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Britain in the age of total war.

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Introduction

Britain in the age of total war 1) What can you learn about Source A about the response of the British people to the effects of the Blitz? Source A has been extracted form a book that was published in 1990 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Blitz. It states that 'the British people showed that they didn't have to be in uniform to be heroes'. It tells people from this day that even though out of the dreadful disasters, there were signs of bravery and 'unshakable' strength of mind; trying to survive the best that they could. The source shows that in the worst of conditions, Britain kept in there with each member of the population feeling as if they are making a difference. So they kept on smiling. This book is a celebration of the Blitz and is therefore going to be slightly one sided to make the British sound even more heroic and determined than they were. The book would leave out the awful and realistic elements of the Blitz because the article is to promote patriotism rather than to inform. 2) How useful are sources B and C in helping you to understand the effects of the Blitz on the people of Britain? Source B is a photograph of the air raid on 20 January 1943 on London. It shows the heavy destruction of a girl's school that was hit. ...read more.

Middle

What the government feared most among the people was defeatism. This was known as the idea that the war could not we won and that Britain should agree peace terms with the Germans. Another sign that morale was under strain was looting. On occasions, Churchill, the king and queen were booed whilst they visited the streets of the east end that were bombed. This point is mentioned in source F. "it was said that even the king and queen were booed the other day when they visited the destroyed areas." We should assume that this source is accurate because it has been extracted from a Harold Nicholson's diary. This would, should tell us his true feelings at the time of the Blitz because he is not likely to lie to himself in his diary. He also mentions that there is a slight bitterness and a bad feeling about the east end of London. There was tension between the upper and lower classes. The wealthier west end had their own private and comfortable shelters in the hotels that ordinary people could not use. There was one occasion where this led to protestors occupying the shelter in the Savoy hotel. This huge tension was made greater by the fact that most of the bombing fell on the working class (east end); industrial areas of the big cities (east end). ...read more.

Conclusion

So it can be said that without the high morale of the civilian population, Britain would have lost the war straight away and this was why the government was so concerned with that. In the autumn of 1940, there was initial terror in the first few weeks. But, the people got used to it over time just like you can get used to pretty much anything. The reason why things didn't get completely out of hand was because people evacuated, trekked, and found shelters (mainly in underground stations). People that were left homeless went to towns such as Windsor, Reading and Oxford, and in one instance camped in the quad of the university. Although the evidence suggests that the British people were very frightened, it would appear that the sources E, F, and G show us that the British had been bombed almost every night and certain areas of the country were very badly hit. The sources that were published at the time suggested that Britain could take it; such as source C. This was propaganda from the media and the government. This is one of the sources that suggest Britain faced the Blitz with courage and unity. In conclusion, I will have to disagree with this statement even though there are fewer sources that show us how that there is courage and unity being expressed. The ones that do such as source C appear to be largely propaganda based. But if we look at the others such as source D, they are still getting on with their lives. Adam Mohamedally ...read more.

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