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Topic: Why The French Don't Like Us Very Much

daft old duffer on Sat 01-Feb-2014 | 07:03AM

daft old duffer

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(Well some of the reasons. All of them  would fill a book).

 Contrary to what you may have been taught in school, the French, in their day  were real go-getters. Pretty much the Boss of Europe, with much the best army and navy,  they were way also way ahead of us Brits in  building an Empire On Which The Sun Never Sets.
And for those who doubt the truth of that statement,  I give you North America which they had the greater part of, and Canada  which they had  all of, before we happened  along.
To which  you can add India,  that  Jewel In the Crown Of  England. Which  was also set fair to become the largest French speaking land mass on the planet till we wandered by
But what really infuriated the French, even more than us pinching their colonies when they weren't paying attention, was that we bragged about how we went about it..
It was all down to our superior navy, we claimed. Backed up by  the heroism and sheer fighting skills of our brave lads in blue, and red with white facings, and green with rifles,  and general jolly jack tar attitude.
When the truth of the matter was quite simply that they were having a lot of bother  on the domestic front. Not only were they more or less constantly at war with everyone else in Europe,they had us lot continually popping over in our boats and landing bunches of  redcoats to harass them at every opportunity.
So ,  while they were forced to maintain a huge standing army just to guard their borders, we were free to splash out on warships, some to cruise up and down the Channel, the rest to transport the army we didn't need at home  to slaughter Johnny foreigner wherever we'd a mind.
Which meant that despite all their marching about in splendid uniforms ,in the end Pierre and Jaques and co had to give up their splendid colonies out of sheer being too busy elsewhere.
In fact I'm pretty sure those Frenchies  guessed how America would turn out ,and were only to glad to be shot of it while they had the chance. But India they were  really rather cross about.
As they are about us calling the Channel the English Channel.
'Why English,' they cry, all petulant. 'What's English about it, alor!'
('Alor', incidentally is derived from that ancient English expression of dismay 'Oh lor!' ).
Anyway back in Europe they  girded their loins and set about building themselves an empire right there, next door,  where we couldn't get at them so easy. They appointed a very good general manager name of Napoleon Bonoparte with the brief of persuading as many others as possible to join in and  all in all enjoyed considerable success,  marching their troops about in uniforms of an exceeding grandeur., prancing their noble steeds and playing their peculiar music before admiring crowds.
On the way they took a look at us, very tempted to give us a smack or two for our cheek. But someone told Boney The Nap that  England   was  far too cold and wet to bother with,and couldn't  produce even the sourest of vin du maison, not even on a good day 
'Zut alors!' they exclaimed  (there's that word again), 'we'll be back later, after we've sorted Russia .'
Helas! (from the English 'Alas' of course), It was in Russia where everything began to go pear shape.
Not straight away mind. In fact  everything went swimmingly at first. Nap and the boys duly drummed and piped and cymballed into Moscow all high boots and epaulets, and declared checkmate as was the rule. But the Russians cheated and kept on fighting.
'You've got to surrender! We've collared your capital.That's the rules!'  Napoleon pointed out,all stern and commanding.
'Don't care,shan't!'said the Russians
Damned bad form of course. Hardly civilised at all. To this day they can't play cricket.
 Well, alright,neither can the French. But that's not because they can't. It's because they know we'd beat them, every time.
Anyway, 'Right,if that's your attitude we're off home,'said Napoleon.'And you needn't think we're going to let you be part of Europe,not after this!' he said.
And to add to his troubles, at the very moment he was having to deal with the Ruskies, down at the bottom end of Europe we Brits were at it again.
We had two goes as it happens. First we invaded Spain at a place called Corunna, and did our bit of parading about all triumphant. Till the Frenchies heard about it and promptly chased us back to our boats and away.
Then,having learned our lesson, at the very southernmost tip of Portugal, which was as far away form Pierre and co's muskets as we could get.
The first time,at Corunna we behaved as usual, turning our abject, running for dear life rush into a strategic retreat.Then into not a retreat at all, not really, but a sort of triumph. The regiment concerned even incorporated their rush for the boats into a regimental quick march, showing it off before admiring crowds in London.
'Nobody moves as fast as us,' they declared. And everyone cheered. (So you see, Dunkirk wasn't the first. Not by a long way).
It was the second time that really upset the French however. That time, when Pierre and chums trotted down to see us off, instead of taking to the boats, we tucked in behind some barricades and went all obstinate.
'Sucks ya boo,' we said.'Come and kick us out if you think you're hard enough.'
For we now had the Iron Duke in charge. Wellington himself. Complete with boots and his own horse.
And he knew, tucked in behind his defenses and supplied regular with take- aways, courtesy of the Royal Navy, as he was, that he could outlast any number of Frenchies – Frenchies  camped  dangerously far from their stocks of vin ordinaire and onion soup.
Thus was reached the turning point, when Nap. and  Son Copains, heels trampled on by  Russkies in the north and  English  in the south, stopped winning and started losing.
(I suppose I ought to say 'British' rather than 'English' at this point. I believe  some Scots blokes were involved in some way. Have to check when I get a moment).
Anyhoo, not long afterwards it all ended with everyone  back where they started, inside their own country. Which is of course how all European wars finish.
Apart from Napoleon who was found,immediately after the allies entered Paris, not to be the all-French hero after all, but some Italian bloke who couldn't even speak proper. No wonder the French had lost, they said, what with this Italian giving his orders in some weird lingo nobody could understand!
'Demmed Nonsense!' retorted the Brits – because that's how they talked back then –' it was all down to our having superior marching about tunes and taller hats on our footguards.'
And we named our newest and grandest railway station Waterloo, just to rub their nose in it when they came to visit
So it was Napoleon was  sent  on extended leave to some island, where he was shortly murdered by his wallpaper, the French went about muttering 'sacre bleu' and 'feather in my aunt's best hat' (English translation),
and the English strutted around all proud and haughty and  took credit for the whole shebang. Naturally.
After that it was pretty much downhill all the way for Pierre and mates. There they were, surrounded by countries they had once ordered about and who now not only sneered at them for snail and frog munchers, but did so in the very latest fashionable language. Which was English.
No wonder they weren't all that happy.
The Prussians in particular, still sore at being too late at Waterloo (the battle not the station) spent much time chucking stones through French windows and yelling 'Gott In Himmel' and such until Pierre gave them the finger.
At which Prussia turned into Germany and invaded Paris. And the French had to say sorry just to make them go away.
What was more, Germany found it quite enjoyed the invasion lark, and repeated the exercise twice more. Until finally Pierre and Jaques had to be rescued.  And guess by who? Why the Brits of course.
No wonder they don't like us all that much..

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Comments: 29

Hotton on Sat 01-Feb-2014 | 07:24AM
Reply #1

Offline Hotton

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I know France is not far away but still loads of us Brits move to live in France or have a second home there!

Gillian on Sat 01-Feb-2014 | 10:14AM
Reply #2

Offline Gillian

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My history lessons at school were never that interesting!

micky56 on Mon 03-Feb-2014 | 12:31PM
Reply #3

Offline micky56

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If I might be allowed to pull you up on one minor point DOD - are you sure that we could beat the French at cricket right now? Otherwise a truly excellent insight into anglo/frog entente etc etc.

topol on Mon 03-Feb-2014 | 12:47PM
Reply #4

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OMG - what a tale.
But they got their own back at the Stade de France on Saturday!
"Let's continue to be careful out there"

Vlad on Mon 03-Feb-2014 | 19:58PM
Reply #5

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If I might be allowed to pull you up on one minor point DOD - are you sure that we could beat the French at cricket right now? Otherwise a truly excellent insight into anglo/frog entente etc etc.
Not forgetting the Rugby of course. >b<
oops just spotted your reply Topol sorry.
There are two types of people that dislike me,
the envious and the stupid

topol on Mon 03-Feb-2014 | 20:24PM
Reply #6

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oops just spotted your reply Topol sorry.
S'ok - an age thingy, perhaps?
Vive La France  :hide:
"Let's continue to be careful out there"

GOG on Sun 09-Feb-2014 | 13:28PM
Reply #7


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The three main historical reasons are:

1) The French have never forgiven us for coming out on top in the 100 years war.

2) The fact that we had to come to their aid in WW1 and WW2 gets up their nose.

3) They cannot stand the thought that English has become the international language and French has not in spite of all their efforts.

The current reason is that their economy going down the pan while ours is recovering makes them apopleptic.

Nice people outside Paris though.


Snowflake on Tue 18-Mar-2014 | 23:05PM
Reply #8


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I thought it was because you guys don't like Jerry Lewis!

jock364 on Wed 19-Mar-2014 | 00:05AM
Reply #9

Offline jock364

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The French don't like the English, but have always got on with the Scots. Look up the Auld Alliance.

Bandana on Wed 19-Mar-2014 | 00:43AM
Reply #10


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Odd then, that so many of we English are descended from the Norman invasion all those years ago..............

jock364 on Wed 19-Mar-2014 | 01:00AM
Reply #11

Offline jock364

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Perhaps because the Normans were Norsemen, or Vikings.

Vlad on Wed 19-Mar-2014 | 08:09AM
Reply #12

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Things might have been different had we allowed France to join the Commonwealth

There are two types of people that dislike me,
the envious and the stupid

Bruce on Thu 20-Mar-2014 | 13:28PM
Reply #13


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Waterloo might have had a very different result if Napoleon had not waited several hours to allow the ground to dry out before he started the battle because of his preference for manoeuvring cavalry and artillery.

The Duke of Wellington said that it was a close run thing and it was really only the arrival of Blucher that turned the tide of the battle against Napoleon. If the battle had been started earlier then whole thing could have been over in favour of the French by the time Blucher arrived.

krypton on Wed 02-Dec-2015 | 03:50AM
Reply #14

Offline krypton

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was watching an excellent history doco and always mean to take notes - I should use an Ipad really. this was about the earlier Henrys who went into france and trounced them to the point of owning whole provinces of france and securing monies for the english monarchy and armed forces. I think they were attempting a total take over of france [talk about criticizing Hitler indeed] but never quite managed it. But france could never reciprocate the act on british soil - oops just read the red note above telling me I'm wasting my time posting here - really - well I am british you know!

in closing the french and english have had a very long history of doing things to each other and today I think have a love - hate relationship. please someone reply and take that red warning sign away!!
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.................. Albert Camus


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