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GCSE History The Blitz C/W

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1. Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the Germans in 1940-1941? The bombing all started when German airships accidentally bombed London, which did not do much harm, but despite this Churchill made the accident seem worse than it really was and in retaliation bombed Berlin very heavily. This was one of the main reasons why the major cities were bombed during 1940 - 1941 as the Germans wanted revenge. Major cities were also bombed because the Germans wanted to cripple the British economy, destroy the manufacturing industry so that would be starved of vital resources which would in turn make Britain not able to function as a country so that there would be little to none resistance against an invasion by the Germans. An example of bombing particular cities was Liverpool. Liverpool was the second most bombed city after London. The reason for bombing Liverpool was the fact it had a major port. This west coast port was the main link between Britain and the USA, and saw food, fuel, raw materials, weapons and troops enter the country. Without these supplies it is doubtful whether Britain could have survived Hitler's attacks. Another major city that was attacked was Coventry. Coventry was bombed as it was the most important place in England for the manufacture of aeroplane motors and things like this. ...read more.


These would be mounted in the garden and families would use them whenever the siren sounded. It was said that the Anderson shelter could withstand anything except for a direct hit but often the Anderson shelters were constructed in a hurry which meant they weren't reliable and safe. Another option for people who did not have a garden to place an Anderson shelter was the Morrison shelter which was introduced later in 1941 and could be used indoors. The point in the Morrison shelter was that if the house should collapse on you, you'd be safe in the Morrison shelter and would be able to crawl out. People would often sleep in these overnight during raids. Over 500,000 of these Morrison shelters had been handed out by November 1941. Everyday life was affected in two main ways, the psychological trauma and the physical effects. Both were as important as the other and affected everyday life in Britain. Firstly, physical changes occurred to Britain. During the Blitz, 1,400,000 people were made homeless by bombs hitting their homes. At one point, one in six Londoners was homeless. Despite the physical aspect of this, it also provided the government a huge logistical problem for the government and caused many emotional grievances for the homeless. Also many Air Raid Shelters that people took refuge in soon became filthy and sanitation soon became a large problem. ...read more.


The Ministry of Information propaganda always presented the British people as brave and calm under pressure. Newsreels showed the "bulldog spirit" and some photos were faked to give the appearance that Britain could take it, like St Paul cathedral rising out of the flames. The Ministry of Information was the government department responsible for informing people about what was going on. The government knew extremely well what the situation was, but refused to allow the people to find out the truth. Pictures of dead bodies were banned from being shown, and so were interviews of people complaining. In fact, some stories were suppressed altogether! The government could do this with ease because it had gained total censorship on all newspapers and other publications. It also had sufficient control over news broadcasts on the BBC. They were determined to get said what they wanted to the people, instead of the facts themselves. Even the USA by this time was convinced that Britain could take the war for them! In conclusion, the government worked hard to try to keep up morale by emphasising the heroic elements of the Blitz - people rescuing others or surviving in a bombed house - but that sort of devastation couldn't have been really be hidden. The German leadership had hoped that the bombing of Britain would destroy civilian morale, but actually it seemed to have the opposite effect, making them more determined to withstand anything that Hitler could throw at them and ultimately to win the war. ...read more.

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