Flashcards in Britain at war Deck (38)
When did Britain and France declare war on Germany ?
3rd September 1939 after it invaded Poland on 1st September - British expeditionary force moved into france at once
How many troops did the BEF have by 1940 ?
394,165 defending the border between France and Germany
When did Germany first attack France and what was it known as ?
10th May 1940 attacking with great speed - known as Blitzkrieg - troops swept through Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands into France - BEF forced to retreat
When was Winston Churchill appointed ?
10th May 1940 - he had constantly criticised the government's policy of appeasement with Germany, so when in power he urged on war effort and built close relationship with USA.
When did France surrender ?
22nd June 1940 - Britain left alone in the war until USA joined at beginning of 1942
When did Germany invade Norway and Denmark ?
9th April - both were neutral countries
When was operation yellow launched by Germany ?
10th May 9 (on western Europe)
Blitzkrieg tactics used by Germany (4)
-German planes bombed the area to be occupied
-German tanks moved in and took over the area
-German troops move din and occupied the area, under the cover of artillery fire
-planes and tanks moved on to the next target leaving troops to occupy the captured area and put down all resistance
Effects of Blitzkrieg (6)
-ordinary people in fear and uncertain of situation
-soldiers exhausted from moving for so long and at great speed
-allies confusion from Blitzkrieg meant they were forced to retreat for they had no time to prepare for invasion
- BEF and allied troops forced to evacuate Dunkirk
-because of its speed troops had to act without orders
-many refugees clogged up roads making it hard for allies to move their troops and attack Germans
When did allied troops reach Dunkirk ?
21st May 1940 - it was the only French Port not held by the Germans and had a long shallow beach which would make the rescue of troops difficult
Operation to reduce troops from Dunkirk which began on 26th May 1940;
-government asked owners of small boats togo to Dunkirk to ferry soldiers to the big ships
- by May 29th 300 boats were involved and shuttled until 4th June
How many troops were rescued form Dunkirk ?
It was estimated that 20,000-30,000 troops would be rescued but the final total was over 338,000
Difficulties of Dunkirk (6)
*shallow beach - soldiers had to wade into the sea to be picked up
*thousands waited on the beach with little food or water
*little organisation - some small craft sent to Dover rather than Ramsgate - 24hr delays
*enemy shelling hitting beach - hampered evacuation
*bad weather - collisions and vessels cast adrift
*overcrowding in boats
Importance of Dunkirk (5)
-used to increase British morale
-national effort as ordinary people used their boats
-soldiers able to continue to fight
-presented as victory in Britain
-Dunkirk spirit - Britain would keep going in face of crisis even when France fell
Why did Hitler want to destroy the RAF ?
so that they couldn't attack invading troops when Germany attempted to capture Britain - Operation Sealion
BUT Britain were determined to win air supremacy to prevent being bombed into defeat by Luftwaffe
Battle of Britain
series of battles over many months between the RAF and Luftwaffe for control of the air over Britain (due to France surrendering and Hitler's turning to Britain)
Four stages of the Battle of Britain (10)
1) 10th July - 7th August 1940 : Luftwaffe begins bombing attacks on British coast, especially radar stations
2) 8th August - 6th September 1940 : Luftwaffe attacks o RAF airfields
*12th Aug- Luftwaffe bomb British airfields and radar stations on coast
*13th - Luftwaffe bomb british airfields in Essex, Kent, Sussex and Hampshire, and aircraft factories
*15th - Luftwaffe flies over 2000 raids - the day of heaviest fighting - Luftwaffe lost 75 planes, RAF 34
*16th-18th - Heavy fighting and losses
3)7th-15th September 1940: Luftwaffe think RAF are beaten and attack London
*7th Sept - Luftwaffe bomb London for first time - blitz until 15th sept daily
*15th Sept - Luftwaffe runs last bombing of London - lost 60 planes
4)15th September 1940 : Luftwaffe are defeated - Battle of Britain day - 17th Sept Hitler calls of operation sea lion
Why did Britain win the Battle of Britain ? (6)
-had radar system along coast invented in 1935
-had more fighter planes than Luftwaffe - spitfire plane
-they were constantly building new planes unlike Germany
-Hitler diverted attacks from RAF to London
-Luftwaffe planes flew too low - RAF bombed from above
When did the USA join WW2 ?
After Japanese allies of Germany bombed the US naval base at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, on 7th December 1942
What was the USA's main concern ?
The war in the Pacific against Japan and so they didn't want to fight long so they made a plan for a quick invasion of Britain
August 1942 - showed the problems of trying to capture a French port from the Germans and 3000 troops were killed and a destroyer sunk - a lot of sea and air support would be need by US and Britain for successful invasion
Site chosen for D-Day
Normandy coast (operation overload) which would include 132,400 troops
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
What did scientists invent to help D-Day ?
two floating harbours - mulberries that were to be towed across the Channel to help land troops and equiptment
What was secretly laid across the Channel for D-Day ?
The Pluto pipeline that could carry 1 million gallons of fuel across the channel every day
How many crafts were involved in the D-Day invasion ?
4000 landing craft along with 250 warships and 11,000 planes to support them
How else did Britain plan for D-Day? (2)
-Allies used spitfires to take pictures of the coast which were analysed so they could determine the best way to attack
-Bletchley Park codebreakers
When did D-day take place ?
The date of invasion of was changed several times due to the weather, making sure there were enough troops and making sure enough of the Luftwaffe were destroyed BUT - final date was the night of 5th/6th June 1944
On the 5th June what did allied and french resistance activities suggest ?
The invasion would be on the coast near Calais