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Thread: Phoney war?

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Smile Phoney war?

    Dear Teachers,

    I am not sure that I understand the following sentences.

    Following several months of "phoney war", Hitler invaded France and the Benelux countries, which "fell to him" in June 1940. Britain endured the Blitz and feared invasion until the battle of Britain in September 1940 secured superiority of the skies.
    --What does "phoney war" mean?
    --What does "fell to him" mean?
    --What does "secured superiority of the skies" mean?



    In England many citites were affected by the Blitz. Blitzkreg, the German word for "lightning strike", was applied by the British press to the tempest of heavy and frequent bombing raids "carried out over" Great Britain in 1940 and 1941.
    --What does "carried out over here mean?



    In their efforts to "soften up" the British population and to destroy morale..
    --Does soften up here mean to reduce?

    Thanks very much for your help.

    Emily

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Default Re: Phoney war?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    Dear Teachers,

    I am not sure that I understand the following sentences.

    Following several months of "phoney war", Hitler invaded France and the Benelux countries, which "fell to him" in June 1940. Britain endured the Blitz and feared invasion until the battle of Britain in September 1940 secured superiority of the skies.
    --What does "phoney war" mean?
    --What does "fell to him" mean?
    --What does "secured superiority of the skies" mean?



    In England many citites were affected by the Blitz. Blitzkreg, the German word for "lightning strike", was applied by the British press to the tempest of heavy and frequent bombing raids "carried out over" Great Britain in 1940 and 1941.
    --What does "carried out over here mean?



    In their efforts to "soften up" the British population and to destroy morale..
    --Does soften up here mean to reduce?

    Thanks very much for your help.

    Emily

    phoney war
    means that France didn't really fight the war, there was no defensive France to speak of. They were afraid of bombings and they knew they had no sufficient army to defend themselves properly.

    fell to him
    - surrendered, white flag.
    secured superiority of the skies = they kept the skies save from further German attacks (RAF - the Royal Airforce secured the skies against Luftwaffe, Germans were very ineffective after bombing London, RAF kept on shooting down the German planes and took over the skies)

    carried out- followed through with heavy raids day after day after day.

    soften up - to lessen their opposition, reduce resistance, to destroy the morale in order to make them an easier target.

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