A country in Western Europe that remains a world leader, despite what some think.
Much maligned by other cultures, especially the American and British people: in the latter case, for a historical rivalry over French territory that remained until the sixteenth century, while in the former, for French DOS (denial of support) in the War on Terror. Americans often miss the fact that French troops are right now in Afghanistan, which - last I checked - was part of the War on Terror.
Americans also tend to forget, aside from the Statue of Liberty and ninety percent of the gunpowder and ammunition used in the American Revolution, not to mention that the British first surrendered to Rochambeau and not to Washington, that without the French Paul Revere wouldn't have existed (French father), nor would there actually be an United States beyond the Mississippi River. Nor, in fact, would there exist the tactics utilized during the Civil War (written by a French general).
Americans who lambast France have not yet quite realized that, unlike America, France has been invaded several times over the course of its history, and yet has maintained most of its culture intact. French soldiers were the first to charge into the German trenches in World War I, and without their bravery there wouldn't have been the stalemate that lost the war for Germany. In fact, the top Allied fighter ace for that war, for you Eddie Rickenbacker fans, was French. In World War II, more French soldiers left Dunkirk and Ostend than British Empire soldiers, and it was largely thanks to the French Resistance that D-Day was prepared. Plus, more French soldiers went ashore that day anyway.
Americans have made their contribution to world history. With that secure, some of you need to stop bringing down your oh-so-righteous wrath on cultures who also have done their part.
Leaders of France: Clovis, Charles Martel, Charlemagne, Philip II, Louis IX, Saint Joan of Arc, Louis XIV, Marquis de Lafayette, Napoleon Bonaparte, Dumouriez, Henri Philippe Pétain (although rightly disgraced), Maxime Weygand, Charles de Gaulle.
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