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Morale of teh British in 1940

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Introduction

Q4: Use Sources E, F and G and your own knowledge, to explain why the government was concerned about the morale (spirit and attitude) of the British people in the autumn of 1940? The government were extremely concerned about the morale of the British people in the autumn of 1940-and rightly so. With an average of 250 tonnes of bombs being dropped a night in September it would have been extremely hard to stay positive. As Source E states, 'group after group [went] to Euston' and left the East-End. This would have caused many potential problems for Britain because if people ran away from one major city to another, panic would spread around Britain rapidly. This would obviously have a rather negative effect, nationwide, on morale. Both the British government and citizens were aware of the German's aims in the Blitz; to terrorise, provoke fear, cause panic, halt production and cause as much damage as possible. The government knew this could have two effects on the people-it could either make them determined not to give in or Hitler's terror tactics could take effect. The people knew that to achieve their desired outcome in the Blitz the Germans would target major cities. ...read more.

Middle

This would also have led to the loss of order and control for the government. The government must have feared, after reading Source E that people might begin to take things into their own hands- Which we of course know they did when they forced their way into the underground stations, for protection during the air-raids. We know that Source E is a very reliable source, as it was sent to the government by Ministry of information employees and volunteers. It contained reports on the effects of the blitz. Source F, is in turn, a reliable source in giving us information on just why the government was concerned about morale. It is a diary of Harold Nicolson who would have had no idea that any one was going to read his diary, and therefore had no reason to lie. The source mentions the fact that there was 'much bitterness'. This would have worried the government as it meant that there was ill feeling toward them and that they were perhaps unwanted. Bitterness would also be a factor in making people less inclined to work, which as I previously explained, simply wasn't an option at that point. The cause of the bitterness would have also been a worry for the government. ...read more.

Conclusion

And the loss of France meant that they needed the support of Britain's working force even more, as the soldiers had left their weapons and supplies behind in France. Harold Nicolson also mentions that 'Everyone is worried...' The 'everyone' he speaks of here is in reference to 'several members of the government' who he knew well. The higher ranking members of the government would definitely have been worried if they felt the worry and panic was spreading to their colleagues also. The third source is published after the war, so the author uses hindsight and informs us that 'many of those who trekked were the same people who continued to turn up for work' and 'attendance at work remained surprisingly high.' We can surmise from this, that the government needn't have worried so much about morale having an affect on production as the people, were in fact, still prepared to travel to work in spite of the 'widespread fear during the blitz' and the ' flights of entire communities' that it led to. Another cause for anxiety regarding the state of morale in Britain for the government would be the extreme change in lifestyle the people would be facing during the Blitz. They would be facing a lot of stressful changes; evacuation, rationing, air raids, life in shelters. These changes could bring about long term psychological effects on the people and lead to general depression. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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