BRITAIN IN THE AGE OF TOTAL WAR
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.
This is a preview of the whole essay
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?
The blitz had many different effects on the British people. Hitler launched the blitz on September 7th 1940. This was the Arial bombing of British cities to destroy British peoples morals and Britain’s transport and industry. Hitler hoped the blitz would have a major effect on peoples spirits and wills and hoped that he would cause them to have a break down and surrender. There were many different effects the blitz had caused the British. Cities and industries were devastated by the bombings and damage done and struggled to survive the blitz. The blitz had an effect on all major cities in Britain. By 1941 thousands had been killed in the bombings in Britain and even Buckingham palace was bombed. This caused great ordeal for the Britain’s and many struggled to carry on. As thousands were killed this shook up the British. Peoples confidence would drop down and many were living in a nightmare world. In order to protects peoples confidence the German restricted certain information people received in their daily lives. London was the worst affected area. The first attacks were aimed at the east end of London and the London docks. This caused extended damage as London was the most populated area so as an effect of the Blitz hundreds of Londoners became devastating casualties in one night. Rural areas were not affected as much simply because there was not as many
The blitz had a major effect on everyday life.1469,000 people were evacuated at the beginning of the war, out of the people who chose to stay, 1.2 million citizens were left homeless 42,000 died, and 45,000 were injured. The bombing put innocent civilians on the front line as there were no soldiers there to fight back to the attacks. On the first night of bombing 430 people were killed. Over the complete 76 consecutive nights of bombing a massive 40,000 civilians were massacred. A total of 800,000 houses were demolished by German shells and other weaponry. As the Germans relentlessly bombed Britain, the British government was forced to take tough new measures in order to prevent a successful German invasion. 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. Without food arriving across the sea the government put rationing in place leading to a less complex diet. The bombings Germans made to the major cities of Britain, made the British people live in fear, as this meant they could get killed anytime.
But nevertheless the British people wanted to keep their spirits high, so they tried staying positive all the time, making sure they keep their closed ones strong too, keeping one another positive, keeping neighbours and friends in company.
In what ways did the British government attempt to hide the effects of the Blitz from the people of Britain ?
One of the main reasons the Germans bombed the major cities of Britain in the blitz was to destroy the morale of British people. The German Luftwaffe hoped that by destroying the homes, cities and lives of British civilians , morale would be greatly lowered and the support for Churchill's policies against Hitler would be affected.
World War Two affected the people of Britain in many ways. The threat of air raids meant streets had to be blacked out every night, food shortages made eating austere, and many people were separated from loved ones. Furthermore, people worked very long hours. The British government attempted to hide the effects of the Blitz in many ways. They did this because they realised that one of Hitler's plans was to break the British public's morale. Pictures of dead bodies were banned from being shown and so were interviews of people complaining. the government controlled what was published in newsreels, photographs, the press, radio, etc. The government did all this so they could do with the ease because it had gained total censorship on all newspapers and other publications. They government were given the responsibility of deciding to what extent the British public knew the truth about what exactly was going on around the country. Reason for doing all this was so they wouldn’t worry the British people and make peoples confidence during the war go down. The government knew exactly what was happening but refused to let the british found out. The government were determined to get what they said across rather than the real and actual facts. Even the USA were convinced Britain could even take over the war for them! Newsreels over there showed people in London getting on with their jobs after long nights of destruction. However not all propaganda that was created was as misleading as a lot that had been. The ministry of information was funded by the government to create films that were to warn and encourage british people about the dangers that they were to face, and how they could protect themselves at the time. These were very successful and proved to have a great impact on the people at home. The government did use a lot of successful ways to twist the blitz into something it wasn’t. This did work in calming the british people down and settled down a lot minds at a lot of peace.