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What was the impact of government propaganda in Britain during World War Two?

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Introduction

´╗┐What was the impact of government propaganda in Britain during World War Two? During the Second World War, the British government had to implicate increased measures to protect civilians, prepare the country for war and to keep morale up. All of this had to be carried out while a serious threat of invasion and destruction loomed over the country. Despite all this, the government had a powerful weapon at their disposal; propaganda. This was a very serious tool they had, especially with new ministries such as the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Food. Propaganda took the form of posters, movies, radio programmes and other media. The success of propaganda is easier to judge when broken down into categories. In this essay I shall look at three different forms of propaganda to get an in depth look of the impact of it on people?s lives. The three categories are home life, morale and the defence of Britain and its people. ...read more.

Middle

Many people thought they were very successful, for example, Lil Lawrence from Kent said that ?A good laugh kept you going better than anything else.? This shows that this form of propaganda was not only very successful but also very popular as 60% of the population listened to BBC radio in 1939. This meant this morale boost was very effective and had a very positive impact on the country. Another example of this being a success was the film ?Target for Tonight?. It was an inspirational war story about the mission of a British Wellington bomber. This and other war films were often highly spoken about and a wonderful form of propaganda. Mary McColl from Dumbarton said of the film that she came out of it ?feeling proud to be British?. This again shows us that morale-boosting propaganda was very successful. However, sometimes propaganda aimed at producing a positive reaction toward morale and patriotism backfired on the government. ...read more.

Conclusion

The downside to these blackouts was that many burglars took advantage of the situation and looted houses and shops. The darkness was a perfect cover for these criminals, labelled ?bomb-chasers?. It could be argued that this is a very negative side to this propaganda but I do not believe it is the fault of it. Also this burglary of material wealth was probably outweighed by the number of lives saved by these blackouts. In conclusion, I think that propaganda was extremely successful and had a very strong positive impact on the British public. It helped the government achieve what it needed to in order to aid Britain throughout the wartime period. The theme that saw the most impact was morale. This is because it was easy for the BBC to broadcast comedy and music to the country. The defence saw probably the least as it was harder to get the message accessibly into people?s homes with the minimal effort that morale was raised with. Overall I believe propaganda was a major part in winning the war against the Axis powers and therefore was a massive success. Gavin Winterborn ...read more.

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