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What is meant by the term 'The Blitz'.

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Introduction

Amy Gilmour 11SC Blitz Coursework Assignment 1. The word 'Blitz' itself is a shortened form of the German word 'Blitzkrieg' meaning lightening war, it means a heavy bombing attack from the air. It is often used to describe the German air raids on London in 1940, but many other cities were also blitzed. It was widely believed that Britain would be heavily bombed immediately after the war was declared and huge amounts of deaths and injuries were expected with mass burials planned and 1,250,000 cardboard coffins were produced. However these figures were completely inaccurate as they were based on when the Luftwaffe had bombed during the Spanish Civil War, and during this time had virtually no opposition. During The Blitz London was most badly affected with 13,000 killed in 1940 and 10,000 killed throughout the rest of Britain, so there were heavy losses. The Blitz came about after Hitler decided to change tactics after the battle of Britain when losses during the daylight attacks were too high for Germany. The Blitz began when the Germans began to bomb London and other cities by night and continued through the end of 1940 starting again in the springtime of 1941. The Blitz went much wider than just bombing London; it ranged across many other cities too, such as Coventry. Coventry was heavily bombed in November 1940, destroying the city centre and killing around 500 people. Belfast was also heavily bombed in the 'Belfast Blitz' in April 1941 killing nearly 1000 people. ...read more.

Middle

Rationing also affected peoples lives, not just food rationing but ration of clothes and petrol, making their daily lives harder, though in some cases better. Mostly it was morale that was affected and this was Hitler's main aim, however the government used different ways to keep spirits up and keep the country united as one in order to defeat Hitler. People's lives may have never been the same again with the traumatic bombing killing thousands and causing many to be orphaned. Fires meant that Britain lost some of its finest buildings, as they couldn't be put out due to burst water pipes. All these things affected the everyday lives of people in Britain. 2. The media played a huge part in the war effort in the home front, as it was the only way of boosting morale during the Blitz. Morale was low due the bombing having its effect on everyday life bur government propaganda was used to try and boost it, also trying to make people aware of the dangers they were facing and to help the war effort. Many different forms of propaganda were used to do this such as film, wireless broadcasts, posters and billboards. These were often used to tell people to save their resources as much as possible to help the war effort. Due to the bomb raids, often resulting in blackouts and petrol shortages, many people stayed at home leading to many more people listening to the radio for information such as the 9'o clock news and Churchill broadcasts top whip up morale. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though there was all this help, at its most productive, Britain only produced 80% of the food it needed. However the council gave farmers free scientific advice with the help of machines and fertilisers. After the war there had been huge improvements in equality in the agricultural community. This brought women's expectations higher as after the war these standards had to be kept up, as Britain couldn't afford imports. (ii) Industry changed a lot during the war as many men who previously in industry had been conscripted to the armed forces. Some made work in coal mining and the medical profession, as these were what the government needed to win the war. Something's stayed the same such as essential jobs like teaching. During the war a lot of things changed as women were forced to leave old jobs in clothing and food and were conscripted to factories making machines and helping to make things such as airplanes. Women were considered generally smaller and more flexible so were good at riveting and other jobs like this. Housewives were also forced to work and in 1947 18% of married women were working compared to the 10% in the 1930s. The government helped towards this by providing childcare. Bevin's boys and retired workers also helped in the workplace, as they couldn't fight in the war. After the war things had changed with many women still working, however there was still no equal pay for women. This was fought for by trade unionists and was supported by Bevin to give them more say and also to try to stop strikes. Women's expectations had changed. ...read more.

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