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3) In what ways did the British government attempt to hide the effects of the Blitz from the people of Britain?

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Introduction

3) In what ways did the British government attempt to hide the effects of the Blitz from the people of Britain? Information, communication and propaganda are well established, effective and important instruments to boost morale, manipulate opinion and help in war efforts. The Blitz was aimed at manipulating victory for the Germans by breaking morale of the British people through mass destruction. The British government had to use various different methods to hide the effects of the Blitz from the people of Britain to defeat the very design of the Germans. Further, the government required to monitor the press to prevent negative news and anything that might help the enemy from being published or broadcast. For instance, early in the war, Britain kept the invention of radar secret, it said that RAF pilots had been eating carrots and could see in the dark. Monitoring and control of the press is called censorship. Therefore, press censorship becomes inevitable during war. The Ministry of information was made responsible for censorship and government propaganda. The government censored all the information that was to reach the public via mass media. Information that would bring down the morale of the people was never published. ...read more.

Middle

The report on the bombings in Coventry where four thousand people were killed in an air raid lasting for ten hours on the 14th of November 1940 was never shown to the public. After each bombing the ARP Wardens carried out a quick clean up service where they immediately cleared up all the bodies strewn across with parts of their bodies blown out, which would be a horrific sight for anyone to see. Images or articles of dead air-raid victims, wounded soldiers or houses destroyed by bombs were strictly censored. The Communist newspaper The Daily Worker was banned in 1941 because it opposed the war. Soldiers' letters were censored to delete all mention of times and places, the government also checked films, photographs and documents to make sure that no such information was published that the enemy might have found useful. Propaganda was another method used. It basically consisted of doing things and publishing information that would boost or at least maintain the morale of the people. They media usually printed pictures and information that would just show the positive side and try to hide the negative facts as much as possible. ...read more.

Conclusion

One of the most famous pictures is one of St Paul's Cathedral seen through smoke and flames which was meant to portray the image that god was on their side and god was still there. It was a very powerful picture indeed and helped to boost the morale as it touched the hearts of the religious people who knew little that this picture had been altered to carry out a symbolic message. Humphrey Jennings was employed by the Ministry of Information to make films that would build up people's morale. He produced films that informed people about the regulations; inspire them to want to continue the fight, he publicized more on the work of volunteers and also produced documentaries informing people of the events of the war. The government also published factual accounts of the war effort. One of these was especially successful: Front Line 1940-1 told the story of the Civil Defence Services during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. It contained many facts and figures, and carefully selected photos, which had just the right balance to make people determined, without demoralizing them. The British Government used both censorship and propaganda effectively to hide the effects of the Blitz, boost the morale of its people to overcome adversity and finally achieve victory. (979 words) Diksha Misra 11E ...read more.

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