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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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Introduction

Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of the Second World War? The Second War was vastly different that the First World War, being fought on a much greater scale. An invasion of Britain was never contemplated in the First World War. The major development of the German air force, the Luftwaffe, created a major threat to Britain as increasing number of air bombing raids attacked its major cities. Invasion by the Axis powers was felt to be imminent. But there was a grim determination to resist at all costs. In September 1939, The British Government decided that their children, the next generation of Britain, should be evacuated. The children living in London and other major cities were immediately tagged like parcels and shipped out by special evacuation trains. Nearly 3,000,000 people, mainly children, were transported to places of safety in the countryside. ...read more.

Middle

They stood the risk of witnessing their parents being killed which would scar them mentally for the rest of their lives. These children would remember how their parents had suffered and would therefore be reluctant to fight in any future war The British Government therefore decided to evacuate children to the relative safety of the country. For victory to be accomplished in this war, it was crucial that everyone helped as part of the war effort. Women, having proven how hard they could work, and by displaying their motivation in the First World War, were heavily involved in the war effort as well as men. Many of these men and women had children who were dependant on them. The government decided that for the allies to be victorious, one hundred percent effort was needed. This would certainly be hindered if the fighting men and the women in the factories had to look over their shoulders and worry about their children all the time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another reason for the British Governments policy of evacuation of children was censorship of what they wanted children to see. Evacuation was a perfect way to minimise the death rate and also, at the same time, shielding the children from the harsh realities of the war. One incidental outcome of the evacuation was that psychologists were able to study the effects of separation and loss on these children. This work on "attachment behavior" became respected world wide and is still used today in situations were children are separated from parents. The most famous study was by John Bowlby. The Government' plan of evacuating the children was seen as ideal, the children were safely deployed in a safe environment, while being sheltered from the horrors of the war and at the same time their parents were able to focus on the war effort. However, the Government took a huge gamble. They separated the children from the men and women on whom the effort depended. That would surely affect their morale and hinder the war effort. CHARLIE DEBELLE - 11.7 1 GCSE HISTORY COURSEWORK ...read more.

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