking, there are two strategies in winning a war: "attrition" (starving the enemy into surrender) and "overwhelming" (defeating the enemy on the battlefield). Both sides tried both strategies in the WW1, and, in the end, Entente won by attrition. Moreover, the attempts at the battlefield victory were so costly, that the Western allies did not ...


4

They are termed camp followers and have followed armies since before Ramses II at Kadesh. Modern armies travel with long tails of official logistical services - cooks, tailors, smiths, armourers, teamsters, nurses, physicians & surgeons, etc. - that in earlier times were provided by civilian camp followers, but wives, children, mistresses and others ...


3

Italy was an ally of Germany, not an occupied country (except for the North in 1943-1945, which was not, technically, occupied). They made, e.g., Fiat_G.55 in Turin which saw action against the allied air forces. In general, Germany had the full use of the whole of French, Czech &c industries (except for those which were destroyed by allied bombing ...


3

The most important bit of background information here is that Britain spent that period dedicated to thwarting France (particularly its continental ambitions). This was the basic diplomatic split in western politics. In the USA, the Democratic Party tended to be very suspicous of England (for various reasons, the most practical of which was the clash of ...



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