Bombing of Cities of Britain in 1940

Bombing of Cities of Britain in 1940
During the period 1940-41 of the Second World War the cities of Britain were bombed by the German Air Force, the Luftwaffe. This period is known as the Blitz. There were many reasons for this bombing of civilian targets. One reason for this bombing was the war aims of Adolf Hitler. His intention at the beginning of the war was to provide the German people with ?lebensraum? (living space). He took the area he had wanted in Europe quickly. He had no desire to invade Britain; he would have much preferred peace. This was made impossible when in 1940 Britain declared itself at war with Germany. Therefore, Hitler formed a plan to invade Britain, known as Operation Sealion. Under this plan he would have to transport his armies across the English Channel. To do that, he would have to destroy the raf. Therefore, he never fully favoured this plan.He wanted to invade Russia instead, as there was a land link there. This led to him deciding to bomb British cities. Sealion had been unpopular with the German Navy anyway, and if he could take Russia, Britain would be forced to negotiate ? they would have no allies left. Then there was the failure of the Battle of Britain, where the Luftwaffe was at a severe disadvantage and inflicted less then crippling damage on the British military sites that were their targets. Another reason was that Hitler desired revenge for the British retaliation bombing of Berlin after an accidental bombing of London. He took the attack on civilians very seriously, and felt it only fair to get revenge in the same manner. The reason that British cities were chosen as targets is two-fold. Firstly, targeting British cities would cause some disruption to the British economy and infrastructure as factories and industrial areas are normally in cities. Also, if a bomber were to miss its intended target, it would inevitably hit a housing area. Secondly, Hitler aimed to damage the British morale. He knew that if he could cause enough civilian casualties by targeting areas with higher civilian populations (cities) he would force the British government to negotiate for peace. This would have worked as Britain is a democratic country, so the general population can force the government into doing what they want unlike the German dictatorship, which meant that Hitler could make any decision he wanted. The deliberate targeting of famous landmarks such as Buckingham Palace would have added to this effect. In conclusion, Hitler?s desire for revenge and expansion as well as the difficulty of actually invading Britain meant that he decided to target British cities.

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