• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why Did The British Government Decide To Evacuate Children From Britain's Major Cities At The Start Of The Second World War?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why Did The British Government Decide To Evacuate Children From Britain's Major Cities At The Start Of The Second World War? At the start of the Second World War Britain evacuated around 3,000,000 children and inactive civilians (older people and unemployed women) away from it's major cities. It did this for a variety of reasons which were both long and short term. The main reason for the evacuation carried out by the British was to protect people from the threat of bombing. The people it really wanted to protect were women and children, and this was because they needed to be kept alive so that Britain could maintain it's war effort and continue fighting. Also, it meant that after the war it could get back up on it's feet and maintain it's population. Therefore this reason for evacuating was mostly economic. The vast majority of evacuations took place from Britain's industrial cities and those with ports, and this was because it was in these cities where bombing was expected. The most effective way to bomb Britain for the Germans would be to bomb it's areas of industrial production and docks so it couldn't continue to function and would starve, because at that time the majority of Britain's food came from foreign imports. ...read more.

Middle

Although the bombings of Spain and Poland were recent, the fear had been present since WW1 and so is a long term reason. Also, the British government saw that if people felt safe from the fear of bombing, morale would be kept high. In any war civilian, morale is vitally important and this was part of the reason for evacuation due to fear and expectation of bombing. Not only was Britain afraid of the standard bombing, but another common fear was the use of gas in bombing raids. In 1915 the Germans first used gas in combat. This had a very traumatising effect on allied morale, and did more psychological damage than physical damage. Since then, the fear of the use of gas in bombing raids was ever present among the international community, and more specifically Germany's enemies. Britain therefore decided to protect it's children from this terrible possibility by evacuating them from the areas expected to be bombed. This reason for evacuating was not as substantial as most, and was part of an accumulating number of reasons which led the British government to decide to evacuate. ...read more.

Conclusion

The period at the start of the war was even given the name 'Sitzkrieg' as a pun on the German Blitzkrieg. Also, if the British authorities could publicise the evacuation it could draw the public's attention away from the crisis in the Atlantic. The result of this is that the British population would not criticise the government and those in it for managing the country poorly. This reason for evacuating is a political cause for the evacuation at the start of the war. The lack of progress in the war, and sinking of ships all happened from 1939 onwards and so this can be classified as a short term reason. Although there were many reasons for the evacuation of children at the start of the war from Britain's industrial cities, some varied significantly from one another. Some reasons were long term, some short term. And there were also political and economical reasons as well. However the main reason among these is almost certainly the protection of the population which can classified as mainly an economic reason. Tom Murphy ...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 International History, 1945-1991 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 International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Total War, Britain during the Second World War

    In all about 48% of schoolchildren left evacuation areas. In the reception areas host families were allowed to choose the evacuees they wanted. This could create problems because some children did not find homes. Government propaganda To back up the new regulations and to remind the people of Britain that great care was needed, the government bombarded them with propaganda.

  2. Why did hitler bomb british cities?

    Coventry, Plymouth and Bristol were three heavily targeted cities. Coventry was bombed because it was the centre of Britain's arms trade and machining industry. As it was quite a small city, the 450 German bombers in the raid caused enormous damage, totally demolishing the majority of the city centre.

  1. WHY DID THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT DECIDE TO EVACUATE CHILDREN FROM BRITONS MAJOR CITIES IN ...

    It was believed to be practically impossible to defend against air attack. Fighter planes could only operate in daylight-and Britain didn't have many Spitfires and Hurricanes, or pilots in 1939. There was also the fear of a gas attack from the air.

  2. Why And How Did Britain Survive The War From 1940-1943

    affairs" secretly he would have been in a rage about this incident as although he proclaimed it as a great victory, 50,000 men were lost and vast amounts of British equipment were left behind and so Britain was left on its knees with no outside help and on the brink of a German invasion.

  1. Why did the British government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in ...

    Britain now had to do something as children where the future and are going to become men and women who will become workers and develop new weapons etc. In the first few weeks of World war two nearly two million children were evacuated.

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

    Hitler took on that role himself. The aggressive foreign policies of the Nazis were therefore the result of supreme dictatorship. This made European governments unsure how to respond to the 'unpredictable government'. Germany's initial plan was not to bomb the cities of Britain but to cross the channel and face the Royal Navy.

  1. In 1915 a British Newspaper printed a letter from a 'Lady Reader' who claimed, ...

    At the start of 1915, the war which should have been 'over by Christmas' was nowhere near an end. Lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War, said "I don't know what is to be done. This isn't war." The problem was that none of Europe's war leaders knew how to end the stalemate in France.

  2. What Impact did the Second World War have on the lives of women in ...

    tonnes a month and this increased to almost 600,000 tons in April 1941. Food Rationing had the greatest impact on the population of Britain simply because the rationing and restrictions did not just involve food shortages and raw materials. But as more and more men were needed for the services,

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