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Britiain in the age of total war.

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Introduction

HISTORY COURSEWORK BRITAIN IN THE AGE OF TOTAL WAR 2.) During the Blitz, the people of Britain were greatly affected. Jobs were affected, and unemployment occurred through the destruction. 40, 000 people were killed, and many more injured. Children were evacuated, separating families, and friends. Also, "reception families" had to receive new children into their homes. With all of the destruction, and death, there was also a great amount of fear among the people. This had two very different effects. Some lost their morale, but others rallied in the face of adversity, with the so-called "Blitz Spirit". Sources B, and C are both photographs from the time of the bombing. Source B shows a photograph of Civil Defence workers putting bodies in sacks, after Catford Girls School, in London was hit by bombs, in the middle of what seems to be a residential area. The photograph is dated 21st January 1943, the day after the air raid. However, the censors banned the photo. This primarily shows that the government did not want to damage morale. This photo would have been very shocking, and damaging to morale, to see the bodies of innocents, and children in sacks. ...read more.

Middle

4.) The height of the Blitz was around the autumn of 1940. There was intensive aerial bombing, and civilians, and cities were destroyed. Source E describes the "Exodus" from the East End, which was "growing rapidly". It also says that "taxi drivers report taking group after group to Euston and Paddington with belongings". The source also says that "when the siren goes, people run madly for shelters", and describes "mothers and young children" as "asking to be removed from the district". This source therefore tells us that people were becoming hysterical, and were fleeing from London. This on its own does not wholly explain why the government was so concerned about morale. Source F describes the East End as having "much bitterness", so much so that the "King and Queen were booed...when they visited destroyed areas." From this, we can see that morale was low, and people were bitter against the war, and the government would not have wanted the people to be booing the King and Queen. These two sources, however still do not really tell us why the government was so concerned about morale. However, Source G makes a link between morale, and the exodus of people from London. ...read more.

Conclusion

This seems a far more united picture, that men and women continued production, so that "the country's economic life could continue and the planes, tanks, armaments" would "roll off the assembly lines". Source A also challenges the fact that there was a lack of courage. It says that the British people were "heroes", who had "courage and unshakeable determination" even in "the most appalling circumstances". This is backed up by source B, which shows the voluntary services working together, having to put bodies in sacking. This would have been an appalling thing to have to do, but the voluntary services worked together to sort out the mess caused by the bombing. Source C, shows people all smiling together. Questions can be asked about its reliability, as it appears to be a posed photograph, but these people in the photograph were prepared to smile for the cameras, which gives an image of unity, and "British grit" against the bombing. Overall, it is apparent that during the Blitz, there was a great deal of hysteria, fear, and bitterness among people. This led to flights of entire communities. However, these people continued to work, and sort out the mess caused by the bombings. Not all, but many people showed unity through this, and courage and determination in the most appalling circumstances. David Seckington ...read more.

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