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The War Nerd October 2, 2003
 
The French
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
 
Page 3 of 3
 
Braddock's Defeat (aka Battle of Monongahela) July 1755: Next time you're driving through the Ohio Valley, remember you're passing near the site of a great French victory over an Anglo-American force twice its size. General Edward Braddock marched west from Virginia with 1,500 men -- a very large army in 18th-c. America. His orders were to seize French land and forts in the Valley -- your basic undeclared land-grab invasion. The French joined the local tribes to resist, and then set up a classic ambush. It was a slaughter. More than half of Braddock's force -- 880 men -- were killed or wounded. The only Anglo officer to escape unhurt was this guy called George Washington, and even he had two horses shot out from under him. After a few minutes of non-stop fire from French and Indians hidden in the woods, Braddock's command came apart like something out of Nam, post-Tet. Braddock was hit and wounded, but none of his troops would risk getting shot to rescue him.

Austerlitz, Dec. 1805: You always hear about Austerlitz as "Napoleon's Greatest Victory," like the little guy personally went out and wiped out the combined Russian and Austrian armies. The fact is, ever since the Revolution in 1789, French armies had been kicking ass against everybody. They were free citizens fighting against scared peasant and degenerate mercenaries, and it was no contest. At Austerlitz, 65,000 French troops took on 90,000 Russians and Austrians and destroyed them. Absolutely annihilated them. The French lost only 8,000, compared to 29,000 of the enemy. The tactics Bonaparte used were very risky, and would only have worked with superb troops: he encouraged the enemy to attack a weak line, then brought up reinforcements who'd been held out of sight. That kind of tactical plan takes iron discipline and perfect timing -- and the French had it.

Jena, Oct. 1806: just a quick reminder for anybody who thinks the Germans always beat the French. Napoleon takes on the Prussian army and destroys it. 27,000 Prussian casualties vs. 5,000 French. Prussian army routed, pursued for miles by French cavalry.

You eXile guys might want to remember that the French under Napoleon are still the only army ever to have taken all of continental Europe, from Moscow to Madrid. I could keep listing French victories till I had a book. In fact, it's not a bad idea. A nice big hardback, so you could take it to the assholes running all the anti-French-military sites and bash their heads in with it.

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Gary Brecher
Browse author
Email Gary at war_nerd@exile.ru, but, more importantly, buy his book.
 
 
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