"Evacuation was a great success!" Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? Use sources and your own knowledge to explain your answer.

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Dale Haughton    11t1     History coursework

“Evacuation was a great success!” Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? Use sources and your own knowledge to explain your answer.

Evacuation was introduced because Britain was at war with Germany and they expected the Germans to bomb Britain. There were three main evacuation periods. The first started on September 1st 1939 and was called ‘The Phoney War’; this first wave of evacuation took place because Britain expected air raids.  The second period ranged from May to December 1940. This second wave was taken due to heavy bombing warnings, the Blitz started shortly after evacuation started.  The third period of evacuation was from July to September 1944, and this was because the Germans had developed flying bombs and ‘v2’ rockets, which were both devastating weapons.  People who were evacuated were school children, mothers and young children, blind and disabled people and teachers.

        The government tried to encourage evacuation by the use of propaganda.  Source B is a photograph from the start of evacuation.  It shows evacuee’s walking to a train station.  They are all smiling and look happy.  We cannot fully trust this source because it may be a staged photo used by the government for propaganda.  Source D is another photograph, showing that evacuees were clean and happy people, but we cannot trust this source because it says it was issued by the government, so it is propaganda.  Source H is a poster telling hosts that evacuee’s are very thankful for volunteering to let evacuees stay with them.  It shows some success but also the need for more hosts.  The government also used posters, leaflets and messages on the radio to encourage evacuation.

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        The government’s evacuation campaign was not greatly successful. In the 1st wave of evacuation, 1.8 million people should have been evacuated from London, but actually only 36% of this number did. 3.6 million people should have been evacuated from provinces, but only 33% were evacuated.  Also, by Christmas 1939, 90% of evacuated mothers and children had returned home and overall 60% of all evacuees had returned home.  The 2nd and 3rd waves of evacuation were also not a success.  In the 2nd wave only a small amount of children were evacuated from danger zones, about 200,000 in all.  The 3rd wave was a complete failure, ...

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