coup de main

[kooduh man]
noun, plural coups de main [kooduh man] . French.
a surprise attack; a sudden development.

literally, blow from the hand Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
coup de main (ku də mɛ̃)
n , pl coups de main
chiefly military an attack that achieves complete surprise
[literally: blow with the hand]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
He felt he had no choice but to surrender, when the bombardment stopped, a coup de main would inevitably follow.
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