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"Après nous, le déluge" ("After us, the flood") is a French expression, attributed to Madame de Pompadour, the lover of King Louis XV of France.[1] An alternative form, attributed to Louis himself, is "Après moi, le déluge" ("After me, the flood"). The saying came after the Battle of Rossbach in 1757, which was disastrous for the French.[2]

The expression has two possible meanings: 'After me, the deluge will come,' asserting that if the revolution ended his reign, the nation would be plunged into chaos; or 'After me, let the deluge come,' implying "that he is aware of what will come after him, but he could do little to stop it and is indignant."[3][1]

The phrase "Après moi le déluge" was adopted as the motto of the Royal Air Force 617 Squadron which carried out the "Dambuster" raids on German dams in the Ruhr region on the night of 16–17 May 1943.

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ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Entsiklopedicheskii slovar [Encyclopedic Dictionary] (in Russian). 1890. p. 930. 
  2. ^ "The Routledge Dictionary of Cultural References in Modern French". p. 43. 
  3. ^ Laguna, Gabriel (13 January 2006). "The Expression 'Après moi le déluge', and Its Classical Antecedents". Tradición Clásica. [self-published source]