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

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Tanzeena Hussain


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

There were many reasons why the major cities of Britain were bombed by the Germans in 1940-41. The main reason was, on the night of August 24th 1940, a German bomber accidentally dropped a bomb on London. The British were furious at this. In revenge Britain attacked Germanys capital city, Berlin, for four days! This outraged Hitler, as he boasted to many of his people that Germanys capital city would never get bombed. The difference was many of the cities Hitler bombed in Britain were not heavy populated, whereas the city Britain targeted and bombed was a popular and the main city of Germany. That is why Hitler had to target and demolish the major cities of Britain. This was the trigger to the blitz.  He ordered the bombing and destruction of London. For 57 days, the British cities were bombed heavily.

Other reasons also included was, that because Britain was alone in the war, Hitler thought this would be a perfect motive to attack the major cities of Britain and the RAF (Royal Air Force), making this easier for the Germans to defeat Britain. Hitler was preparing for Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the USSR, but he became impatient. So he called of all the attacks on the RAF to reduce the loss of German life and aircraft. Instead he ordered night time bombing raids on London in the hope that Britain will surrender. There was the hope of destroying Britain’s foundation, such as roads, ports, government buildings etc. Government buildings were important to Britain and major targets to Germany ,because if Britain’s Government is disabled, there is no one there to organise defence attacks or even to run the country! The docks in London were attacked often. By doing this Hitler aimed to make sure to do as much damage as possible to Britain. He also aimed to destroy Britain’s wartime production to give the advantage in the war, if you destroy Britain’s bullets and guns, this would mean that Britain wouldn’t be able to fight then in the war. Germany targeted Britain’s lines of transport as this would stop those taking weapons to the army. Hitler hoped through all this Britain’s people would become weaker, break their spirits and eventually will surrender and give in. The first heavy raids on London came on September the 7th, 300 bombers escorted by 600 fighters came over London, starting in the afternoon. They caused great damage to many parts of London docks and killed over 400 people. This was the first of 58 consecutive nights of continuous bombing attacks on London. Air raid shelters were totally faulty and the populace took refuge in the underground stations. Hitler unexpectedly changed his tactics by ordering an end to daylight attacks on RAF airfields to night-time attacks on London. The reason cited for this sudden change is that Hitler wanted to incite fear in the minds of the British Isles.

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With hardly much water, no bathrooms and overcrowded people, the stations were not a good place to stay in. Hygiene conditions in the stations were terrible and diseases spread continuously. But nevertheless people turned the Blitz into a dignified battle for survival. People would not let their strengths weaken and remained positive. The spirits would not let be shattered and hopes were still kept strong hoping and praying for a better day. Luftwaffe’s efforts did not break the will of Londoners to carry on the war.

Describe the effects of the Blitz on everyday life in Britain?


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