Wednesday, September 9, 2015


The Phoney War refers to the quiet 8-month period at the start of WWII: the period between the declaration of war by the Western Allies (United Kingdom and France) against Nazi Germany on 3 September 1939 and the invasion of Poland and German Blitzkrieg in May 1940. It was marked by a lack of major military land operations by the Allies on Germany's Western Front.

The term customarily appears using the British spelling, even in North America, rather than the American phony. The first known recorded use of the term in print was in September 1939 in a U.S. newspaper which used the British spelling. Other contemporary American reports sometimes used both spellings. The term appeared in Great Britain by January 1940 as phoney, the only acceptable spelling there.

The Phoney War was also referred to as the "Twilight War" (by Winston Churchill), as the "Sitzkrieg" (the sitting war: a word play on blitzkrieg created by the British press) and the "Bore War" (a play on the Boer Wars). In French it is referred to as the "drôle de guerre" (funny or strange war). In Polish, it is referred to as the "Dziwna Wojna" (strange war).

The term Phoney War was probably coined by U.S. Senator William Borah who commented in September 1939 on the inactivity on the Western Front: "There is something phoney about this war."

No comments:

Post a Comment