Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Silent Artillery of Time Fells a Brave Soldier of France

I note that the last French Veteran of the Great War was apparently an Italian. However, the author makes a valid point. For hundreds of years the courageousness of Frenchmen was assumed. I am reading a compilation of war memoirs by John Keegan and even Englishmen note when a French unit runs with comments such as "they did not behave as Frenchmen!"

I think that it is both Verdun, and the retreat from both Catholicism and La Glorier that modernism and post-modernism entail. The revolt of the French Army during World War I was the first sign of it. Thereafter, political division and too many Frenchmen with fond views of Communism and Fascism ended the fight, not just the Wermacht.

I also dispute this author on Vietnam. More Vietnamese died defending Vietnam from Communists than Frenchmen died defending France from Nazis. However, the U.S. Armed Forces did not suffer the defeat that France did, or any defeat, in the Vietnam war. To mention them in the same breath is to lie.

Mr. Ponticelli also fought in the Tyrols for Italy against Austria. My Grandfather fought in that war. So he is probably the last veteran of the Italian Army as well.

Lazare Ponticelli-RIP

1 comment:

Dave S. said...

I reluctantly clicked through to read what I assumed to be the latest victim of your hatchet, only to find myself thinking "What an idiot."

My contribution to the pile-on is to observe the author's direct and implied roster of casualties and effects, as follows:

France: 1.4 million dead, but political system basically survived.

Russia: 18 million dead, followed by revolutions, civil war etc. that claimed millions more. (Purges intentionally not counted here - just leave it, JJV).

Biggest sufferer: why, France, of course!


On the other hand JJV's second paragraph is the acme of muddled thinking.