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

Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the Germans 1940-41?

Extracts from this document...


Oliver Tetlow 1. Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the Germans 1940-41? The German bombing of many major cities in Britain, including London, Coventry, Southampton, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol and Plymouth, began on 24th August 1940 and continued throughout September, October and November, restarting in the spring of 1941. Named the 'Blitz', it lasted 10 months and caused tremendous damage and huge loss of life. The attack on London during 1940-41 was done for quite a few reasons, but we must take a step back before the Blitz to understand this fully. Even before Germany started bombing Britain, the German High Command had developed and tested a new military strategy known as 'blitzkrieg', or 'lightning war'. This was basically an extremely quick and organised assault on the opposition. Not only that, but it 'used', to a certain extent, the civilians of the enemy country to their own advantage. ...read more.


For 'Operation Sea lion' to happen, Hitler had to gain control of the skies and of the Channel, as he needed a way to send many men and artillery across to Britain. This did not happen because Hitler's generals were completely against an invasion and the shipping needed to carry an army across the Channel was not available, but at the time Britain was not aware of this. Therefore, the Battle of Britain began in July 1940 and at first the RAF managed to defeat the attacks by the German Luftwaffe, but by the end of August the tide began to turn. In the first week of September, the Germans began to get the upper hand. This was demoralizing for Churchill, so in order to appear as if something was being done to counter the German attack. On 25th August 1940 Britain bombed Berlin, the capital city of Germany. ...read more.


By doing this, Hitler aimed to seriously damage the British economy. Hitler also intended to disrupt wartime production to give the advantage in the war; if you destroy Britain's bullets and guns, they can't fight the war. They targeted lines of transport, because this would stop weapons being taken to the army. Across Britain the Luftwaffe tried to hit railway lines and junctions, power stations and ports. They also bombed weapons factories themselves, to stop the source of the firepower. In addition, Hitler wanted to destroy the morale of the British people, especially the Londoners, who were bombed nightly, because this would have a direct effect on government policy. If people do not like the war and do not think it is worth fighting for, then they will simply not support it; men would 'dodge the draft', people would be weakened, and spending could be seriously affected, which would reduce government income through taxation. The government needed this support, which is why Hitler attempted to strike the confidence the British people had in their country's management. ...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 Modern European History, 1789-1945 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 Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the Germans in 1940-41

    Hitler, however, started The Battle of Britain, a harrowing 3 month battle between the planes of Germany and Britain. There were three main phrases to the Battle of Britain. Starting on the July 10th to August 12th, the first phrase involved the Luftwaffe attacking shipping in the channel and radar,

  2. Why were the Major Cities of Britain bombed by the Germans in 1940-41

    This did not look good for Britain. Germany, quite naturally, were happy, they thought the RAF were beaten. They had a plan, Operation Sealion.

  1. The Battle Of Britain

    This attack is seen as Germany's downfall because up to this point Germany had been in a position of great strength. The German army had initial success advancing twenty miles a day. It got to within twelve miles of Moscow but then snow began to fall.

  2. Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the Germans in 1940-41?

    The London docks were bombarded with regularity. The Luftwaffe aimed to destroy railway lines and major road junctions to disrupt transport. They tried to bring down power stations and fuel storage as well as R.A.F assembly lines such as Coventry. To 'Coventryize' became a term coined by Goebels, the Propaganda minister to mean to utterly obliterate something, so badly had Coventry been destroyed.

  1. Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the Germans in 1940-41?

    300 bombers escorted by 600 fighters came over London starting in the afternoon. The theory was that the population, in constant fear of a sudden and violent death, would put pressure on their government to surrender.

  2. How Far Was the Nazi Invasion Of 1940/41 Halted by the Battle of Britain?

    In fact after the armistice with France Hitler waited for a full month for peace to be offered to him by Great Britain. With no word of such a settlement from Britain and only signs of defiance after offering a treaty himself he told the Riechstag on Friday the 19th

  1. The Battle of Britain

    The occupation of the Rhineland was a complete success and Hitler, Blomberg and the German nation was delighted by the occupation. By late 1937, all was now in place for Germany to expand its powers and military strength into countries beyond the German borders.

  2. In 1940, Germany had started carpet bombing major cities of Britain.

    This was a terror campaign to frighten the enemy not to do something. Hitler felt bombing would make people go mad and would lead to demands for surrender. On September 7th 1940, London was bombed. Luftwaffe had targeted Royal Air Force airfields and support installations and had nearly destroyed the entire British air defence system.

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