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In what ways did the British government attempt to hide the effects of the Blitz from the British people?

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In what ways did the British government attempt to hide the effects of the Blitz from the British people? (20 marks) When war broke out in September 1939, the British Government was very aware of the importance of propaganda. That is to say, providing information about the way the war was going, trying to make sure that people obeyed the regulations and restrictions that were imposed by the government and keeping up the people's morale. A Ministry of Information was set up, as it had been during the First World War, which employed film directors, actors and entertainers throughout the war. The Ministry of Information made many films to warn people about possible dangers. At the beginning of the war these were often about air raids, shelters and gas masks. People were told to carry their gas masks at all times and to keep off the streets. Documentary films were also made about paces in Britain or about factories for example. These were intended to make people aware of what they were fighting for. ...read more.


them), which not only made it sound a lot less like a disaster, but it also suggested that there was some religious significance to the escape. During the war, attendance at church services rose dramatically and the government was quite prepared to make use of this. The government did try to disguise the real effects of bombing on people, especially the Blitz on London in 1940. There is plenty of evidence that the effects were far more devastating than newspapers let on at the time. Newspapers only published stories of people being brave and standing up to the effects of air raids. Photographs of large numbers of casualties were not published. The photographs of the direct hit on Balham Underground Station (which was bombed in October 1940, bursting a water main, drowning sixty-four people) showed a bus in a huge hole in the middle of the street, and were not published until after the war. It was never released before hand, because many people sheltered in underground stations - if they had found out what had happened, it might well have caused a panic. ...read more.


Also, cartoon characters were created like the 'Squanderbug' - who wasted food. Newspapers were full of recipes and adverts for pills and additives that would make up for any deficiencies in diet. Lord Woolton, the Minister of Food Production, gave his name to 'Woolton Pie', which was made from vegetables and breadcrumbs. He also published this rhyme; "Those who have the will to win Cook potatoes in their skin For they know the sight of peelings Deeply hurts Lord Woolton's feelings." Like many adverts and posters, this rhyme asked people to change their habits so that they could avoid wasting food. Pressure was put on people to stop growing vegetables that were of little value, such as cucumbers, and to grow something useful instead. Many of the posters and adverts were aimed at housewives. The 'Dig For Victory' campaign asked women to grow their own vegetables. New food came onto the market; Spam was invented as a meat substitute. There were many medicines advertised that were supposed to cure backache and stress. But the biggest single problem was how to cook tasty meals with rations. ...read more.

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