Hey look, it’s back.
Wait, what did you think I was talking about?
Image credit: Karin Beil
Well, actually it never left. It just hasn’t made a lot of noise recently. That is, until now.
Believe it or not, there was a time when using the terms “Sweden” and “aggressive military power” in the same sentence didn’t sound inherently silly.
The Swedes having long since embraced more civilized ways to irritate the rest of the world.
Image credit: RetroLand U.S.A.
For most of the 17th Century Sweden was one of Europe’s major players. They pulled it off with inspired leadership and military might. They also did it in spite of one of the truly epic fails in all of maritime history.
Ah, the French. Famous for food and wine. Much maligned for military prowess.
Not that it mattered to Orson Welles, apparently on either count.
In terms of the latter, one could argue the French get a bad rap. After all, this is the country directly descended from the Gaul of Vercingetorix and the Frankish Kingdom of Charlemagne. No one would have accused the French of being wusses in 1812. Back then the guy in charge out in Paris was named Napoleon. Perhaps you’ve heard of him.
Still, more recently the French have been the victims of some pretty bad military leadership. That’s probably where the reputation comes from. The following is a prime example.