In Our wildest fantasy: if only the French ran America, The Economist embarked on a flight of fancy: that the French are more into affairs than Americans. On sheer statistics, it’s the other way around. All right, that’s a rather innocuous myth.
Some myths, though, are much less innocuous. A vicious delusion is that the USA had nothing to do with this.
A related, and even less innocuous myth, of the American Plutocratic Circus, is that the French are cowards. The myth of French cowardice is continually rehashed in the financial press, for example the Wall Street Journal. The same formulas are always used, with the same inventions, and the same words. So it was only natural that an ill intentioned American reader would seize on the opening provided by The Economist, to rehash a cliché well-known in the USA.
mandinka1 pontificated accordingly that: “If the French ran the US military all of their soldiers would have tanned arm pits and their weapons could be bough [sic]cheaply with a sign “never fired dropped only once””
The expression “never fired dropped only once” is commonly used in the USA about French weapons. It’s supposed to depict the cowardice of French soldiers running away from battle.
This is of course not just insulting, but as erroneous as it gets: France, since even before the people of Orleans and the Franks routed the Huns (in June 451 CE; Orleans’ original name was Aurelianum), has, by far, the world’s most extensive military history. The longevity of a country is only as good as its military.
The essence of France is not wine and cheese: it’s weapons and the inclination to use them when necessary. Hitler was one of those necessities.
I had in mind this picture from September 1, 1939, the day when the Nazis attacked.
The Nazis were allied and supported by Stalin’s USSR, imperial Japan, fascist Italy, countless plutocrats and corporations of the USA, plus, soon enough, the Congress of the USA.
I replied this to mandika1:
If the French ran the US military, the USA would have declared war to Hitler on September 3, 1939, instead of collaborating with the Nazi dictator in 1939.
The war against the Nazi dictator would have been wrapped up in 1940.
Instead, it is because of his alliance with the USSR (formally) and the USA (de facto), that Adolf Hitler could get lucky against the French military in June 1940.
Hitler had no oil: he got it from Texas (and the Caucasus). IBM, managed from New York gave him the machines he needed to get organized. Ford and GM provided with transportation. Standard Oil and others with synthetic rubber (necessary for any machine).
When Hitler ran out of lead tetraethyl, in September 1939, his Air Force could not fly: the Americans supplied him with lead tetraethyl, so that Hitler could keep on killing Poles, Jews, French, Czechs, etc.
Meanwhile the USA’s Congress and his president made it a crime for an American citizen to set even a foot on a British, or French ship, among other sanctions.
Even then, the battle of France of May-June 1940 was the deadliest battle on the Western front in World War Two. The Nazis had to use suicidal charges at Sedan.
The Nazi losses, never made official, reached about 100,000 dead. By September 1940, the supremacy of the Nazi Air Force, having lost thousands of planes and many of its best pilots, had been shattered, and the invasion of Britain had to be cancelled.
And what were the USA doing during that time? Business with Hitler.
These are the years the USA chose to live in infamy, thanks for reminding us of that.