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

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Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by Germans in 1940-41? (15)

At 11:45 am on the morning of 3rd of September 1938, the programme on the BBC radio was interrupted for a special broadcast by the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. He spoke publicly from 10 Downing Street and announced that Germany and Britain had been at war since 11:00 am that morning. To most of the people in Britain the fact that war had broken out was no surprise, as it had been expected. By 1940 Germany had conquered most of Western Europe; their next target was Britain, after attempting to invade from the skies (the battle of Britain) Germany needed to use a new tactic. This was to heavily bomb the major cities and cause as much death, disruption and disorder as they could. These heavy bombings would last several consecutive nights at a time, flattening entire areas and killing thousands.

One of the major reasons why Germany bombed Britain was revenge. On 24th April 1940, Britain had bombed Munich, and as a result, Germany’s response was to attack the London docklands. On the night of August 24th 1940, a German bomber “accidentally” dropped a bomb on London. The British were furious at this and as a consequence ordered raids on Berlin. Britain attacked Germany’s capital city, Berlin, for four days. This outraged Hitler, and not only did Berlin have to put up with four days of consecutive attacks of Berlin, he also frequently boasted to many of his people that Germanys capital city would never get bombed. He was proved wrong. Hitler made a speech saying: “The people of England are curious. They ask, “Why in the world don’t you come?” We’re coming, don’t worry, we’re coming...” Furthermore cities Hitler bombed in Britain were not heavy populated, whereas the city Britain targeted and bombed in Germany was one of the most densely populated in the world. In revenge, Hitler ordered the bombing and destruction of Britain (the battle of Britain). Germany aimed to gain air superiority and then launch operation Sealion. RAF airfields were attacked and then the destruction of aircraft production centres took place. However, this tactic was proving ineffective as the important radar network along the east and south coasts of Britain had been completed. This radar gave the RAF a mighty advantage of warning them about German air raid and on the 7th September 1940, Hitler stopped the day time attacks, instead sending the Luftwaffe on night time attacks on London and other major cities to compensate for the failure of achieving its aims and failing in the Battle of Britain. For 57 days, the British cities were bombed heavily, with the German dropping an average of 250 tonnes of bombs in each attack. This was known as the Blitz, which came about for revenge against the British bombings of Munich and Berlin as well as for the failure of the battle of Britain.

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As well as this, another reason was that the Germans knew the major cities were the most densely populated, therefore bombing them would be the most effective way of killing numerous people as well as causing the most disorder. At this time the homes in the major cities were very densely packed together with several people living in a very small area. The Germans used this to their advantage to try and kill as many people as they could most efficiently. After dusk, German bombers would fly over cities and heavily bomb the industrial and suburban areas. The fear ...

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