Ancient history

Funny war

Last updated:2022-07-25
  • On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. His political project is to create a “living space” for the German people. Hitler violates the Treaty of Versailles by remilitarizing the Rhineland. On March 12, 1938, the German army entered Austria:without any shots being fired, Austria was annexed to Germany:it was the Anchluss.
  • The 1 st September 1939, Germany attacked Poland without a declaration of war. Allies of Poland, France and Great Britain declare war on Germany on September 3, but do not intervene. The German army uses a strategy known as "blitzkrieg" (or Blitzkrieg ), which combines the use of tanks and aviation. On September 28, Warsaw, besieged and bombarded, capitulated.

September 3, 1939 - May 10, 1940


Adolf Hitler

Winston Churchill

Neville Chamberlain

Philippe Pétain

Benito Mussolini

Edouard Daladier


While the Allies are at war against Nazi Germany, the enemy armies face each other:a Franco-German front really exists, and is located on the border between the Moselle and the Rhine. The two lines of defense, Maginot for France, Siegfried for Germany, face each other.

Thus, the "phony war" corresponds to this period during which no military operation takes place on the Western front:the soldiers wait. The Allies wanted to save time:if the Franco-British naval forces were superior, the English had few troops to send to France. The German strategy during the attack against Poland pushes the French generals to favor defensive preparation.


  • On May 10, 1940, Hitler put an end to inaction:the Germans invaded the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. French forces rush to the Belgian border to repel the enemy. However, Germany has prepared a plan to take its enemy by surprise:the German tanks pass through the Ardennes, deemed impassable and overwhelm the French troops. The German army moved north and took the Franco-British massed near Belgium in a pincer movement. Most of the troops being surrounded, the Germans broke through to the west without encountering any real resistance:they reached the Marne on June 11 and Dijon on June 12. German troops enter Paris on June 14. On June 22, Pétain signs the armistice with Hitler in Rethondes:in 45 days, Germany has crushed the Western Allied troops.
  • For historians, the phoney war announces the French defeat of 1940:the failure of parliamentarians to agree on military issues, the inaction of the troops, the difficulties in mobilizing the war effort and morale civilians for almost a year, the inability of the general staff to update its strategies (and in particular the non-use of tanks) are the multiple causes of the French debacle.