Only the ignorant dare to call the French cowards


Junior Member
VIP Professional
This is an article to those who doubt the French and always laughed when thinking about the way they have fought. It clearly proves that the French were far from being cowards.


VERDUN, France - Something keeps drawing me back to this most evil and sinister battlefield on earth, a mere 18 km(10.8 miles) by 10 km (6 miles), where during ten hellish months of 1916 1.4 million French and German soldiers were killed or gravely wounded.

Each year it is my custom to greet spring in France’s exquisite countryside, exploring battlefields and forts of the two world wars. But this, my sixth journey to Verdun, holds particular personal meaning.

Decades of travel, covering many wars, reading the history of man’s folly have made me a cosmopolitan who detests borders and earnestly believes mankind’s worst evils are nationalism and religious fanaticism. Still, there are four countries that I hold particularly dear and to whom I feel respectful (as opposed to hormonal) patriotism, respect, and loyalty - Canada, France, Switzerland, the United States (in alphabetical, not emotional order), and reserve a special place for Pakistan.

Quixotic as it may sound, while at Verdun, I apologized as a US Army veteran to France’s fallen soldiers for the slander and disgraceful lies hurled at their memory by American know-nothings and pro- Israel neo-con pundits who poured venom on the French for not agreeing to President George Bush’s imperial oil war against Iraq.

‘Defeat monkeys’….’surrender specialists’…..’never won a war’…’always saved by Americans’…’in war, like an accordion, useless and noisy..’ ‘cowards’ …were hurled at France by American commentators. The internet filled with anti-French jokes and lists of French military defeats.

I invite all those flag waving, fire-breathing American couch patriots who called French cowards to visit Verdun. The air here still stinks of death; only deformed, stunted bushes grow on its poisoned soil. In the towering gray stone Ossuary repose bone pieces of 135,000 men.

In 1916, the Germans sought to a decisive battle on the strategic heights above Verdun, where they planned to bleed France’s army to death with their massed artillery. On the first day of battle alone, French positions were inundated by one million heavy shells. The titanic bombardment went on for ten months, explosives against human flesh. Trenches and dugouts were pulverized. Entire French regiments were destroyed in hours.

The French commander, Gen. Nivelle, ordered his 2nd Army defending Verdun: ‘No surrender; no retreat, not even an inch: die where you stand.’ And so they did.

On 4-5 June, the Germans poured 100,000 poison gas shells - chlorine, phosgene, and cyanide - onto only 4 kms of French-held front - then launched divisional assaults against the position. French soldiers had no gasmasks. Thousands died in hideous agony, or were blinded. Yet they somehow held.

Shells churned the battlefield into a gigantic quagmire of mud, rotting corpses, body parts, dead horses, overhung by a toxic miasma of chlorine and mustard gas. Troops went days without food; they drank from shell craters filled with bodies, and often drowned in them. German flamethrowers inflicted frightful casualties. Shells rained down round the clock. Every tiny elevation, every fort, became a little Thermopylae.

At the height of the German attack on Fort Vaux, over 2,000 heavy shells an hour, some 405mm 1,000 kg monsters, were exploding each on its roof and glacis. When we today talk about soldier’s combat stress, think of the heroic garrison of Vaux, burned, gassed, poisoned by toxic smoke, dying of thirst, fearing they would be buried alive at any moment, yet fighting on. The French lost 100,000 casualties trying to retake another fort, Douaumont.

Three-quarters of the French Army, an and entire generation of France’s men, passed through the inferno of Verdun. Units stayed in line until they had lost 60% casualties. Every town and village in France bears a war memorial with names of its sons fallen at Verdun. The heights above the Meuse River became France’s Calvary; ‘They shall not pass’ the army’s and nation’s credo.

The attacking Germans fought, as always, like lions, losing 400,000 dead. They almost broke through, but were finally held at the last line of French defenses, at fearsome sacrifice. French soldiers fought like tigers, with their legendary fury and lan: over 430,000 died at Verdun; 800,000 were gassed or crippled for life. Bones are still unearthed here today, 87 years later; French metro’s and busses only recently ended reserved seating for ‘mutilated war veterans.’ After the war, there were not enough young Frenchmen to farm the fields or produce children.

In the end, the French held Verdun. In this battle alone, France lost almost 1.5 times total US losses in all of World War II, and 20% of its nearly 2 million dead from 1914-1918.

To the northwest of here is Sedan. In May, 1940, the German XIX Panzer Corps raced negotiated the dense Ardennes Forest and fought across the Meuse, dividing, then shattering the French Army. Italy attacked in the south.

The French did not simply surrender, as some Americans claim. Their army fought valiantly, but was overwhelmed and torn apart by German’s high-tech military machine, just as Iraq’s outdated forces were recently obliterated by high-tech US forces.

The French government wanted to fight on from Brittany, but there were no army divisions left intact. France lost 210,000 dead in 1940 fighting Germany and Italy; America lost 292,000 men during the entire war. Let’s keep the historical record accurate.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Junior Member
Yeah, i am pretty tired of the ignorant people that keep laughing at the french saying they were cowards. If they were in french position, i am pretty sure they would lost for sure
Last edited:


Junior Member
It gets irritating for me too. Truth of the matter is, that it isint so much the fact that the French are cowards, but they have been severely limited and have suffered a serries of successive defeats in open warfare for the last two hundred years. That, and the 'Fortress Europe' policy has to this day still affected the French military.

Well, as far as I understand anyway.

And your right, ahho. The war would have ended alot diffrently if the French did not put the Shliefien plan to a complete and utter halt in the Western front. The Russians, as unbelevable as it may sound, would have suffered ten times the ammount of casualties if it were not for the French stopping them from throwing the full capacity of the German War Machine at the Eastern Front.

In WW2, it's incompitent commanders and not the equipment that broke France, they had superior aircraft and tanks which were key for the Germans in their Blitzkrieg movements. But inferior training and almost laughably incompitent commanders and decsions were the failing points of the war. But the citizens of france who joined the Resistance are proof enough that the French arent cowards. Plus, Free France Soliders fought in all theatres of the war, including in the Pacific.

And a nation still recoiling from four years of brutal ocupation was the one who lost their Veitnamise colonies in the mid-fifties. (or was it the early forties? Nah, they would have had to also fight in Korea at the same time.)
Last edited:


Junior Member
VIP Professional
us in the U.S often make fun of the french and their habit of getting beat. BUT its all in good fun. The french have a light weight but very well trained and motivated fighting force. I thought highly of there units in GW1 as they preformed very well and were very lethal in combat...cheers ute.


Junior Member
I absolutly hate all ignorant people. Highly annoying. The french, when you think about it has lost battles in the past but so has many others including China. The only reason is strength. France like China, has grown way stronger. You shouldnt mock them. france has developewd one of the world's most high tech and powerful tank. the AMX Leclerc.


Just Hatched
Registered Member
if u ask me,when it comes to the war on terrorism,the way the french fight theirs makes other western countries look like choir-boys.they are definitely a force to be reckoned with.


Senior Member
Wow, someone resurrected an old topic.

Kampf made a good point. I think the French get ridiculed more for their fear of the way the world is changing now, more than their soldiers being scared. The way they keep reacting against globalisation, international trade, more flexible labour laws, etc. They think that they can hunker down and maintain the status quo by making it difficult for everyone else to operate. That isn't going to work.

So perhaps the French aren't cowards from a military perspective, but one could argue they are in terms of politics and international trade.


Junior Member
VIP Professional
no I don't think the french are cowards and I am pretty anti-french "politics" wise however I love their food and to here their women talk. I think the biggest problem I have with past french actions is not fighting the Germans during WW2. I think they should of turned Paris in a fort and should of made the German's fight for every inch of it. I mean come on, surrender your dense urban capital without firing a shot. I don't think that is reasonable.

Second the Brits and Americans have had to bail out the french of most recent wars. They have in the past been very unsuccessful at this thing called war and I and many others think that past performance IS indicative of future results when it comes to france. So again the French are not cowards however they seem not to perform well when their nation is threatened or at risk of being destroyed.

Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
crazyinsane105 said:
This is an article to those who doubt the French and always laughed when thinking about the way they have fought. It clearly proves that the French were far from being cowards.
Many Americans forget that it was the French that came to our aid in the Revolutionary War and helped creat the United States to begin with. They were our close friends and staunch and brave allies at the time. Our friendship was forged in and washed in our mutual blood then, and since.

They have fought valiantly in other wars, including, as this article points out, World War I and World War II, despite the surrender by their government in World War II. NOt all French surrendered...there was a significant and successful underground and forces under De Gaulle in exile. And that brings us to the real bone or point of contention.

Many people make broad comments about the French people and their fighting forces based on the actions of their government that they do not agree with. This is not only highly judgemental, it is foolish. The Frnech special forces are among the bravest and most professional on earth. Their Navy has operated two of their own full sized carriers throughout the cold war and they are the only other country on earth with a nuclear carrier.

It is true that I do not agree with their government's actions regarding Iraq or the WOT in general, but then, their government is trying to look out for what they consider to be France's best self interest, not the US's. They have gone their own independent way since soon after WW II and that is their right. But we should not think that because their fairly liberal government acts this way that this means that the people of France as a whole are the same, or are in any way cowards.

I will tell you this. There are a lot of American graves in France and someone is caring for them and keeping them beautiful and respectful. The vast majority of Frenchmen are honorable, and despite our current political differences, have not forgeotten the bonds that were forged in blood.


Junior Member
VIP Professional
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
The French Foreign Legion is probably one of the most sophisticated and lethal special ops in the world. Here is a documentary about them:

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

I think they should of turned Paris in a fort and should of made the German's fight for every inch of it. I mean come on, surrender your dense urban capital without firing a shot. I don't think that is reasonable.

I heard that they didn't want Paris to be destroyed from heavy fighting. That's why they went ahead and surrendered it. But I do agree with you that they should have fought in Paris like the Russians did in Stalingrad.