• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did the British government decide to evacuate children from Britains major cities in the early years of the war?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Victoria Babatunde Why did the British government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of the war? The British government decided to evacuate as many children as possible from major cities in World War Two for a multitude of reasons. They started a mass campaign to convince the public of the pro's of evacuation and managed on a weekend September 1939, to evacuate almost 1.5 million people. During the 1930's Britain had faced several failed policies which left Britain defenceless against Adolf Hitler. The League of Nations fell apart after the Manchurian and Abyssinian crises. The Prime Minister, Chamberlain, began to employ the policy of Appeasement after Hitler came into power. Britain had still not rearmed fully and Chamberlain knew that Hitler was a force to be reckoned with. He believed that if Britain gave into some of Hitler's demands in Eastern Europe, then he would be content and war could be avoided. No one wanted another war like the Great War. After these events, Hitler still continued with his ambitions for Europe and a stronger Germany. Britain was left vulnerable at a time when war was imminent. The government eventually decided that the evacuation of children among other groups (such as teachers and the disabled), was the best form of defence to protect Britain's future. ...read more.

Middle

It also resulted in parents knowing their children were safe. In theory, if parents knew their kids were safe, morale would be kept up. They wouldn't have to worry about if their children would be alright without them so this in turn meant they would work better and be more productive. This would have been crucial for getting women, who were usually housewives, to work doing things like farm labour or canaries working in ammunitions factories as canaries. Furthermore, by reducing the amount of people in the cities, the civil defence forces had less people to worry about. They didn't have to keep an eye out for children playing in bombed out houses as some often did. People were also concerned about the welfare of children due to stories of Nazi atrocities. Many magazines and newspapers had published stories hailing the Germans as inhuman and committing atrocities towards women and children in particular. Although many were fabricated stories, it helped fuel hatred for German soldiers. The public didn't want their children at risk so although evacuation was optional, millions of people felt inclined to send away loved ones. The British government needed to prove to people they did know what was best for the country after under-reacting for so long. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was a big motivation for wanting overseas evacuation. If children were sent abroad, then there were less people that needed to be fed in Britain. Also, Britain couldn't afford to take ships away from the war to protect ships carrying food (the convoy system). In 1944-45, a final wave of evacuation came about. People became fearful after attacks by the German V-1 and V-2 rockets. People were persuaded by the force of the attacks, that evacuation was necessary to protect their children. Again, the government used propaganda to encourage people that evacuation was the wisest course of action. Between September 1939 and 1945, the government felt the need to ensure the safety of children as the future of the country. By evacuating children, there were more people available to help with the war effort. Evacuation solved a stream of problems for the British government at the start of the war. It meant that they could increase food production as well as making more people available for work in crucial fields. Evacuation helped to keep up morale by ensuring that at least children were safe and also succeeded in reducing the amount of people that needed feeding (by transporting some overseas). Without evacuation in the Second World War, the number of casualties and deaths could have risen phenomenally and many could have just starved to death. The government successfully protected most of Britain's younger generation, and helped to gain a victory in the war. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. To what extent was appeasement justified?

    If France and Britain, under the authority of League of Nations have taken some action ahead of the event, the German army would have evacuated the Rhineland without shedding a drop of blood, and that might have led Hitler to think more carefully in proceeding further with his plans.

  2. Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain(TM)s major cities in ...

    At Bethnal Green tube station during an air raid on 8th March 1943, when 1500 people were rushing down the stairs to the station, 173 people were crushed to death. This is an important reason because it showed the government that children would be safer in the countryside than in the cities.

  1. World war 1

    written several years later when views were very anti- Haig; he might have been influenced by other people's decisions. This source could also be biased because it's only one persons view and doesn't represent everyone's view of the war; its only one aspect from one part of the battlefield where things could have been much worst than everywhere else.

  2. Why did the British Government Decide To Evacuate Children from Britain's Major Cities at ...

    The last areas were places like Scotland and North Wales, which were considered to be safe and people where evacuated to these areas. Mass evacuation actually began on 1 September. The children were evacuated from train stations with their nametags and only what they could carry themselves, clothes wise.

  1. Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britains major cities in ...

    The German armed forces were sent to both help with the war and to train for Hitler's invasions and war. The world was shocked when it saw what the Luftwaffe was willing to do to achieve a victory. Guernica is a small town in the North of Spain, and was

  2. Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britains major cities in ...

    However, this policy failed. Hitler began to demand more and more, claiming Czechoslovakia, re-arming Germany to dangerous levels, making peace treaties he did not plan to keep, and eventually, invading Poland. War was unavoidable at this point, as Britain had promised Poland that they would intervene if this happened.

  1. Women & the British Car Industry

    This was taken 9 years before the Equal Pay Act and so the few women that are shown would have been paid less than the men. Source 3 shows a row of women working at Cowley in 1934. They are making upholstery and trim for the interior of the cars being manufactured.

  2. Why did Chamberlain follow a policy of appeasement?

    All this contributed towards the public not wanted a war, encouraging appeasement. Morality says it is right to try everything possible to keep peace. This means that everyone around Chamberlain was encouraging and pleading with him to appease Hitler not to start another devastating war.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work