Reality Check: The French

A wise poster on recently made the case that this country endured four decades of Cold War and never felt it necessary to rename Russian dressing. But the French go against us in the U.N. and suddenly the Congress is all about “Freedom Fries.”

It’s a great American pasttime to bash the French, but Tony Judt, in the first of a fantastic three-part piece about the politics of this war (appearing in the New York Review of Books), reminds us of a few sobering statistics that should make us rethink our view of the French as a bunch of “surrender monkeys” …
In World War I, which the French fought from start to finish, France lost three times as many fighting men as America has lost in all its wars combined. In World War II, the French armies holding off the Germans in May-June 1940 suffered 124,000 dead and 200,000 wounded in six weeks, more than America did in Korea and Vietnam combined.