What do you call 67 000 dead French citizens? A joke according to Electronic Arts Inc…

Between 1940 and 1945, France was the second most bombed country of the War after Germany. By liberation, the Allies had dropped 600 000 bombs on 1500 cities, towns and villages.

The Allied bombing campaign killed over 67 000 French civilians and wounded tens of thousands more. Most hit were, Boulogne, Clermont-Ferrand, Saint-Etienne, Caen, Le Havre, Brest, Lorient, Saint-Nazaire.

The French understood this was necessary, but anger at civilian deaths over five years could not always be entirely squelched. Despite this, American or British airmen who had been shot down by the Germans over France were NEVER treated with hostility by the civilian population, quite the contrary.

By 1944, the bombing of France was so intense; Churchill started having reservations over the potential negative impact of these campaigns. Oddly enough, it was not only Roosevelt who felt these were necessary, but Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces.

The French knew what sacrifices were necessary to rid Europe of Nazi occupation, and today, the subject of French civilian deaths under Allied bombing campaigns in a subject rarely evoked. There is a collective acceptance of this tragedy, a quiet knowledge that it was an inevitable prelude to D-Day.

Sadly, today’s game designers at Electronic Arts believe the bombing of France is nothing more than a joke. In a video game replete with Anti-French comments and stereotypes, Medal of Homer pushes the boundaries of taste with a dancing Homer Simpson chanting: “Look at me, I’m French, I’m a scared girl, I don’t like being bombed and attacked”.

If you think the death of 67 000 civilians under Allied bombs is funny, if you think 212 000 military deaths is a joke, if you think another 200 000 civilians deaths during the entire war is laughable, then this game is for you.

On the Web:

Electronic Arts Inc, Medal of Homer, Original Trailer
Thank you to Denis a.k.a. SuperFrenchie

Note: large portions of this editorial were adapted from a previous entry, dated March 29, 2003.

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Tammy Schachter – Senior Director

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16 Replies to “What do you call 67 000 dead French citizens? A joke according to Electronic Arts Inc…”

  1. It’s simply revolting. It’s a slap in our faces, that’s what it is, that such games should be published. I’ll see if I can write at lunch time.



  2. The ultimate sacrifice of tens of thousands of French civilians during the anglo/american bombings in 1944 is rarely, very rarely, acknowledged by our angl_saxon friends.

    I wonder why…

  3. By the way, the video was excellent. The repetition of that stupid phrase just made it seem more and more pointless and inhumane.

  4. Marc — Il faudrait, c’est clair. Les bombardements nous touchent de très près.

  5. This video is so sad, so pathetic and mean sprited that I can only assume that it was done in a knowledge vaccume. The real shame is that Americans never want to know of the suffering on non-British European allies, unless they have a strong lobby in the US.

  6. The Simpsons writers have been working really hard to portray the French as cowards and other ethnic slurs.

    Lenny:’I’m shaking like a French soldier’

    Marge to Homer :’ You look as dirty as a Frenchman’

    Episode where Lisa is Joan of Arc and is leading the French army against the English. During a battle scene, you can see French soldiers shaking looking really scared against the brave English.

    In Season 1 where Bart comes back from France: ‘well to make a long story short, I only met 1 nice Frenchman’.

    Season 8. Hank Scorpio,’ Hey Homer, which is your least favorite country ? France or Italy ?’
    Homer: ‘France’
    Hank Scorpio:’ ah ah, nobody ever says Italy’.

    I won’t even talk about the cheese-eating surrender monkey thing and I’m sure I’m missing a lot of anti-French material from the Simpsons.

  7. “Episode where Lisa is Joan of Arc and is leading the French army against the English. During a battle scene, you can see French soldiers shaking looking really scared against the brave English.”

    Heh. Yeah, it must have taken a lot of cowardice to kick their arses in nearly every single battle since Joan of Ark.

    That’s the big problem — the British have always been big-time bigots (it’s a part of their identity, to look down on other peoples) and the Americans are sucking up to them, imitating them, in particular in the Anglo/French rivalry. Pathetic, considering that the Brits look down on the Americans, too…

  8. Thanks for the inventory, will have to update the appropriate sections in “French Bashing” section of the site.

  9. There seems to have been a heated debate at the URL below over WW II casualties in France and a lot of heated exchanges over numbers etc.

    FRANCE: French civilians killed by Allied bombings in World War II

    The total number of injured people was more than 100,000. The total number of houses completely destroyed by the bombings was of 432,000, the number of partly destroyed houses of 890,000.

    The bombings destroyed 100 % of the city of Saint-Nazaire, 96 % of Tilly-la-Campagne (Calvados), 88 % of Villers-Bocage (Calvados), 82 % of Le Havre (Seine-Maritime), 77 % of Saint-Lô (Manche), 76 % of Falaise (Calvados), 75 % of Lisieux (Calvados), 75 % of Caen (Calvados), etc.

    Sources: Quand les Alliés bombardaient la France, Perrin, Paris 1997.
    Ref: http://wais.stanford.edu/ztopics/week020105/france_050201_civilianskilledinwwII.htm

  10. I’m going to tell my son about this (he’s keen on these games); I bet he’ll be so pissed off, he’ll invent a game with his friends to give electronic arts inc sods a “run for their money.” (Once he and his friends swamped some game makers with crap because they didn’t like what they had projected — can’t remember what it was but he and his friends were proud of it.)

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