The French are today commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Austerlitz with a re—enactment in the Czech Republic, site of the original battle. Finding important French military victories takes some looking. Try going to google and type in French military victories, and then hit "I'm feeling lucky," for instance. But if you go back far enough, you do find the ultmately—defeated Napoleon, who won some important battles.
Of course, Napoleon was a Corsican, and probably spoke Italian as his first language. But one makes do with what one has. At least he is a better military figure to celebrate than Marshall Petain.
(AP) —— France's defense minister met with Czech leaders Friday while in the Czech Republic to help commemorate the 200th anniversary of Napoleon's battle of Austerlitz.
''We live in the present, but we always return to the roots of our history,'' French Defense Minister Michele Alliot—Marie said after meeting her Czech counterpart, Karel Kuehnl, in Prague.
''It is a celebration of the strategy and tactics of the armies that fought there,'' she said. ''It also is a celebration of the wisdom of nations that succeeded in overcoming problems that were dividing them.''
Later Friday, Alliot—Marie traveled to Austerlitz, the site of the battle in which Napoleon Bonaparte defeated Russian and Austrian armies in 1805. She laid a wreath at the Zuran Hill from which Napoleon directed the battle.
''We gathered here to remember the event that was both tragic and fascinating in the history of Europe,'' Alliot—Marie said.
She said that the reconstruction of the battle connected thousands of people who had come from around the world ''not to celebrate a war, but to commemorate those who died ... for their countries.''
Napoleon enthusiasts planned to re—enact the famous battle Saturday at its original site near Slavkov, known in history books by its German name Austerlitz and located near the Moravian capital of Brno, about 150 miles southeast of Prague.
Hat tip: Ethel Carol
Thomas Lifson 12 03 05