Talk:French Armed Forces

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject France (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject France, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of France on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Military history (Rated Start-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
Start This article has been rated as Start-Class on the quality assessment scale.

Current civil war in Mali[edit]

This current topic with major french involvement is missing, can someone bring something to the table?–present) <- This should be linked...

Off topic[edit]

Hello to all of you following this board. I know I'm going to be off topic, feel free to delete if you want. I just wanted to share something with you. I've been checking the articles about French army, British army and US army both in english and in French. You know how "French armed forces" in english is often vandalised. US and UK change logs are full of racist or nationalist comments. But you won't find anyone trying to biase the numbers on the french articles, or insult other countries armed forces. I didn't find any vandalising in italian or german either. I was surprised to be honest, I didn't think we europeans were so wise. If anyone has any idea why hatred seems to go only one way, I'd be glad to hear ! Thanks --Montcalm89 (talk) 03:06, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

State of repair?[edit]

I recently read an article from the Telegraph that the French military is not in the best state of repair. I added a short blurb to the end of "recent operations" (where I know it doesn't really belong) and included the citation. Expansion of that subject is a good idea, perhaps giving it its own section? I'm just not a very good editor, so I'll be content with planting the seed and hope someone else can do a better job than I.

From what I understand, there's going to be a report released soon ("the white paper") detailing the course of the french military for the next 15 years. I gather that France is leaning towards significantly downsizing its armed forces and pushing for greater emphases on sharing defense with other EU member states. I'm not sure how well that will fly, since besides France (and the UK, which has been less than thrilled about full EU integration) there isn't much in the way of force projection abilities among the other EU members. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Dziban303 (talk) 17:29, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Recent operations[edit]

There's an other important mission in which French army's involved, not mentionned here : in Lebanon, more than 3000 soldiers (For French speaking people, see this quote from fr.wikipedia : "Le 24 Aout 2006, Jacques Chirac a annoncé que la France était prete à prendre le commandement de la Force intérimaire des Nations unies au Liban (Finul) et que plus de 3000 soldats français vont etre envoyés au Liban.") Could somebody add it ? (my English is not very accurate...) Thanks! Bébert

Done, although my addition would benefit from some more in-depth knowledge, as I am not aware of the exact composition of the mission or the units from which it is drawn. 23:02, 18 February 2007 (UTC)


The article's images are predominantly not of the FAF. The pictures in the basic information table are of the United States Armed Forces and the People's Liberation Army. 23:02, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

NPOV dispute[edit]

((incompetently copied from Wikipedia:Village pump))

One thing about this series of articles seems dangerously non-NPOV to me (to put it friendly, 'a violation of human dignity' to be somewhat more polemic): the item about 'military manpower' gives us the estimated numbers of 'males age 15–49' 'available' and 'fit for military service' for the country in question.

This suggests that males and only males (of the given age) are universally predestined to serve in the military. Which is certainly a POV, and might be seen as degrading by many. Were these figures only given on pages on countries which do draft recruits along these criteria (which certainly holds for many, if not most countries) I might not be alarmed. However, I stumbled across it in the article Military of Iceland, which explicitly states that Iceland 'has never had a military'—ie never drafted, and a fortiori never drafted only males.

People, this is terrible. Please let's take our policies serious and get rid of it, quickly.

((By the way, just to pour some oil on the waters of the 'Americentric' debates: Why are the military expenditures given in Chilean pesos↑?))

– Anothername 21:03, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

There's nothing POV about stating how many people are in the group that predominantly makes up members of militaries. You want the information gone, go convince the world that their military forces should include large numbers of 60 year old women with missing limbs. -- Cyrius|✎ 23:08, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It may not be POV, but it is foolish assume that all countries would be willing (sheer number of troops is unlikely to be a determining factor in a modern war) and or able (You try to draft me and I'll leave the country!) to recruit such a number of people. Equally it is foolish to assume that a modern counrty would ignore the resources of women. --Neo 23:27, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

See The US CIA "World fact book" is persumably the source. It would be difficult to find the correct figures for 18-49 when the figures from the CIA can be reused without copyright problems (although with a little bit of work one could extrapolate them). The UK recruits from "16 years of age for voluntary military service" [19] ( As for a modern country which would ignore the military resources of women and recruits all men, try Switzerland: "[all men] 19 years of age for compulsory military service; 17 years of age for voluntary military service; conscripts receive 15 weeks of compulsory training, followed by 10 intermittent recalls for training over the next 22 years"[20] ( (and any man who is not fit for military service, but is fit enought to work has to pay more taxes as their bit towards national defence!). Philip Baird Shearer 00:40, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Norway has the same scheme; men are drafted for compulsory military service of one year, with recurring excercises. Women have the choice to enter the military, and are given much incentive to do so; there are also large-scale advertising campaigns to make women enter voluntarily. Still, the Norwegian military is a male-dominated gang. Returning to the point: "males 15-49 available" is a pretty accurate term, as women are not drafted per se in most countries. It is misleading, aye, but if we want to show the full strength (both men and women 15-49) it's rather simple to multiply the current number by 2.05 or so, giving that there are slightly more females than males in most countries. --TVPR 09:16, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

If the info comes from the CIA, the article should state that so people know we aren't just pulling those numbers out of thin air. To whomever added those numbers we should be saying document your source! —Mike 02:58, Feb 3, 2005 (UTC)
The point I try to make (possibly in poor English) is: Notwithstanding the fact that most countries (as I believe) draft men, not women, this is still nothing more than 'politics' (or tradition, whatever). There is no necessary link so to speak between the property of being male and the dispositional property of being 'draftable'. (And it is about 'draftability' here, not the factual drafting of men, as we have seen in the Iceland article.) Assuming that being male makes a citizen particularly fit (more so at least than being female does) for being drafted to the military is non-NPOV. As such I believe it should not be stated in the article series the way it is now. Even more so as some (men or women) might take offence in the presentation as a fact of some connexion 'male–military'. I, for one, do. Personally I'd like to see the info in question kicked out of the articles, but a clear indication of source (making clear that it is not Wikipedia's policy to establish that link, but eg the CIA's, for what reason ever) might do as well and perhaps better. – Anothername 14:01, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Why is the French Foreign Legion ignored on this page? France has made extensive use of them in all major and minor conflicts. They are used as "cannon fodder" even today in incursions in Africa and in all current French territories. This is either a terrible oversight or a "politically correct" evasion of the truth.

Then talk about it. I don't know our military enough to give information

on it, but if you have something to say about the Légion Étrangère, say it. For the moment, this page rather seems to be about our foreign politic than our military, as it gives no information on it (apart from manpower).

This pages was originally copied from a CIA Factbook. In any case, I don't know how France could use the Legion as "cannon fodder" in current French territories – where do you see any war in current French territories?

The Legion is cited in the article, is part of the Army ground forces, and has its own page.

France has been and is involved in numerous places of conflict, and the legion, being mostly expendable foreigners, is used less as cannon fodder and more like a device to test the waters in a given locale, without losing frenchmen. The french use too many resources to train the legionaires, and they are too good of soldiers to simply throw away, they are put in the tough positions because if any unit can handle it, they can, and politicians won't have to deal with grieving voters.


someone who knows about this topic, please incorporate this news item into this article: [1] Kingturtle 22:07, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Military service[edit]

I think that another useful addition to this article would be the effect on the military of the recent end of mandatory military service in France. --Mprudhom 03:05, 10 Jan 2004 (UTC)


This article is very confusing. It DENFINATLY does not use simple english. I'm not understanding it.

Intro statement[edit]

There was an accusation of POV regarding the statement that the French armed forces are one of the most technologically advanced in the world (and one of the most powerful). I will find a source for this quickly. However, America, Britain, and France are generally recognized to have the three best militaries in the world (in that order by most people), everything considered.....

Additionally, I do not see how one half of the statement is POV. France has very technologically advanced forces. No way anyone can deny that. I can see where some might question the "one of the most powerful," but there's no basis to question "one of the most technologically advanced." Just look at equipment like the Rafale fighters, Leclerc tanks, and the Triomphant submarines. Those are among the best weapons in the world for their categories.UberCryxic 06:39, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Counter-insurgency and the "French School"[edit]

It is well known that French counter-insurgency doctrine as theorized during the Algerian War had a lasting influence. It is less well known that Paris had a military agreement with Buenos Aires as Marie-Monique Robin has shown. But it is clear that it is relevant to an article concerning the French military, as it is text about French military. Tazmaniacs 15:56, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Not it is not. It is relevant to on articles about the Algerian war, counter-insurgency and individuals like mister Trinquier, not on the article. Wikipedia is not just a dumping ground for information. One other thing: Is there anything similiar on other Military of X country articles? Carl Logan 16:05, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

NPOV tag[edit]

I've add the NPOV tag. Removing a three line sentences is POV (old diff). Please see WP:NPOVT, and in particular forking#ARticle spin-out and Wikipedia:Summary style. We are talking here about something else than just Roger Trinquier, don't reduce French military training to foreign military to this theorist. Tazmaniacs 16:47, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Just one little question that might speed things up a bit. If it is so important why not add it to the article about France? Carl Logan 17:08, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

NPOV tag removed[edit]

I've removed the NPOV tag, since the discussion was not active, and since the disputed sentences were not sourced in any case. Chick Bowen 01:51, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

a load of good quality french military PD pictures for wiki[edit]

check this! and type "FRENCH" as search. Shame On You 04:46, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Doesn't this violate WP:SYN?[edit]

The French Armed Forces however have the 3rd highest expenditure of any military in the world and this high spending on relatively small numbers of personnel, research, design and procurement of defence equipment means that they are one of the most powerful and technologically advanced forces in the world.

This sentence is jumping from two sourced facts (3rd highest expenditure and 20th highest size) to an unsourced conclusion ("one of the most powerful and technologically advanced forces in the world"). I'm looking to remove the last part of this, unless someone can provide a source. Jpers36 20:00, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Patriotism Over truth?[edit]

Someone needs to edit this to be more professional, My onlook was that it seems a bit Pumped up with Patriotism.

it has added Statments that make it seem made by a patriotic man, then a guy who knows what he's talking about. it needs edited to seem Like France has the best military, as portrayed by a frenchmen.

List of militaries accepted as the best.(Top 7 Militaries as accepted by the world community and Worldwide strategists.)

1.United States of America







Like i said, the french military is NOT the most technological in the world, the United States and Britain is, infactuality, France has relied alot on Improving they're military structure then on new equipment.

Furthermore, Patriotism isnt aloud in these great halls. Simply put, Everything put in there to the effect of "Our army is this good" or "The french military is the most technologicaly,Militarily advanced army in the world", wich would be patriotism. i respect how Patriotic French are, But try and stay on facts, the French military is the military of france, it protects this, this is its history. Period. It doesnt matter how good it is. Also,as for rusty's statment. These are not based on numbers, Money or Technology, it is based on the performance of armies as evaluated as Fighting Strength. According to General's and Scientists' in the U.S Military, This is how it is set up.. this was agreed upon by Britain. The lethiality is also based on location. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:38, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

If you can name these so-called "worldwide strategists" then we might be interested. And the "worldwide community" could not agree on who's country has the "best" military - I see my country is only second in your estimation while I would put it first. Finally, we can't define "best". Do you mean the country that spends the most on its armed forces, the country which has won most conflicts, the biggest army, most high-tech, the most widely-known, etc etc... Rusty2005 09:55, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, i believe it is stupid to jump to those facts so fast. It can be consider'd offensive to some european patriots/nationalists and pretty argumental to say that France has best military in europe. Perhaps just stating the facts without going "Our army is better then everyone elses" eh?

indeed, it doesnt matter whos army is best in europe, because its argumental. Furthermore, no one can say whos army is best, and by stating your country or army is best, will just unfuriate foreign Nationals of other nations. you say your country is best, but face the facts, everyone says their army is best, and true or not. by puting it on this article, you create Alot of problems that can be solved by just puting down what is needed, and nothing more. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:22, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

I absolutely agree. This page has a high degree of bias in how the information and history is represented. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:27, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Intro statments[edit]

This needs to be revamped, seriously. NOT BY A FRENCHMAN!:

1.Take away the intro statments about how technologicaly advanced, and good the french military is.

2. grammar check, its definatley made by french patriots.

3.NUETRALITY. seriously. if i said it wasnt the best in europe right now, i could easily find out who the frenchmen are in the article.

4.It needs to be edited by a professional on the matter, to just state the facts without it seeming like some patriot just put the article up to state their military is best. and then it needs to be LOCKED. to prevent the patriot frenchmen from editing it.

I myself as a German patriot feel offended by the article. and i'm sure many british and russkies think so too. that this article is not being educational, but simply stating how good the French military is. wich is not the point of Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:31, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Do you mind if another people write or write again in his/her way the article concerning german army or whatever your country's army? (talk) 00:17, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

First Sentence[edit]

The first sentence is a comma splice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:56, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

French forces expenditure[edit]

"The French Armed Forces however have the 2nd highest expenditure" Yet if you click on the link in that statement, the first thing you see is a graph showing franch as the country with the 3rd highest expenditure. -OOPSIE- (talk) 22:35, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Really? I see World, Nato, US, Europe then France. World, Nato and Europe are only in the list as expenditures of groups of countries, (and that's why they are not really ranked). FFMG (talk) 06:48, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Turkey is not in Europe![edit]

A ridiculous Turkish nationalist have modified the introduction so please someone remove this sentence... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:20, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I think you are misunderstanding it, France is by far the largest army in the European Union, but second in Europe, (the continent), by number of troops. It depends what you are comparing.
But, technically, Turkey is part of Geographic Europe.
But I agree that their military should not really be compared to the french one. Apart from more men there is no real comparison to make between the two. FFMG (talk) 21:05, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
No, only 3% of Turkey is in geographic Europe. Even Russia has more territory in Europe. So if Turkey is is Europe, why not Russia?? This nationalist just wanted to talk about the Turkish military on this page, not more. Please someone remove this sentence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:16, 30 November 2008
You might be right, I am not sure about only part of Turkey been in Europe, the European article does not seem to mention it, (or maybe I missed it).
But it does not really matter anyway, I don't think the military of Turkey can really be compared to the French one and the statement did not add anything to the article. FFMG (talk) 07:25, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Move discussion in process[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:British Armed Forces which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RFC bot 19:00, 7 October 2009 (UTC)


The Picture of the Rafale is incorrectly described as an Air Force aircraft. It's a Rafale M (navy version) on an aircraft carrier (probably the CDG) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:04, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

File:Mirage2000-5F 1-2 Cigognes.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

Image-x-generic.svg An image used in this article, File:Mirage2000-5F 1-2 Cigognes.jpg, has been nominated for deletion at Wikimedia Commons in the following category: Deletion requests February 2012
What should I do?

Don't panic; a discussion will now take place over on Commons about whether to remove the file. This gives you an opportunity to contest the deletion, although please review Commons guidelines before doing so.

  • If the image is non-free then you may need to upload it to Wikipedia (Commons does not allow fair use)
  • If the image isn't freely licensed and there is no fair use rationale then it cannot be uploaded or used.

To take part in any discussion, or to review a more detailed deletion rationale please visit the relevant image page (File:Mirage2000-5F 1-2 Cigognes.jpg)

This is Bot placed notification, another user has nominated/tagged the image --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 11:01, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

File:C160G Gabriel.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

Image-x-generic.svg An image used in this article, File:C160G Gabriel.jpg, has been nominated for deletion at Wikimedia Commons in the following category: Deletion requests February 2012
What should I do?

Don't panic; a discussion will now take place over on Commons about whether to remove the file. This gives you an opportunity to contest the deletion, although please review Commons guidelines before doing so.

  • If the image is non-free then you may need to upload it to Wikipedia (Commons does not allow fair use)
  • If the image isn't freely licensed and there is no fair use rationale then it cannot be uploaded or used.

To take part in any discussion, or to review a more detailed deletion rationale please visit the relevant image page (File:C160G Gabriel.jpg)

This is Bot placed notification, another user has nominated/tagged the image --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 13:17, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Minor spelling correction needed.[edit]

The caption to the interactive map on the history section uses the word "bellow" instead of "below". Someone with edit access to this article needed to correct the please.

Done. Obscure Reality Ping me 02:29, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Bias, lack of content concerning conflicts with Great Britain[edit]

This page is very biased towards France. It barely even mentions the substantial conflicts between France and Great Britain which occurred off and on almost continuously, especially during the late 18th and first half of the 19th century. Loads of conflicts have been just not covered or even mentioned. The British and French imperial empires were competing for the same territories and France lost in the end. Britain even drove France out of Spain and blockaded the French Navy in its own ports. This is a major part of France's military history and needs to be included. What about the treaty over Canada with UK and the non-aggression pact which came later? Then onto the second world war.. France as part its non-aggression pact with Britain was required to hand over its navy ships to Britain or put them beyond the reach of the Nazi's into British controlled overseas territories after they surrendered to the Nazi's, but either refused or did not comply. As a consequence, Britain destroyed or put out of service almost all of France's naval ships with air strikes while they were docked..killing over 2,000 French naval personnel as the strikes came without any warning to prevent the Nazi's possessing the ships. No mention on this page! Major event and disaster in France's military history, often overlooked.

France's occupation of Russia[edit]

This is major part of France's military history not described or included. The French after occupying large areas of Europe, pushed further East and finally took control of Russia and occupied Moscow. They couldn't hold it and were driven out by a Russian counter-attack. Napoleon's Grand Armee was ill-equipped, unpaid, half starved and demoralized after that. France was never really the same power it once was after that, it was increasingly on the back foot with Britain. That was really the zenith of it's power. "The Grand Empire is no more. It is France herself we must now defend" were Napoleon's words to the Senate at the end of 1813. This period in France's military history is covered in great detail though on the the Grande Armee page. It should be mentioned in the relevant time line and a link provided.

2013 white paper[edit]

Error in Box[edit]

The box on the page listing the number of people fit for military duty lists female twice. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:47, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

 Done Blaue Max (talk) 09:18, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Potential great source[edit]

There is a fascinating report from the RAND corporation which could and should definitely be used to improve this page. I don't have time to expand right now, but I encourage anyone interested to read the report. The paper is public and free to download through this page: Salaco (talk) 20:59, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Personnel figures[edit]

@Kaloyan34-FR, can you please provide a source for your edits to the personnel figures? At the moment all personnel figures are sourced from the 2014 citation, which is as authoritative as you can get.Antiochus the Great (talk) 10:21, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on French Armed Forces. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 03:22, 26 August 2015 (UTC)


Is France still enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya? This appears to be dated info. Kortoso (talk) 19:45, 15 November 2015 (UTC)