Flashcards in The home front 1939-1945 Deck (25):
What was different about world war two to other wars?
-Brought war to civilians for the first time
Why did the government prepare for war?
-Govt. prepared for war and invasion as early as 1935 (ministry of information planned) as Germany was also preparing, but Chamberlain tried appeasement so weren’t ready to fight in 1939
-1937 bombing in Spanish civil war showed the devastating effect it could have on people
How did the government prepare civilians for the war?
-Govt. made cards for cigarette packs to advise in bomb or gas attacks
-Identity cards and gas masks fitted and given out
-Blackout- streetlights turned off, windows covered, street signs taken down
-In 1939, Anderson shelters, and in 1941, Morrison shelters were introduced, and 500,000 were distributed in one year
What government ministries were set up to prepare for the war?
-1939- Ministry of Supply to take over vital industries
-Ministry of Food
-Ministry of Labour organised armed forces and home front
Who was prepared to defend and look after the home front?
-1 million members of the home guard in 1940- manned anti-aircraft guns and cleared up bomb damage
-ARP set up in 1937- put sandbags out to stop bomb damage, organised the blackout- 1939 there were 1.5 million wardens
-Emergency services trained
When did evacuation occur?
-Govt. knew they would bomb cities so began before war
-Sept 1st evacuation started, and by 4 days time, 3 million had been evacuated
Key features of evacuation
-Children, pregnant mothers and blind people were evacuated, it kept them safe and freed up parents
-Most children were evacuated with their schools and their teachers often went with them
-By Christmas, no bombing had happened so many children went back
-There was a second wave of evacuation in 1940 when the Germans started bombing London but it was on a much smaller scale
Why did the Germans start the Blitz?
-Battle of Britain failed so they tried to damage morale to make civilians pressure govt. into surrendering
-Allies had begun the night-bombing of Germany in August
When was the Blitz and where was hit?
-Sept 7th to Nov 2nd 1940
-London was constantly bombed, 16 cities were bombed, including Liverpool and Coventry
How did civilians cope with the Blitz?
-Built shelters or sheltered in underground
-Social activities helped morale
-WRVs provided tea and soup
What were the effects of the Blitz?
-Transport links, gas, electricity and water were hit heavily
-Over 43,000 people were killed
-Weakened morale, but not hugely
Blitz on Coventry
-14th November 1940
-Coventry was bombed because Britain bombed Munich
-The cathedral was destroyed
-500 bombers dropped thousands of bombs
-Around 500 were killed, 4,000 homes were destroyed
-Govt. knew Coventry was going to be bombed but didn’t want Germany to know they broke their code so did nothing
Why did the German bombing change?
-After D-Day, Germany set sights back on demoralising public
-Hitler needed good press as he was no longer fully respected
What new bombs did the Germans have in 1944?
-Pilotless bombs (V1 and V2) that didn’t show up on radar and couldn’t easily be shot
-They were called doodle bugs as they made a small sound, but when the noise stopped, you knew it was falling
-Only 1000 of 5000 V2s launched reached their target
What were the effects of the new style of German bombing?
-Scary as anti-aircraft guns and blackouts had little effect
-Demoralised hugely as people were fed up after five years
Propaganda in war
-Encouraged volunteers and working harder for war effort
-Warned of dangers of ‘careless talk’
-Encouraged not wasting food and materials for war effort
Censorship in war
-Newspapers censored, reported bombings but concentrated on heroism rather than deaths
-TV and radio told what to play
-Cinemas showed patriotic films and showed newsreels before every film
-Every piece of post sent out was checked
-Armed service had their own censors checking mail
Why did rationing occur?
-70% of Britain’s food was imported, so govt. began planning food control in 1936 in fear that Germans would sink ships, by Jan 1940, 100 ships had been sunk
When did rationing start?
-Rationing began 8th Jan 1940; everyone got the same, whether rich or poor, some had better diets than before
How was rationing monitored and what was rationed?
-People had ration books and registered with a shop which recorded coupons used
-Food, petrol, coal, clothing and materials were rationed
How did people get more food during rationing?
-People were encouraged to grow food (‘Dig for Victory’, even the moat around the Tower of London was turned into a veg. patch), and keep chickens and rabbits,
-Broadcasts gave recipes and tips to make food go further
-Black market existed- rationed food was sold for a high price
What were the roles of women in the army?
-Women’s sections in armed forces were ATS (army), WAAF (air force), and WRNS (navy)
-Work progressed from cleaning, cooking and office work to later, drivers, anti-aircraft posts, radio operators and spies, but they couldn’t go into battle
What jobs did women take up in the war?
-By March 1940, over 45,000 men had left farming for the war, so Woman’s Land Army was reformed by govt. in 1939
-Worked in engineering, iron and factories, but were nervous of the ‘male feel’ at first, and were usually supervised by men
-In 1941, govt. introduced conscription for unmarried women aged 20-30, could choose armed services, civil defence or industry
-By 1943, 10,000 women worked on the railways
What were the attitudes towards women working?
Women who enjoyed and did well at their work were often respected, but some still held old-fashioned views