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Britain in the Age of Total War, 1939-45. What can you learn from Source A about the response of the British people to the effects of the Blitz?

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Introduction

Britain in the Age of Total War, 1939-45 1. What can you learn from Source A about the response of the British people to the effects of the Blitz? When war broke out in 1939, the only fighting between Germany and Britain was at the battle of Dunkirk, where the British troops had been driven onto the beaches and were rescued. Hitler did not seek a war with Britain and thought that peace would be declared between the two nations, but he was wrong, instead Winston Churchill vowed to pursue the war to the end. After that there was a year of no conflict known as "The Phoney War" where both countries were building up their armies and defences. Source A tells us the British people had "courage", were "unshakeable" and kept their "sense of humour". This is somewhat true but the extract is taken from a book that was written. With a certain bias as it was written on the 50th anniversary since the Blitz. Instead we must look at the precautions that the British government took to ensure that the destruction of the German Blitz, which started in autumn of 1940, did not leak out to the public by implementing strict censorships. Source A states the British people had "courage", but before World War II, during the Spanish Civil War, the Germans loaned the bomber fleet to the Spanish government which was used on Guernica which devastated the whole town. The world feared that if their nations ever fought the Germans, their cities would face the same outcome. ...read more.

Middle

The source's are also alike as they show the British "grit", although Source C could have been staged and Source B had a more angered and fearful image than the image from the label. According to the British government due to their label of "sorting personal property", the civilians in Source D survived the bombing, their homes were destroyed but they still went about with their normal lives worrying about personal processions instead of trekking to the countryside. Source D supports Source B as it shows what damage was caused by the Blitz. The censorship by the government also restricted Source D from being published due to the fear of its "sensitivity". Source D also supports Source B as it shows that British people were all affected by the bombing and that no one was invulnerable from the Blitz. The bombing that happened in Guernica was also illustrated in Source D and B, but in Source D was published as "sorting personal property" but you could obviously see that there was panic and anger within the civilian population due to the bombing. This supports Source D as the British would have panicked and have been angered by the killing of school children this was potentially very bad for morale. All three sources support each other as it shows that bombing was more "localised" and there was actually competitions between local councils to see which town withstood the most bombing. It also showed that any civilian could be affected by the wrath of the Blitzkrieg and the devastation it brought 4. ...read more.

Conclusion

The argument could go to either who agree with my statement or disagree. This is because the government knew if the British people had seen these pictures published morale would collapse this proves one way or another that the British unity was as strong as thought and the British "grit" could have been a myth. Although you could argue that if the pictures were seen by the British people it could have united the people as they would want to avenge the children that got killed and their determination to win the war would have become more solid than before. Source's E, F and G showed that the British people's morale had collapsed somewhat but it was only a minority to those who had high morale. The British government knew that and took steps to ensure that morale would not collapse and learned from their previous mistakes. The Censorship become more intensive but also more cunning. Hitler did not accomplish his objective over the Allies in the Second World War. Britain won the Battle of Britain through courage and conviction that some people could argue was only brought about by the precautions taken by the government. One thing that can't be questioned is the unity of the British people brought about by the war. If anything that won the war of Britain was the clever propaganda that was illustrated by the British government. In my opinion the censorship made the unification void as their pride and morale were built around lies and not around the full truth. A democratic society had to act like a dictatorship as Hitler's propaganda machine to keep the society's morale, pride and unification in place. ...read more.

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