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Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by Germans in 1940-41?

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Introduction

Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by Germans in 1940-41? (15) At 11:45 am on the morning of 3rd of September 1938, the programme on the BBC radio was interrupted for a special broadcast by the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. He spoke publicly from 10 Downing Street and announced that Germany and Britain had been at war since 11:00 am that morning. To most of the people in Britain the fact that war had broken out was no surprise, as it had been expected. By 1940 Germany had conquered most of Western Europe; their next target was Britain, after attempting to invade from the skies (the battle of Britain) Germany needed to use a new tactic. This was to heavily bomb the major cities and cause as much death, disruption and disorder as they could. These heavy bombings would last several consecutive nights at a time, flattening entire areas and killing thousands. One of the major reasons why Germany bombed Britain was revenge. On 24th April 1940, Britain had bombed Munich, and as a result, Germany's response was to attack the London docklands. On the night of August 24th 1940, a German bomber "accidentally" dropped a bomb on London. The British were furious at this and as a consequence ordered raids on Berlin. Britain attacked Germany's capital city, Berlin, for four days. This outraged Hitler, and not only did Berlin have to put up with four days of consecutive attacks of Berlin, he also frequently boasted to many of his people that Germanys capital city would never get bombed. ...read more.

Middle

Germany's goal of conquering Europe was made easier by this, as people began to turn against their own government and country. In major cities houses, bridges and other large important buildings were built close together, making them easy targets for the German bombers. Bombing these would cause hundreds of pounds of damage and divert lots of people from their regular routine. The money needed to repair these things would come from the government's budget and therefore it would be diverting money from the war on the front. This helped the Germans massively as it caused chaos in the front. Many transport links could be found in major cities in the 1940's such as bridges, roads and train stations. With these gone it would make it very difficult for anyone trying to travel anywhere in Britain thus causing major disruption. The bombed roads and bridges would stop mail vans from being able to travel. This was a major problem because the postal service was the most prominent way of communicating with services running twice a day, and with this gone it would cause disorder in the whole of Britain and communications between civilians and soldiers were made impossible. Another reason was to disrupt the war effort and weaken Britain. The Germans also heavily bombed major British cities because they knew this were the main source of industry in Britain, for example Sheffield and Manchester were large steel and iron producing cities. ...read more.

Conclusion

The big problem for this was in these theatres there would be a very large group in a very small area making it very easy to kill two hundred people at a time. Also with the large numbers of people in a small area it would make it very hard for people to get out and into an air raid shelter in case of an air raid. The government decided thus that the theatres were too much of a risk and they shut down all the theatres and cinemas. This was a positive result for the Germans because it would probably result in breaking the spirit of the British. Although morale decreased and the "Blitz spirit" was lowered in the short run, in the long run the objective of destroying morale buy bombing theatres etc actually back-fired. The closures of the theatres just brought families together in their own homes making them harder to bomb because they'd be less tightly compacted and people stayed closer to their own Anderson shelter as a result. (This was compulsory in war time). To conclude, the reason why the Germans heavily bombed major British cities in 1940-41 was because they wanted to knock Britain out by disrupting the war effort and win the war themselves, as well as making themselves look stronger and more powerful. They caused major disruption, killing 43,000 people and destroying millions of homes, however the "Blitz spirit" meant that morale stayed high during the bombings and Germany's objectives turned out more difficult than they first presumed. ...read more.

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