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Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of the Second World War

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Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of the Second World War? There were many reasons for the British Government evacuating children away from Britain's major towns and cities at the beginning of the Second World War. It was, primarily, a safety precaution. Large industrial areas and residential areas were seen as targets for the German raids whereas the countryside was presumed to be far safer. This was the result in a change in warfare as prior to World War Two it was suggested to be barbaric to bomb unprotected towns. The Hague Convention of 1907 banned bombardments "by whatever means" on "undefended" towns. However, during the Great War there were a small number of civilian casualties as a result of bombing on both sides. The general feeling throughout the 1920s and 30s was that the bombing of civilians was barbaric and uncivilised. In 1932 Japan became the first major power to bomb civilians when it bombed a worker district of Chinese Shanghai. ...read more.


These tactics did not only involve incisive strikes by armoured units but also fast plane attacks bombing military and civilian targets. This style of warfare was based around speed and manoeuvrability so it was obvious that they would want to avoid any form of urban warfare. The British government did not want British cities to share the same fate as the Polish capital, Warsaw, which was hit by unsystematic bombing and thousands of civilians were killed unfairly. * During the 1st World War the French introduced the rest of the World to a new tactic in warfare; chemical warfare was first used in August 1914 when the French army fired tear-gas grenades at the Germans. The Germans, however, got their revenge in the trenches at Ypres in April 1915 when they effectively used gas on a large scale. The British government were afraid of a lethal gas attack, aimed at London which could kill tens of thousands at least, being imposed due to the adaptations of modern day technology. The government supplied everyone in the country with a gas mask to use when needed. ...read more.


This provoked the government to move the children of Britain to the safety of the countryside. The government realized the changing tactics of War and recognised civilians as potential targets and sought after a plan to prevent huge numbers of youth casualties and so evacuation to safety was definitely needed. * All of these factors are summed up to one overall contributor; changing times and technology improvements. The changing technology allowed events to take place that had never been permitted due to immense technological restrictions in the past. Long-distance bombing had never been used before World War Two and this is an issue the British Government could not overlook as they drew up their plans for evacuation. Despite the evacuation plans statistics showed that more women and children died in the War than the amount of soldiers actually fighting. However it is certain that if the children and women had not been evacuated then far more fatalities and casualties would have taken place. Overall the plans for evacuation proved generally effective despite the significant amount of money spent by the Conservative Government. Evacuation saved many lives and it alone kept many children from seeing the horrors and brutalities of War and secured the future of Britain. ...read more.

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