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How Did the Blitz Affect Everyday Life in Britain?

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Introduction

HOW DID THE BLITZ AFFECT EVERYDAY LIFE IN BRITAIN? Britain declared the Second World War on Germany on 3rd September 1939. The dreaded war had arrived. The threat of the Second World War was greater, the aeroplanes were more forceful, bombs were larger, and could wipe out an entire city overnight, but the people were ready. During 1939 and the start of 1940 hardly any bombs were dropped on Britain. Hitler did plan to invade Britain, and in September 1940 the German bombardment began on the cities rather than the RAF air bases. Hitler hoped that with the continuous bombing and destruction, the Britons would panic and surrender. This bombardment was called by the name of the Blitz. The Blitz was a period of British bravery and nobleness. People supported their country in any which way. Men joined the services, women began work again and even children and pensioners had a part in the victory. The spirit of survival was never dashed despite Hitler's attempts of destruction. It was as if the people of Britain bounced right back into action, as though the attacks were an inspiration. Of course many of the fighters, in the fields, in the air or simply a foot died, yet they died due to the superficial, power seeking efforts of Hitler. The British government did all it could to offer protection and prepared for the burial of the less fortunate. AIR RAIDS AND AIR RAID PRECAUTIONS SHELTERS As soon as a plane or such aircraft was sighted in the skies, the people would become aware from the numerous sirens, sounded. The sirens were given the name of air raid sirens. They would be sounded at the threat of a bomb. The government posted flyers and other means of advertisement as a sign, to the public that shelters were needed, some were designed for the home, and others public. ...read more.

Middle

This was a precaution against spies and the Germans. If you didn't have a card, you could find yourself in a great deal of trouble. In 1940, there was a rumour that Germans would be parachuted into Britain dressed as nuns. Various ways were suggested of finding out if they were foreigners. At first the Home Guard didn't have a uniform, but an armband which had LDV on. By1941 the Government gave them a denim uniform so that people understood that they had authority. They still kept the armband. Home Guards had to share metal helmets, as there was a shortage. By 1943 there were two million men in the Home Guard. Games without bullets were developed to put their skills into practice. The men had guns and had to fire at other teams. A referee said who was dead and who were not. The dead ones were given a chalked white cross on their backs. Wives and girlfriends laughed at the proceedings. Battles were fought in the dark and this could prove difficult. Home Guards could fall over cliffs, in ponds or lead themselves into marshes and could simply die from foolish actions. Parachutes were also dropped with bombs and this scared some of the Home Guards, 7,000 Home Guards were trained in bomb disposal. They were brave men and often took unexploded bombs to pieces. The Home Guard ended with the war. They never had to fight abroad and had worked very hard. They were unpaid. PRISONERS OF WAR The Government were worried that there might be spies in Britain, so just in case, they rounded up over 60,000 Germans and Austrians that were in Britain. They also gathered up the Czechs and Italians just to be on the safe side. Sadly, this included foreign families who had lived in Britain for generations: others were refugees, many of them Jewish. They would have fought gladly alongside Britain. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was a well known saying: MEND AND MAKE DO TO AVOID BUYING NEW. Clothes were worn until they were old. Patches were used all over the place! Children's coats were made from old adult coats and women made coats out of old blankets. Mothers found it hard to dress growing children. No child liked to go to school dressed differently than the other children. Mothers would give up some of their own coupons to please their children. Other mothers made clothes from the cotton bags, flour came in. The sack material was covered in flowers and made a nice sized dress for a child. Everyone sold or swopped clothes. It was a great thrill to get hold of shoes or new clothes! Shoes were difficult to get. Adult's struggled, the army needed boots and a lot of the shoe factories were closed and these were only two of the reasons for the shortage. People wore wooden clogs even though they were said to be uncomfortable. There was hardly any stockings, girls painted their legs brown instead and used eyeliner to draw a fake seam up the back of their leg. The paint often washed off in the rain! CONCLUSION The Second World War ended after a period of six years. The fear of death and destruction was gone and nobody looked back with fond memories. The people of Britain became more helpful and kinder towards each other. The rich noticed the poor and the country took in what was happening in the cities, people shared and had fun and kept the British spirit high. Hitler lost and Britain was left undefeated. The role of the women was looked at and the men realised that the women could work. Britain became a democracy between man and woman. BIBLOGRAPHY Reader's Digest Journeys into the Past: Life on the Home Front War At Home (Fiona Reynoldson) The Era on the Second World War (Robin Cross) Encarta '99 Life During WW2: http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk The Home Front (JF.Aylett) The Home Front (Andrew Langley) HOW DID THE BLITZ AFFECT EVERYDAY LIFE IN BRITAIN Anna Remington History Coursework 17 ...read more.

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