Britain at war 1939-1945 Flashcards Preview

GCSE History- Britain 1931-49 > Britain at war 1939-1945 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Britain at war 1939-1945 Deck (19):


Chamberlain tried to appease Hitler, but when Germany invaded Poland, with whom Britain had the Anglo-Polish guarantee, he had no choice but to go to war on September 3rd, 1939, but only sent BEF to let Hitler make the first move


What was the Phoney war?

From September 1939 to April 1940 when little progress was made in the war in the west


Churchill's role

-Put in charge of Navy when war broke out
-In May 1940, Churchill became PM
-Criticised appeasement, so when in power, urged on war effort, built close relationship with USA
-Was talented at inspiring morale


What was the Blitzkrieg?

-April 1940, Germany invaded neutral Norway and Denmark
-Launched operation Yellow- bomb an area, take over with tanks then troops came and planes and tanks moved on
-Risky plan but gave no preparation time for enemy
-Took over Belgium and France, and Allies were forced to retreat to Dunkirk


What were the causes of the Dunkirk evacuation?

The British Expeditionary Force was sent to France, but was driven back by Blitzkrieg


What were the key features of the Dunkirk evacuation?

-Govt. asked owners of small boats to big ships to help, and 300 ships brought back 338,000 people over about two weeks


What were the effects of the Dunkirk evacuation?

-Seen as victory- RAF defeated Luftwaffe- Troops were recovered to fight another day- ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ born
-Over 300,000 troops were left behind and forced to surrender, most equipment had to be abandoned
-Churchill pointed out “War is not won by evacuation”


When was the Battle of Britain?

10th July - 17th September 1940 (Operation Dynamo)


What were the causes of the Battle of Britain?

-France surrendered on June 22nd, 1940, so Hitler turned to Britain


What were the key features of the Battle of Britain?

-Luftwaffe attacked British coast, radar stations and RAF airfields, then wrongly thinking RAF was defeated, attacked London, but was defeated


What were the effects of the Battle of Britain?

-Victory for Britain, loss for Germany
-Hitler’s focus shifted to Soviet Union


Why did Britain win the Battle of Britain?

-RAF invented radar in 1935, could see how many planes there were and where they were heading
- RAF had 640 planes, Luftwaffe had 2600 within distance, but RAF had efficient Spitfires
-British factories replaced planes much faster the German
-‘Dunkirk Spirit’ kept motivation up
-Hitler diverted attacks from RAF to London


When was D-Day?

6th June 1944 (Operation Overlord)


Why did Britain plan for D-Day?

-Germans had been fortifying for years from Norway to Spain
-Raid on Dieppe showed need for sea and air support (3000 troops killed, destroyer sunk)


How did Britain plan for D-Day?

-Allies used Spitfires to take pictures of the coast which were analysed so they could determine the best way to attack
-Bletchley Park code breakers
-Information leaked to suggest attack would be at Calais
-Locked up all soldier camps so messages couldn’t be spread
-Mulberry landing harbours allowed troops to get onto the beaches easily
-Pluto, a pipeline system, pumped 1 million gallons of fuel a day across the channel


What were the key features of D-Day?

-Ships bombed an 80km strip of the French coast and planes landed parachutists behind German lines, attacked German radar stations
-Code names of the beaches were Utah, Omaha (suffered heavy losses), Gold, Juno and Sword
-By 9am, they were a mile inland
-Troops and supplies rapidly ferried across (especially from USA)


Why were Germany defeated in the war?

-Under pressure from all sides and needed more troops and supplies than they could produce
-After an assassination attempt, Hitler got rid of all possible conspirators which weakened his military command
-Hitler committed suicide, demoralising Germany


Why did the Allies win the war?

-Allies bombed German industries, military bases and cities
-Used radar to find submarines to keep shipping supplies safe
-Resistance groups sabotaged road and rail links
-Allies attack on Arnhem was a huge loss- 2,800 of 10,000 returned as plans were hurried and underestimated Germany


What were the biggest factors in Allied victory?

-Churchill- strong leader kept up morale
-Bletchley Park- code breakers
-USA joining- more troops and supplies
-D-Day- beginning of the end
-Numbers of Soviet troops
-Allied victory of African war- oil supply and access from south

-Battle of Britain- turning point, first big German defeat
-Failed German invasion of Soviet Union
-Pressure from east and west
-Hitler’s paranoia- destroyed his own military