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Britain In The Age Of Total War Assignment

1. The major cities of Britain were bombed In 1940-41 for many reasons.

With Germany firmly in control of Europe the last hurdle that remained was Britain.

After its planned invasion had failed Germany tried to collapse Britain from the inside.

With the air raids every night pounding British cities with hundreds of bombs, the effect was catastrophic.

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The main targets of the air raids were industrial complexes and dockland areas. They tried to grind the British war machine to a halt, too reduce the force that resisted them

Residential areas were also heavily bombed, homes and families were ripped apart by the continual bombardment. Their main aim was to bomb the British into submission, lowering the moral of the people was what they wanted to do most and which they needed for Churchill to surrender.

The bombing did exactly the opposite. The British people were brought together in a way that had never been seen before. Communities joined together to help each other out.

Although the bombings were successful in some areas, they did not do enough to significantly reduce

moral and the production of armaments to stop the D-day landings which they knew would happen sooner or later, and the eventual defeat of Germany. From this point of view, the Blitz bombings were a failure

2. The effects on everyday life in Britain during the Blitz varied depending on where you were, how badly effected you would have been.

Cities like London and Coventry were heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe. Along with other major industrial cities. Ports like Southampton and Portsmouth were also targeted.

Outer city and rural areas of Britain were not directly affected by the bombing raids but had to deal with the after shock, The evacuation of thousands of children from inner city areas. It was believed that the cities were not safe for them so they were transported to small towns and villages, families were split in half, many never saw their children again.

This was a huge disruption to everyday life, the children did not want to go and the county side did not want to have them.

They were often housed in remote farms, miles from anywhere or with old couples of 60 or 70 years old.

When it was safe for them to return to the cities, many did not want to go back. They had had a taste of the non-hectic life in the laid back country. This is one of the reasons why small villages began to grow so fast, turning into towns, because when the children grew up, they added to the population.

Schools continued as on as well as they could but with the blitzing of cities and the constant threat of German invasion, not much work was done!

But for the people that remained in the city during the Blitz there was the continual threat of death looming over their heads with the intense bombing raids. One result of this was the blackout.

Due to the continual bombing raids, the Blackout was introduced to try to throw the bombers off course. They were looking for a huge spider web of light that was a City but only got what looked like open fields in the pitch black nights. This hugely disrupted lives, but people found a way round this. Went to cinemas and dancing, but then the bombings started on them as well. This along with residential targets. This was made increasingly easy for the German Air force with the start of daylight raids.

These were to demoralize Britain to such an extent that the people would surrender. The opposite happened.

With all of this going on peoples sleep was disrupted on a nightly basis. With many people getting little or no sleep.

Due to the German U-Boat Activity In the North Atlantic, major amounts of Britain’s imports were ending up at the bottom of the ocean the government introduced the ration system. This included anything you can think of. From cotton to bread, everything that could was rationed. Many people began to grow there on food in their gardens to help to increase the amount of their ration that would normally be spent on it.

As more and more men were called up to war, there were huge gaps appearing in areas of Britain’s industry. Women were brought in to help to deal with the problem. This would prove to be a turning point in the role of the British woman. From now on they would work in jobs that they were forbidden from doing before. Many men were threatened by the women coming into their places of work that up until then had been a men only job. They thought that they were being forced out for cheaper labor.

All of these things helped to alter the way that everyday life in Britain was lived. Many of these changes affected the way that Britain acted for a long time.

3. During the Second World War there were many instances that the British government did not want the public to know about by using various methods they controlled Read, Listened to and watched.

There were many terrible things that happened during the Blitz, many of them were captured on camera, many of them never made it to the public’s knowledge. This was due to government censorship. The images would have assessed for the impact they would make and if they would have a negative effect that it would have on the public. A negative picture would have been disastrous. But sometimes a bad picture, portraying a bombed school or the bodies of the dead lying in the street, could be turned into a patriotic beacon of hope.

The scale of the bombings was another aspect of the Blitz that the Government wanted to have under their complete control in terms of figures, and the extent of the damage released to the public.

This information would have been extremely useful for the Nazis in assessing how successful their bombings had been and used to plan their future operations. Nazi spies would be able to obtain this highly sensitive invaluable information by simply buying a newspaper. For this reason the government always played down a catastrophe or turned it to their advantage.

Radio stations were carefully monitored by government officials to make sure that a negative effect on the public who would believe everything that was told to them.

The government used this to their advantage by claiming things were going well when things were not going right for Britain and their allies.

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