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Why did the British government decide to evacuate 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 from Britain's major cities in the early years of the Second World War? World War Two started in 1939 and lasted six years until 1945. It was the first war on British civilians with 60,000 being killed in the duration of the war. For more than a million children who lived in large industrial cities and major ports throughout the British Isles the outbreak of war meant separation from their families. These children were the most prone to bombing and so parents were urged to send their children to the countryside. Some children returned home after only a few weeks or months whilst others stayed with their foster parents in the country for the six-year duration of the war. The government wanted to protect women and children to keep them safe for future generations and this was the one main key reason for evacuation. The Blitz posed a major threat to Britain and its civilians and the British government were well aware of the damage and civilian deaths in other Nazi invaded countries. The Blitz involved German planes bombing Britain and in particular the large industrial cities. There was constant bombing for 75 nights in a row from 7th September 1940. ...read more.

Middle

Women between the ages of 19 and 40 were conscripted into work and 7.75million women were soon working. These women didn't have to work however if they still had children under 14. In this 7.75 million there were 300,000 working with explosives and chemicals and 1.5 million in engineering and metal work. At this time in history women had around four children in the family and it was a full time job looking after them all especially at young ages. But once these children were evacuated these mothers and housewives would have a lot more time on their hands to work in the factories and doing the jobs that the male population usually did. Women would also be able to work longer hours and be more productive without having to work and do all the housework at home. Consequently without evacuation there would be a much lesser workforce and so this becomes a key reason for the decision to evacuate children in the early years of the Second World War. Another advantage of evacuating children at the start of the Second World War was to give the "lower class" children in cities better opportunities and experiences of the countryside. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion I believe that the most important reason for evacuation was the safety of the children. This was paramount if Britain was to have future generations after the war had ended. Children needed to be protected from the horrors of war and be there in the end to lead the new Britain once the war was over. Without this safety the war could have ended up with a lot more fatalities and casualties than were actually experienced throughout World War Two. But safety aside all the other factors contributed to why children were evacuated in the early years of the Second World War. If children were left at home there would have been less of a workforce to take up jobs in factories, most of the children would never have got the chance to experience high class living and learn new skills and morale would not have been so high if there was more deaths and fears about the safety of the children. So overall I believe evacuation was done for safety but not just safety alone all these factors contributed for why the British government decided to evacuate from Britain's major cities in the early years of the Second World War. David Macmillan ...read more.

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