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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? On the 1st of September 1939 Hitler and his army invaded Poland. With the intention of preventing Britain from entering a state of Hysteria and Chaos; the government decided the evacuation of mothers, children and the disabled from the larger cities, was essential to their survival. Thus over 1 million children were evacuated from the cities ideally for the duration of the war; within a week 1 quarter of the population had a new address. Evacuation code-named 'Operation Pied Piper' aimed to protect the most vulnerable. The evacuation of Britain's cities at the start of WW2 was the largest and most concentrated mass movement of people in Britain's history. The government listed nine areas to be evacuated. These were London, Manchester, Merseyside, Birmingham, Leeds, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Teeside and Newcastle. It was thought a necessity to evacuate imperative industrial areas and ports because these would be the most susceptible too attack. ...read more.

Middle

The government urgently wanted to get the target group to safety. After all they didn't want to be known as the party who failed to protect British people. The phoney war was the epithet for the period between the declaration of war against Germany in October 1939 and the German invasion of Denmark in April 1940. It was called the phoney war because no battles took place during this period. It was because of this many of the evacuees started to return home. Mothers were desperately missing their children, and because nothing seemed to happen they decided to 'fetch them home'. As this was apparent throughout the country the government issued propaganda posters. These were designed to persuade mothers to once again evacuate their children, explaining that their safety was paramount. Germany was now appearing to pose more of a threat, and things started to hit closer to home. The Magniot line was a row of forts and machine-guns along the French-German border, designed to repel a German attack. ...read more.

Conclusion

The scale of the attack rapidly escalated. Within the first month of the Blitz alone, the Luftwaffe dropped 5,300 tons of high explosives on the capital in just 24 nights. The fear of further air attack from the Luftwaffe at the start of hostilities encouraged parents to send their children to safety. Total war was now in play, and parents realised the extent of the conflict, with it that their children were safer in the country. These happenings assisted the government to enforce evacuation. Concluding I think the most important reason the government decided to implement the evacuation of Britain was to protect children, securing a future generation for Britain. Another motive the government had for evacuation. Was the knowledge they had of children relying largely on their parents for their well-being. If small children were kept in the cities, the work production rate would ultimately not be able to increase to help the war effort. However if the children were away in the countryside the parents wouldn't need to look after them or feed them. This therefore would increase the amount of time an adult could spend working. Improving the overall effort put into war. ...read more.

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