Phony War september 1939

0
460

A French and British offensive in the west might have enabled Poland to fight longer, but until enough British arrived, it would have had to be mounted mainly by the French; French strategy, however, was defensive, based on holding the heavily fortified Maginot line. The quick finish in Poland left both sides at loose ends. Dismayed, the British and French became preoccupied with schemes to stave off a bloody replay of World War I. Hitler made a halfhearted peace offer and at the same time ordered his generals to ready an attack on the Low Countries and France. The generals, who did not think they could do against France what they had done in Poland, asked for time and insisted they could only take Holland, Belgium, and the French channel coast. Except at sea, where German submarines operated against merchant shipping and the British navy imposed a blockade, so little was going on after the first week in October that the U.S. newspapers called it the Phony War.