• 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?

Free essay example:

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

Hitler was currently bombing our RAF air fields and runways to disable the RAF. This would give Germany air superiority, and enable them to overpower Britain with ease. Hitler was close to disabling the RAF before he changed his mind and start to bomb the major British cities instead.

        The primary reason Hitler changed his mind was as a revenge bombing. The RAF a little earlier had bombed the major German city of Berlin, Hitler wanted to boost his country’s morale by formulating a revenge attack.

        A second reason Hitler changed his mind was to destroy morale of the British civilians. Hitler had witnessed the power of morale deflation during the RAF attack on Berlin, Hitler wanted this in his power. He believed that if Germany could bomb civilian houses, the British public would vouch for a surrender, as they would be in panic, confusion and, essentially, homeless.

        Hitler decided to attack many cities. His main city would, of course, be the capital city of London. London was the home to the most powerful man in the country. All plans and defence plans went through this city. The major communication routes went into and out of this city. If London was to be taken out of the war, then the rest of the country would be totally useless, as they would have no commands coming from anywhere. This would leave the country in chaos and enable an easy invasion. London was key to Britain’s survival, and Hitler understood this.

        Hitler also decided to destroy many of the main ports around the south coast. These included Portsmouth, Southampton and Dover. These ports and cities were key, as they enabled imports from all around the globe. Hitler believed that if all the major ports were destroyed, Britain would not be able to import all the food and goods it required. Effectively, Germany was laying siege on Britain. This would starve the country, destroy morale of the British people and they would then put pressure on the government to surrender. Also, these ports were able to dispatch troops to France to help in their resistance. Destroying these ports would immobilise these troops.  

        Hitler bombed cities like Birmingham and Coventry. These cities contained the major factories. Hitler intended to bomb these factories, meaning the British could not develop and build new weapons and defences. If this worked, Britain would be out of weapons and defences once they were used up, meaning that German troops could take the country with relative ease.

        Hitler also decided to bomb cultural and historic cities like Canterbury. Hitler believed that the British people would do anything to protect their heritage. If many cathedrals and national trust sites get bombed, the British morale would deplete and they would give up their effort at resistance. This again would put pressure on the government to surrender.

        Hitler had the idea that bombing these cities would create a variety of affects, all of them would lead to civilian pressure on the government to surrender. As long as British morale and spirit remained intact, then Britain would not surrender and keep putting up resistance. The only way to break their morale and spirit was to go by the air as Britain had among the best Coastal Defences and by far the best Navy in the world. The only way to capture Britain was from the air, and if Hitler had kept bombing the RAF air bases and airstrips, then the RAF would have been out of the count. This would give Germany air superiority allowing an easy invasion. Hitler believed the reasons above were more important as Hitler believed that a surrender would suit him better than wasting men on an invasion.

        The British reacted with confidence and the bombings didn’t lower their morale. This allowed the country to keep fighting and putting up resistance.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

(?)
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

Related GCSE History Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

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

    This was the wide disorder caused by Hitler and again, people began to turn against their own country. The final reason why major cities were bombed was to destroy morale. At this time of war and Blitz, people became very depressed, so more was put in place to make people happy and let them ignore the war.

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

    These new measures affected the British people. Due to air raids, Britain effectively had to shut down so there were no large amounts of people together at once to target. The black out was needed so German fighters could not see buildings to bomb and suddenly it was necessary for those in heavily targeted areas to shelter just to survive the night.

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

    Many people would be especially on edge after too many sleepless nights, the constant booming of bombs adding to the anxiety and stress of wartime Britain. Overall, the Blitz had a huge impact on the everyday lives of those unfortunate enough to be living in urban areas affected by the bombing.

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

    Creating positive propaganda to promote patriotism did this. One such example was when the King and Queen visited different areas of London which were affected by the raids, one such place was the London Underground which at the time was full of people who had stayed there overnight while the raids took place.

  1. Why Were the Major Cities of Britain Bombed by the Germans in 1940-1941?

    However, the reality of evacuation was not half the adventure it was made out to be. The children left by the train load, travelling all day - "by evening, they were tired and hungry.

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

    Government limited food by rationing it. People were given ration books at the time of war. Evacuation- People were frightened and started leaving cities during wartime.' Night after night exodus went on', which means people, left their country for better and safer place. There was a massive amount of people who were leaving their country at time of evacuation.

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

    Germany wanted to destroy some vital things that would stop Britain fighting such as roads, railways, factories, military installations, airfields and also fuel depots. To destroy civilian self-esteem in the hope that the population would become so upset that they would demand the government admit defeat immediately.

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

    The Port of London was damaged, being a big commercial port it was a vital artery for the nation as a whole for supplies etc. Hitler in my opinion ordered bombing over London constantly, because he thought that if the capital were destroyed, then it would severely lower morale.

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