The nation of France has surrendered during war a number of times throughout history. They have surrendered to the British, Spanish, Germans and Italians to name but a few nations that they have signed terms with.
However in a surprising twist of events, today saw the nation inadvertently issue a full and unlimited declaration of surrender to the small, island nation of Tonga.
In what is being described by the French authorities as an embarrassing yet complex administrative error, it appears that a junior member of the President's staff was attempting to register a gift which had been sent from King George Tupou V, the current monarch of Tonga.
However the form which was actually filled in, on the French government computer system was the one solely used for surrendering during war time. However once the form was completed, a full declaration was completed and printed.
More embarrassingly it appears President Sarkozy actually signed the form, working through what was described as a "significant backlog of paperwork" due to the time spent in G20 and UN meetings.
The paperwork was despatched and received in Tonga, where the King accepted the terms, not wishing to offend the French nation.
Once the error was identified, President Sarkozy personally called the King, who unfortunately had to make the President aware of the law within Tonga that requires a full national vote before any control of a nation can be released. As such, the Tongan people are now preparing to stage a vote in the next few weeks to correct the situation.
In the meantime, it has been confirmed that for any sporting event in which the French are participating, it will be the Tongan national anthem - Ko e fasi "O e tuʻi ʻo e ʻOtu Tonga", not the French "La Marseillaise" which will be played and sung by the players.