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Things that make ya go, "Hmmmm..."

Interesting approach...tr1.jpg 09/17/2013 - French soldiers prepare to fire a French TRF1 155 mm self-propelled howitzer as part of a live-fire exercise for Combined Endeavor 2013 at the Joint Multinational Training Command's Grafenwoehr Training Area in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Sept. 17, 2013. Combined Endeavor is an annual command, control, communications and computer systems exercise designed to prepare international forces for multinational operations in the European theater. (DoD photo by Gertrud Zach, U.S. Army/Released)


 ...to naming your howitzer, I mean.

20 Comments

If the French limited display of battle honors to victories only, every gun tube in the French Army would be named "Verdun" or "Marne".
 
 Oh, I dunno.  Jena, Auerstadt, Austerlitz, Quatre Bras, Yorktown (that would be fun), Bir Hakeim, Koufra, Chateau Thierry, Belleau Wood...  granted.  You have to go back a ways.

But anymore, so do we.  We get the tactical wins but strategic defeats.  

http://www.militaryfactory.com/battles/french_military_victories.asp

 
Belleau Wood was a U.S. Marine Corps victory. There were no other allies troops within hundreds of miles. The only known case of a single brigade defeating an entire German Army.

Ah, Yorktown. Yes that would be fun. Certainly counts as a French naval victory and there aren't enough of those to bedeck the guns of a French 74. The French built their ships to be faster than the British for a reason.

And we both forgot Camerone. Oh, never mind, they lost that one.
 
 But they looked good doing it.  As we discussed yesterday, that does seem to be a criteria for honors.  They can lose, but if they looked good doing it, well, it's all good.
 
Greetings:

But how does the French artillery keep their souflées from collapsing ???? 
 
Simple, no fire missions while the souflee is in the oven. Sacre bleu!
 
Camerone wasn't a defeat for the French Army. la Legion was not part of the French Army at the time. That came only after the mutiny in Algeria.
 
Three traditional compenents comprise the French Army of today. The Army proper was always employed exclusively on Continential Europe, in fact draftees could not be employed beyond the borders of France. The Marines were ground forces under control of the Navy who were employed beyond the borders of France, primarily in their colonies. They were moved under Army control in 1900. The Foreign Legion since their formation in 1836,  has always been under Army control and were the Army element that could be employed outside French borders.

All three are now part of the Army and have inherited the honors of their predecessors.
 
 Don't poke the bear...
 
According to the histories I've read, it wasn't really part of the Army. Legion Officers were often foreigners (Aage being the most famous, and a Dane. There was a tradition that at least one officer of the Legion was a Dane, but don't know if that has been maintained). The incorporation of the legion into the Army was from Legion sources. There may be some funny thing that was going on in the way back when, but everything I've read said they weren't part of the Army, intentionally so for political reasons.
 
Wouldn't it be neat to put the USMC under the Army? (you out there URR?) :-)
 
I think we can trust Wikipedia on this topic:

 The French Foreign Legion was created by Louis Philippe, the King of the French, on 10 March 1831. The purpose of the Foreign Legion was to remove disruptive elements from society and put them to use fighting the enemies of France. Recruits included failed revolutionaries from the rest of Europe, soldiers from the disbanded Swiss and German mercenary regiments of the Bourbon monarchy, and troublemakers in general, both foreign and French. The Royal Ordinance for the establishment of the new regiment specified that the foreigners recruited could only serve outside France.[2] The French expeditionary force which had occupied Algiers in 1830 was in need of reinforcements and the Legion was accordingly transferred in detachments from Toulon to Algeria.[3][4]
The Foreign Legion was primarily used, as part of the Armée d'Afrique, to protect and expand the French colonial empire during the 19th century, but it also fought in almost all French wars including the Franco-Prussian War and both World Wars. The Foreign Legion has remained an important part of the French Army, surviving three Republics, the Second French Empire, two World Wars, the rise and fall of mass conscript armies, the dismantling of the French colonial empire, and the loss of the Foreign Legion's base, Algeria.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Foreign_Legion

 
 I don't have any trouble with it either way as it is not earth shaking. I read a book by a man who spen the majority of a year with teh Legion and was granted access to records that I didn't see anyone reference. What he said is that the Legion had been assigned to the Army of Africa and while controlled by it, was no really a part of the French Army. Regardless of the facts then, whatever they may be, they are now. I don't know if they still have one Danish Officer anymore, however.

I wish I could remember the title of the book. I had gotten it at the Library at Tennessee Tech while I was still in Engineering School. It was a very interesting book.
 
Err, am I really the first to notice that the caption is glaringly wrong?  That IS a TRF1, but it is NOT "self-propelled." 
 

 Wolfwalker, welcome to our world.  The captions are often wrong on details.  And they don't really care that much, as I have found when I used to point them out, and was told to GFY by senior NCOs and officers in the PAO field.  They have very fragile egos.

And, in the defense of this one, there is an APU integral to the gun that does allow it to swan about independently of its prime mover.

Not what we professionals might call self-propelled, but good enough for the photographer, who may, in fact, have witnessed the gun motoring about the position area.

 
The French suffered horrific losses on Western Front in WWI, almost a whole generation of men. That traumatized French society as a whole, and much of French society lost its will to fight. This was demonstrated by France's defeat in WWII. But prior to that, French arms had a distinguished history, and many French units  performed well both during WWII and afterwards.

Surrender monkey, what nonsense.
 
 Bob - I always defend the poilu, I rarely defend his generals or politicians.  Even Napoleon, who, for all his brilliance - stil lost, and lead his soldiers to disaster.
 
What John said.
 
Greetings:

Lest I be confused with some type of dastardly froggophobée, I would just like to state that when a country spends 2 or so percent on its military  and a country five or so times its size spends 10 or so percent, that's the kind of almost ally you have or may get. Nothing personal on my part.
 
The Legion always marches last. They bat clean-up.

(The Legion marches at 88 steps per minute, instead of 120 like everybody else.)