The French are no fun at all, and the British are looking awfully dour, too.

BBC – France accepts Trafalgar legacy, By Caroline Wyatt

On Tuesday France will join Britain for an international Fleet Review presided over by the Queen, for a celebration of the sea – which also commemorates 200 years since the Battle of Trafalgar.

It was one of the finest moments in British naval history, but a catastrophic defeat for the French, who lost many ships and thousands of lives.

A re-enactment of a battle will be held between a blue and a red team, rather than Britain versus France, in order not to offend the French.

What? Offend the French? Impossible!

“Why should the French talk about Trafalgar?” he smiles, in front of a French painting of the moment Admiral Nelson was shot.

“Trafalgar was a defeat and a few weeks later we had the great victory of Napoleon’s forces at Austerlitz, making him the master of continental Europe.

We had so many victories in this era, so why should we talk about Trafalgar? It’s a matter for the British people, but not for the French people.”

Well, if they don’t even care, why not let ‘er rip? Who cares what the French think! They’re not even interested! Bring on the Napoleon effigies!

And these days, of course, the French navy is rather larger than the British. French Vice Admiral Alain Dumontel says both sides will use this International Fleet Review a chance for some naval diplomacy.

“It’s good because as history shows there are many navies in Europe, of which two are more important than the others – the Royal navy and the French navy,” he smiles.

Yeah, I can tell they’ll get along real well. Btw, France is all “neener, neener,” because they’re going to have the biggest ship in the party:

She is the pride of the French navy – the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle.

She is 261m (285 yards) long, 64m (70 yards) wide and weighs 42,000 tons – dwarfing all the other vessels taking part in the International Fleet Review.

Just thought I’d point out the Ronald Reagan is 364 yards long, 85 yards wide, and 77,600 tons (min) displacement, to the de Gaulle‘s 40,000 tons. Not that I’m pointing out at all that the US Navy can kick the French Navy’s butt, because that would be churlish. And it’s not that I think quotes like this:

“I am an optimist and I believe the future of European naval co-operation is Franco-British.”

Should be amended to:

“I am an optimist and I believe the future of European naval co-operation is Anglo-American-Australian.”

Of course not. No, I’m kidding. The French Navy isn’t entirely useless, yet. But I don’t have high hopes for them.

Update: This is priceless:

Arthur’s Seat – Britannia, rule the waves…

Things have changed a bit since George VI’s Coronation Review in 1937. This year the “star” of the Review will be the French naval carrier the “Charles de Gaulle“. She will be escorted into the English Channel by a RN frigate, which will be useful as she has a habit of breaking down, and has spent much of the time since she was launched tied up in dock. The UK and France are expected to collaborate on a future carrier project – which will combine French design flair and British engineering skills…and be managed by Halliburton. The final assembly work will be carried out at Rosyth Dockyard, just across the river from Seat Towers.

The link to the Coronation Review is required. They just don’t do these things like they used to. sigh. That collaborate link is neato too. I leave it to one of my Naval experts to comment on it. To me, it just looks cool. And how could I leave this out:

Anyone wanting a singalong can find the words here, and appropriate music here.

ninme sings