• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"The British government protected its civilians very effectively from the effects of air-raids" - To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...


"The British government protected its civilians very effectively from the effects of air-raids." To what extent do you agree with this statement? I agree with this statement in some ways, but not in others. To begin with, Operation Sealion failed meaning that Britain was protected because it did not go ahead. This may, or may not, have been because Germany was afraid of British defence, but either way Britain was safe. Moreover, the Battle of Britain hit Germany hard as they did not expect Britain to break-up German planes with a new formation. This was the chief cause that made Hitler switch to night-time attacks, hence the blitz. Finally, The main targets that the Luftwaffe wanted to bomb was ports, factories and cities. This disrupted production and trade, and lowered morale. The morale of the British nation was also lowered by the expectations they had about the Luftwaffe. During the Spanish Civil War the city of Guernica was virtually destroyed by the Luftwaffe. This made the public of Britain uneasy because they thought this would happen to cities here. Also, approximately one million deaths were expected within the British population. ...read more.


Though this in itself was an original and well-though-out design, it did have its drawbacks. Firstly, as it was below ground level, when it rained the shelter would fill with water making it uncomfortable to spend time in. Secondly, for a family to possess one they would need the facility of a garden. This would be a problem for working class citizens as many of them only had small back yards. For people that fell into this group, a new type of shelter was introduced called a Morrison shelter. This was basically dense chicken wire wrapped around the kitchen table. If a bomb were to be dropped and people did climb under their kitchen tables, the weight of the debris would trap them under it, or possibly even kill them. Along with protecting the country, the British government also tried to prevent German planes from actually bombing. There are four main things that were done. Firstly, AA (Anti-Aircraft) Guns and searchlights were set up. These were very effective when it came to shooting down low flying aircraft, during the day and night. The negative aspect of this method though is that it was hard to aim at high-flying planes, even during the day. ...read more.


Also, Source D is an eye witness report about Coventry after a heavy raid in 1940. The source shows the full extent of people's consternation and provides a good insight into what conditions would be like if you lived in a city which had just been bombed. For people's to give accounts such as this to the newspapers, or even by word of mouth, Britain's morale will definitely have decreased. Overall, I think that the British government protected its civilians effectively from the effects of air-raids mentally, but not necessarily physically. I think this because many things such as Source A will have put people's mind at ease, and they would have thought buying dense chicken wire to go around their kitchen table would have protected them. I do not think the country's civilians realised how much danger they were actually in until the first bomb was dropped, creating scenes such as the one in Source E. This is why I think that the British government should have been more open about what they knew would happen, but it is understandable why they censored such truths. Andrew Bradbury ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. To what extent was appeasement justified?

    Chamberlain, leader of the British Empire, as well as the British people vividly remembered the horrific experiences of the First World War. They wished to avoid another war at almost any cost. In other words, they were mentally unprepared for a second world war.

  2. Women & the British Car Industry

    It was seen as men's work and is a very boring and repetitive job. Source 6 shows tyre fitting at Cowley in 1955. There are four men doing this job wearing overalls. It was a dirty job that was usually done by men at the time.

  1. How important were the Royal Air Force and

    But was this successful? Hitler had 2800 aircraft stationed in France, Belgium, Holland and Norway. Women were also recruited into the Women's Auxiliary Air Force that was the female auxiliary of the Royal Air Force during World War II, established in 1939.

  2. How did Coventry protect itself from the effects of air attacks?

    They were however unsuccessful because the planes where usually to fast to be shot. At the end of the war these guns had shot down only two planes. But the guns had their advantage; they increased the morale of the people of Coventry by making them think that they were "giving it" to the Germans.

  1. Slave trade

    The first all women's society was formed in Birmingham in 1825. As the campaigners gained popularity some of the women wrote short stories and poems about slave trade to inform people about what was going on. The women also boycotted slave grown produce.

  2. Dunkirk was a triumph? How far do you agree with this statement?

    It says that the soldiers are more ferocious men and not the calm and happy when we believed they were. Also when returning from Dunkirk it tells us the complete opposite to what the media have been saying about the optimism of the soldiers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work