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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

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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? During the Second World War thousands of children were evacuated from all of the major cities on Britain. There were several waves of evacuation including the 1st, occurring at the beginning of the war and the 2nd in 1940. The children were taken from the danger zones, usually large towns and possible invasion sites, and sent to the less popular areas of the countryside. The Government decided upon this action after considering numerous possibilities and the problem they were faced with of saving the future population of Britain. Even before the start of the war the British government had forecast 60,000 lives would be lost within the first six months if no action was taken to safeguard the population. Throughout the Second World War, there was a severe threat of millions of people being killed in Britain. Children were the next generation, and so the British government thought it essential that the future of the country was safeguarded, and the children of Britain kept safe. They were needed to replace the millions of young men lost fighting in the war. Also Britain had to be rebuilt after the war and people were needed to run the economy. ...read more.


The Government was confident that in ww2, the same technology would be used, however they would be greatly improved. The use of mustard gas and the bombing of villages shocked Britain. In most previous wars, civilians were unaffected. This meant that when ww2 began, British civilians were frightened and felt vulnerable. The government needed to prevent panic throughout the country and to keep up morale, which was essential if we were to win the war. To do this they needed to make people feel safe, or at least keep children from harm. To prevent fatal losses in 2WW, gas masks were issued to every person in Britain. However, small children could not use these masks with ease, and so gas was still a large risk. This enforced the government's decision to evacuate children from Britain's towns. The German bombings of Guernica and subsequent air raids shattering the city of London showed Germany was capable of inflicting immense losses. The government further reasoned that Germany were likely to repeat these raids during world war two and once again devastate the countryside and its population to a greater extent owing to the advancement of technology. By 1939 it was predicted The air ships and bombers would have been so far advanced that they were now capable of bombing other parts of the country and other major towns not previously reached. ...read more.


They could work the necessary hours only if they had no children to look after. The evacuation of children enabled women who sent their children to do this. The government were keen throughout the war to evacuate as many children as possible and free women to work. It was inevitable that millions of soldiers and civilians would be injured throughout the war and need medical attention. It would have been unavoidable that all hospitals would have been full. The evacuation of children enabled women to work full time in the hospitals and minimise casualties when the towns were bombed. The nurses could therefore spend more time healing soldiers. The British government decided upon the evacuation of children for many reasons including experiences from ww1, protecting the future generation, enabling women to work during the war and to maintain in power. However I feel that the most important contribution to the decision of evacuation was the change in technology. Without the new inventions of gas, tanks and airplanes, the majority of Britain's towns would have been safe from attack. With no towns in danger, there would be no need to evacuate children and civilians would have been unaffected by the war. However, there was a large development in technology and so evacuation was essential to winning the war. The evacuation proved a great success and the government's decision to evacuate was certainly the right choice. Millions of lives were spared and the war may not have been won if the decision had not been made. ...read more.

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