Why were major British cities bombed by the Germans in 1940-1941

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Last updated: November 12, 2019

For this assignment, I will use my own knowledge, which I have gathered from my research.

I’ve used several books called, The Home Front, Britain At War, and a book by Asa Briggs. On 1st September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. They used a new type of warfare called ‘Blitzkrieg’ or ‘Lightening War’.

This is a war when tanks and planes are used to knock out the defences so that the defending country is easier to conquer. Two days after this happened; Britain and France declared war on Germany and the other axis powers on 3rd September 1939.Dunkirk; The quick defeat of the allies in France during 1940 stunned many people, not least the British Expeditionary Force. The German army pushed the British troops out of Belgium. The majority of the troops fell back onto the beaches of Dunkirk between May 29th and June 4th 1940. Hitler decided to hold back instead of eliminating us at the time.

The Royal Navy didn’t have enough ships to risk so they called upon the British public for help. It took one week to complete the evacuation. The reason for this is because, guns and heavy fortifications had to be left behind.This cost lots of money but in return saved many lives.

Even though the defeat in France was a disaster, the event of saving British troops boosted moral and convinced people to believe that the operation was a great success. The troops that were saved were bitter towards the Nazis and this proved useful during D-day landings. The British population declares this as one of our greatest moments where we were all united.

The Battle of Britain followed and once again, Britain came through and survived.On August 1940, Hitler’s elite ME111 bombers missed their targets around the river Medway and bombed the East End. The next night the RAF retaliated and sent 81 bombers to raid Berlin. On September 4th 1939, Hitler spoke to the German nation and threatened to destroy every town and city. He accused the British of making war on the civilians. On Saturday 7th September, the Blitz began. The German government targeted the London Docks. Thousands of incendiaries were dropped.

These bombs were designed to set fire to buildings. The bombs lit the way for the German bombers.They dropped over 300 tons of high explosives on the waterfront and then a further 300 tons of high explosives and 13,000 incendiaries during 8pm and dawn. A terrified witness said ‘the whole bloody world is on fire’. There were different chemical substances, which were flammable that were used for bombs.

Examples of the substances are rum, paint, and rubber etc. They were stored and made in warehouses. The bombing set 250 acres of timber ablaze and blistered boats 300 yards away on the River Thames. The British were not prepared for the Blitz.The fire services were literally useless as there was too many fires going on at once so some were left to burn out. I retrieved this information from my previous coursework assignment and from the book ‘Britain At War’. Raids up to the 15th September were part of a strategy to defeat and destroy the RAF. Hitler thought bombing the capital would damage the administrative heart and thus the conduct of war.

The majority of the bombing was focused on one part of London, damaging vital ships and causing many civilian casualties. Only 92 heavy guns were in place in London.In mid – November the Luftwaffe turned to the Midlands and the North. Places like Manchester, Hull, Liverpool, and Coventry were severely bombed. On 14th November three-quarters of the centre of Coventry was a pile of rubble. A total of 500 people were killed and 21 factories were damaged.

London had 13,500 deaths compared with 10,000 in all the other British cities combined. A section from the book ‘Britain At War’ shows the largest bomb crater in London. There are troops crossing a temporary road bridge over the crater at Bank Tube Station. This was caused by a direct hit on the station on the night of January 11th 1941.The government allowed this to be published in newspapers on the condition that the entire crater was blacked out and only the bridge with the troops crossing. Hitler’s plan was to annihilate all factories and warehouses. The final part of the plan was to destroy the moral and confidence of people.

40,000 civilians had been killed in the Blitz. He wanted erase all evidence of our history, so he attacked our beautiful cities to achieve this. This gives an insight into his personality that he wanted to destroy all our most cultural and beautiful cities.

40,000 civilians had been killed in the Blitz.I have seen sources and they point out that there was an element of success in his devised plan. A source from a secret report to the government, describes people running franticly for shelters when the siren goes. Mothers and children asking to removed from the district. Flights from the East End were increasing rapidly and taxi drivers report taking group after group to train stations. This describes mass panic and the break down of unity.

I read an extract from Harold Nicolson’s diary, which says that everyone is worried about the feeling in the East End of London where there was much bitterness.Even the King and Queen were booed the other day when they arrived in destroyed areas. People in those days had greater respect for the monarchy than they do now.

To keep the strength and moral high, Britain only showed positive things in magazines, newspapers, and television. There was a huge amount of posters in the street and in shops that gave the public great confidence. I have done extra research about propaganda and I found out that one of the most earliest posters said ‘Your Courage And Cheerfulness Will Bring Us Victory’ this was designed by Fiona Reynoldson.I think this poster is true as we would have been defeated but we all remained united and fought the Blitz with courage.

Another reason why Hitler did not succeed was our production in factories. Britain’s Production had risen dramatically during 1939 and 1944. Shipyards produced over 700 major war vessels, 6,000 smaller naval craft, and 4. 5 million tons of merchant shipping.

The aircraft industry had manufactured 88,000 planes and munitions factories almost 24,000 tanks. There was an astonishing 3 million machine guns. Steel production had risen by nearly 2.

5 tons between 1939 and 1943.

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