• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12

The impact of bombing during WWII

Extracts from this document...


"Of course, the air raids caused much suffering and hardship. In the long term, however, the raids strengthened national unity and reduced the differences between people. The people believed that by showing that they 'could take it'; they were on the way to winning the war. (A.J.P Taylor English History 1914-1945 1965) In your opinion, are the views expressed by A.J.P Taylor about the impact of bombing justified? To come to a suitable opinion on the accuracy of A.J.P's statement I will have to pick out the main points he makes about suffering and hardship, national unity, they can take it and the reduced differences between people, and compare his comments to other sources that both agree and disagree with him. During World War 2 cities particularly industrial centres including London, Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Coventry, Liverpool, Swansea and many others were bombed from the air by the German special air force the Luftwaffe in air raids known as the Blitz. The bombing in 1940 was most intense in a period called the battle of Britain where the Germans decided to concentrate all their efforts in destroying British morale and our industry and military bases. Hitler intended to dissolve the positive outlook many Britons had stubbornly sustained and crumble the unity of the country in 'total war' by bringing the devastation and suffering of war to their doorsteps, making it their reality not just their comrades in battle. He hoped it would create chaos and lack of unity as panic and depression set in. The major cities were strategically targeted to manifest fear, disable the ordinary running of the country and the war effort, they used firebombs, flying bombs, carpet-bombing and the new targeting bombs; v1's and v2's to maximise the effect. To alleviate disruption and keep mortality rates and personal damage to a minimum Britons had to make sacrifices and abide by new government rules and restrictions. ...read more.


The fact the queen is shown as visiting areas of unrest e.g. the east end and declaring how she was going to improve their conditions and protection and then nothing was done about it indicates how some people had right to be bitter to the government and monarchy. This source contains multiple facts but most interestingly suggests how much of the suffering was exemplified by our own countries shoddy and crude protection and that there was a lot of hardship at home that people never realised or concentrated on because the battle suffering on the continent was more prominent. This source attempts to enlighten the audience to how people at home were dealing with their own difficulties caused by the German bombers and heightened due to bad leadership. But also shows how there was unity as people were helping each other and the government was trying to meet the demands and expectations of the people e.g. creating millions of shelters. The video shows an interview with two men during the war who explain how people cooperated and invited strangers into their homes and were learning to accept the differences between each other. This footage agrees with Taylor's comments about strengthened national unity and reduces differences. In whole Cruikshanks review of the home front is more personal than Taylor's summary so is going to express a more mixed opinion. But by selecting only a few examples to suggest his opinion it cannot be a full interpretation of the bombing raids effect on people. Being a video for television it is understandable that it would have to be shocking in some respect to focus people's attention, but also shows it has to be factually correct. Although this detailed research gives a rather gloomy perspective it does show how ordinary people managed to deal with their troubles as a unit and not suffer in silence. I think the main underlying aspect of this video concurs with A.J.P's suggestion of unity, but focuses on the suffering greatly as well to demonstrate the resilience and resourcefulness of the common people. ...read more.


It is very certain that people, especially in the cities suffered a great deal, but it seems in the majority of cases they learned to cope with their personal trauma's and in many cases people co-operated and helped one another. However, some reports challenge this opinion but saying how people still are damaged by the affects of bombing to this very day and that sometimes people after bombing attacks lost hope and became hysterical proving they were unable to deal with the situation. I think the fact A.J.P does not mention the important role propaganda and media played in keeping up morale leaves out a major point that would assist his argument. Also, if he had asserted the fact that his statement was based on a majority and not simply the whole of Britain, he could have justified his opinion more accurately. The issue about reduced differences is also hard to decipher, fore it covers such a huge range of possibilities e.g. race, class, sex, age etc. Certainly the war reduced some differences and due to its catastrophic effect on the country as a whole was bound to increase the rate of the gradual growing equality. But in some cases where people were treated differently over an important matter, the differences, particularly in class became more apparent. A.J.P clearly states how people believed that with a positive attitude they could win the war. This type of comment would apply to Britain at this time as they did all have a common enemy, and most people would obviously think that by showing your not scared you can begin to win the moral fight even if in the battle you are loosing. The fact they were in a total war meant everyone was involved in some way also. Over all I think A.J.P Taylor was fairly justified in his summary, even if he did not include the inevitable inconsistencies that would occur if considering the feelings of a whole nation at one time. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. In the wars, Robert Rose is a very significant character.

    It also suggests that the image of the person Robert was when he knew Rowena no longer fits into his lifestyle during the war. Findley uses Robert's difficulty in dealing with his sister's death to reveal his sensitivity and his feelings of guilt.

  2. How Did the Blitz Affect Everyday Life in Britain?

    and people were encouraged to grow foods over the top of their shelters. The steel was delivered to your door during 1938. It was suggested that important possessions such as birth certificates, post office books and first aid supplies were kept in the shelter, in case your house was bombed.

  1. I need to produce a marketing strategy for a new or existing product. I ...

    Are all customers created equal? - my answer is a resounding no. By recognizing this they can meet their differing needs, and can target their marketing Strategies to create value for their customers, and thereby create increased value for Centrica's shareholders.

  2. With detailed reference to

    An aspect that makes this poem flow is the rhythm, at the end of every line it rhymes with the one before such as "few" and "crew", this gives the poem its edge, it keeps it quick and snappy, this is a good language feature.

  1. Conscription in the WWII.

    There have always been citizens who are devoted to an inspiration, beliefs, values, religion, and a cause. Among them, there have always been people convinced that, at whatever risk to themselves, their commitment must not involve the use of violence or war.

  2. WWI Diary Extract.

    I'm absolutely terrified. 23rd December 1914 A peace treaty has been called for Christmas. Halle-bloody-lujah. 2nd February 1915 It was my birthday yesterday. 19 now. Don't feel at all different. 17th September 1915 The war has lasted for ages. What have we achieved?

  1. Did the Soldiers Themselves, Give a more Accurate Picture of Trench Life than Official ...

    Because of this we know that he would have researched the topic quite a lot and would know what he is writing about. The information in this source is likely to have come from other sources, probably primary and will be a fair, accurate conclusion to these sources.

  2. The evacuation of British Children

    The book says that the children left the carer Miss Evans, feeling guilty after telling her they had no slippers when she had asked if they could put them on. Having no slippers was probably due to the fact that they had no room in there luggage to pack them, but Miss Evans thinks its because the children are poor.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work