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How did Britain remain undefeated from June 1940 to 1943 in World War 2?

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Introduction

Sam Errington How did Britain remain undefeated from June 1940 to 1943 in World War 2? Between June 1940 and 1943, when Italy switched sides, many turning points occurred in the war. A crucial turning point was when Hitler attacked Britain, but turned his attention to the Soviet Union whilst Britain was at breaking point, giving her the chance to rebuild supplies and troops, to launch attacks on German and Italian bases in North Africa. Hitler's poor decision making was a major contribution to how Britain remained undefeated, but there were others, such as the roles of the USA and USSR. Churchill taking over as Prime Minister became a major factor for the war, as he was an inspirational leader. In May 1940, after the Nazis had already conquered most of Europe with their 'blitzkreig' tactic, they turned to France to control the majority of Western Europe. Churchill sent in the BEF to assist the French, but the German 'blitzkreig' was too effective and troops retreated to Dunkirk, where they were evacuated back to Britain. France surrendered on 21st June 1940, leaving Britain alone in Europe. The north of France was under Nazi rule, and the south of France, known as Vichy France, became a separate state cooperating with the Nazis. Britain was alone in Europe, although it still had its empire over the world, and it was still trading partners with the USA. ...read more.

Middle

36 Squadrons were sent to meet the attack. Approximately 170 enemy aircraft succeeded in reaching Central London in total, over 6 hours. At 15:30 a formation of 25 enemy aircraft attacked Portland but it was successfully driven off by British fighters, and at 17:25 about 50 enemy aircraft flew over the Isle of Wight and attacked the Southampton district. Again this formation was intercepted and driven off by the RAF. Approximately 200 enemy planes of an estimated 500 were shot down during the day of September 15th. Then the Blitz began. 76 nights in succession the Luftwaffe intensely bombed London. On September 16th, another daylight attack was attempted, but German aircraft turned away before it was intercepted by the RAF. This was the end of major daylight attacks on Britain. The morale of the British people was one of the most important things that kept Britain going on during the war. Churchill kept telling the people that "Britain can take it," and although there was mixed opinion about this, it inspired the British people, and they did everything they could to keep their morale up. During the night raids, the anti-aircraft guns were used, but even though they knew there was no hope of hitting any enemy aircraft, they knew it boosted the moral of the people in the shelters. Between September 1940 and May 1941, 40,000 British civilians died in night raids, half of whom were Londoners. ...read more.

Conclusion

At first they paid for the weapons as they received them, but within a year the gold reserves had run out, so a 'lend and lease' procedure was undertaken, meaning that Britain pays for the weapons after the war in annual payments. Britain and the USA declared war with Japan, and Germany declared war on the USA. Churchill managed to persuade Roosevelt to assist Britain with the war in Europe. This was a major turning point, as the Americans not only brought with them supplies, but also large numbers of troops to assist against Germany and Italy, whilst they were still fighting Japan on the other side of the world. In 1943, the allies eventually gained control of the Mediterranean, and then pushed forces into southern Italy. Mussolini was dismissed, and the new leader made peace with the allies, proving to be a major turning point in the war, as they then went to war with Germany. In conclusion, there were two major factors that protected Britain in the war. The first was the English Channel. Without this, Hitler would have easily been able to invade Britain using his blitzkrieg tactics. The other major factor was the involvement of the USA. If the USA had not delivered weapons to Britain, and not joined the war itself, then the North Africa Campaign would not have succeeded, allowing the German and Italian troops to fight together on fewer fronts, so there would have been larger forces to attack Britain and Russia. ...read more.

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