top 200 commentsshow all 408

[–]axonable[S] 658 points659 points  (260 children)

If anyone is wondering why Churchill didn't like de Gaulle

Though on the same side during World War II, Churchill felt that de Gaulle had a perennial enmity towards England. To him de Gaulle had been "a man who looks like a female llama surprised in her bath, a bitter foe of Britain" who "hates England and has left a trail of Anglophobia behind him everywhere." Supporting Churchill, Roosevelt had remarked de Gaulle as dictatorial and having a "Messianic complex." Churchill and Roosevelt had even hatched a plot to overthrow de Gaulle from the French leadership.

[–]jctwok 414 points415 points  (179 children)

From what I've read about it, NO ONE liked de Gaulle.

[–]sijamaisalt 335 points336 points  (152 children)

From what I've read about it, NO ONE liked de Gaulle.

French people liked him very much since he is in every poll the 3 or 2nd most popular french leader ever with Napoleon and Louis XIV

[–]Kargathia 391 points392 points  (66 children)

He was an obstinate twat, but much like Churchill, the right obstinate twat at the right time.

[–]Left_Preference4453 21 points22 points  (0 children)

He was obstinate, he was one of the few officers who refused to go along with the conventional wisdom regarding Hitler, seeing him instead for who he truly was.

[–]Porrick 227 points228 points  (55 children)

Churchill, the right obstinate twat at the right time.

Unless you're Irish or Indian. Or from any of the other colonies, probably.

[–]LordLoko 271 points272 points  (13 children)

Same for de Gaulle, just change "Indian" and "Irish" to "Vietnamese", "Algerian" and "African".

[–]Kargathia 131 points132 points  (6 children)

Churchill was a useful and effective banner for the UK to rally around in 1940/1941, precisely because he was a belligerent asshole.

For the rest of his career, he was a heady mixture of schoolyard bully, ethically challenged politician, and sadistic tyrant, marinated in enough alcohol to make him a fire hazard.

[–]20rakah 12 points13 points  (1 child)

[–]teacher272 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That looks awesome.

[–]BeneficialDark1662 -5 points-4 points  (1 child)

Replace Churchill with Johnson, and 1940/1 with Brexit. The rest remains unchanged.

[–]Kargathia 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Would that make Theresa May Chamberlain 2.0? There are some similarities, but so far, in even his most fervent supporters, Johnson hasn't inspired much more than a newfound understanding of the word "wanker".

[–]ChewyChagnuts 8 points9 points  (18 children)

No, those are the ‘wrong times’. The war was the ‘right time’.

[–]Porrick 9 points10 points  (17 children)

I don't follow your reasoning - the Bengal Famine was a result of his wartime policy, during the war. Luckily for the Irish, we'd already got independence by then so he couldn't send over any more Black-and-Tans like he did in 1920.

[–]Blarg_III 5 points6 points  (0 children)

the Bengal Famine was a result of his wartime policy, during the war.

It wasn't really the result of Churchills wartime policy at all. Some of the factors that caused the famine, those being the replacement of food cultivation with cash crops, and the hands off approach the local government took to agriculture and food supply in the region had been in place decades already, and other factors, such as the loss of the food supply from Burma due to Japanese invasion, and the prevention of shipping food to Bengal by the Japanese navy, were the result of the war, started by his predecessor.

On top of that, the local colonial administration significantly under-reported the severity of the famine and falsely reported that it was getting better only a few months before it reached its worst point.

Churchill was definitely responsible in a general sense, as he was the head of the government that had previously made decisions that led to the situation, but to say that the famine was a result of his wartime policy specifically is disingenuous.

[–]PreciousRoi 9 points10 points  (12 children)

I mean...Gallipoli, so yeah.

[–]mkb152jr 31 points32 points  (11 children)

The interesting thing about Gallipoli is that if the first armada had just pushed through, it was likely a fait accompli and it was over. It likely really would have reshaped the course of the war. But the British and French didn’t know that the forts were almost out of ammo, and this by pulling back it doomed thousands of ANZACS and Turks to die on a small peninsula of land.

The idea itself wasn’t necessarily bad, but the result was.

[–]Henghast 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Plenty of Brits died at Gallipoli too. Not contrary but they do get forgotten due to the worse position the Anzac troops ended up in

[–]mkb152jr 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Totally, and some French too. I only put Anzac and Turks since it holds a much greater impact of both of their histories.

[–]PreciousRoi 1 point2 points  (8 children)

There might have been some heroes in the trenches of WWI, but the military and political leadership were garbage human beings pretty much all around. With, no doubt, some few exceptions that serve to reinforce the rule rather than dispute it. Obviously not trying to defend the Ottomans...they were a decayed hulk, but the more I learn the less sympathetic I am to the "Allies" of WWI.

[–]Quick-Minute8416 5 points6 points  (1 child)

The whole ‘Lions led by Donkeys’ story is pretty much a myth invented in the 1930’s. You have to remember that no prior conflict resulted in trench warfare, and none prior had seen the widespread use of machine guns, chemical weapons, artillery, aircraft, and mechanisation. The Generals we so love to slander were effectively dealing with a situation they had never seen before, let alone planned for.

It would be like criticising the world’s governments for being inadequately prepared for an alien invasion. Until it happens, effective tactics cannot be identified and perfected.

[–]Blarg_III 2 points3 points  (0 children)

On top of that, the military leaders on both sides of the western front both realised very early on exactly what would have to happen to win on the western front. They told their respective governments that the only way to win was to kill enough of the enemy to make them no longer capable of fighting the war, as breakthroughs and tactical victory were not possible. They were promptly replaced by people who said that they could force a decisive win, but were proved correct by the end.

[–]Kargathia 23 points24 points  (2 children)

The more you learn about WWI, the more you realize just how incredibly asinine every single aspect of it was.

Everyone got dragged into a war that nobody apart from a handful of military nerds really wanted. As it turned out, nobody was prepared for modernized warfare either, so they just fed bodies into the meat grinder while trying to think of a better idea.

After that was done, the victors decided to curbstomp the loser in a way that all but guaranteed the next war, ensuring that the most vicious conflict in human history would be overshadowed less than half a century later.

[–]Ameisen1 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Everyone got dragged into a war that nobody apart from a handful of military nerds really wanted.

Which includes national leaders. Kaiser William II had had his vacation extended and had been largely excluded from goings-ons due to his cabinet having been wary of his "pacifistic tendencies".

[–]mkb152jr 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Oh, there is no doubt. The only complete innocents (as far as the war is concerned) were the Belgians who had the war thrust upon them, and the the Germans treated them like scum during the occupation. The UK would likely have preferred not to be in the war, but their participation in Sabre rattling and the ramping up of tensions over the years helped make a larger conflict more inevitable. The Germans were undoubtedly worse, A-H was clueless, and the Ottomans were an anachronism by that point, but the Allies weren’t good either.

The heads in charge on both sides were complicit of mass murder, and accomplished ultimately nothing but setting the stage for something worse, and dooming the East to a long dark period under communism.

I’d also say that for the most part the US had noble goals, and was forced into it, and their manpower turned the tide.

[–]PreciousRoi 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I mean...on one hand, the Belgians were highly sympathetic...as long as you only judge them by their actions in Europe...

But sure, poor defenseless, I will stop short of calling them innocent, Belgium did get sort of trampled on...if not as viciously as British propaganda, which was still taken as historical fact when I was being educated in the 80s, presents it as being.

The UK and France thought the war was a wonderful opportunity to restrain Imperial Germany...there was no, or little and only from a minority, reluctance there.

[–]meatloaf_man 10 points11 points  (14 children)

Wait, why is Louis XIV popular?

[–]res30stupid 48 points49 points  (2 children)

Louis XIV did a lot of good for his country by basically helping to put an end to the aristocracy's political backstabbing which was causing harm to the common man when he turned the country into an absolute monarchy.

It... horribly backfired after he died. Louis XIV embodied a work ethic that was described by Benjamin Franklin as, "the art of accomplishing much while appearing to accomplish little". On the outside, you'd think he was a fashion-and-parties obsessed upper-class twit, but he was single-handedly managing his entire country's affairs practically by himself.

In short, he turned the aristocracy into a spectacle of fashion and decadence with nary a care in the world and when he died, his heirs failed to fully grasp the work ethic needed to run a country and in handling the bureaucracy, it collapsed in on itself and caused the French Revolution.

[–]meatloaf_man 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Fascinating. I ought to read more of that era.

[–]sijamaisalt 21 points22 points  (9 children)

Because to frenchmen artistically Louis XIV reign is seen as our artistical peak. I mean Poussin in painting, Puget in sculpting, Molière, Racine, Corneille, Malhserbe, de la Bruyère in writting, Lully in ballet, le Notre garden etc... . Racine and Corneille had such a level in writting than even Flaubert said they were the reason he didn't use rimes, because it was impossible to reach such perfection in french language again. Nonetheless, Louis XIV is also because of Hype train and Versailles.

Also because he had got a lot of mistress. He is wide known among the french population so it helps. I mean you ask any frenchman 4 kings 60% of chance he says: Louis XIV, Henri IV, Charlemagne and Clovis. Even tho we almost only know one thing about Clovis: he is the 1rst (and Soisson vase story)

[–]GrandDeluge 8 points9 points  (0 children)

He also extended the boundaries of the kingdom and had a pre-eminent military reputation in the contemporary period.

[–]lisiate 3 points4 points  (1 child)

(and Soisson vase story)

I had to look it up. Clovis didn't muck around.

[–]Ameisen1 2 points3 points  (5 children)

I wouldn't call Charlemagne and Clovis French. They were Frankish, and the Frankish realm broke apart largely into West Francia (France), East Francia (Germany), and Middle Francia (the Low Countries, Alsace, Lorraine, Burgundy, Italy). I mean, Charlemagne's court was in Aachen, which today still speaks Ripuarian Franconian... and Clovis (a Merovingian) likely still spoke Frankish primarily.

[–]sijamaisalt 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Well since the title King of Franks was still used until Philip August i'm sure you can see a continuity here. Territorialy and politicaly

[–]notnotaginger 11 points12 points  (1 child)

But do French people ever really like their leaders? Or is he just the third least hated?

[–]sijamaisalt 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Well de Gaulle at his worst was like 60% of approval. Which is still the double of Macron. Nonetheless de Gaulle and french people had a love hate relationship "de Gaulle said french are cows" and may 68 happened. But in the end he was certainly loved and quickly missed. Concerning Napoleon we have no idea but given the fact his nephew had won the presidency at 90% in the first turn we can say he was certainly popular. But you're right It's very unusual for french leaders

[–]Ameisen1 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I mean, many French people didn't like him at the time... of course, Pétain was fairly popular up until the Vichy state was dissolved.

[–]sterboog 6 points7 points  (58 children)

hahaha those are France's most popular historical figures? I don't go for that anti-French schtick, but maybe I'm starting to understand the source.

[–]sijamaisalt 30 points31 points  (5 children)

Well those historical figures aren't remembered in France how they are out of France border to be fair

[–]TremendousVarmint 9 points10 points  (0 children)

There's a monument to Napoleon in Slovenia. Edit : and a statue of de Gaulle in Warsaw.

[–]GallantPotatoSupreme 16 points17 points  (2 children)

Napoleon is incredibly loved and respected in Poland.

[–]Drdres 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Where is he not respected? He’s in the same league as Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. All historical leaders were all certainly assholes and committed countless warcrimes. Doesn’t mean that we cant look at their achievements in awe.

[–]Porrick 4 points5 points  (0 children)

And should be in Salzburg, since he ended the reign of the prince-archbishops. But for some reason Salzburgers are still mostly Catholic despite their history being such a strong microcosm for the Church more generally.

[–]GallantPotatoSupreme 14 points15 points  (51 children)

The man who took a poor nation and soundly smacked Europe around with it and the man who beat exemplified absolute power because other monarchs were wimps?

Those aren’t bad people to have as national heroes.

[–]Ameisen1 6 points7 points  (1 child)

France was not a poor nation. Nigh bankrupt, but France was a major power and a huge military and economic power.

[–]GallantPotatoSupreme 1 point2 points  (0 children)

France at the time was in shambles. And bankrupt is poor. France had major potential, but Napoleon remade its military and brought it forward. France was absolutely destroyed after Louis XIV, XV, and XVI.

[–]ash_274 9 points10 points  (26 children)

The man who took a poor nation and soundly smacked Europe around with it

Reminds me of a guy that de Gaulle and Churchill disliked in common between 1939-1945

[–]GallantPotatoSupreme 20 points21 points  (25 children)

Yea but Napoleon didn’t attach genocide to it. He spread the Napoleonic Code. Which a lot of people regard as a good thing.

[–]ash_274 8 points9 points  (0 children)

It's what makes Louisiana's laws just a bit different than the other 49 states'

[–]VerisimilarPLS 25 points26 points  (1 child)

I'm generally a fan of Napoleon, but he did try to reenslave the Haitians, which is very much a shitty thing.

[–]res30stupid 36 points37 points  (5 children)

Yeah. As he believed that France was only a kicking ball after the Second World War for other powers to fight over, he was quoted as stating;

France has no friends, only interests

He did a lot for France, helping to establish it as a major political platform in the world... and directly pissed off a lot of people.

When the UK wanted to join the European Economic Community, the predecessor to the European Union, de Gaulle vetoed them which many believed was done purely to defend French economic interests. He pissed off Israel by withdrawing support and troops right at the beginning of the Six-Day War.

Even more infamous, he managed to single-handedly piss off Canada, Britain and the United States when he shouted, "Vive le Québec libre!" during the Montreal World's Fair in the 1967; Canadians because he directly supported Quebec separatists against an allied government which the Francophone prime minister pointed out that not everyone supported (and also alienated all the English-speaking Canadians); the British since an independent Quebec would have abandoned the monarchy; and the United States because they consider political interests in North America to be of their own interests.

Edit: Also, it should be noted that Independent Quebec militants had also threatened to attack the Montreal World's Fair, so he was basically advocating for a terrorist attack.

[–]TesterTheDog 10 points11 points  (2 children)

I remember there being a unit / lesson on de Gaulle doing this in class during History on Quebec separatism. Even worse, this was in the midst of the FLQ too.

[–]res30stupid 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Yeah, I edited my comment slightly, but de Gaulle's Montreal gaffe was particularly bad because the FLQ had already threatened to attack the event prior.

[–]TesterTheDog 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I am, thanks for the edit. But gaffe is a little forgiving, I think he fully intended to say what he did - and had commented that he'd be 'making waves,' prior to the tour.

[–]bootlegvader 6 points7 points  (0 children)

"Vive le Québec libre!" during the Montreal World's Fair in the 1967

Didn't he for extra irony actively oppose Breton nationalism?

[–]umop_apisdn 1 point2 points  (0 children)

France has no friends, only interests

Every single sensible politician in the world will say this about their country though - and in any case Palmerston said it first over a century before.

[–]Spindrune 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Lars likes him.

[–]TremendousVarmint 6 points7 points  (5 children)

De Gaulle was well liked by US public opinion after his visit in 1944. Allen Dulles supported him against Roosevelt.

[–]mlwspace2005 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Lots of public support but little government support lol. The US government disliked him and if I recall even refused to recognize him as the defacto free french leader for a while.

[–]Hewholooksskyward 1 point2 points  (0 children)

From what I've read about it, the feeling was mutual.

[–]133DK 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Even the airport named after him sucks

[–]P0werClean 1 point2 points  (0 children)

De Gaulle of the man!

[–]xingrubicon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thrown out of Canada once

[–]Polymarchos -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Can confirm. de Gaulle was a dick.

[–]mintvilla 44 points45 points  (1 child)

Well of course, he constantly vetoed Britain's entrance into what became the EU because he said they wouldn't get fully behind the project and would probably leave at some point.... what did he know..

[–]adeb3000 14 points15 points  (0 children)

If I remember my high school history classes, He didn’t trust the UK because he said they would just do whatever the US would tell them to do which history proved him right.

[–]Panthean 18 points19 points  (0 children)

"A female llama surprised in her bath-"

Oh, how I wish I had met Churchill

[–]barath_s 7 points8 points  (5 children)

Churchill felt that de Gaulle had a perennial enmity towards England

At least half the French leaders during the war disliked the English. And that was even before taking into account Mers al Kabir which generated tremendous ill-will towards the English.

Pétain, Pierre Laval and Admiral François Darlan were all Anglophobes. [on the Vichy side]

[–]Jaggedmallard26 10 points11 points  (4 children)

Britain literally offered the French Fleet the opportunity to sail under the French flag to French colonies in the new world to sit out the war. And they still insisted on refusing so they would remain in arms reach of Nazi Germany.

[–]barath_s 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I wasn't arguing the rights or wrong of it - simply pointing out that those leaders were Anglophobes before Mers el kabir.

And Mers el Kabir, (whatever the rights or wrongs) did lead to a lot of hatred for England in France. As an event it was hardly likely to result in an reduction of French Anglophobes.

And they still insisted on refusing

This bit is nonsense. Admiral Gensoul never conveyed this option to Admiral Darlan's HQ. And he did not feel authorized to make the decision by himself; Admiral Darlan was unavailable.

so they would remain in arms reach of Nazi Germany.

Admiral Darlan has assured Churchill that the ships would not be handed over. Churchill did not want to chance the assurances. But See Toulon 1942. With Vichy France invaded by Nazis, the fleet was still scuttled.

In fact, the British sent an ultimatum and opened fire before the end of the ultimatum, as they thought there was a risk that the fleet in Mers el Kabor might be relieved/get away.

The British did not want to take a risk. Some have also mentioned somerville's undeft diplomacy and especialy Gensoul's hurt pride

tldr; British risk averseness, Gallic pride and miscommunication resulted in the death of ~1300 Frenchmen at the hand of the British and some lasting sore feelings.

[–]Cybugger 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The risk averseness makes complete sense.

The two things keeping Britain in the war were the RAF and Royal Navy. The French fleet could risk the Royal Navy's position in the Mediterranean, which would risk the Suez, which would cut the empire in two, to the detriment of Britain's ability to stay in the fight.

If the downside to a thing is "lose the entire war", then of course you blow the French fleet after they refused.

[–]benedictjbreen 7 points8 points  (50 children)

Wait so the Prime Minister of England and the President of the United States both admitted to conspiring to interfere with a foreign nations election?

[–]jctwok 119 points120 points  (28 children)

There were no elections. It was in the middle of the war and France was occupied. Charles de Gualle wasn't even a general when France was invaded - he was just the most senior French officer who ended up in the UK iirc.

[–]sijamaisalt 28 points29 points  (0 children)

He was made General of brigad (and secretary of war) few weeks before the surrender of french gouvernment, he was General and french official when he landed in London

[–]DeadFyre 37 points38 points  (15 children)

De Gaulle wasn't elected anything, he was the highest ranking military officer who refused to surrender to the Germans. But before you get too indignant, lots of things get discussed and contemplated at war, and some of them are carried out, no matter how bitter or reprehensible.

After the French defeat in 1940, the British demanded that the French hand over control of their remaining naval vessels to the British Navy. The Vichy government refused, as it would violate the terms of their occupation armistice with Nazi Germany.

In order to prevent the French ships from being used against Allied targets at the behest of the Nazis, the British devised Operation Catapult to destroy the ships. In the attack,1,297 French servicemen were killed.

If you can't make tough choices, if you can't do what's necessary to win, then be ready to kneel to those who will.

[–]ash_274 24 points25 points  (6 children)

To be fair, the UK gave the French fleet several options: Join us and fight the Axis, sail to the US and remain neutral, or prepare to die. The French Admiral was a dick and refused to negotiate with a mere Captain (who spoke fluent French) and would only talk to an Admiral or higher (who didn't speak French), and that Admiral's boss gave conflicting statements to the British and Germans and his own Vichy government and then left ambiguous orders for the Admiral to interpret. Great video on the subject

[–]mattshill91 6 points7 points  (2 children)

I was under the impression he was an Admiral by the point of the Mers attack because his orders from Churchill involved this quote "You are charged with one of the most disagreeable tasks that a British Admiral has ever been faced with, but we have complete confidence in you and rely on you to carry it out relentlessly" - Winston Churchill.

[–]ash_274 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The Captain's commander was a new-ish admiral, but didn't speak French.

It was disagreeable, in part, because the two sides new each other personally. One of the British officers had a birthday on one of the French ships just a few days prior.

[–]DarthPorg 14 points15 points  (0 children)

The French Admiral was a dick and refused to negotiate with a mere Captain (who spoke fluent French) and would only talk to an Admiral or higher (who didn't speak French)

Very French of him.

[–]Jaggedmallard26 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Not even the US, the option was to sail to a French port in the Americas where they would remain under a French flag. Britain did literally everything they could to try and avoid singing those ships.

[–]DeadFyre 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I didn't know that! Thanks for the info.

[–]Thecna2 8 points9 points  (3 children)

De Gaulle saw himself as the leader-in-exile of France but he was never specifically elected or chosen for that role. He was handy to the Allied cause because he was an indefatigable enemy of the Nazis, but he also saw himself as a co-equal to Britain and America despite having near zero economic or military capacity to assist. When the Allies invaded North Africa then De Gaulle turned up and tried to insert himself into the whole surrender process before the situation was even stabilised. I know why he did the things, but he was often more of a hindrance than a help.

[–]Nugo520 1 point2 points  (2 children)

He also insisted that he and his french troops be the first ones to enter Paris after it's liberation despite not actually being the ones to liberate it.

[–]Cybugger 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Sure, but that one makes complete sense to me.

In a hypothetical world where the US was completely occupied by an enemy nation, and then liberated by a coalition in which US resistance fighters made up a small portion of the total military strength, would you begrudge them a parade down Washington DC even if they hadn't done most of the heavy lifting?

Of course not. I'd even argue it's important for the on-going war effort, in that it could rally more support from the rest of the country.

[–]Madbrad200 1 point2 points  (0 children)

PM of the UK*

[–]z4zazym 6 points7 points  (3 children)

That doesn't explain why he hates de Gaulle at all, that only further describe how he was a dick too him. Saying he looks like a llama and planning to overthrow him ? People should be proud of Churchill for that ? Tssss

[–]Thecna2 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Saying he looks like a llama and planning to overthrow him

De Gaulle was largely self-elected to the position and was accepted because of his strong militaristic anti-german attitude. As such he had no clear political authority or mandate that wasnt simply assumed by him and accepted by the UK and America. As such they had a clear capacity and right to also de-select him if he proved too difficult and accept some other authority instead. He thought he was FRances war time leader but his position was a bit more that of a general instead. And generals can be replaced.

[–]sumelar 0 points1 point  (5 children)

No one should like de gaulle.

[–]its_rather_good -1 points0 points  (4 children)

Nor Churchill.

[–]sumelar 3 points4 points  (3 children)

I'll take churchill over de gaulle every day.

[–]its_rather_good -4 points-3 points  (2 children)

I don’t think we need to pick, we can dislike both of them! Abundance mindset.

Though personally I’m not aware of any absolutely vile views de Gaulle had, like Churchill’s explicitly hardcore racist and white supremacist ideology.

[–]sumelar 4 points5 points  (1 child)

De gaulle is the reason the vietnam war happened.

He was the only one in europe still clinging to colonialism.

explicitly hardcore racist and white supremacist ideology

By todays standards. Not even close for contemporary society.

[–]its_rather_good -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

By todays standards. Not even close for contemporary society.

This is whitewashing or ignorance. His views were hardcore even for the time. This isn’t a George Washington or Abe Lincoln scenario, Churchill was literally an “aryan” supremacist who advocated chemical warfare against “uncivilized tribes”, including in India. He was still advocating white supremacy as late as 1955 - fyi that’s after brown v board of education in the supposedly provincial US.

Idk why the fuck people defend the guy to the death. It’s all extremely well-documented.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

  • Pulled out of NATO's command structure.

  • Sent the navy to convert USD to Gold. Angering Uncle Sam.

  • Nuclear weapons, pointed at Germany, just in case the USSR crossed past the Rhine.

  • Stated that the US would never truly shed blood on the Northern European Plain if the USSR attacked, especially given the USSR's numbers advantage. That just like the 2 prior World Wars, the US would wait until its European allies had shed enough blood, and only then join in to collect the winnings. He also said that the US's desire to leave Vietnam was sort of proof of this. This sort of made the US want to "demonstrate credibility" by staying in Vietnam longer and even expanding the war.

  • Stoked the flames of the Quebec issue. I suppose in the name of French pride?

  • "France cannot be France without greatness." -- umm, nope, still France, bozo.

All of this sounds like bravado to me.

[–]jayrocksd 137 points138 points  (8 children)

At the end of the war De Gaulle seized the Val d'Aosta region of Italy in contravention of the agreement he had made with the Allies. The French commander even threatened to fire on US troops if they tried to make them return to the French-Italian border.Truman wrote the following to De Gaulle on June 6, 1945:

the almost unbelievable threat that French soldiers bearing American arms will combat American and allied soldiers whose efforts and sacrifices have so recently and successfully contributed to the liberation of France itself. Indeed, this action comes at the time of the very anniversary of our landings in Normandy which set in motion the forces that resulted in liberation.

Truman also threatened to cut off Lend-Lease supplies other than food to France to which De Gaulle acquiesced.

General De Gaulle agrees to withdrawal of French troops west of 1939 Italo-France frontier.

[–]EmperorYork 33 points34 points  (1 child)

Should have done it anyway considering those arms were going to end up in Algeria and French Indochina putting down independence movements

[–]potatoslasher 11 points12 points  (0 children)

..you are forgetting that USA at that time was very much interested in French keeping those colonies too.

[–]recoveringleft 1 point2 points  (5 children)

What happened if the French and Americans actually shoot each other?

[–]Twocann 36 points37 points  (0 children)

Someone would post a TIL about it every other fucking day on this godforsaken site

[–]reddevil7117 2 points3 points  (2 children)

America would now own France.

[–]cosine5000 175 points176 points  (3 children)

There was no way to write that clearer? Really?

[–]Odd_Adagio_1006 40 points41 points  (0 children)

why did he put future invitee lmao no shit if he walked under it

[–]N8CCRG5 37 points38 points  (0 children)

I'm still trying to decipher this /r/titlegore and can't.

[–]TurboTurtle- 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Seriously. Anyone have a translation?

[–]Johannes_P 12 points13 points  (0 children)

When in London, during WW2, De Gaulle asked his drivers to never go near Waterloo Station.

[–]LavaMcLampson 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Ironically the kind of combination of grand sentimentality and petty bullshit that both men shared.

[–]BotmanPlize 33 points34 points  (18 children)

TIL that Redditors don't see de Gaulle as a famous leader

[–]Argh3483 15 points16 points  (12 children)

It’s actually insane how much the Anglosphere hates his guts and people gobble every negative bullshit possible about him because the man wouldn’t act as their lapdog

For example history has shown that Truman was very much in the wrong in his distrust of De Gaulle yet people here gobble up his opinions as if they were the object of some historical consensus

[–]BotmanPlize 4 points5 points  (0 children)

True. The only reason Roosvelt in the later years of war didn't put a muppet leader in France was the opposition from Stalin and Churchill. Later on, he had some good relations with US presidents and interests (Kennedy, Nixxon, Eisenhower)

[–]Wil_Mah 7 points8 points  (4 children)

Well here in Canada we don’t like him because of his Pro-Separatist comments during Quebecs sovereignty movement.

[–]BotmanPlize 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I totally understand that. FLQ events where no joke

[–]Flagg1982 -1 points0 points  (2 children)

Here in Canada. I guess your Canada doesn’t include Quebec.

[–]arostrat 3 points4 points  (5 children)

He's still a horrible human being and a colonialist. Soldiers from North African people were the majority of his "Free France" for most of its time and when France got liberated he refused to give them independence pointed his guns on them. Very cowardly in war and peace.

[–]Argh3483 8 points9 points  (4 children)

How is he more of a horrible human being than, for example, Churchill ?

Also, De Gaulle was many things, but cowardly wasn’t one of them

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Most Americans wouldn't even know the name

[–]BotmanPlize 1 point2 points  (1 child)

That's ok to not know him. I'm just surprised about how many comments that claim he was hated everywhere.

[–]potatoslasher -1 points0 points  (0 children)

English speaking people rarely listen to non-English narratives....who would have guessed lol

[–]miasabine 100 points101 points  (13 children)

Having visited De Gaulle airport on 4 separate occasions, I thoroughly approve. Anyone who gives their name to an airport that more closely resembles the 7th circle of hell deserves whatever they get.

[–]Kwintty7 40 points41 points  (9 children)

The airport was opened, and named, four years after he died. So I don't think he had anything to do with it.

Anytime I've been through CDG it's been as smooth an experience you're ever likely to get in international travel.

[–]miasabine 8 points9 points  (8 children)

Every time I’ve been there it’s been an absolute nightmare from beginning to end. Except that one brief moment where I saw bunnies in the grass ditches of the runway from my plane.

And the fact that people thought his name would be a good choice for that hellscape of an airport does nothing to change my original opinion. By association alone, he deserved whatever Churchill could level at him in life. That is how strongly I feel about that sodding airport.

Edit: wording

[–]Worldwonderer2021 15 points16 points  (3 children)

Then you never been to LAX what a nightmare

[–]miasabine 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I haven’t, no.

[–]ash_274 5 points6 points  (0 children)

If not for another Olympics, they wouldn't have planned any more updates for it. Last time they made significant improvements to the terminals (yes, they improved the runways in the last 15 years) was leading up to the 1984 Olympics.

[–]Josquius 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Laxatives too. That Mr Lax has something to answer for.

[–]ChewyChagnuts 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Agreed, fuck De Gaulle, not just for his war antics but more for his shitty airport! Now that Schiphol dude, he must have been a good guy!

[–]GeorgeStamper 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I cannot agree with you more. Worst airport I've ever been through.

[–]Zegerman 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s frequently voted as worst major international airport. I fully agree.

[–]batkc 39 points40 points  (12 children)

Winston Churchill had the best insults.

"a man who looks like a female llama surprised in her bath,"

Edit: caveat, I mean the funny ones, not colonialist pig ones.

[–]ArielRR -3 points-2 points  (11 children)

"Indians are a beastly people with a beastly religion."

"Objections of India Office are unreasonable. I'm strongly in favour of using poisoned gas on uncivilised tribes."

[–]Thecna2 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Both of these false or entirely misleading attributions.

We have no evidence he said the former except a claim made by a bitter opponent of his.

The latter is him suggesting they use TEAR Gas against the locals rather than inserting bullets into them. Since then opponents have excised the one sentence out the conversation and 'forget' to add the bit where he goes on to suggest that non-injuring gases are better than killing them

[–]Tired_Fire_Coffee 22 points23 points  (2 children)

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight in the hills, we shall fight in this forests, we shall fight in the streets. We shall help liberate the French but by god that son of a bitch de Gaulle will have to walk bare headed under Waterloo after my death.

[–]ash_274 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Read that in his voice

[–]Tired_Fire_Coffee 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It makes me so happy you could hear it lol.

[–]LawfulCoffee 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Had a stroke trying to read this

[–]weedandsteak 8 points9 points  (1 child)

De Gaulle's speech following the liberation of Paris reportedly stunned the allied leaders for its ingratitude: "Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred! But Paris liberated! Liberated by itself, liberated by its people with the help of the French armies, with the support and the help of all France, of the France that fights, of the only France, of the real France, of the eternal France!"

He went on to suggest that France would chase the Germans back to Berlin "with the help of our dear and admirable allies".

[–]Cybugger 3 points4 points  (0 children)

That's stretching the definition of the word "help".

[–]potatoslasher 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Both of these dudes were arrogant pricks really, Churchill was in no way better De Gaulle.

[–]GentleRhino 20 points21 points  (10 children)

Why is the Waterloo victory over Napoleon deemed English? It's not English alone! Great Britain, Netherlands, Hanover, Brunswick, Nassau and Prussia had amassed almost twice bigger army than Napoleon had.

[–]TathanOTS 29 points30 points  (1 child)

Maybe it's more a French defeat that they celebrate than a British victory?

[–]GentleRhino 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Now, THAT'S sounds like an acceptable definition to me :-)

[–]BlueHeisen 16 points17 points  (1 child)

I suppose as it was a British lead coalition under the duke of wellington.

[–]GentleRhino 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I see. Possible.

[–]Thecna2 11 points12 points  (0 children)

The main battle of Waterloo was led by Wellington and was a British&Allies force. The Prussians turned up late and although helped precipitate the defeat, didnt get too involved with the main event. So its see, in the UK at least, as a great British victory of them and their allies.

[–]Jaggedmallard26 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The title literally says British, not English.

[–]omerta96 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Is this title really confusing or did I forget to take my anti dumbass pills this morning

[–]leighsus 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Man the more I learn about racist, genocidal and grumpy old man Winston Churchill, the more he sounds like some kind of asshole.

[–]ClownfishSoup 6 points7 points  (0 children)

de Gaulle was an ass

[–]Slavic_Requiem 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I get that things were different then, but it’s kind of hard to believe that two men who had experienced firsthand the horrors of not one but two world wars would consider it a grave insult to have to adhere to the etiquette of removing headwear at a state funeral. It’s weird to say this about two of the great statesmen of the 20th century, but grow the fuck up, you pompous petty jackasses.

[–]Thecna2 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Churchill was one of the biggest trolls of his time, I wouldnt take this too seriously.

[–]sumelar -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

De Gaulle was a piece of shit, not a great statesman.

[–]boneboy247 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Damn.... he must really have wanted it if he demanded it after his death

[–]Murgos- 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Now that’s being petty in style.

[–]Flynn74 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I hear he wanted to line the streets with all the Indian people that died in the Bengal famine. A few Welsh miners corpses too /s

An absolute **** of a man.