. . . For a generation British statesmen, soldiers and diplomats had regarded the French army as the greatest force on earth and the repository of all military wisdom. Their own troops were so few and ill equipped that it was natural that they should do so. They had been shown, like other foreign observers, its crack Regular divisions, huge guns and tanks and underground fortresses, and had been deeply impressed. They could not perceive the senile reality beneath the glittering exterior or realize the indiscipline and defeatism of the Territorial divisions of which the bulk of the French Army in war was composed.
- From The Turn of the Tide: 1939-1943 by Arthur Bryant