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Britain in the age of total war 1939-1945.

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Introduction

Britain in the age of total war 1939-1945 Q1) After the war, many books were written and published about the happenings of the Blitz. Some writers made the Blitz seem like a victorious time in war, and looked upon the celebration of the unity of Britain at war. Others, portrayed it as a devastating event, and showed the Blitz of its reality. Source A is an extract from a book published in 1990 called 'Waiting for the all clear'. This book was written to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Blitz. The extract given makes the blitz sound more of a 'trip down memory lane' rather than the devastating event it was. It does have parts which show it to be a tragedy, but also said that Britain got through this hurdle by being united and with no fuss. According to the book, Britain's determination to stand against Hitler was 'unshakeable'. It also talks about the morale of the people at home. 'Those at home in the most appalling circumstances kept their sense of humour'. This suggests that no matter what the conditions were, the British would stand against Hitler without even a flinch. The extract from the book is a secondary source with a nostalgic view of the memory of people who lived through the war. The sole purpose of the publication is to sell books. Q2) Both sources B and C show unity and determination and prove useful in different ways. They both help you to understand the effect of the Blitz on the British people. Source B is a photograph dated 21 January 1943. ...read more.

Middle

Popular entertainers such as the singer Vera Lynn who regularly performed at the army camps, and was quickly named the 'forces sweetheart'. Her occasional performances gave the army force something to look forward to, which meanwhile boosted their morale. A lot of effort also went towards entertaining those at home. The 'wireless' had certain programmes broadcasted which gave those at home something to look forward to such as ITMA; 'It's that man again'. Tommy Handley and Jack Train starred in these serials; they were certain characters who people looked forward to hearing. This also in the meantime raised the morale of people at home allowing the Government to have an element of control as people were content and not downhearted by the brutality of the enemy thus continuing to co-operate with the Government. Source G is an extract from the book 'Don't you know there's a war on?' published in 1988. It conveys to how men and women continued to work even through the worst of the war which was much to the surprise to the employer's as well as the government. Although there was a widespread fear, people went to work to support the war effort and a number of different reasons. Some of these were due to the shortages of money, to pass time and even to meet their friends so they wouldn't feel isolated. At the time of the Blitz many tried to escape London into the countryside where the bombing was less severe but ironically these were the ones that continued going to work every morning. Going to work, was bound to keep up morale as friends would meet and help motivate each other to increase production as a means of winning the war, particularly if munitions were being prepared. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although people frequently trekked into the countryside to escape the bomb raids, they returned when it was time to go to work. .The fact that the attendance at work was good surprised the employers and the Government. This in fact showed support for the war by the people. I both agree and disagree with the statement as in my opinion not everyone felt the same way about the war. There were times when one person would have high morale at first and the other would have low and vice versa. People's feelings changed over time. Morale was either high or low according to the current circumstance. Also, to one person something such as rationing would seem viable and fair whereas to another would see it as being deprived of the things they were used to having when they wanted it. Different people had different opinions. Source G backs up my opinion as it has aspects that agree with the statement and aspects that don't. If anyone was obliged to be part of a war today, a part of them would want to escape from the harm; this is natural because everyone has an element of selfishness in them. Although they may want to leave they would also want to help others and even if it just meant keeping others company it would still make a difference. People should also be prepared to work and help friends and relations as well as themselves to live as well as possible despite the difficult circumstances. Unity would be very important as being as one with your community would help keep up morale and motivate others. Victory can only be achieved if people were courageous and were united with others. Shaheen Rostom 11/En5 History coursework Oct' 03 Shaheen Rostom 11/En5 History coursework Oct' 03 ...read more.

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