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

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

Extracts from this document...


History Coursework The Blitz 1.) Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the Germans in 1940-41? On the night of 24th August 1940 a German bombing raid aimed at British Fighter Command aerodromes, was miscalculated and some bombs landed on London. Reichsmarschall Herman Goering, in charge of the Luftwaffe was furious, as although commanders were ordered to prepare for the possibility of city bombing, it was forbidden. Churchill had already declared that if London was hit, "it seems very important to be able to return the compliment the next day on Berlin". Sure enough, Bomber Command mounted an attack on the German capital the next night. On top of this the RAF had been bombing Germany for some time, but never Berlin. This paved the way for further escalation, and it was Hitler who had been reluctant before to bomb London who responded on the 4th September: "if they declare they will attack our cities on a large scale, we will erase theirs!" ...read more.


As a result of this the RAF had won the Battle of Britain in what was called 'The Battle of Britain Day'. Nighttime attacks were also a benefit for the German aircrew as they were absolutely exhausted by days of continuous flying, and only flying at nights helped them to recover. Also, the RAF was almost dysfunctional at night and could do little to defend their cities. This factor along with the sight of their enemy's cities burning in many different places was a great boost to German morale. It made a lot of sense to many German commanders to attack the cities indiscriminately; as bombing was very inaccurate so precision bombing was almost impossible during the day, let alone at night. They felt it was much better to attack huge industrial areas rather than aerodromes or particular targets, especially now daytime attacks were no longer a feasible option. Originally, the Luftwaffe only bombed London, as it was easy to find and had the largest effect on the population. ...read more.


These targets included Southampton, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, Plymouth and of course Coventry. In January 1941, Cardiff became a target for the first time and so were the shipyards of Portsmouth and Avenmouth. Birmingham and Bristol were also attacked earlier in the attempt to break morale. Portsmouth and other naval bases were also bombed in an attempt to prepare for invasion, and then just in an attempt to aid the u-boats in the destruction of Royal Navy ships which may escort convoys to England from America or from around the empire. Towards the closing stages of the Blitz from January to May 1941, as well attacking London, the bombers tended to concentrate on ports, particularly after General Admiral Raeder persuaded Hitler to issue a directive on 6th February that gave attacks on ports the highest authority. This included Plymouth, Portsmouth, Bristol, Avenmouth, Swansea, Belfast and Newcastle. Western ports also became a major focus as the termini for the supplies offered by the USA, under President Roosevelt, who was pro-war and also pro-allies. This included Liverpool, Birkenhead, Greenock, Cardiff, Bristol, Plymouth and Devonport, as well as Belfast. By Dominic Wilkinson ...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. How important were Haig's tactics in bringing an end to WW1?

    In April 1918, the United States had three air squadrons at the front; by November 1918, it had 45 squadrons comprising nearly 800 planes and more than 1,200 officers. The total personnel of the American air service increased from about 1,200 at the outbreak of the war to nearly 200,000 at the end.

  2. Why was britain able to win the battle of britain

    In comparison the British leader Winston Churchill was a great motivator, and with his speeches he inspired Britain to victory. During the start of the battle Churchill stated that he would never give up he said to his people " After Germany had withdrew from invading Britain, Churchill said "Never

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

    With these destroyed, the battle on the front would be weaker due to a lack of equipment. Also bombing these factories would make people jobless and poor, therefore ruining the economy of Britain. Another important target for the Germans were food preparation areas (e.g.

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

    Coventry, Canterbury, Birmingham, Bristol, Southampton, Manchester, Sheffield and Belfast were the areas most heavily hit by the night-time bombings, although every single major town and city in England was hit at some point in the war.

  1. Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the Germans in 1940 - ...

    country of its resources and to stop the country exporting goods which they needed for extra revenue. Unfortunately for the Germans this did not happen, due to the resilience of the British people. In a way the bombings of London, Liverpool, Coventry and other towns and cities made the country work together against the enemy, untied.

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

    Question-3 In what ways did the British government attempt to hide the effects of the blitz from the people of Britain? The main objective of British government behind hiding the effects of the blitz from the people was that people don't loose their morale.

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

    Liverpool was bombed heavily, it was a major industrial, commercial city, it manufactured a lot of weapons etc and all buildings, warehouses, and factories connected with industry etc were obvious targets for bombs. As with London, heavy bombing was used as an attempt at trying to lower morale.

  2. Britain In theAge of Total War, 1939-1945 - why were the major cities of ...

    It was like a steel table with wire mesh sides and a mattress underneath. It was supposed to be big enough for two adults and two small children to squeeze under. One of the nastiest things about air raids was that your house was left unguarded when you went to

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