Why did France's military performance drop in quality so much from the 19th century onwards?

Why did France's military performance drop in quality so much from the 19th century onwards? They went from soloing the rest of the continent under Louis XIV and Napoleon to having to team up with Britain just to barely beat Russia or Germany. They couldn't even beat the Vietnamese after WW2.

  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >They couldn't even beat the Vietnamese after WW2.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      No one has

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Population
    Size
    Levee en masse

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    they had the largest population and the most organised state power
    then germany had the largest population and the most organised state power

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Napoleon wasted their population advantage that had kept them on top for centuries and destroyed the HRE which had kept the Germans disunited and disempowered for centuries.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This, Napoléon wipped most young good men for nothing, then WWI finished his work.

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Demography matters for sure.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Need to show the US population just to highlight the batshit insane pop growth in the late 19th century.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Sanhedrin
    But surely the timing of the French decline was just a coincidence.

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Population
    retarded statesmen
    hon hon hon pride

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The French performance during WWI was heroic. They took performance maxxed Prussia's best shot and didn't fall down (unlike the Ruskies). If they had folded in 1914, the world would be a very, very different place.

    Even though the were on the victorious side of WWI, they never really recovered. But to this day they definitely punch above their weight for their size and budget.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >They took performance maxxed Prussia's best shot and didn't fall down (unlike the Ruskies).
      Yeah, because they shared the front with the British and their colonies, and later with the Americans and Italians. Russia fought the Germans, Austro-Hungarians, Turks, and the Bulgarians on a bigger front where heavy entrenchments were nowhere near as effective as they were on the Western Front.

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    gnomish Sabotage in the interwar and postwar era

  10. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Why did France's military performance drop in quality so much from the 19th century onwards?
    It did not actually, they invaded Algeria and a lot of other large territories in the 19th century. French military prowess begins to fall off after the 1880s and the nail in the coffin is ww2

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_conquest_of_Algeria

  11. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >They went from soloing the rest of the continent under Louis XIV and Napoleon
    Germany finally got sick of their shit and united.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      They got sick of the Anglo taking advantage of the chaos on the continent to get one over on everyone else with as little collateral lost as possible. Marlborough and Wellington get the major credit for stopping the Sun King and Napoleon when Germans did most of the heavy lifting and fighting.

  12. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    France had issues with poltical stability during the Third Republic. In turn it was difficult to have competent and consistent leadership in France's military. The average minister of defense in France served less than 1 year during the period between the Franco-Prussian War and WWI. This was especially bad during a period of rapid technological change where steady leadership was crucial to reform and modernize the military. Take, for example, the adoption of smokeless powder. Poor decison making led to the hasty adoption of the Lebel Rifle and its 8mm cartridge which was obsolescent mere years after its being introduced and saddled the French for decades with a subpar standard cartridge.

    See pic related. By contrast, over the same period Germany had just 4 chiefs of the General Staff.

  13. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    France was genuinely fucking huge population wise for most of history compared to the rest of Europe, but by the time of ww1 they'd lost the lead.

  14. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Napoleon in his own vanity decided to kill 1 million men in age group 15-65

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Napoleon only declared war on other countries twice in his entire reign. Every other time, war was declared on him. This kinda backs up Wellington's claim that Napoleon was a poor grand strategist and was just buggering his way to victory most of the time, because the only times he went to war with a complete plan and wasn't just reacting to the plans of his opponents, he fucked up bad.

  15. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    WW1 hurt them bad. WW2 had them stabbed in the back by fascists in government and the Germans getting insanely lucky. Afterwards the writing was on the wall for colonialism to end. Good riddance their language should go extinct.

  16. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    WW1 completely demolished the country by killing an huge percentage of the young population. There's a common expression which called WW1 "la der des der" meaning "the final war".
    When WW2 started, they lacked in young soldiers, and mostly had an extremely low morale. Add to this a governement with no motivation + traitors in their ranks, Germany adopting wild strategies, an overall dubious support from Great Britain, Belgium fucking up, and the defeat in 1940 makes sense.

    France nowadays still is quite good though. Especially compared to other countries from the EU.

  17. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Germans getting insanely lucky.

    That the French were retarded enough to try and hide behind the Maginot Line and not secure any of their flanks?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Contrary to popular believes, the Maginot Line worked pretty good enough.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        yeah it worked so well at not getting invaded by Germans....oh wait.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Contrary to popular believes, the Maginot Line worked pretty good enough.

      The Maginot Line did exactly what it was supposed to. It was the people in charge of securing the forests who fucked up.

  18. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >lack of industrialization
    >too many political radicals and garden gnomes causing internal instability
    >continually aligned themselves with shitty regimes like the Spanish left wing republic, which then got crushed in the civil war

  19. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Lack of leadership combined with outdated military doctrines.

  20. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Demographic damage is an absolute bitch. Wars don't cut out a nice even cross section of a country. They overwhelmingly take the lives of the most aggressive, the strongest, the bravest, the highest in testosterone, the most patriotic, etc.

    Guess what happens, for example, if you delete the highest percent testosterone males out of every generation for... Oh...a hundred years?

  21. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    French prefer anal sex.

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