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Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain(TM)s major cities at the start of the Second World War?

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Introduction

Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities at the start of the Second World War? Evacuation began before war was declared in 1939 and over 1.5 million children were evacuated out of major cities and towns to the countryside where it was thought to be safer. There were many reasons for the Government's decisions on evacuations but not all of them were rational, as much of the government's information about the upcoming war was incorrect. The government knew how the aftermath of the First World War had affected the British and how they had suffered, they didn't want a repeat to such an awful extent. The number of deaths in the First World War was a huge number in both the military and amongst civilians but it was predicted that more were to be killed and injured during the Second World War due to the improvement of technology. ...read more.

Middle

The first attack on Britain was in January 1915 when two Zeppelins bombed Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn, killing two people and damaging houses. The Germans continued to use Zeppelin airships to attack London in 1915 and 1916 but this eventually stopped due to British defences. All of these attacks on Britain helped build up fear among the people and caused a psychological impact that Britain was no longer safe as an island. The attack during the Spanish Civil War was a showcase of Hitler's new and improved weaponry but this feared the British because there was an uncertainty on how far Hitler's technology had developed. Previously, the German's had made 103 air raids during the First World War killing over 1,400 people and injuring 4,000. The estimates of bombing for the Second World War were hugely exaggerated as it was assumed that 100,000 tons of high explosives would be dropped on Britain in the first fourteen days. ...read more.

Conclusion

The devastation of war was likely to lower the morale of the public and that when the attacks did occur it was expected that the poor would panic so it was thought best to evacuate the poorer families to prevent any further panic within the public. Otherwise it was possible that the poor would disperse to the wealthier areas and begin looting off them. If the public morale was hugely impacted, the government was scared that major cities would be brought to a standstill and no progression would be made. Therefore, because of these reasons the British Government decided to evacuate children from major cities. I think that the initial reasons out those explained above are that the government knew how war had impacted Britain previously, how devastating it was, how long to it for the country to rebuild itself not just physically but mentally and that the children were their future generation. They would be the ones who would be affected by the aftermath of the war and its consequences. ...read more.

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