One of my brothers-in-law just sent me a list of funny anti-French quotes, which he suggested that his daughter, who is learning Spanish, send to her French-studying classmates.
They were all the usual stuff about the French as surrender monkeys. I have stopped having a sense of humor about them because they are so one-sided. So, we Americans are all heroes, and the French are cowards? This is what I wrote back.
France lost 1,400,000 soldiers in World War I out of a population of about 60 million. [Update: Johnny and Celine both pointed out that in 1914, the French population was 40 million, not 60 million. Think about that proportion.] If the U.S. had lost as many soldiers proportionately as France, World War I would have cost 3,200,000 soldiers' lives. For every 100 soldiers in that war, France lost more than 10 men, the British 5.1 men, the U.S. 0.2 men.
Citizens killed in the war in ratio to the total population and in parentheses, in ratio to the military population, in percentage: France 3.55% (17.3%), Britain 1.36 % (11.6 %), U.S.A. .04 %, ( 1.4%)
Almost the entire war was fought on French soil for four and a half years. Go to Verdun some time. A million men died there.
After we go through a trauma like that in our own country, then we can point fingers at France for being "cowards."
The photo is of the war remembrance list from World War I in Lehon, a tiny village in Brittany. These are the 36 young men who died from this one village, with its single street and two shops.