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

The Belfast Blitz.

Extracts from this document...


GCSE Coursework The Belfast Blitz By Nicola Crooks As a result of Poland's invasion in 1939 by Germany, the Second World War began. One year later, the Battle of Britain commenced, with major cities such as Liverpool and Bristol targets for bombing. It was in the summer of 1941 when Belfast, one of the largest yet undefended cities in the United Kingdom, was devastated by their onslaught between the months of April and May. Receiving four bombardments in total, Belfast suffered death and destruction in larger quantities than any other city attacked by the Luftwaffe. When compared to examples such as Portsmouth, which had a death total of 930 as a result of 67 attacks, it is evident that Belfast, with 955 deaths, experienced many problems during and before their attacks, which led the densely populated city to undergo this catastrophe. So why was it that such a small number of raids caused so much carnage and were able to destroy such a large city? Many did, and still do, blame the Government, led by James Craig from 1940. Through their decisions based on the Warnock report, the Government's laid back attitude and inefficiency are valid reasons to blame them for the devastation, though there are many more besides, which I plan to discuss during the course of this essay. ...read more.


Finding they could not cope alone, reinforcements were sent for from Eire and Britain, which proved a success as fires were soon under control. The structure of the city itself was also a reason for such a high death rate. Houses in the 1940's were small, so as to fit as many into one street as possible. As a result, large amounts of people in one area were killed by single bombs. Homes were also near the workplace, factories such as the Harland and Wolff shipyard, to allow easy access. However, large factories and places of production were the specific targets of the German's, which meant that many houses were situated in, or close to, the targeted areas. The precision of the Luftwaffe pilots also contributed to the effects of the Blitz, and its effects. It was difficult for the German's to aim directly at their target, and there was no guarantee that the bomb would land where expected, which was usually on factories. The darkness would decrease the visual advantages the pilots had, so bombs were often dropped on housing areas. As well as this, the strength of the wind was a major factor in where the parachute bombs fell. They were easily guided off course and landed on neutral areas. The men could also have felt nervous or afraid, which would have effected their judgement and performance. ...read more.


Hoses needed to put out fires were not long enough. It was almost impossible to clear roads after explosions due to lack of equipment. Minor, escapable problems such as these could have been avoided through simple planning and discussion by the Government. The public was also ill-prepared when it came to protecting themselves and their family during the bombings. Precautions were not taken to ensure that people knew how to deal with the events which were to happen to them. There was also a lack of air-raid drills, which could have proven to be useful, if not vital, when it came to the actual bombarding. To conclude, it is apparent that there were many reasons, some small and seemingly trivial, others crucial, as to why the city of Belfast suffered so highly during its attacks by the Luftwaffe than any other targeted city in the United Kingdom. As I have explained throughout this essay, simple precautions such as adequate amount of air raid shelters and hoses could have made a large and positive impact on the final death total after the bombardments. The general attitude of the Northern Ireland Government, as well as the general public, added to the unexpected results and inability to deal with such attacks. However, it can be seen that the foremost reason for Belfast's suffering lies with its Government. Its reliability on an inaccurate and misleading report resulted in one of the United Kingdom's worst tragedies. Nicola Crooks 1 ...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 Politics 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 Politics essays

  1. Northern Ireland Sources Question

    It was also discovered that before these raids fire-fighting equipment was sent over to the main land it was during the summer of 1940 that the newly appointed minister John MacDermott was trying to improve the defences of the city, during this time he discover about the fire fighting equipment


    However, in this kind of conflict, actions speak louder than words which led to unending war, murders and death. Israel tried to pacify (when someone refused to get involved in violence) by controlling their military forces because they had the most power.

  1. In what ways did the British government attempt to hidethe effects of the Blitz ...

    people, that they were lying and the British were losing the war. At his peak, he was able to obtain an audience of about 30% of British listeners, but most of them tuned in for entertainment, not for the credibility of his revelations.

  2. In what ways did the British government attempt to hide the effects of the ...

    Many dance halls and sports centres were also re-opened in a bid to keep morals high. The cinema, in particular, showed many propaganda and patriotic films and documentaries. Some famous patriotic films include 'In Which We Serve', 'Henry V' and 'Mrs Minerva'.

  1. Belfast Air Raid Investigation

    This is the reason why sources A and B say fire and defence services coped well. Obviously any information concerning fire fighting equipment being sent back to Britain from Northern Ireland would be detrimental. This was under the grounds it would not be needed here.

  2. Belfast Air Raid Sources Questions

    In 'A' and 'B' they wanted to maintain public morale they did not want the public to panic. They also did not want to be seen in a bad light this is why they said the fire service coped well while we know that from source 'D' that the fire service were completely inadequate for the task that faced them.

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