But during the Second World War, France collapsed after just six weeks of fighting and surrendered to Nazi Germany. At the bitter moment of defeat the head of the French teachers' union was told, "You are partially responsible for the defeat."
Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mauriac, and other Frenchmen blamed a lack of national will or general moral decay, for the sudden and humiliating collapse of France in 1940.
At the outset of the invasion, both German and French generals assessed French military forces as more likely to gain victory, and virtually no one expected France to collapse like a house of cards -- except Adolf Hitler, who had studied French society instead of French military forces.
Did patriotism matter? It mattered more than superior French tanks and planes.
Most Americans today are unaware of how much our schools have followed in the footsteps of the French schools of the 1920s and 1930s, or how much our intellectuals have become citizens of the world instead of American patriots.
Our media are busy verbally transforming American combat troops from heroes into victims, just as the French intelligentsia did-- with the added twist of calling this "supporting the troops."
Will that matter? Time will tell.