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France rejoin NATO?

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France rejoin NATO?

Old 13th Mar 2009, 16:31
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Go to google, type in 'french military victories' and hit 'i'm feeling lucky'

*snigger*

i'd like to re-iterate I have a lot of respect for the french military. I just like national stereotypes
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Old 13th Mar 2009, 16:34
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Ah, that’s when we get into the semantics of armed conflict, counter insurgency, peace keeping and general aid to the civil power. We still haven’t titled the expedition to the South Atlantic in ’82 as war.
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Old 13th Mar 2009, 16:38
  #43 (permalink)  
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AA, and that stat was flawed, or so we are told. 1945 is easier to check. For the UK I omitted CW 1, 2 and 3 which were 3-0 to the home side
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 11:15
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Laugh and the World laughs with you, so........

AS FRANCE REJOINS NATO, A REMINDER OF WHY WE NEVER MISSED THEM

Q: What do you call 100,000 Frenchmen with their hands up ?
A: The army

Q: Why are there so many tree-lined boulevards in France ?
A: Germans liked to march in the shade.

Q: Why don't they have fireworks at Euro Disney ?
A: Because every time they shoot them off, the French try to surrender.

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me"
General George S. Patton

Q: How do the French advertise surplus World War 11 rifles ?
A: Never fired, only dropped once.

Q: What's the difference between Frenchmen and toast ?
A: You can make soldiers out of toast.

Q: How many Frenchman does it take to defend Paris ?
A: Nobody knows, it's never been tried.

A long time ago, the British and French were at war. During one battle, the French captured an English Major. They took the major to their HQ and a French general began to question him.
The French general asked:"Why do you English officers all wear red coats ? Don't you know the red material makes you easy targets for us to shoot?"
In his debonair English way, the major informed the general that the reason Englih officers wear red coats is so that if they are shot, the blood won't show, and the men they are leading won't panic.
And that is why from that day to now, all French army officers wear brown pants.
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 11:38
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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With all this talk of the French, how good do our guys/girls rate the French Air Force/Navy/Army pilots and their tactics (am not asking for any to be revealed), just did our chaps/chapettes think they were any good when they flew against/with them or operated alongside them. Also were there groundcrew/ops etc people any good at turning round fixing aircraft etc etc. The French do seem to have some good kit, but do they use it well? In effect, political leanings aside are they good in a fight? Afterall, they are going to be formally in NATO...again. I know they have been in some coalitions for ops and still are eg Afghan.
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 11:59
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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How Good Are The French?

Lossie23,

I was lucky enough to do an exchange tour with the French Air Force a while back. It's a very different environment to the RAF and the quality of their crewroom banter leaves a lot to be desired - needless to say, they tell similar harmless anti-British jokes based on national stereotypes - no offence meant, none taken but the culture of p*ss-taking doesn't exist in the same way as it does in the RAF.

The kit was by and large excellent. The Mirage 2000C is a superb aircraft: easy to fly, extremely reliable (that was one of the biggest differences I noted coming from an F-4 background) and it had a highly effective built-in ECM suite - no draggy pods on pylons, now there's a thought. The guys who operated it were certainly comparable with their NATO counterparts and more than held their own on the ACMI, on ops and elsewhere.

The engineers were good too and were capable of deploying the squadron overseas remarkably quickly - on a det in Saudi during the 1990s we had 40 troops looking after 8 aircraft whereas our neighbours on the ramp, an RAF GR1 outfit, had 240 people looking after 6 aircraft.

So from personal experience and as one who's all for non-PC banter at every opportunity, I'd say, "Welcome aboard, Messieurs les Grenouilles."

Last edited by Ali Qadoo; 14th Mar 2009 at 12:51. Reason: Speling and p.unctuation
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 12:08
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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whereas our neighbours on the ramp, an RAF GR1 outfit, had 240 people looking after 6 aircraft
A bit of a mis type there Ali. That can't possibly be correct.....that would be 40 maintainers per aircraft....
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 12:22
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Depends on what you call good kit. The French Ministry of Defence PR machine was working overtime a few weeks ago trying to demonstrate the country's important role in Afghanistan with fancy videos of the French Army displaying their BV206S vehicles to American forces in addition to sending their high-tech UAVs, uparmoured VABs and a handful of Tiger attack helicopters. Meanwhile, the UK looks to dump the larger Viking versions in favour of buying new vehicles from Singapore as they are not up to job, while the equipment brigade continues to shout foul over the British forces having a lack of suitable armoured vehicles and helicopters. France spent a staggering 100 million euros or so on new equipment specifically for Afghanistan last year while the UK's spending runs into several billions annually. All very fine, but unless France is going to match its commitment to having a bigger say in NATO ops that includes sharing as much burden as other NATO allies (obviously other the US) both financially and in terms of boots on the ground [fighting that is], all this is a pretty pointless exercise.
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 12:22
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Spheroid,

I agree that it seems a lot of people per aircraft and I admit that it was a long time ago, but those were the numbers I was given by one of their SNCOs. There may've been a misunderstanding in that he included all the people on the GR1 det not just the engineers, but what I didn't mention in the earlier post - in the interests of brevity - was that during the same det there was a visit from some fairly highly-paid RAF help (one-star ish I seem to recall) who I hosted when he visited our Mirage 2000 unit. He point-blank refused to believe that we could maintain an operational capability with so few engineers for 8 aircraft.

Even allowing for rapidly-approaching senility, I don't think those numbers were too far adrift, but whether I'm right or not (and I'll be the first to put my hand up if I'm talking carp) the point I'm trying to make is that the French are very good at going to an operational theatre in double-quick time, with a small number of bods and being up and running in no time flat. They've had a lot of practice in places like Chad and they seem to have learned the lesson that reliability is a highly effective force-multiplier.
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 12:40
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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To all those people, particularly Americans who criticise the French nation and their military history I have only one thing to say "Go to Verdun and walk the battlefield" if you did you would feel ashamed of your comments whether they are serious or not. The battle of Verdun took place in 1916 when the U.S. Army was chasing Pancho Villa around New Mexico.
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 13:43
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Devil

The British fight for honour...
While the French fight for money.
Everyone fights for what they lack.
(s)
Robert Surcouf, corsair - circa 1815...
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 19:52
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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I had the pleasure and privilege to spend a year of my RAF Service with the Armée de l’ Air, on the Royal Air Force Liaison Party that was at Base Aérienne 125 Istres and then moved to Base Aérienne 115 Orange-Caritat in May 1958.

It was the best year of the 13 that I served with the RAF.

Yes the French do some things differently; some of the differences were appreciated. Free and plentiful wine with lunch and dinner was but a small one. But just like RAF camps, things varied. At Istres the food was good, not so at Orange. The accommodation was better at Orange, but it was too far from Marseilles for a Saturday night out.

At Istres I was lucky enough to see the Leduc ramjet fly, at Orange there was Escadron de chasse 2/5 with Mystère IV’s. At this time their availability seemed to compare with RAF Squadrons.

I was at Orange when CDG was elected and that night I ‘supped some stuff’ with Armée de l’ Air friends. It was a night of great rejoicing. What they thought a year or two later I don’t know. His actions over Algeria were not what the military expected.

And BB was young and beautiful at this time, she decorated the newspapers with great regularity.

I for one, welcome their return to the NATO family.
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 20:25
  #53 (permalink)  
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I remember one day at Akrotiri two Mirage IV pitched up unannounced followed a while later by one or two KC135. They were exercising their right as a CENTO power to come to Akrotiri and completely ignored the PPR and dipclear rules.

They duly filed to the mess cellar, collected all their duty free and departed.

We let them.

Can you imagine them allowing a number of our jets to simply pitch up and go shopping?

When we went into Merignac apart from providing transport to our hotel they also took us to Carrefour for our shopping. Again, can you imagine MT laying on a run to Tesco?

I think it is a question of style.
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 21:04
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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I think it is a question of style.
It's style that wins wars... Didn't you get the memo?
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 09:46
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Pontius

The French in CENTO?

I too was at Akrotiri, my time was 62 to 64. The three Canberra squadrons there were assigned to CENTO. I went to Karachi through Tehran on a CENTO exercise in December 63. But France was never a member of CENTO.

To quote Wiki: The Central Treaty Organization (also referred to as CENTO, original name was Middle East Treaty Organization or METO, also known as the Baghdad Pact) was adopted in 1955 by Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. In 1958, the United States joined the military committee of the alliance. It was dissolved in 1979.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 15:33
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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They are being killed !

@The Inquisitor

Have just seen your post about the French just pi**ing about in Kabul.

I don't hold any position to either side but I remember reading in my local (French) paper 4-6 weeks ago that they lost 6-12 killed in an ambush that lasted several hours and they ran out of ammunition.

Today I read that another soldier was killed.

Without getting into an demeaning dispute about whose KIA are greater, I don't think it's either honest or respectful to say the French are doing nothing.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 18:41
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They are certainly not doing nothing. It could be said that they have not been doing enough. The response in France to that ambush was similar to the UK, including the cry that their forces were ill-equipped for the job. The French MoD's response, an order for just four or five American Buffalo MRAP vehicles plus uparmoured VABs as well as a consideration of possible leasing of further MRAP vehicles.

There is something like 600 French troops now deployed in eastern Afghanistan as part of Battle Group Kapisa that are more engaged in daily fighting alongside US and Afghan forces.

French MoD news piece over the weekend:

"From 14 March to Saturday morning, a battalion (Kandak) from the Afghan National Army has undertaken Alas valley in order to resume the land held by the insurgents. It is supported by over 400 French soldiers of the Battle Group Kapisa arms and large aircraft of the coalition (Predator drones, A10 and F15 fighters, helicopters Kiowa).

Rushed into their sanctuaries for the Afghan army, the insurgents have responded throughout the day. They have very likely been losses. The Afghan military deplore half a dozen wounded. During these clashes, a French soldier was slightly injured before being evacuated to hospital in Bagram.

The Franco-Afghan forces take the field. As night fell, an insurgent gets an anti-tank rocket in a French VAB. The driver, a corporal of the 27e Bataillon de Chasseurs Alpins was killed."

Around 3400 French soldiers are in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Indian Ocean, in the context of the ISAF and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Among them, 2800 French soldiers committed in the territory of Afghanistan. "
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 19:36
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Around 3400 French soldiers are in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Indian Ocean, in the context of the ISAF and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Among them, 2800 French soldiers committed in the territory of Afghanistan. "

Just whereabouts are these forces in the Indian Ocean? Mayotte?
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 21:01
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Around 3400 French soldiers are in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Indian Ocean, in the context of the ISAF and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Among them, 2800 French soldiers committed in the territory of Afghanistan. "

Just whereabouts are these forces in the Indian Ocean? Mayotte?
I would figure so. Perhaps they are also counting personnel onboard French naval vessels, assuming there are any in the Indian Ocean at the moment.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 21:24
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | France's rendezvous with history


Vive la France, and sod everyone else.
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