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November 16, 2007



wonderful story. My grandfather's diary indicates he had a lower opinion of the French character.

I do not understand the near universal fascination and adulation of Napoleon. The man was a brutal megalomaniac who set out to destroy the Church and conquer the world. Not my cup o'tea.

Speaking of the French, I have alway thought that their observance of Bastille Day could be compared to a German celebration of Krystallnacht.

but I digress - back to your regularly scheduled post.


Quasimodo: you'll find many French in agreement with you as to Bastille Day...

ODT: Fascinant. "Aristocrat of the Air." I like that. Thanks for the colorful and inspiring story.

Father M.

I understand that some, if not all, of the Americans who joined the Royal Canadian Armed Forces during World War II (before the US entry) lost their American citizenship. Did the same fate befall the American members of the Foreign Legion?

Old Dominion Tory

Insofar as I know, the laws that threatened to strip U.S. citizenship from Americans who served in foreign forces (e.g., RAF's "Eagle Squadrons" and the RCAF) in World War II were passed in order in response to the Americans who served in the Lafayette Escadrille and other units in the French Army (to include the American Field Service).
The underlying notion was that the Escadrille--courageous American flyers fighting for France--was created by which the French in order to cleverly entice the Americans to shed their neutrality (innocence?) and send their sons to the Western Front.
Related to that, however, is a marvelous story. In August 1914, when war broke out, a group of American men, who wanted to fight for France, went to the U.S. ambassador to ask him what they should do.
The ambassador dutifully quoted them international law as it related to citizens of neutral nations serving in belligrent nations' armies. The ambassador then tossed the papers aside and announced something along the lines of, "That's the law, boys. But if I were your age, I know what I'd do!"
The young Americans cheered and dashed out the door, bound to enlist for France.


ODT, well done on Kiffin. Have you come across this site in your travels? It's called "The Great War in a Different Light":


You'll appreciate the page at the site on "Flying for France."

Old Dominion Tory

Thanks, Irish Elk, for the link to that magnificent site! Excellent illustrations, especially of the French Army.

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