At risk of dragging the thread off topic:
Not ot change the subject too much the first really succussful use of the creeping barrage was by the Canadians Under Gen. Currie in April 1917 at Vimy. Like the French in many ways the Canadian efforts in both wars are always over looked, and what makes it worst for Canadian efforts included under the blanket term of British colonials or comman wealth.
Two points here. First, I think you will find that the first effective use of the creeping barrage was as part of the Nivelle "formula" employed in the closing stages at Verdun in late 1916. Also, (and I'm not being sarky here - that comes in a minute
) how many of the *artillery* units providing the creeping barrage on Vimy Ridge were Canadian?
Second, ref the last bit, IMO this is an an example of the all too frequent tendency to view and label the past through the lens of the present. The Canadians who fought in WW1 did not do so as Canadians in the currently understood sense. They did so as the subject citizens of a British colony rallying to the Mother Country in a time of need, as they had done in the Boer War. The "blanket terms" of colonials or Commonwealth were not therefore an attempt to deflect due credit, there were an accurate reflection of the situation as it stood at the time and, perhaps more importantly, as those Canadians saw it themselves. Personally, I think the attachment of the Canadian attainment of nationhood to Vimy, like the similar tendency of the Aussies and New Zealanders to Gallipoli, rather curious, and I cannot escape the suspicion that it was a handy way for their domestic politicians to deflect blame for the results of their enthusiasm for involvement in the war.
Getting back to the French, I'm always amazed at how American and British posters never given them much credit. But if look at the British proformance in 1940 it was no better than the French and in Britian hadn't of been an island it would of been defeated too. After the fall of France in 1940 Britian had 2500 bren guns.. that's it. Germany would of rolled over the UK just as fast.. if not for the water in between.
Fair point ref the post-Dunkirk bit, altho I think the Germans would have found it a bit more difficult than you suggest. Ref the first part, I don't think it's a matter of giving or more accurately denying credit, it is a matter of language. How many books aimed at the general reader about the French in WW1, or the French Army generally have been published in English? AFAIK there are not very many - de la Gorce's The French Army
, Clayton's Paths of Glory
, Porch's March to the Marne
(IIRC), Ousby's The Road to Verdun
, Horne's The Paris Commmune, The Price of Glory and To Lose a Battle
, Brown's Verdun 1916
, a couple of Osprey titles - and I suspect the situation is the same in reverse and to a lesser xtent with regard to Germany too. I suspect the problem lies with publishers, who in my experience are leary of straying off the beaten track when it comes to publishing. Which is why we keep getting the same old stuff recycled endlessly every few years with the same errors and misconceptions (sorry if I'm sounding a bit jaded, but I've just had the misfortune to see a pre-release copy of yet another "startling and groundbreaking" new TV docu about Arnhem and my eyes are bleeding with a mixture of rage and despair...
all the best