back to article French won Waterloo, says Italian telecoms chief

Those of you looking for insights into the key events which shaped modern Europe are advised not to ring Telecom Italia Mobile exec Luca Luciani, whose grasp of history is clearly a Wellington short of a Waterloo. The proof? Try this pumped-up motivational speech (in Italian, but available here with English subtitles): …


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  1. Neil


    What a dick.

  2. dervheid

    This is what happens...

    if you rely on the likes of <unverifiable online encyclopedia> for your 'factual' information.


  3. James
    Paris Hilton

    I thought they did win?

    Don't you remember, that was the one where Ben Affleck used his Hypersonic giggablaster to simultaneous decode the enigma machine, sink the bismarck, conquer the Brits and get Britney Spears up the duff.

    Or am I getting confused again

    Paris wouldn't make that mistake

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cartload of surrender monkeys...

    How could he possibly have got this wrong..!!! everyone knows the French have never won anything... well except maybe ........

    Who can hold the White Flag up the <insert as applicable> - Highest/Quickest/Longest.

  5. Liam Johnson


    May be it is a “masterpiece” to piss off the “5 greatest nations” and get your ass kicked?

    Or perhaps the problem lies with

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He compensates for that genetically do not worry

    Well, he probably has a lot of deletions in his AVPR1a region.

    After all, being a profound sociopath is much more important to your boardroom success

    than knowing unnecessary rubbish like history, economics and the like.

  7. Vaidotas Zemlys
    Paris Hilton


    Can anybody get the inspiration from such type of speeches in these times of cynism? Loosely translated this speech says, work your asses off, so I can get big fat bonus and continue doing nothing except talking bollocks on the stage from time to time.

    Paris, cause this speech would not fool even her :)

  8. Duncan Robertson

    Ha! From an Italian...

    Weren't they the ones that changed sides at half time? <Insert joke about tanks and reverse gears here>

    Has this clown not seen for the poted history of the french armed forces?

    Eh? I mean I'm a scotsman but even WE wouldn't deny the english a few victories. Lol.

    Penguin - he probably believed the BBC's April fools about penguins flying...

  9. James Wilson
    Paris Hilton

    The French

    A french friend of mine, told me this joke.

    Q: How many frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?

    A: We don't know because we've never done it yet.

    Proof that they do have a sense of humour after all?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Yeah Right - some passnotes

    The Italians make good reliable cars of fantastic build quality and have the water resistance properties of a U-boat!

    Oh and the Romans lost to the Greeks at the battle of the Buffet so there was no such thing as the Roman Empire !

    History - lets make it up as we go along !

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    One fact I know about the Italian army. (Not including jokes about tanks and rifles)

    Until recently, one standard piece of kit included the hair net. (conscript army, doesn't need hair cut) So that sums his country up in the armed forces stakes.

    I like that joke... However.

    Although mock the week had a "things you would never hear a French man say..." stand up bit.

    To which the Scottish comedian stood up and went.

    "There was no way we could win, but we carried on fighitng anyway."

    The same could be said of America, They have never won a war that didn't include allies.

    They have also never had a war without shooting their allies.

    Paris because she is smarter than the Italian bloke.

  12. Les Matthew

    @Cartload of surrender monkeys...

    Try 1066 and The Hundred Years War.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    @ Les Matthew

    Don't remember the French taking part in the Norman invasion of England in 1066, against a severely weakened English army.

    Lots of Normans from Normandy, descended from Norsemen yes, but no French, who didn't own Normandy at the time...

  14. Shaun Wilde

    @@Cartload of surrender monkeys...

    1066 - Was a Norman victory and hence why it is referred to as the Norman Conquest - Normandy was not part of France then.

  15. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    And then there's the one ...

    about the three shortest books:

    - The Finest Dutch Cuisine

    - 200 Years of German Comedy

    - 300 Years of Great Italian Military Victories

  16. Elmer Phud

    1066 and all that

    Erm, the business with Harold and Normans was purely a family squabble. Not really and England v's France match. In the meantime the French have bought up things like Water and Power companies and ISP's.

    The English are proud of their victories but forget that it's usually with the aid of others. Even some of the more 'famous' victories against the Scots were only possible by using foreign mercenaries - either that or mainly local Auld Firm fixtures that the English claimed to have won afterwards (and claimed by Brits with French sounding surnames).

    'Hundred Years War' was just the corporate name for it - see also 'War on Terror' and 'Axis of Evil' -- great soundbites but the reality is rather disappointing.

    Needs a Berlusconi icon for free-thinking, truthful Italian hero.

  17. Anton Ivanov

    @Les Matthew

    1066 - Normans, not exactly french yet.

    100 years war. Yep which particular battle did the french win Sluys? Crecy? Poitiers? Agincourt? Oh... Probably you mean Bauge? Sorry, nope, not French - Scots operating in France.The truth is that the 100 year war went turned for to the worse for the British only after Scots intervened on French side.

    My coat pls, the black one.

  18. JimC

    @Cartload of Surrender Monkeys

    For all the stuff in your history books about Agincourt and Crecy, at the start of the HundredYears war the English owned large chunks of what is now France, and by the end thay had very little left. Then by Tudior times all that was left was the Channel Islands...

    OK the Frogs haven't won many wars *on their own* lately, but neither has Britain to tell the truth... a nasty little scrap in the South Atlantic with a 3rd rate military dictatorship, sure, but what else?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How about the Battle of Britain.

  20. R Callan

    Duncan Robertson

    If my memory serves there were a lot of Scottish regiments at Waterloo, the general was Irish along with some Irish regiments so I think it could be said that Waterloo was a British victory, not an English one. Even that is debatable as the Germans were present in large numbers as well, on the winning side.

    p.s. if the French won how come Napoleon ended his days on St Helena and Wellington became British prime minister?

    (A penguin because St Helena must have some penguins).

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    For sale: Italian rifle. Never fired, dropped once.

    It's not his fault, though he sounds like a southener. He was probably taught at school that "our side" won the war. It's just that he can never remember which side the Italians were on...

    But to be fair, at least Mussolini managed to get the trains to run on time, and when he didn't they certainly didn't give him a £800,000 bonus. No... they hanged the b....

  22. antonio
    Paris Hilton

    This is the reason why italy is doomed

    Just to let you know, this guy is on his way to be the No 1 of Telecom Italia. They also say he pissed off Steve Jobs with his arrogant and "I know better than everybody else" attitude when they met regarding the iPhone.

    I am italian, so I can say that the translation hides the "quality" of his spoken italian, which is at the level of the average italian footballer.

    Unfortunately, this is the kind of skill set that is left over in italy. The best people have long gone abroad. If he is fired, most likely Berlusconi will candidate him in his party.

    If you have ever wondered why italian big companies like Parmalat, Telecom, Alitalia are sinking in a sea of debts.. well, now you know!

    Paris, because she would run Telecom Italia better than him.

  23. richard

    when does he say the french won?

    did he actually say the french won waterloo? and there's far too much swearing in his motivational speech, tut tut..

  24. Jim Hague
    Paris Hilton

    @The French

    Yep, they have a sense of humour and a short memory. After all, Paris was successfully defended several times as recently 1914-18. They were largely on their own in 1914 - how big was the BEF? And then there's the defence of Verdun, a hugely bloody French-only operation.

    Paris, even though the city is prettier.

  25. Red Bren
    Paris Hilton

    Cheese eating surrender monkeys

    Didn't the French help out those malcontent colonists that would eventually become burger-eating invasion monkeys?

    Paris, coz she's capital!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    [quote]For all the stuff in your history books about Agincourt and Crecy, at the start of the HundredYears war the English owned large chunks of what is now France, and by the end thay had very little left. Then by Tudor times all that was left was the Channel Islands...[]/quote]

    Actually the English didn't own large chucks of France it was owned by the Normans which the english lost after a peasant revolt at home for an unfair Poll Tax (some things never change) to fund the war stopped the english invading further (to be fair the French had a lot of problems too over this period). Henry the VIII managed to conquer some sections of France which he later sold back to the french for a hefty sum.

    OK the Frogs haven't won many wars *on their own* lately, but neither has Britain to tell the truth... a nasty little scrap in the South Atlantic with a 3rd rate military dictatorship, sure, but what else?

    The French haven't won anything for a good many years yep as for Waterloo Napoleon had p**sed off several countries so the Irish, German, Scottish and English fighting them isn't a surprise. The English and French have fought together against the Spanish as well. To be honest most of Europe has fought with and against each other in the last millennium. Any side who doesn't take advantage an ally could give deserves to lose ;). As for the Falklands the US wouldn't even have won that they couldn't even sort Cuba out!

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Just for a quick laugh

    Type in "French Military Victories" into Google, hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button and see what happens

  28. N1AK


    "How could he possibly have got this wrong..!!! everyone knows the French have never won anything... well except maybe ........"

    The World Cup in the last four decades?

    Of course they also haven't won the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, although unlike us they were smart enough to not start them.

    I'll never get why people are so quick to jump on Frances supposedly poor record, unless I'm mistaken it looks a whole lot better than ours.

  29. Davos Summit
    Thumb Up

    Re: "How about the battle of Britain"

    The Battle of Britain wasn't a UK only affair - we had pilots from all over helping us out in that one. Canadians in particular, but there South Africans, Poles, Czechs, Aussies, Kiwis, Free French, and even the odd American knocking around.

  30. antonio


    He says more than once in his talk that Napoleon made his masterpiece at Waterloo...

    Unless he considers a defeat a masterpiece, he intended Napoleon won.

    He's the typical expression of the Italian managerial caste: handsome, arrogant, untalented, ignorant, cocaine sniffer.

  31. Steven Hunter
    Black Helicopters

    Looks like...

    He looks like Steven Weber ( and not in a good way...

  32. antonio


    Hey TheRegister,

    Can we get a Luca Luciani, aka Napoletone (it's how he mis-pronounces "Napoleone" at the end of the speech) icon? Maybe, his face with the Napoleon's hat?

  33. Twyst

    Wellington would have taken issue with that

    R Callan: at Waterloo, the general was Irish

    i remember a quote from Wellington, on being called irish, he said: 'being born in a stable does not make one a horse'.

    mine's the one with the union flag on it.

  34. Steven Walker


    I am waiting for the movie where, no doubt, Wellington will be an American

  35. Kwac

    For sale: Italian rifle. Never fired, dropped once.

    No Mussolini didn't get the trains to run on time.

    Perhaps why they hanged him?

  36. Joe Stalin

    Now lets be fair

    Like a lot of military operations thing do tend to go awry. Or are just down to dumb luck. That famous sinking of the Bismark was the result of a fluke that one of the British Swordfish torpedoed the only soft part of the Bismark below the waterline and jammed the stearring. The Battle of Britian was as close as you could get but Goering blinked first and changed stratigies and sent the bombers to London just as Fighter Command was on its knees. Or that the Falklands war turned out the way it did because the Argies had agreed to a later date for the delivery of their order of Exocets missiles. The reason for that delay was that the French wanted to supply another order to a more lucrtive customer, one Saddam Hussain who was in a war with Iran.

    As for Waterloo, Wellington was getting ready to run when Blucher marched over the hill in a nick of time and saved the day. If the Prussian had arrived 1 hour later we might be speaking french, but for dumb luck we don't.

    Secret war for the Falklands by Nigel West

    Ark Royal by Mike Rossiter

    The Narrowest Margin by Derek Wood (I think)

    Waterloo (Take your pick)

  37. Anonymous Coward

    No wonder

    I always wondered why my teh copy of the "Italian book of war heros" in my library was so thin. Here is my answer, they judge victory differently from everyone else and therefore it is not fair to apply non Italian concepts of valour and sucess.

    Anyway please check my eBay post for "Genuine Italian Army Rifles" (only dropped once)


    Apologies for the harsh treatment of my favourite wine growing country, but damit, you slate our historical figures, we slate you all.


    If you apologise we wont sink your Navy, again, or shell you from one of our Diplomatic gunboats.

  38. heystoopid
    Thumb Up

    Shades of

    Shades of a Treaty signed in Ghent on December 24th 1814 , where the real losers claimed themselves to be the victors and the real victors got what they wanted anyway with creating an Iraq style debacle by the same losers almost two hundred years later !

  39. Colin Sharples
    Thumb Down

    @AC "LOL"

    "The same could be said of America, They have never won a war that didn't include allies."

    Um, apart from the War of 1812, the Mexican War of 1845, the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War of 1898. All right, the 1812 War was a no-score draw, but the rest were victories square and fair, resulting in significant additions to the American empire, and all on their li'l old lonesome.

    I guess America just doesn't like reminding people of their aggressive, expansionist past when they are trying to tell everyone they are the world's policeman...

  40. Bear

    The Royal Demesne

    To be strictly correct, in 1066 Normandy was held suzerain to the King of France, but it was not part of the Royal Demesne. This gave it is significant freedom, but it was not independent from the King of France - they still had to pay fees to the king.

    The Dukes of Normandy, in so far as they were Dukes of Normandy, were suzerain to the King of France. However, as Kings of England they were sovereign.

    In the fourteenth century, the Angevins, in particular Philip the Thief (IV), extended the Royal Demesne to Gascony, Burgundy, Champagne and the South. The Kings of England were attempting to do the same to their domains.

    As a final note, the Tudors always designated themselves as "the King of England and Fraunce".

  41. Marko Alat

    @ N1AK

    > > "How could he possibly have got this wrong..!!!

    > > everyone knows the French have never won anything... well except maybe ........"


    > The World Cup in the last four decades?

    In a comments thread where the Frog-bashing is being carried out by Britons, this, surely, means check and mate...

    ...or should that be the coup-de-grace?

  42. Anonymous Coward


    Easiest way to determine the winner of Waterloo is to look who holds the battlefield today: That would mean that Waterloo was won by Belgium.

    Go belgians.

  43. dervheid

    @ colin sharples

    The American Civil War?

    You're classing that in "victories square and fair, resulting in significant additions to the American empire"

    What additions?

    WHAT EMPIRE? You never had an EMPIRE! (But you would appear to wany one now!)

    It was an internal power squabble (albeit very bloody) for phucks sake!

    And as you concede the 1812 was a "score draw", that just leaves the Spanish-American War of 1898.

    Ooh, that was a biggie!

  44. Tom


    The Normans defeated and conquered the english. The english subjects are reminded of this when the Queen uses Normans phrases in the procession and opening of parliament.

  45. dervheid

    Dear Tom.

    Oh yes indeedy.

    And your point being...

  46. heystoopid


    @colin surely you jest , during the War of 1812 on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts apart from two minor victories at the start of the war the Royal Navy cleaned up the vast majority of all US Flagged Warships and armed Privateers with Letters of Marque with great gusto in the years 1813 and 1814 within less then two weeks of them sailing from any US Atlantic port excluding the USS Essex(the only US commerce raider in the entire war to do any significant commercial damage to British interests , but she was captured in under fifty five minutes off Valparaiso , Chile March 14th 1814 ) !

    Have you also forgotten about the capture of the US Fleet Flag Ship , the USS President under the great Commodore Stephen Decatur on January 14th just one day after he sailed from New York , which set a new world record of the fastest end to a US armed combatant commerce cruise for the war off the Atlantic Coast in just under twenty four hours all up !

  47. Sweep

    @ Duncan Robertson

    Go and tell the the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (the regiment the Scots Greys was merged into) that Waterloo was an English victory. I dare you.

  48. Mark Finn

    @ R Callan

    Ireland is not part of Britain.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Irish Flukes

    @Joe Stalin

    The shot that sank the Hood was equally lucky. To hit the thin part of the deck from such a distance in such seas with the equipment they had at the time was extraordinary.

    @Mark Finn

    What's that got to do with the price of fish? Wellington was born in Ireland and there were plenty of Irish troops at Waterloo, not to mention serving aboard many of the ships in Trafalgar.

    @Davos Summit

    Don't forget Glen "Ooops, I think he was one of ours" Miller!

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You forgot the Mexican American War (1845).

    Please attend to that beam.

  51. Colin Sharples


    I am not a sceptic tank, thank you very much.

    Of course America is an empire, they just don't admit it.

    And of course the ACW was a real war. The north just called it ACW to make it look as though it was an internal struggle, but the reality is that the USA invaded and conquered the CSA, which was a separate sovereign nation.

    The point is, there are plenty of people in the US who like to make out that the US only ever fights righteous wars of liberation. That just ain't so.

    [sits back and waits for the flames...]

  52. Bruce Sinton

    Waterloo and somehow Mussolini

    We are rather off subject, but Mussolini and his mistress were given a blast of machine gun fire and then both hung upside down from a lamp post (or similar ).

    Well according to old film I have seen of the event.

  53. kain preacher


    Can I re write history to make Churchill and American and GW bush a Brit ??

  54. Stratman

    @ Mark Finn

    In 1800 the Irish Parliament passed the Act of Union which incorporated the island into the United Kingdom and was ruled directly by London. This state of affairs lasted until 1922.

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