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(Grade A) Blitz coursework.doc

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Introduction

GSCE Coursework- Britain in the age of total war By Chin Ching and Jensen Pon 1. Study Source A What can you learn from source A about the response of the British people to the effects of the Blitz? (6) Source A is an extract from a book celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Blitz. It celebrates Britain's victory in the Blitz and the courage and determination that many British civilians showed amid the crisis, which is seen in, "heroes...courage and unshakable determination..." However, since this book was produced long after the war, the memory of the Blitz may not have been so accurate. The tone of the author is upbeat and positive, which conveys a feeling of pride and patriotism to the reader. Also, the purpose of this Book was written to celebrate the British's success in overcoming the Blitz and in uniting the country as one, so it would be unlikely to provide negative aspects of the Blitz. So consequently this source is not completely reliable as it only provides limited understanding of how people reacted to the effects of the Blitz. 2.Study Source B, C How useful are source B and C in helping you to understand the effects of the Blitz on people in Britain? ...read more.

Middle

Its aim was to demoralize the British government and civilians into surrendering and to facilitate a potential German invasion. The government knew if the people's morale collapsed, it would sabotage the war-effort, and defeat would be Britain's most likely fate. In order to maintain morale, the government took steps to ensure that it would not collapse, such as the use of propaganda and censorship. However, many of these attempts were not very successful as source E and F shows. Source E, a secret report to the government 10 September 1940, shows the situation in the East End at the time of the Blitz. It reveals that the people's morale was extremely low. It can be seen in the description, "people run madly for shelters", which presents a scene of utter chaos and panic. Also, it mentions the mass evacuation of civilians from the East End, which is shown in, "...asking to be removed from the district...Exodus (flight) growing rapidly from the district..." Source F, a personal account from Harold Nicolson's diary 17 September 1940, describes the worsening situation in the East End at the time of the Blitz. This is seen through the words, "there is much bitterness". Also, even the King and Queen were booed. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand, source D, E and F shows that the British were not courageous and united. They all show the negative aspect of how people were affected by the Blitz. Source D shows people in conflict with one another, source E shows people in mass hysteria and source F shows people not in support for the nation. However, these were only a small minority to those who were courageous and united. This is supported by a statistical report taken during the Blitz, which shows that the attendance at work was not affected by the Blitz, in fact it was unexpectedly high and remained at that peak throughout the war. Also, those who trekked away from the cities would turn up for work each day. In conclusion, I believe the British did face the Blitz with courage and unity. These qualities were one of the major factors to why Britain was successful in the Blitz. Without these qualities, the war-effort would have come to a standstill and people's morale would have collapsed, resulting in Britain's ultimate defeat. Furthermore, shortly after the war these qualities contributed to the creation of the National Health Services and to Britain becoming a Welfare state, so it would be impossible to say that the myth wasn't true. ...read more.

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