Phony War: Sept. 1939 to April 1940


Brayan Arras Rubio

After the conquering of Poland by the Soviets and Nazis, Europe would enter into an eight-month period where no major land, sea, or air operations would take place. The UK and France did promise to declare war if Poland was invaded. But even with that factor, none of the sides fired any shells at one another.

 France did start a small invasion into Germany’s Rhineland, but that ultimately failed when French troops just stopped and returned home. France was considering starting an artillery barrage on Germany’s western border, setting the way for an invasion. But this would not happen due to the threat of retaliation. It didn’t help that France had not updated its tactics since World War I. Therefore they still used outdated forms of transport, and when faster, more modern transportation was used to deliver orders, those orders would sometimes be vague.,In addition,  troops were rarely inspected, so at times they’d be found drunk or not doing as they have been ordered to. 

The UK wasn’t much better since Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain still believed this war could be ended diplomatically. They did use their air force to drop anti-war propaganda over German cities, but this was seen as a pointless effort. An officer even went as far as to say, “This operation likely did nothing but provide the continent with toilet paper for the duration of the war.”

This awkward silence would carry on until April 9, 1940, when Germany invaded Denmark.