Evaluate the contribution made towards the war effort by civilians on both the home front and the battle front in world war ii
Siir Tecirlioglu 11A 10 May 2011 Evaluate the contribution made towards the war effort by civilians on both the home front and the battle front in World War II The civilian contribution in both the home front and battle front in World War II was significant tosome extent in that it impacted the war. However, this is not to say that there was no other way to carryout the war without the civilian involvement. Different nations had different events happening in theirhome fronts and the battle fronts because the war was not the same to all due to differences ingeography, economy and their situation in the war. The contribution made towards the war effort bycivilians on both the home front and the battle front in Britain, France, and Germany presents examplesof the role of civilians in World War II. In general, most nations experienced rationing, increased amount of recycling, formation of civildefense organizations and change in role of women and children in the home front. In both France andBritain, for example, women not only kept up to their house work but also took on the jobs of men. Theymade weapons and planes in factories as well as working on buses, trains, hospitals and schools. InGermany, however, women were idealized by Nazi ideology and work wasn’t seen to be suitable forthem. Therefore, the expectations from women in France and Britain for the war effort were differentfrom that in Germany. On the other hand, children in Britain and France had the same role as children inGermany. They were responsible for going to houses and collecting materials for war equipment such asmetals, rubber, glass and newspapers. Anything reusable was saved. Rationing, too, was common in allthree of these nations in order to make sure that everyone had a fair share of what was available and tosend more supplies to the battlefront. Civilians, for most of the time, carried out the rationing policieshonestly—ration books were used—and even took it a step further. They had their own gardens inwhich they grew fruits and vegetables. Finally, civil defense organizations had one of the most crucialroles in the war. For example, in Great Britain, there was the Home Guard which managed blackoutpractices and gathered weapons from civilians. All these contributions and sacrifices of the society
resulted in improved life-standards for soldiers and unity of the civilians with the will of fight—or evenfighting. Also, these contributions helped the war to be carried out for four years continuously. The bombing of cities was a very important strategy in World War II that it made the home front asdangerous as the front lines. In Germany, Hitler believed that the collapse of the home front had led todefeat in World War I. He was determined to keep the German home front strong while attacking to theother home fronts, such as the Blitz in Great Britain. One of the reasons this policy failed is the Britishresistance and protection against bombs. Black outs were carried out very cautiously that people werescared to strike a match even though they had thick black out curtains on the windows. People worewhite at night and they painted many objects white. If the civilians hadn’t contributed to black outs inthis way, the Germans would easily see the cities at nights and attack by bombings. The fear of thecivilians for their own lives increased their war effort and their role in black outs is a great example ofthis. Besides the regular civilians, the civilian organizations played a role during the bombing of Britishcities. For example, fire watchers and street wardens were awake and listening for possible attacks.There were also more official civilian organizations such as the Civilian Repair Organization (CRO) whichrepaired and put back into service 4995 aircraft. This way, planes were saved and new ones didn’t haveto be built as much—it wouldn’t even have been possible to build 4995 aircrafts because just like manyother nations, Great Britain was short in supplies. Therefore the role of the volunteering civilians wasreusing materials, repairing mechanics, protecting cities and thus, saving supplies, and decreasingamount of damage that could be made by German bombings. Battlefront is the area where opposing armies fight against each other. Although civilians are notusually left in battlefronts or sent to battlefronts, support staffs and other voluntary organizations werethere in order to take care of the wounded/dead soldiers or even helping them in the fighting. Nursesand doctors were sent to battlefronts by governments or they went there with their own will. It is clearhow they contributed the battlefront: they helped and healed the physically wounded which in returnmeant better life-standards in battlefront and less casualties as well as a boost up to the morale of thesoldiers since they were being taken care of. Besides the support staff which existed in almost everybattlefront, there were also civilian resistances. One of the most famous one of these is the Frenchresistance which was a powerful resistance movement to fight against the Germans that occupiedFrance. There were small groups of armed men and women called the Maquis who sabotaged electricalpower grids, transportation and communication. The French resistance gave moral support to Franceand increased the national pride. They assisted the Allies on D-day by fighting against the German
soldiers in French territories. Without such civilian resistances, the nations would fall to the enemieseasier or it would be harder to get its freedom back. In conclusion, the examples presented above prove the fact that the contribution made by civiliansin both the home front and the battle front is so great that without them, nations would fall much easierand governments wouldn’t be able to carry out this 4 year war. One may argue that before World War IIand even before World War I, the civilians didn’t contribute at all and yet wars happened. The differencebetween the World Wars and previous wars is the change in technology which decreased safety.Imagine if the civilians hadn’t followed rationing policies, recycled, worked, took care of wounded,participated in black outs and resistances. Then, the nations would run out of supplies very quickly andfind themselves under attack very quickly and not produce enough weapons to fight back. Theconsequences—damage and casualties—would be larger if protection and resistance didn’t exist.Therefore, the contribution of civilians was so crucial in the way the war was carried out and theoutcomes of it.
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