Ways the British Government Attempted to Hide the Effects of the Blitz from the People of Britain

Ways the British Government Attempted to Hide the Effects of the Blitz from the People of Britain
The British government tried lots of ways to hide the effects of the blitz from the people of Britain, one of the reasons for this is so that the people would keep their moral high. If the British government showed the public the full extent of the damage the people of Britain would lose the will to fight the war and Germany would invade Britain. The most obvious way of controlling the news was through censorship. The ministry of information was the governmental department responsible for informing people about the events in the war, as well as keeping moral high. The government had given itself the power to stop any news that they thought was unsuitable. These photographs that showed large number of casualties or serious damage. A photograph taken of the destruction of a school playground in Catford, London, was withleld because it showed dead children, as were the photographs of angry people looting. In addition government officials checked documents, films and photographs to ensure that they did not contain anything that the enemy might find useful. On the other hand, photographs of defiance or heroism were put on the front pages of the newspapers. The most famous example was the picture of St. Pauls Cathedral surrounded by flames in December 1940. Only recently did we find out that most of the flames and smoke clouds were faked. They did this to show that not only were the public being bombed but that everybody was being bombed and people could still pull through.
Newspaper articles were also restricted. Any references to panic hysteria were immediately removed. The public did not see the raid on Coventry because the Government thought it was unsuitable. As the war progressed the Government used radio, cinema and newspapers as key tools in maintaining morale and helping the British people fight on with determination. The Government employed many people to keep the war effort going and keep the moral of the public high, one of these people that they employed was Humphrey Jennings. He was a filmmaker employed by the Ministry of Information. He produced many films advising people about the regulations, but part of his work was also to make films that would inspire people to want to continue the fight. They publicized the work of volunteers and described what life would be like when they won the war, to help overcome the demoralizing effects of the bombings. Documentary films were made in order to keep the nation as informed as possible and radio was used increasingly for spreading information, but also as a way of keeping up moral. Many comedy programmes were made, which poked fun at Hitler. The British government tried to keep the British public?s minds off the war bby normalizing peoples lives as much as possible, they also gave people more rations so that people thought that things were getting better for them. A lot of propaganda was used by the government-such as when the Germans bombed Coventry-they would say that they started attacking Britain with six hundred bombers and they only left with two hundred and fifty when they only shot down about ninety Radio, films and poster campaigns not only kept people informed about the events, but also encouraged people to save money to help the war effort. Public information leaflets were produced to tell people about what action to take, for instance in a gas attack or in an air raid. Finally, the press was used for recruiting people to work in the homeguard and for women to join up and work in the factories during the war effort. the blitz The Blitz effected everybody living in Britain at the time. Many peoples houses were destroyed forcing them to make man-made shelters or to seek safety in the underground train stations. Many hundreds of people took shelter in the underground stations, which meant that it was very crowded and un-hygienic in the stations because you would not wash yourself in front of everyone else, also there was barely enough room to move around in the station. You could only go outside in the day because the German bombers you would be shot down in the daytime if they tried to attack. People?s social lives were also disturbed, due to the bombing in the nighttime, all of the cinemas were closed down, all of the dance halls were closed down also, additionally most of the restaurants were closed down due to the high concentration of people that would be in these buildings at one time, if a bomb was to hit any of these buildings, a high percentage of people would die. Even in peoples homes things started to deteriorate because you were only allowed a certain amount of water for your bath. You were not allowed to use all of your gas due to a shortage. When you went home, you had to turn all your lights out in your house, because if the German bombers saw lights they would know that this was a densely populated town or city-and then they would know that if they bombed that particular area they could cause a lot of damage-so therefore everybody kept their lights out at night for fear of being bombed. During the morning you had to try and find something to eat, and maybe find some new clothes-but all the shops had either been closed down or blown up. Consequently, this means that you had to wait for the rations to come to your area, and because most of the roads had been damaged by the bombs beyond repair, the rations took a long time to arrive. The transportation systems were also destroyed, so if you were trying to get your children out to the countryside, you would he to wait for them to re-build the track.. Also many of Britain?s ports were bombed, which means that the British people had to wait longer for the food rations to reach the furthest destinations, which was one of Germany?s aims, to try and starve Britain out of the war. But Germanys main air was to try and destroy the morale of the British public. They tried to do this by killing loved ones and destroying peoples lives. Many people lost loves ones in the war and this had a major effect on the moral of the people. Many people decided not to go to work, but instead try and rebuild their broken lives. This had a bad effect on the war effort because the people that did go to work had to work twice as hard to make up for the people that were absent. It was an extremely stressful time, noise levels increased due to the aeroplanes and bombs, and the sounds of the firengines desperately trying to put out the raging infernos that engulfed the streets of Britain. Despite all of this the British moral remained high and in some cases grew stronger because the War managed to break down some of the class barriers that had existed in Britain. the blitz It would be Poland where the first signs of the effects of widespread bombing could be found. When Hitler crushed Poland, Warsaw refused to surrender. In Hitler?s eyes this turned Warsaw from a civilian target into a legitimate military target and for ten days the people of Warsaw endured consistent bombing before finally surrendering to the Nazis. Hitler?s major offensive in the West saw more dstrctuion from the Luftwaffe. When the Nazis invaded Holland, the Dutch were surprised and were caught off-guard, they then retreated to protect its major cities, again Rotterdam did not surrender, it was destroyed by the German bombers. In the Autumn of 1940 Britain stood alone, after France had been defeated by the Germans. The British were the only serious opposition to the Germans. If Britain could be invaded then Hitler could move all of his men to the Eastern front and persue his main aim which was the control of Russia. Hitler set to take Britain out of the equation. Firstly, he tried to do this by controlling the skies with his Luftwaffe in August 1940 in the Battle of Britain, so that he could control the channel for his troops and so he could defeat the raf but this failed, so he tried another method. The method he used was a concentrated bombing period, which became known as the blitz in which every night two hundred and fifty tonnes of bombs were dropped for seventy-six nights in a row. Hitler used Zepplins and Planes to bomb all the major cities which included London, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Sheffield, Cardiff, Hull, Plymouth, Belfast Coventry and Southampton. Hitler set out to bomb all of the major cities, this way he could just enter Britain and invade without much of a fight. If he was going to be successful then he would have to destroy the British morale. If there was a loss of civilian life due to the high concentration of people in the major cities this would have a severe influence on the British morale. Another reason for the bombing was to cause destruction and panic. As the bombs destroyed two million homes, people were forced to live in make-shift air raid shelters or in the underground stations. The bombs also destroyed the roads, and therefore rations were dispersed even slower, with the roads destroyed it also took a lot longer to travel to and from work, people having divert around the roads that had been destroyed. The German bombers also targeted the war production factories and food factories, as a result of this over five hundred and seventy thousand people died while working in these factories. Hitler?s main aim was to destroy the British moral, so that the British would not have the will to fight on anymore and then the Germans could invade Britain, this had a reverse effect , because when they bombed the British people the class barriers were destroyed making the British people stronger. The Germans also bombed the major cities because the main infrastructure of the Country was in the major cities and if the bombs destroyed this infrastructure Britain would be forced into submission. The bombing also disturbed peoples sleeping patterns, making it impossible for them to sleep during the nighttime, thus people either gave up hope or slept during the day, which meant that the factories had no workers, which meant that there was a shortage of rations and ammunition for the British public.

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