In the fall of 1939 it took the French government over three weeks to grant clearances for RAF Hurricane squadrons to base at specific French airfields. It took only 32-hours for RAF squadrons to begin operations from airbases in France after the Normandy invasion. Lesson: it is easier to conquer French territory than get their cooperation to help defend it.You history buffs should appreciate that quote.
Which reminded me of this story:
An elderly English gentleman of 93 arrived in Paris by plane. At the French customs desk, the man took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry-on bag.This must be an English story. The other version is of a BOAC (as it was in the day) pilot needing taxi directions at Frankfurt Airport and responding to a snooty comments from Ground Control that the last time he flew to Frankfurt he didn't land, just dropped the bombs and went home.
"You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked, sarcastically.
The elderly gentleman admitted he had been to France previously.
"Then you should know enough, monsieur, to have your passport ready."
The Englishman said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."
"Impossible monsieur, the English always have to show their passports on arrival in France!"
The Englishman gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained..................................
"Well, when I came ashore on D-Day in 1944, I couldn't find any bloody Frenchmen on the beach to show it to."
Regards -- Cliff