For the record, I'm not some right wing nut job. I do like country music, but I'm a rational and sane person. This is a joke. If you can't take a joke, don't read this blog. Also, a great deal of credit to my cousin Jay (of Wire watching and chachin' fame, amongst others) for this.
Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. All you do is leave behind a lot of noisy baggage. With that being said, let's take a stroll down memory lane.
Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian. [Or, at this time in history, a Roman -editor's note.]
Hundred Years War
Mostly lost, saved at last by female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare; "France's armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman." Sainted.
Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.
Wars of Religion
France goes 0-5-4 against the [self-described?] Huguenots.
Thirty Years War
France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.
War of Revolution
Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.
The Dutch War
War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War
Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Francophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.
War of the Spanish Succession
Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved ever since.
In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare; "France only wins when America does most of the fighting."
Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also ... French.
The Napoleonic Wars
Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.
The Franco-Prussian War
Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.
World War I
Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States [Entering the war late -editor's note]. Thousands of French women find out what it's like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her "Fraulein." Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.
World War II
Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.
War in Indochina
Lost. French forces plead sickness; take to bed with the Dien Bien Flu
Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a western army by a Non-Turkish Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare; "We can always beat the French." This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese and Esquimaux.
War on Terrorism
France, keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe. Attempts to surrender to Vietnamese ambassador fail after he takes refuge in a McDonald's.
France attempts to take advantage of Mexico's weakness following its thorough thrashing by the U.S. 20 years earlier ("Halls of Montezuma"). Not surprisingly, the only unit to distinguish itself is the French Foreign Legion (consisting of, by definition, non-Frenchmen). Booted out of the country a little over a year after arrival.
Panama jungles 1881-1890.
No one but nature to fight, France still loses; canal is eventually built by the U.S. 1904-1914.
Should be noted that the Grand Armee was largely (~%50) composed of non-Frenchmen after 1804 or so. Mainly disgruntled minorities and anti-monarchists. Not surprisingly, these performed better than the French on many occasions.
French defeated by rebellion after sacrificing 4,000 Poles to yellow fever. Shows another rule of French warfare; when in doubt, send an ally.
British were far more charming than French, ended up victors. Therefore the British are well known for their tea, and the French for their whine (er, wine...). Ensures 200 years of bad teeth in England.
Barbary Wars, middle ages-1830.
Pirates in North Africa continually harass European shipping in Mediterranean. France's solution: pay them to leave us alone. America's solution: kick their asses ("the Shores of Tripoli"). [America's] first overseas victories, won 1801-1815.
1798-1801, Quasi-War with U.S.
French privateers (semi-legal pirates) attack U.S. shipping. U.S. fights France at sea for 3 years; French eventually cave; sets precedent for next 200 years of Franco-American relations.
Moors in Spain, late 700s-early 800s.
Even with Charlemagne leading them against an enemy living in a hostile land, French are unable to make much progress. Hide behind Pyrenees until the modern day.
Other French-on-French losses (probably should be counted as victories too, just to be fair):
1208: Albigenses Crusade, French massacred by French.
When asked how to differentiate a heretic from the faithful, response was "Kill them all. God will know His own." Lesson: French are bad dudes when fighting unarmed men, women and children.
St. Bartholomew Day Massacre, August 24, 1572.
Once again, French-on-French slaughter.
Philip Augustus of France throws hissy-fit, leaves Crusade for Richard the Lion Heart to finish.
St. Louis of France leads Crusade to Egypt. Resoundingly crushed.
St. Louis back in action, this time in Tunis. See Seventh Crusade.
Also should be noted that France attempted to hide behind the Maginot Line, sticking their head in the sand and pretending that the Germans would enter France that way. By doing so, the Germans would have been breaking with their traditional route of invading France, entering through Belgium (Napoleonic Wars, Franco-Prussian War, World War I, etc.). French ignored this though, and put all their effort into these defenses.
Or, better still, the quote from The Wall Street Journal: "They're there when they need you."