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Describe the effects of the blitz on everyday life in Britain

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Introduction

On Saturday 7th September the Blitz began. Hitler's target was the London dock; this was so he could stop importation and exportation of food and other vital products. The first set of bombers dropped over 300 tons of high explosives and thousands of incendiaries on the waterfront. Britain struggled to prevent these attacks as they only had 92 heavy guns. The streets in West Ham, Poplar, Stepney and Bermondsey were mildly affected. The burning warehouses situated in the docks lit the way for 250 German bombers. Two hundred and fifty acres worth of timber was ablaze. London was in a state of turmoil. Thousands of people lost their homes and had no choice but to live on the streets. Some were fortunate, and were able to live with their friends, neighbours, or family. The fire services were inadequate, as they were not prepared for this dramatic event. For the next 65 nights, London was bombed from dusk till dawn. Just when people thought the bombing was over, another one hit. The bombing was almost continuous. Other cities were attacked including Coventry. On 14th November 30,000 incendiaries were dropped over Coventry killing 554 civilians. Three quarters of the city was reduced to a pile of rubble including the cathedral, this was the most devastating attack ever on a one city. ...read more.

Middle

The coupons were labelled butter, sugar, meat, milk, etc which were then exchanged for the goods. The ministry of food gave the public advice on how they could make appetizing meals from their limited rations. People thought of ways to get more food, one way was to grow their own. Some managed to grow several types of vegetables; these included potatoes, carrots and cabbages. To encourage people to grow food two slogans were set-up, they were; "Grow Your Own" and "Dig For Victory". Materials for clothes were very limited. The reason why was because it was used for uniforms and parachutes for the armed forces. So therefore clothes rationing was issued in May 1941. During the first year sixty-six coupons were allocated to each adult to use for the year. In the following year material for clothes at an all time low, so the coupon allowance was reduced from sixty six to forty eighty coupons per adult. To reduce material wastage people were encourage to 'Make - do and mend'. Before the war had officially started there was already undergoing plans for evacuations, which would involve mothers and their children to escape the threat of war and move to an area that was thought much safer than where they was. ...read more.

Conclusion

Once darkness fell thousands of people carrying rugs and a small supply of food made their way towards London's tube stations. For less than one penny tickets were brought to allow entrance into the tube for the night. Individual shelters were also issued to households to be constructed outside, these were known as the Anderson shelters. Later on the Morrison shelter was introduced for indoor use. The shelters were made have steel and offer excellent protection against quite heavy debris. Conclusion: From all my research, I have found that the Blitz had a dramatic effect on everyday life. The whole of the British civilian population was affected in some way by the Blitz. The Blitz took its toll on the city dwellers, especially London and the East End. Rationing affected virtually everyone except those who could grow their own supplies. Children, mothers and hosts were affected by evacuation and the whole population, regardless of where they lived was affected by the blackout and the threat of poison gas attacks. For those who survived the immediate effect of the post war years was that life for most people was a good deal better than it had been in the 1930's, despite the fact that high taxation continued, austerity and rationing remained and there was a severe shortage in housing. The effects of the Blitz were devastating, catastrophic and costly on life. The devastation that the Blitz caused was so much more than first thought. ...read more.

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