The Corner

Re: The Beijing-Paris Axis

From a reader on the left coast: “I couldn’t stop laughing after reading

this sentence in the article you cited: ‘Through this joint exercise, we

hope to learn the French navy’s combat training experience and combat

thought,’ [Chinese naval captain] Ju was quoted as saying. Oh yes, the

French navy has a rich tradition of ‘combat thought.’ In most wars, when

they weren’t being blockaded in port by the British, they were captured by

their opponents and used against their allies.

“The one high water mark of French naval history was its victory over the

British fleet in the Chesapeake Bay in 1781, which helped the Americans to


the battle of Yorktown, and ultimately the Revolutionary War. The French

navy has been ineffectual ever since, even more so than their land army,

which at least scored some impressive victories under Napoleon.”


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