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France in the dark years

The "phoney war"

Upon leaving the sphere, the visitor enters a deliberately oppressing, confined space...

London and Paris remained passive in the face of rising dangers, going unenthusiastically to war after the invasion of Poland. Entrenched behind their fortifications, armies lowered their weapons. Major demonstrations of the strength of Nazi Germany readying itself for war give way to images of a worn-out France and an army from another lifetime, massed behind the Maginot Line. This long period known as the “phoney war” was characterized by defensive tactics and a strategy of waiting… But the length of the wait would be countered by the brevity of the Battle of France: from 13 May to 22 June 1940, the French armies were utterly crushed by the efficiency of the German “blitzkrieg”.