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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: History
  • Essay length: 1358 words

Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the German's in 1940-41?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Sarah Higgs 11.4 29th September 1. Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the German's in 1940-41? The Blitz was actually derived from the German word Blitzkrieg, which means "lightning war". The Blitzkrieg was when the German's attacked from both land (tankers) and air (fighter planes). The lightning war itself was actually when Hitler overtook most of Western Europe between April and June of 1940, including France, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium and Luxemburg. The Blitz was the bombing attack from the German's on England's major cities, starting on the 7th September 1940, and continued almost every night for seven long months. Hitler had one aim for the Blitz, which was to force the British to surrender to him, as most of Europe had already done so. He had three reasons for choosing bombing. The first of those reasons was that he felt that bombing the people of Britain would break the British morale, hopefully driving the British people to force the government to surrender to the German's. After the Battle of Britain failed, which was an attack from the German's to try and defeat the British Air Force, they realised that if they stood any chance of defeating Britain, then they would need to change their tactics; hence the Blitz.

Middle

He ended the Blitz in Britain with the heaviest raid of all on the 10th May 1941, in which nearly 1500 people lost their lives. He was ruthless in his attacks, and across Britain the German's dropped, on average 200 tonnes of bombs every twenty-four hours. These bombs came in a variety of forms, each as deadly as the next. The most common were incendiaries, which were small bombs that burst into flames when they hit the ground. Others were high explosives bombs, and, the most dangerous of all, land mines. These were sent to the land using parachutes and designed to explode later. All these had devastating effects on Britain, where thousands of people's lives were lost, and many more made homeless. Sometimes whole families where destroyed overnight, or else only a few members would survive, and now and then it was only the children who lived to fight another day. The Blitz only ended when the German fighters needed to be collected before the attack on the Soviet Union. Between June and September 1940, Hitler created the Battle of Britain. This was where German fighters attacked British fighter's using their own Air Force. The British RAF was so powerful that the German's were eventually defeated, and so Hitler needed another form of attack on Britain if he stood any chance of conquering us, and then the world; this lead to the creation of the Blitz.

Conclusion

He managed to destroy so much industry as many factories were situated in or around the major towns and cities of Britain. He also sent bombers to military sites and factories where weapons were created. This had the biggest impact that it could have had on the defence of Britain, with so many vital industries being destroyed in weeks. So, in summary of this information, Hitler's only aim for the Blitz was to force the British to surrender to him, as all the other countries he had invaded previously had already done. There were three main reasons for choosing bombing or the Blitz as his method of attack. The first was to try and force the normal people of Britain into such a desperate situation that they would actually propel the British Government to surrender to Hitler and his fascist terms. The second was that bombing Britain under the cover of darkness was an alternate method of attack on Britain in an attempt to conquer her. He had already tried other forms of attack, and this was the one that he stayed with for so long. Finally, Hitler needed to destroy British industry as much as possible and therefore obliterate most of the army, navy and air force's resources if he stood any chance of defeating them, and conquering the world.

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