All Germans had long been brought up under paternal despotism, tempered by far-reaching customs of free speech and Parliamentary opposition. Defeat had brought them on its scaly wings democratic forms and liberties in an extreme degree. (from Winston Churchill's The Gathering Storm)
Guys, how to understand the second sentence?
Is "bring sb on scaly wings" a set phrase?
What does the author try to convey by using the word "scaly"?