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Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of the Second World War?

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Introduction

Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of the Second World War? In 1919, Giulio Douhet, an Italian general said, "Take the centre of a large city and imagine what would happen among the civilian population during a single attack by a single bombing unit... [This] could happen to fifty cities...normal life would be impossible... [There would be] a complete breakdown...in a country subjected to this merciless pounding from the air." In the First World War, Zeppelin and bombing raids took place, and even though these raids only killed 1400 people, they caused panic amongst the people, and a drop in moral. ...read more.

Middle

Experts also thought that it was possible to drop 600 tons of bombs per day, after a huge opening barrage of 3500 tons in the first day. These figures led them to the conclusion that evacuation would play a vital part in their defence scheme. Even as early as 1924 the Air Raid Precautions committee talked about evacuation and attacks on cities, especially London. It came up with two basic points, that it would be impossible to relocate most of the activities normally carried out in London, and that the nation could not continue to exist if bombing force those activities to cease. The committee also noted the bad effect on morale that heavy civilian losses would make. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mothers who knew that their child was safe from bombers in the countryside might work more efficiently. Secondly, taking the children away from mothers would make more time for them to work, as they wouldn't have to look after their children, and this would lead to more war work being done. Also, taking the children away from the cities and to the countryside would take them away from the horrors of the war. If children saw dead bodies lying everywhere, this could emotionally scar them, and taking them away would protect them from these images. The Government's decision to evacuate children from the major cities was taken using many different reasons, but mainly it was to protect the children from an unnecessary death. Children are the future, and with no children, there is no future. ...read more.

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