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Old 20th August 2008, 11:12
Posts: n/a
Figures, numbers

Originally Posted by Juha View Post
why this tirade against Gillet?
- Because IMHO what he published is terrible, that's all. If the same Gillet published something great tomorrow I would say so, too : you know that (see my numerous comments on books and reviews). I know it's hard to understand but I am TOTALLY OBJECTIVE so what I say or post is independent of possible personal factors like sympathy etc. (see my reaction after CJE's latest post in this thread). I am not claiming to be TOTALLY INFALLIBLE at the same time! Oh no! Contrary to Gillet I am acutely aware that, as one of my good translator-colleagues put it, "I can produce bullshit with every single word". In his very recent last volume (RAF fighter victories in the French Campaign) Gillet clearly insulted me together with virtually all other French autors of books or articles and commentators on 1940 (I have given some details on this already). These insults directed at me don't influence me in the least when judging his work. For ex. I recognised that many photographs are interesting and that he did the right thing when looking at the archive documents in Germany and England as well as in France but - too bad - his conclusions are dead wrong. It is surprising, too, and typical of him, that in his recent big "British" volume (which should be extremely popular in the UK!) he stubbornely wrote "Air Fleet Arm" instead of Fleet Air Arm. No it's not just an isolated typo and an unimportant error for, as I said, it is TYPICAL of the quality and thoroughness of his work - and he contemptuously commented on those "historians" who don't visit the British archive... He published volumes which look extremely serious but are an amateur's work of low quality. See the various victory totals, even his own ones, with unexplained differences in the end result. Another typical example : I, and certainly many other persons, wrote to him to inform him that his idea of "firepower" was wrong. Instead of correcting this shocking error he insisted even more, very stubbornely, that the firepower is the number of rounds carried by (for ex.) a Hurricane for her machine-guns. This makes him absolutely ridiculous and untrustworthy. After I published Galland's book in French 1985 several readers wrote to me to point out some errors I had made in captions. I corrected these small errors as fast as possible (and this cost me money at the printers' because changing the existing text there is, or was, difficult and expensive). IMHO his four preceding covers showed a lot of bad taste and childish coloring of photographs, often even ugly. This, too, is not a proof of incompetence but an indication among others. The1st RAF-volume is the best of all five in this respect, with acceptable cover pictures (he probably received a lot of flak on this too but not from me).

He also criticises the French law on archaeological diggings, which he doesn't like at all. I quite understand (I would love to dig everywhere myself) but the existence of this very restrictive law is fully justified by excellent reasons, French earth being literally full of millions, if not thousands of millions, of ancient items starting about 10,000 years ago and including all periods : Gaul, Roman occupation, Middle Ages, Renaissance etc. including WW I and II. If it were not strictly forbidden everybody, and foreigners too, would dig everywhere wildly and destroy or conceal millions of priceless items and historical information (this is what happened in Egypt and in South America). He, as a so-called lawyer, ought to be the first to respect the law. He attacks it viciously in his last volume instead.

Remark : 3 quotations are cut into two parts in this post, I don't know why. I made the necessary corrections but they changed nothing. I wonder what happened. Are you a warlock from the deep dark Finnish forest where bears and wolves chase each other?

To me it is good that he presented different numbers that
of “officially confirmed by French HQ”
- Sure, why not (and I did just that myself 1991 in "Invisibles vainqueurs"), I don't mind at all, quite on the contrary, but you didn't quite understand. In the French archive he unearthed the "authentic" official figures from French HQ and SHD to PROVE HIS POINT : "1940 French fighter victories are far less numerous", according to Infallible Him, than "Vichy-propagandists and liars", as he calls all of us French authors, have been claiming for nearly 70 years (and this includes great, authentic heroes like Accart and Pubeau, both of whom very nearly were killed in air battles and who both had to hit the silk**). Besides, I know what I am talking about and I can tell you that his end figures (for there are at least two different ones) are quite simply impossible if only you make the terrible effort of THINKING for just half a minute. I will not say more on this for I am fed-up.

** This means bailing out, taking to their parachute, jumping out of the aircraft.

btw You had typo on officially. that
of Confirmed by SHDand his own results.
- Yes, I saw that the day before yesterday and I corrected this error. Sorry. I hope there is no error left by now. Such things will happen : everybody who uses to have texts printed (no matter what texts : publicity, leaflets, bibles, whatever) knows this*. My message remained unchanged by that typo, though. I know I am NOT infallible but some people think they are.

* A few decades ago a world-famous, very big German firm was celebrating its 75th anniversary. In Spain they published a big ad, one whole page, in all main newspapers : "XXX, 75 years", which was intended to be very impressive. All members of the personnel except the top executives laughed themselves half dead for the actual ad said : "XXX, 75 assholes". (And most German employees replied : "What, only 75?"). Just a small typo! They had just mixed up two different Spanish characters : n with and without that funny little curve on it - anos...

On decimals, they are clearly products of converting fractions to decimal numbers. .29 = 2/7, .66 = 2/3, in fact it should be .67 and .787 is probably typo from .778 = 7/9.
When one sums up fractions, one gets rather odd fractions for ex 2/5 + 1/3 = 11/15 = .7333…
- Noooooo, really? You mean it?

The fact remains that publishing such figures is totally unrealistic and very na´ve indeed. This is why everybody in the world - but not Master Gillet! - rounds figures off. Youy wouldn't say, "My car runs at 97,8654 km/h right now." Everybody would laugh and all these figures have no REAL MEANING, no sense and no interest. There is no point in giving them all. In fact you would say "almost 100 mk/h" and this would be fair enough. For French victories (A. Gillet's topic) there is a big uncertainty, I would say, even on the figure for multiples of 10 and, in this case, mainly on the figure for multiples of 100, so a figure like 354,787 is simply funny nonsense. Just 354 or 355 would make a little sense. The true, actual figure is most probably something between 600 and 1,200 (wait and see!). As you can see I am not giving any decimals!

Grozibou the Fat Owl - Hoo-Hoo!

Last edited by Grozibou; 20th August 2008 at 15:02.