• 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 major cities in the early years of the Second World War?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did the British government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of the Second World War? There were many reasons the government chose to evacuate children. They began as early as World War 1. The first thing that encouraged the British government to consider the evacuation of children was the death toll from zeppelin air raids in World War One. This was a general concern and did not make the government immediately consider planning evacuation. The attacks however killed over 1400 civilians and caused great fear among ordinary people and officials. In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was created. After World War One, there was fear that a second world war may possibly occur and cause even more devastation than before. This was part of the reason the treaty of Versailles was created. However, some of the restrictions seamed unfair to Germany and many characters held a grudge towards certain laws. For example Germany was not allowed to develop aircraft for military purposes; however, they were allowed to create as many civil aircraft as they wished. ...read more.

Middle

Although the treat of gas attacks never materialised, the precautions taken against them initially convinced people that they were inevitable. In 1931, although Hitler was not yet around and there was not absolute cause for concern, various committees were set up in the United Kingdom to discuss plans for civilian evacuation from key areas should it ever be necessary. In 1933, Hitler had come to power and by 1935 was making his views, particularly on the Treaty of Versailles, known in Europe. He began using threatening language and was intent on an aggressive foreign policy. Hermann Goering commander-in-chief announced the establishment of the German Luftwaffe in March of that year. He then ordered the production of a large number of fighter planes. (By 1938, Germany was producing 1,100 airplanes a year!) This obviously caused concern among European leaders which was furthermore increased by the publication of a book by a general in the German Luftwaffe. It was called "Total War" and it argued that targeting civilians in a war was 'fair game'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although it was not until 1939, on the day war was declared, that official evacuation took place. Would-be evacuees were to begin being registered so some idea of numbers could be established and billets began to be sought. At this time war seamed very likely because of the various invasions in Europe. By August of the same year, on the day Hitler's armies invaded Poland the evacuation process began. In three days Britain was at war and the country braced themselves for mass casualties as widespread constant bombing was expected. In the first three days, 1,500,000 people had been evacuated to safety. Many of these went to places like East Kent which themselves later became dangerous front-line towns. There was not a specific point as to why evacuation took place in the early days of the 2nd world war. There were a number of reasons which began with general concern from as early as 1914. These concerns became more specific during the years between the wars and finally became very specific in the years leading up to the out break of the Second World 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. Marked by a teacher

    What Were the Consequences of the First World War for the British People 1914 ...

    4 star(s)

    Both of these factors and the fact that Sinn Fein stopped supporting them due to the war and the Easter rising in Dublin, this lead to a decline of the Liberals. At the other end, Labour was excelling as a party.

  2. Evacuation in Britain during the Second World War

    However, there are several reasons that, for the hosts, evacuation was not a success. The evacuees were often badly behaved and unhygienic. Even though it is possible to say that they benefited from this to learn about the deprivation of the cities, it was still very hard for them to cope.

  1. How Hitler challenged and exploited the Treaty of Versailles in the period 1933 to ...

    to expand the German territory and to reclaim lost colonies for "Lebenstraum" (living space). Under the treaty, Austria was not allowed to form an alliance with Germany but as Hitler disregarded the treaty he felt that these laws should be broken and were not fair to begin with.

  2. In what ways were people's lives affected by evacuation during the second world war?

    There is no way to determine whether or not the host families experiences were all positive or negative as each family had a different one. Evacuation sparked a huge change for Britain after the war. It helped people to see the cultural difference between people from the large cities and

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

    Also, if the Germans did bomb Britain in the Second World War, they would use more up to date technology. The planes would be more powerful and accurate and would probably be able to cause more casualties. These extra casualties would link with the low morale.

  2. World war 1

    Source B can be trusted because it's written at the time of the war, by the man in charge. Haig was Commander in Chief of the BEF at the time and had lots of responsibility so he wouldn't lie. This might have been the only information he was given because communication in the trenches was bad.

  1. Evacuation Of British School Children In World War 2.

    Because of this, both of these sources could have been used as propaganda to encourage evacuation. Source H is another example of propaganda from later on in the war. It is an advertisement used by the government in 1940, which, is appealing for more people in Scotland to provide homes for evacuee children.

  2. What was the extent of change in the role of the UK government in ...

    Evacuation was a necessary part of public safety, ensuring the survival of defenceless children. Evacuation began officially after the phoney war. Propaganda campaigns were produced to convince mothers to let their children go. Children were packed off with not much more than the clothes on their backs, which they were often sewn into.

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