Google Vs. The French

Go to google, enter as your search term
“French military victories” without the quotes. Click the I’m Feeling Lucky button.


You would think someone in France would take care of that. ;)

There’s a list of France’s military “accomplishments” that’s been posted in many places on the web. Here’s one example.

As to Austerlitz, the list handles Napoleon in lump sum fashion:

“The Napoleonic Wars - Lost. Temporary victories . . . due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.”

I think we should analyze it further, and then when we are done, move on to other important topics like Gomer Pyle.


When I enter that in google all I’m seeing are sites telling me to enter that into google. I think this is google’s greatest flaw…

Leave off the quotes next time.

Now you see how google bombs get started.

Brad , you must not have hit the do you feel lucky button as that only shows one site, not search results.

Also, that is a flaw? You are interested in the buzz about entering that into google, so when you search on it, you get instructions how to do it? And that is bad?

Seems like a successful search to me.

The “trick” of course is that it is not google displaying the results, but a Canadian guy who realized he was #1 for that search put up a google parody search as the landing page, and that is what most people reach.

But it is fun to watch people get mad or get so serious they start listing French’s military victories.


Jason: what’s a google bomb?

Chet: Heh, I didn’t even realize I was seeing a 3rd party site. It doesnt’ seem to work for me today. Maybe someone in France did something about it. Here is the old one:

Google bombs.

I hit the I feel lucky button and got a message board in french discussing, indignantly I assume, the joke. I looked at the full results and didn’t see what I think I was supposed to. My point is once the joke spreads far enough it effects Google enough to the point where it doesn’t work anymore. People need to learn to spread this stuff in email and through instant messaging instead of public web forums so as to preserve the punchline.

From Jason’s link:

World War I - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States.

That’s right, the US saved France’s ass in WWI…whatever. US involvement in that war was token at best, showing up just in time for the war to end. What were total American casualties in WWI? Something like 100K or so (which is still a hell of a lot of dead by today’s standards, but not when you compare to British, French, and German casualties), and most of that from influenza and other war diseases.

Uhh, that we didn’t die very much doesn’t mean we didn’t play a important role in the war. Dying isn’t a sign of military effectiveness, though perhaps the French aren’t aware of that.

It wasn’t like World War II where we saved those ungrateful stupid hippies from certain death and ended up doing just about all the work, but we swung the scales. Without American soldiers, the Allies do not launch the offensive that won the war. With Russia beaten, the entirity of Germany’s strength would’ve been brought to bear against the Allies sans the US.

The presence of the US on the Allies also likely decreased Germany’s willingness to fight a losing war. No matter how well the Germans managed to stave off defeat, America was not using the whole of it’s military force. The longer the war lasted, the more American soldiers would be brought in. Britain and France gaining the upper hand could be a temporary thing, but with America involved there is almost no way you could reverse that tide.

But if you’d like, the UK and Canada also played a role in saving France’s ass.

Actually, the USSR did almost all of the work in WW2…

In the East, yes. They didn’t exactly win back Africa and Italy though. Yes yes I know that Germany had oodles of troops stationed to the east because of the USSR, but that’s doesn’t mean the Russians really did most of the work over the whole war.

This of course not at all mentioning the Pacific front.

If you mean by “work”, throwing huge armies at the Germans, then I might grant that. Note that we helped early on with lend-lease, were fighting in the Pacific as well as in Europe. In terms of overall resource contribution, then the US is right up there.

The Russians were fighting a war to save Mother Russia. The war in Europe would have been much tougher without the Russians. But we had a pretty strong contribution if you count “World” War 2, and not just the Germans.


Loyd Case

Oh, I’m not arguing we wasted our time. Russia might have won without us, but I see no way at all we could have won without Russia.

Here’s an interesting page. Check out the “where they were fighting” table; in 1944, the Germans had about 3 times the troops on the Eastern front as the Western. Out of 200-300 total divisions, Africa never had more than 3.

I wasn’t arguing that the Russian combination was insubstantial – far from it. They fought over a vast territory, with millions of men, against a tough and determined enemy.

The problem with arguing “Would we have won without the Russians” is difficult:

  • If Russia and Germany had remained purely neutral to each other, then I believe we would have won without the Russians. It would have cost more, but it could have been done.

  • If Russia and Germany were friendly to the point where Germany was receiving Russian raw materials, including oil, then it would have been much more difficult. (Or if Germany had conquered Russia quickly, then used the captured resources effectively).

  • On the other hand, if our scientists still beat their scientists to the Bomb, then it would have simply been “Game Over”.

But it’s difficult to speculate, because the conditions were so variable.

As ever,

Loyd Case

I think it was more the Russian weather than anything else.
Without Russia, yes we would have won the war. But Hitler was stupid, all Russia was doing was protecting itself. Germany’s mistake of trying to fight a two front war was what helped, it didn’t matter that it was Russia, just that their forces were divided.