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Early sea battles demonstrated the value of gun smoke and smoke from burning ships to hide one battleship from one belonging to the enemy. Later, smoke was generated prior to commencing battle so as to make it more difficult for gun crews to spot the targeted vessel.
This tactic became known as a smoke screen.

It's quite obvious, Eberhard, their words, rhetoric and posturing is nothing but a giant 'smoke screen' contrived to hide from us , their devious intentions!

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"a smoke screen." Phrases.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 20 Nov. 2017. <http://www.phrases.net/phrase/a-smoke-screen_16396>.

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