History Project


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History Project

  1. 1. .
  2. 2. Woeful World War II The British homefront: Evacuation Whilst bombing raids were attacking parts of England, many children were forced to live in the countryside (in long separation from families and friends) until it was much safer to return. Operation Pied piper
  3. 3. The evacuation of Britain's cities at the start of World War Two was the biggest and most concentrated mass movement of people in Britain's history. In the first four days of September 1939, nearly 3,000,000 people were transported from towns and cities in danger from enemy bombers to places of safety in the countryside. Most were schoolchildren, who had been labelled like pieces of luggage, separated from their parents and accompanied instead by a small army of guardians - 100,000 teachers. By any measure it was an astonishing event, a logistical nightmare of co-ordination and control beginning with the terse order to 'Evacuate forthwith,' issued at 11.07am on Thursday, 31 August 1939. Few realised that within a week, a quarter of the population of Britain would have a new address. Talking to evacuees now about the events of those days in 1939 recalls painful memories that have been deeply hidden for 60 years, exposing the trauma of separation and isolation and the tensions of fear and anger. Most were unaware of where they were going, what they would be doing and all were wholly ignorant of when they would be coming back. The fear of air attack from German bombers at the start of hostilities encouraged parents to send their children to safety. There were predictions of 4,000,000 civilian casualties in London alone, and, as early as 1922 - after the air threat from Zeppelins - Lord Balfour had spoken of 'unremitting bombardment of a kind that no other city has ever had to endure'. The Government had stockpiled coffins, erected masses of barrage balloons and planned, at least in outline, for the mass evacuation of British cities before 1939. But it is now revealed that these plans were hopelessly flawed. In the first place, the estimates of casualties were grossly over-exaggerated and the subsequent Government propaganda caused near panic rather than controlled movement. In addition, the man in
  4. 4. charge of evacuation, Sir John Anderson, was a cold, inhuman character with little understanding of the emotional upheaval that might be created by evacuation. Rationing To make the British weak, the Germans tried to cut off supplies of food and other goods. German submarines attacked many of the ships that brought food to Britain. Rationing was introduced to make sure that everyone had a fair share of the items that were hard to get hold of during the war. Rationing was introduced at the beginning of 1940. On National Registration Day on 29 September 1939, every householder had to fill in a form giving details of the people who lived in their house. Using the information gathered on National Registration Day, the government issued every on with an identity card and ration book. The books contained Coupons that had to be handed to or signed by the shopkeeper every time rationed goods were bought. This meant that people could only buy the amount they were allowed. These were books which contained coupons that shopkeepers cut out or signed when people bought food and other items. People still had to pay for the goods with money. To make sure that everybody got a fair share. The government was worried that as food and other items became scarcer, prices would rise and poorer people might not be able to afford things. There was also a
  5. 5. danger that some people might hoard items, leaving none for others. Some people considered food rationing to be very unfair. Eggs, butter and meat could be obtained fairly easily without coupons in rural areas. By the summer of 1941 greengrocers in the towns were taking their Lorries into the country to buy vegetables direct from growers. Fourteen years of food rationing in Britain ended at midnight on 4 July 1954, when restrictions on the sale and purchase of meat and bacon were lifted. This happened nine years after the end of the war. The blitz & air raid shelters It was dangerous living in a big city during the war. Cities were the target of enemy aircraft that flew over at night and dropped bombs. At 4:56pm on 7 September 1940, the air raid sirens wailed as the German Air Force, the Luftwaffe launched a massive raid on London. Over 350 bombers flew across the Channel from airfields in France and dropped 300 tonnes of bombs on the docks and streets of the East End of London. The enemy attacks from the Luftwaffe (the German air force) were called Air Raids. The heavy and frequent bombing attacks on London and other cities were known as the 'Blitz'. Night after night, from September 1940 until May 1941, German bombers attacked British cities, ports and industrial areas.
  6. 6. London was bombed ever day and night for 11 weeks. One third of London was destroyed. Blitz is a shorten form of the German word 'Blitzkrieg' which means lightning war. People were warned of a likely air raid by loud sirens, positioned in different parts of towns and cities. During the blitz, they became an almost daily part of life. Most Air raids would often happen at night, People were warned of a The bombs destroyed many buildings burying likely air raid by loud sirens, positioned in different parts of towns and mother, fathers and the blitz,the rubble cities. During children in they became an almost daily part of life. The sirens made a very loud and long signal or warning sound. For an alert, the siren sound pitch rose and fell alternately. The All Clear was a continuous sound from the siren. Not every alert brought a raid, and sometimes raids happened when no alert had sounded. When people heard the siren they would stop what they were doing and make for a shelter. The first German air attack took place in London on the evening of 7 September 1940. Within months, Liverpool, Birmingham, Coventry and other cities were hit too. People needed to protect themselves from the bombs being dropped by German aircraft.
  7. 7. As the night raids became so frequent, many people who were tired of repeatedly interrupting their sleep to go back and forth to the shelters almost took up residence in a shelter. An example of a shelter was the Anderson Shelters. These shelters were half buried in the ground with earth heaped on top to protect them from bomb blasts. The shelters had been made out of six An example of an Anderson Shelter being built built. been ly recent been has r that Shelte son Ander eted compl A corrugated iron sheets bolted together by a family in their Garden. at the top, with steel plates at either end, and measured 6ft 6in by 4ft 6in (1.95m by 1.35m). The entrance was protected by a steel shield and an earthen blast wall. By September 1939 one and a half million Anderson shelters had been put up in gardens. The Anderson Shelters were dark and damp and people were reluctant to use them at night. In low-lying areas the shelters tended to flood and sleeping was difficult as they did not keep out the sound of the bombings. Anderson shelters were given free to poor people. Men who earned more than £5 a week could buy one for £7.
  8. 8. The Morrison Shelter was introduced in March 1941, for people without gardens. The shelter, made from heavy steel, could also be used as a table. People sheltered underneath it during a raid. The Morrison shelter was named after the Minister for Home Security, Mr. Herbert Morrison. The Morrison shelter was approximately 6 feet 6 inches (2m) long, 4 feet (1.2m) wide and 2 feet 6 inches (0.75m) high. 6 feet 6 inches long by 4 feet wide by 2 feet 6 inches high, with a solid 1/8 inch steel plate top, welded wire mesh sides, and a metal lath mattress floor, An example of a Morrison Shelter in a home. assembled from 359 individual parts Working Women Woman before WW2 were expected to be housewives and do jobs such as nursing or shop assistant because it was thought that they were only good as jobs like that. But when the men went to work the woman were told to fill the men’s job which included jobs that were believed to be not suitable for them.
  9. 9. Jobs done by woman during the war: • Building ships • Working in factories - making bombs and aircraft parts • Air raid wardens • Driving fire engines • Plumbers • Ambulance drivers A poster advertising the land Army. The poster was • WRVS volunteers aiming at women and persuading them to join the land army because it would lead a more ‘healthy’ and ‘happy • Nurses job’. • Tank drivers • engineers Many women decided that they would work in a factory. They worked in all manner of production ranging from making ammunition to uniforms to aeroplanes. The hours they worked were long and some women had to move to where the factories were. Those
  10. 10. who moved away were paid more. Skilled women could earn £2.15 a week. To them this must have seemed a lot. But men doing the same work were paid. The Holocaust The Holocaust was one of the most horrific events of the 20th century when approximately 6 million Jewish people were killed by orders from Adolf Hitler, the man in charge of the Nazis. The holocaust was based on getting people from different races, skin colour and religions (mainly the Jews) into concentration camps were they would be either tortured, killed or do hard activities. This had caused much suffering to those whose families were in the concentration camps. Treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany During the holocaust, the Germans had also decidedly targeted disabled people as well as those who had suffered from mental illnesses. Others included the Roma people of whom they called gypsies. Anti-Semitism, an expression of hostility towards Jews, has existed for hundreds of years. To many Gentiles, those with different customs and values posed a threat. Others hated
  11. 11. Jews if they were successful and wealthy. Jealousy was a motive for prejudice. Anti-Semitism peaked with the rise of Nazism in the 1930s and 40s. Under Hitler, Jews were chastised, restricted, beaten, tortured and killed. Antisemitic North Americans shared Hitler’s view that Jews were the enemy. Concentration camps There were concentration camps, forced labour camps, extermination or death camps, transit camps, and prisoner-of-war camps. The living conditions of all camps were horrible. All the camps were in old factories in Poland because Hitler thought that if they were in Germany people would come across them.
  12. 12. A young mother and her two children sit among a large group of Jews from Lubny who have been assembled for mass execution on October 16, 1941. German soldiers of the Waffen-SS and the Reich Labor Service look on as a member of Einsatzgruppe D prepares to shoot a Jew kneeling on the edge of a mass grave filled with the bodies of previous victims.
  13. 13. Part of a report detailing murder of Jews in the Nazi-occupied Baltic States and White Russia by Einsatzgruppe A submitted February 1, 1942. There were four such Einsatzgruppen which carried out the massacres of Jews in the Soviet Union. The Ghettoes The Nazis set up ghettos in Poland. Polish and western European Jews were taken to these ghettos. During the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, mobile killing squads began killing Jewish communities. The methods used, mainly shooting or gas vans, were soon regarded as inefficient and as a psychological burden on the killers. After the Wannsee Conference in January 1942, the Nazis began the systematic deportation of Jews from all over Europe to six
  14. 14. extermination camps established in former Polish territory -- Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Majdanek. Extermination camps were killing centers designed to carry out genocide. Over three million Jews were gassed in extermination camps. In its entirety, the "Final Solution" consisted of gassings, shootings, and random acts of terror, disease, and starvation that caused the death of 6 million Jews The final Solution The Jewish people would be told they were taking a shower together. They would follow a guard to the shower rooms where they would be locked in and instead of water coming out of the sprinklers it would be zyklon b a poisonous gas that can kill in 13 seconds. The Nazi regime was so dedicated to the riddance of Jews in Europe that priority was given to the Final Solution over military operations. Trains that could have been moving military supplies were devoted to moving Jews from
  15. 15. all over Europe to the death camps. The camps allowed a full 40 percent of the world's Jewish population to be exterminated The plan of the gas chamber of Krema II in Auschwitz the air extraction system (which the Holocaust deniers claim didn't exist) is clearly shown: Entlüftungskanal means air extraction duct, and Belüftung means ventilation. Remains of the air-extraction system can still be seen in Weapons the ruins. •Planes were used in the war to drop of bombs, other technologies that also were used were Radar, and it's underwater cousin, sonar had significant impact in countless military battles. • The Germans developed rocket propulsion that made the first ever long range missiles possible. Nicknamed ‘Doodlebugs’ by the British, these were launched from Germany and flew deep into
  16. 16. England before detonating. Fortunately, guidance systems were not yet developed so they randomly fell in areas that sometimes produced casualties and sometimes did not. After the war, the scientist responsible for Germany rocketry came to work in the US for NASA and made incredibly important contributions to the US space program. His name was Warner Von Braun. *NOTE* The Doodlebug, also called buzz bomb, was one of Hitler's last ‘vengeance’ weapons. It was a 2,000 Lbs bomb with a mere range of about 500 miles. They were "guided" by programming the simple 4- bit computer on board to cause the missile to dive after a certain number of rotations of the propeller on front. These were amazingly accurate (to the nearest 1 1/2 mile) considering they were firing blind. The first considered successful attack occurred against London on June, 13 1944.The Germans were the first to produce a jet fighter, but it came too late in the war to have any strategic impact.
  17. 17. Atomic bombs. This was probably the most important new technology used in the war. The threat of nuclear weapons was unleashed on mankind as a result of this wartime development. Amphibious Landing Vehicles, the landing craft developed in the lead up to D-Day. The Germans developed a rubber coating (Albrecht - I am probably spelling it wrong) for their U-boats. It had multiple purposes, but its main purpose was to try and absorb radar waves so the U-boats would be stealthier and less visible to Allied radar. The coating also, to a lesser extent, made the U-boats quieter when underwater so that Allied ships listening for underwater sounds were less likely to hear the sounds of their onboard machinery etc. It also didn't return as load of an echo from Allied sonar as did a plain metal hull.
  18. 18. Assault rifles as a replacement for the bolt action / semiautomatic rifles for the standard infantry soldier. The first standard issue semi-automatic weapon (the M1 Garand) was put into circulation with the U.S. Military. Plastics and synthetic rubber. Canned foods The Jeep (which led to more automobiles on the streets). Computers. 1936 was the first, but the British used them to help break codes. British cryptanalyst, Alan Turing changed the course of the Second World War and created the foundation for the modern computer. Aircraft carriers replacing battleships as the centrepiece of naval warfare doctrine. The Americans had lots of battleships in WWII,
  19. 19. but used them mostly as floating anti-aircraft platforms. Some say the aircraft carrier was responsible for the defeat of the Japanese. The biggest difference in weapons from WW1 as compared to WW2 was the use of tanks and aircraft. They also mass produced sub machine guns such as the MP40 or Thompson automatic rifle.
  20. 20. Bombing raids During the First World War the German air force carried out 103 aerial bombing raids over Great Britain. The main targets were industrial cities, army camps and munitions factories. At first Germany used Zeppelins to bomb Britain. However, these were fairly easy to shoot down so in June 1917 Germany began sending the long-range bomber, the Gotha G-V, to Britain. The Gotha, with its giant wingspan (24 metres), was easy to identify and at first created considerable panic in those towns under attack. In the first raid over Folkestone, the Gotha bombing raid killed 95 people and wounded 195 more. This raid caused more casualties than any of the Zeppelin attacks that had taken place in the early stages of the war. The British used searchlights, anti-aircraft guns and fighter aircraft and balloon barrages against the Gotha attacks. By the middle of 1918 a 51 mile long (82 km) balloon barrage was established around London. The balloons were arranged in groups of three which were interconnected by means of steel cable from which a number of light cables of about 1,000 ft (300 metres) length hung vertically. This net barrage was mounted so high that enemy aircraft arriving to attack would have difficulties in flying above it.
  21. 21. A total of 61 Gotha G-V aircraft were lost over Britain between September 1917 and May 1918. Germany decided to abandon the policy of bombing Britain and for the rest of the war the Gotha G-V was used over the Western Front.
  22. 22. Hitler’s Ideas The most important aspect of Hitler and his ideas was his hatred not only for the Jews but also of other lower ethnical classes. Hitler believed that his struggle was in the defence of the Almighty Creator. Hitler stated "by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord" (599). Taking away all other known history about Hitler; just his words alone can show his rhetoric for hate and a touch of future plans. In his statement from before Hitler says that he is "defending" himself against the Jew. But defensive means inaction or being prepared against an offensive. And as we all found out-Hitler was an active person. In contrast to other Nazi leaders, drawing on higher criticism and some branches of theologically liberal Protestantism, Hitler advocated Positive Christianity, traditional Christianity purged of everything that he found objectionable. Hitler never directed his attacks on Jesus himself, but viewed traditional Christianity as a corruption of the original ideas of Jesus, whom Hitler regarded as an Aryan opponent of the Jews.[22] In Mein Kampf Hitler writes that Jesus "made no secret of his attitude toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took the whip to drive from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity, who then as always saw in
  23. 23. religion nothing but an instrument for his business existence. In return, Christ was nailed to the cross." Hitler downplayed the idea of Jesus' redemptive suffering, stating in 1927: "My feelings as a Christian point me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! Was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows." 1. There had been anti-Jewish prejudice of varying degrees of intensity in many parts of Europe and elsewhere for a long time. A distinctive feature of Hitler's anti-Semitism was that it was formulated as conspiracy theory. For many, especially in Bavaria, this went hand in hand with the 'stab-in-the-back' theory, that is, with the view that Germany had not been defeated on the battlefield but had been brought down by liberal, socialist and
  24. 24. Communist subversives on the home front. Potentially, this link made antisemitism explosive. 2. In much of Europe it was assumed that Jews were communists. In many hardline right wing circles there was talk about a supposed 'Judeo-Bolshevist conspiracy'. This was highly inflammatory. Despite his ranting against Jewish businessmen Hitler saw the Jews as the 'biological root' of Bolshevism. (See the link below on the influence of emigres from Russia). BOOKS: LETTS: History: Modern British and World.
  25. 25. CGP: Modern World History WEBSITES: www.leicestermuseums.ac.uk www.askforkids.com www.thefreedictionary.com www.thinkquest.com
  26. 26. World War 2 Year 9
  27. 27. History Extended Homework project- summer term