Word Origin & History
1915, "punish, attack," picked up by British soldiers from Ger. strafen "to punish" (from P.Gmc. *stræf-), in slogan Gott strafe England "May God punish England," current in Germany c.1914-16 at the start of World War I. The word used for many kinds of attack at first; meaning "shoot up ground
positions from low-flying aircraft" emerged as the main sense 1942.