As we Americans prepare to celebrate Independence Day, it is worth remembering that we didn’t win our freedom all by ourselves.
And when an American mouths off about French military history, he’s not just being ignorant, he’s being ungrateful. I was raised to think ungrateful people were trash.
When I say ungrateful, I’m talking about the American Revolution. If you’re a true American patriot, then this is the war that matters. Hell, most of you probably couldn’t name three major battles from it, but try going back to when you read Johnny Tremaine in fourth grade and you might recall a little place called Yorktown, Virginia, where we bottled up Cornwallis’s army, forced the Brits’ surrender and pretty much won the war.
Well, news flash: “we” didn’t win that battle, any more than the Northern Alliance conquered the Taliban. The French army and navy won Yorktown for us. Americans didn’t have the materiel or the training to mount a combined operation like that, with naval blockade and land siege. It was the French artillery forces and military engineers who ran the siege, and at sea it was a French admiral, de Grasse, who kicked the shit out of the British navy when they tried to break the siege.
Long before that, in fact as soon as we showed the Brits at Saratoga that we could win once in a while, they started pouring in huge shipments of everything from cannon to uniforms. We’d never have got near Yorktown if it wasn’t for massive French aid.
So how come you bastards don’t mention Yorktown in your cheap webpages? I’ll tell you why: because you’re too ignorant to know about it and too dishonest to mention it if you did.
Expressed a bit harshly, but true.
His whole article, which is about French military history, is worth reading.
The War Nerd: Glory to the French by Gary Brecher for The eXiled.