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):
1

Background

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

2

What was the Phoney war?

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

3

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

4

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

5

What were the causes of the Dunkirk evacuation?

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

6

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

7

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”

8

When was the Battle of Britain?

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

9

What were the causes of the Battle of Britain?

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

10

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

11

What were the effects of the Battle of Britain?

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

12

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

13

When was D-Day?

6th June 1944 (Operation Overlord)

14

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)

15

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

16

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)

17

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

18

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

19

What were the biggest factors in Allied victory?

-Churchill- strong leader kept up morale
-Radar
-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