• 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

    Also in Source G, an extract from a novel, the middle-class evacuees find it amusing when their host, Miss Evans, thinks that they do not have slippers because they are too poor. Even though it is a novel, so it is fictional and any truth about evacuation may be exaggerated

  1. World war 1

    The above quote says that Haig's army had complete confidence in their leader, however we know this is not true because Haig was hated by his men and though to be stupid. This general applauds Haig for what he done during the Battle of Somme and calls him, 'one of the main architects of the Allied victory'.

  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. How did the Second World War affect the lives of the people of South ...

    Sources 24 and 25 both talk about how bad the conditions were for the women. They were paid terrible wages (�2.20 weekly, source 25), lack of day nurseries, long working hours and consequant shopping difficuilties and lack of transport. Source 24 is a report sent to Churchill by the government's Labour Reseach Department in 1942.

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

    As Zeppelins were filled with hydrogen, they burst into flames when hit. The crew had little chance of surviving. These experiences of World War One showed the British government that the Germans would be willing to bomb Britain in the Second World War Two.

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

    However, the impression is given that the man thought his child would go to a very remote area where the people could have been starving. He also says that if he got killed during the war he would rather have his child at home with him where there are people nearby that could look after him.

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

    Also, Children were the least productive members of society. They couldn't work and still had to be looked after. Therefore they were a liability; if children were evacuated to the countryside, they could farm - producing enough food to feed them and excess to help feed the rest of the country.

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