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Why and to what extent did the British Government attempt to hide the effects of the Blitz from the people of Britain?

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Introduction

Why and to what extent did the British Government attempt to hide the effects of the Blitz from the people of Britain? This essay will look at why and to what extent censorship and propaganda is used during the Blitz. The Blitz was a period of sustained bombing of the major cities of Britain by the Nazis. The east end of London was one of the places that was very badly affected; buildings were destroyed and many home were left without gas, electricity or water. In 1939, the British Government assed the Emergency Powers Act; this meant that they took control of all forms of media e.g. newspapers, magazines, radio etc. They also tapped phone lines, they did all this because the Germans wanted to bomb them until they gave up - trying to demoralise people. They British government tried it counter act this by hiding the effects to keep peoples morale's up. People would have had low morale's due to several factors one of these being that most of what they could see around them was destruction and death hardily helpful when trying to keep ones spirits up. ...read more.

Middle

They did often show images every so often of destroyed buildings for example a picture showing a woman and child coming out of an Anderson Shelter unscathed while everything around them has been reduced to rubble. Here an exception has been made because it is probably trying to putting forward the message that the shelters the government have provided and prevent deaths, therefore encouraging people to use them. This was also one of Churchill's specific examples of when a photo showing destruction could be used. An example of a photo depicting a patriotic act is a little boy putting a union jack flag in the middle of all the rubble. This image would have probably been shown as it showed this little boy still flying the flag and supporting the country even though his home has been destroyed. One thing that was never was photos of bagged up bodies. This was never allowed as it would have shown people about the deaths and reinforeced the fact with a mental image of it that lots of people were dying. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another things to look at is clips from actually reports has them talking in a cheery voice maybe in an attempt if they sound cheery people will become more cheery to. Although the government didn't cover up the effects and still reported them, many people were angry as it seemed this way slightly, almost as if the hardships they were facing weren't being recognized. As if they were trying to pretend it wasn't happening at all and this had a negative effect as it made people angry at the government which is the last thing they wanted in a time like this. In conclusion I can say that the most important reason they tried to cover it up was to keep the general populations morale up and although they did show images of destruction it was generally covered up, so they covered more up than what was allowed to be shown. I believe that this would have been a necessary thing to do at the time also due to the fact that there would have been spies so they can't allow too much to be published. By Rebecca Staple ...read more.

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