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The Blitz - Why were the major cities of Britain bombed in 1940-1941?

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Introduction

History Assignment 1 The Blitz 1. Why were the major cities of Britain bombed in 1940-1941? The major cities of Britain were bombed for many reasons as the bombing was supposed to have a wide range of effects. One was to terrorize civilians and destroy moral by making the British think victory was impossible against this German power. Another was to force the country into either submission or a state of forced peace, as the people could have forced the government to surrender if they felt threatened enough. A third was to cause panic! Hitler seemingly thought if the bombing was destructive enough it was result in mass riots, looting and hysteria! Blowing up people's houses would leave so many homeless it was possible a mass state of panic and uncertainty would ensue. The cities were also bombed to cause casualties (cities are the highest concentrations of people), and destroy buildings. This was always an aim, and was probably the best achieved. Cities, as I said, were the highest concentrations of people in the country. Because of this places were large groups of people would meet were shut down, as these were prime German targets. Also the German's were trying to make ports inoperable and stop imports like food or munitions, with the possibility of forcing Britain into a state of starvation (stopping all supplies). ...read more.

Middle

They had Anderson Shelters or used Underground Stations or Public Shelters (like the basement of large buildings, offices and shops etc.) A further difference was the food, especially when in shelters. People generally had to put up with rationed food, or very expensive food. All this was poorer quality than it had been and prices of normal food rocketed. This was due to the bombing of ports, which disrupted imports. Entertainment was ended, so people could no longer go to the theatre, the cinema or watch television. Everybody had a radio, and it became extremely popular as it was the only regular source of entertainment. The cinema was later used for news stories and dispersing information to the general public. However, unfortunately, theatres were also sometimes used as emergency morgues after large bombing runs. Blackout had a big effect on people's lives. During the Blitz, numbers of night-time accidents trebled as street lights were out and cars drove with strong filters. Lack of visibility caused many problems and made life much harder, it meant people had to apply extra work to keep everything dark. Also, many people fled and some were evacuated during the Blitz. A large number of people left cities altogether, not just moving out to the suburbs but many moving far into the countryside. Some children were taken abroad to America and Canada, and rich people and families also went abroad for safety. ...read more.

Conclusion

They stopped people getting demoralized and painted a perfect picture of the war. There were also posters telling people to 'keep mum' which was a way of stopping word spreading too fast. A further example of censorship and protecting the knowledge of the general public was the fact that when bombing was really bad, area's where cordoned off to stop those badly affected from leaving and spreading their demoralized spirits with others. It also stopped anyone from outside coming in, so they could not see the devastation. The government used cinemas during the Blitz to portray news of the war to the public. However the news was extremely slanted and bias, as it was censored and often produced by the government. All the 'actors' were very hard-faced, they claimed that everything was ok and everyone involved was coping well. Any clips of London, for example, were of St. Paul's standing strong and resolute and people all helping in the war effort. There were also films showing that seemingly every town was still standing strong, as though nowhere had been affected. Occasionally when the truth did come out it involved a cool, calm news-reporter walking through a bombed area or a firestorm as though nothing had happened and everything was running smoothly. The reporting was such that you did not doubt the fact that everyone was coping and everything was under control. Therefore it seemed that even the worst hit places weren't truly damaged. James Crowe ...read more.

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