• 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

Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the Germans in 1940-1941?

Extracts from this document...


Abdullah Mamaniat 10Q Assignment Two: Objective 1 Britain in the Age of Total War, 1939-45 Question One Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the Germans in 1940-1941? After Hitler failed to defeat the RAF in the Battle of Britain, he turned his attention to British towns and cities. The Blitz, the title given to the German bombing campaign on British cities during World War Two, was Hitler's attempt to destroy Britain's morale and 'soften up' Britain. The attacks started on September 7th 1940. British civilians had not experienced the horror of war until now, and these attacks continued until May 1941. The attacks were night time raids as opposed to daytime to enhance the fear factor and also because losses to the RAF fighters were too heavy during daytime. Another reason why the Germans attacked during the night was to make counter measures difficult. However, Britain did attempt to defend herself with anti-aircraft guns, searchlights, barrage balloons and fighter aircraft, but many of these measures simply relied on luck. The Germans' bomb aiming was inaccurate. They bombed from relatively high levels, perhaps as high as 12,000 to 15,000 feet. This was why the aiming was inaccurate and this led to high German losses. The targets the Germans were claiming to bomb were large cities. In these large cities the Germans claimed to be aiming for factories, railway lines, bridges, ports and shipyards. Any houses hit were known to be unfortunate accidents, but because of the inaccuracy in bombing, houses were hit frequently. Moreover, this pleased the Germans as they believed that by destroying the houses they could create homelessness and tiredness and completely demoralise the people. This was largely what the Germans desperately wanted. The whole theory behind the Blitz was that the population, in constant fear of a sudden and violent death, would put pressure on their government to surrender. If that government did not surrender, then the population would take to the streets, riot and overthrow the government. ...read more.


While this did aid many who travelled on the main roads, if you were driving on one of the very wide roads, and had to cross so that you had to turn right, the problem of then driving down a street with no white line often ended up in disaster because your eyes became used to watching the white line, suddenly it was not there. After a while, it was accepted that total blackout was not necessary. A lighting system for the streets came into being where a small beam of light shone downwards, and a cover made sure that no light could be seen from above, although these were to be extinguished during periods of the blackout. To make matters worse, not only did these people suffer whilst walking along the streets, they experienced the horrors of war more or less twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. People were forced to live their everyday lives among the carnage, the rubble, the dead, the smell, the vermin, and risk of disease. All of this surely must have been terrible, but it seemed that people just got on with it. Moreover the bombing raids were hell. High explosives tore at everything, many were killed instantly, and others were crushed by falling rubble. To many Londoners, it seemed that the whole world was on fire. Bombers came in wave after wave, and London barely had time to catch its breath. Fighters were scrambled to deal with the threat, but there were just too few of them and just too many bombers. The drone of the planes overhead became a familiar sound over the ensuing days. It instilled fear in the people, but it also drew a steadfastness in them to stand their ground and never give in. The bombing also caused disastrous disruption to other aspects of everyday life. Like I've already indicated, the mere destroyed or damaged houses wasn't the only problem; school life was interrupted, families were homeless, and worst of all children were separated from their parents through the evacuation system. ...read more.


The show then changed its name to "It's That Sand Again" set in the town of Foaming-at-the-mouth. Handley played the part of the town's mayor. After 1941, the show reverted back to its old name as the darker days of the war were almost over. ITMA continued throughout the war until 1949. During this time it was difficult to say that the show didn't have a great effect on the nation's morale. Over 40% of the population tuned into it and when Handley died three days after his last show, thousands of "normal" citizens from all over the country came to his funeral. Tommy Trinder was also one of the more famous comedians at this time involved in keeping the nation's morale high. The three most famous singers at this time were Vera Lynn ("We'll meet again" and "There'll be Bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dove), Gracie Fields and Anne Shelton. Vera Lynn became known as the "Forces Sweetheart". In summary, we can see that anything and everything was done by the government to keep morale up. Government films showing "ordinary" citizens coping after the loss of their home after a bombing raid were shown; short films reminding people how to keep quiet unless a spy heard vital information and many other programmes and films were shown or directed through the cinema, radio and in some fortunate cases the television, to keep up the morale. Some photographs and newspaper reports were also censored to keep morale up. Only those approved by the government were released for the public. Pictures of so-called "trekkers" were censored - families fleeing city centres at night to escape German bombing raids. Where possible, the government wanted the British public to think that life had gone on as normal - despite the war. Such a control on information was unprecedented in British history and as I've shown in this essay, entertainment along with propaganda in newspapers and posters/photographs was to play a vital role in this. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...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. The impact of bombing during WWII

    He justifies the fact that he thinks people were more unified by saying the circumstances reduced the differences between people and that people wanted to show they could survive and prosper despite the bombardment. This is understandable as everyone had a common enemy and naturally people would rally together and

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

    'Underground Shelters' were where many of the British people went. They were in fact underground train or tube lines, and were very popular. The government had to issue authority eventually as the lines were taken over. However they were troubled as to the safety of the public.

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

    Their computer system preparations for Year 2001 were completed on schedule and they are pleased to report that as a result they have not experienced any disruption to operations or customer service. From commencement of the programme in 1997, they spent a total of �36 million on potential Year 2001

  2. Compare Vera Brittian

    Perhaps also has a very simple form, it is written in quatrain with a regular AB rhyme scheme and a regular rhythm of ten beats per syllable in the first three lines of each stanza with the last line being six syllables.

  1. The evacuation of British Children

    If the interviewer was left to write it down then they may of changed the wording or made it seem more bias, the teacher may of said what was written down to make him/herself seem more knowledgeable or heroic about the war, then they actually were, so that they would sound better.

  2. Many measures were taken in Bexley to protect people from the effects of air ...

    Failure to comply withy blackout rules could lead to fines. After war was declared in 1939, the government ordered that children be evacuated from built up areas and sent to the country. Their mothers and sometimes teachers would sometimes be allowed to accompany them.

  1. What is meant by the term 'The Blitz'.

    Children from the city were often very skinny and undernourished and when they were evacuated often had much more food, and much healthier food to keep them strong. Some would go home looking completely different to how they looked when they went.

  2. The North Sea

    Exploration and Production In 2003, Norway produced about 4.1% of the world's oil and 6.9% of non-OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) crude oil. The country's low domestic oil consumption allows the country to export nearly all of its production, making Norway the world's third-largest oil exporter.

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