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Why did the British Government decide to Evacuate from British Cities in the Early Years of the Second World War?

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Introduction

Why did the British Government decide to Evacuate from British Cities in the Early Years of the Second World War? During World War Two there were two evacuations from British cities. This is when people are moved away from places of danger to places of safety. One was in September 1939 and the other in September 1940. The cities that would have been targets by Hitler for bombing were industrial areas such as London, as there were lots of people living there and many important people lived there, like the Royal family and the Prime Minister. Liverpool would be targeted because of the docks and Manchester due to the industry. Hitler would want to eliminate all the factories that were used to make munitions, bombs, etc and all the docks, so that supplies could not get to or from Britain. This fear led the government to come up with an evacuation plan. In 1939 nearly 3,000,000 people including 100,000 teachers were to be transported from towns and cities in danger from enemy bombers to places of safety in the countryside. This was called 'Operation Pied Piper'. The long and short-term reasons for this mass evacuation included the fear of bombing by the German 'Luftwaffe', the fear of a gas attack and the Battle of Dunkirk and the battle of Britain. ...read more.

Middle

All these things were used to hopefully terrify people into leaving for safety. The devastation that would be caused if what was said was true would have been astronomical so it did work to persuade people to evacuate. Another important reason for evacuation was the fear of gas and was also linked to bombing. The memories of the horrors of gas from World war One and stories from people who experienced it, of people missing eyes and limbs due to gas, really scared people. Also, Mussolini used gas in the 1930's to devastate Abyssinia/Ethiopia. The media hyped up the fear of gas. A handbook was made which frightened people and because of Abyssinia and Hitler taking over, gas led the government to issue 38 million gas masks to people following Munich, which obviously petrified them and created panic across the land. The local authorities advised in 1937 that air raid precautions should be put into place and men too old to go to war became ARP volunteers and were given a wooden stick to use as a gun to pretend to shoot German bombers and frighten them away. Rumours of an imminent war were everywhere. All over the media people were encouraged to prepare for war and to evacuate as a result of apprehension and dread. ...read more.

Conclusion

They tried to tempt them to go to new places, for instance America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, where they would stay permanently. This ended when German submarines attacked a ship, killing numerous children whilst it was transporting evacuees to safety. In conclusion I believe that there were many reasons why the British government decided to evacuate from British cities in the early years of the Second World War. These reasons were the fear of bombing by the German Luftwaffe, the fear of a gas attack and the Battles of Dunkirk and Britain. The fear of bombing was an apprehension that Germany would use a Knockout blow and annihilate Britain in one go. The fear of gas came from the horrors of the First World War and what it would be like in Britain. The Battle of Britain and the Battle of Dunkirk also sparked panic and alarm in Britain as Germany was near and there would be bombing, unlike during the phoney war. All these reasons combined, in my opinion, led the government to evacuate from British cities and I believe that there was not just one incentive for the government to promote propaganda to encourage people to leave, all the reasons collectively made them have to do it. Sean Kenny 10J ...read more.

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