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The Impact of War at Home

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The Impact of War at Home

When war was declared, there were no celebrations. Instead the government took immediate action, and emergency powers, everyone was issued with gas masks in 1938. The bombing power of the Germans was something that was feared greatly by those that remembered the first war, and by the government, who knew that German bombers were now very advanced. Between the 1st and 3rd of September over one million people were evacuated, as the government were particularly worried about immediate bombing of built up and industrial areas. The majority of evacuees were children from poorer homes in larger cities. Their lives changed dramatically, they had to move to a whole new world in the country. However, as from September 1939 Ð'- May 1940 was the Phoney War, meaning no bombs were dropped, almost half the evacuees had been returned by the beginning of The Blitz, many of which had to be evacuated again.

Mothers could accompany children under 5, but any child older then that was housed by foster parents, who received an allowance from the government. Children who were evacuated had good and bad experiences, depending on what their foster homes were like.

Preparations had been made for the expected bombing, bombers were more accurate now then in the first war and the government prepared people by building bomb shelters and setting up volunteer organisations to deal with the air raid threat. There were 1.5 million Anderson shelters given away by September 1939, which were put in gardens and covered up. There were also over one million Morrison Shelters issued in 1941, a Morrison Shelter was a steel mesh box to contain a mattress, and could be kept in the living room. Air raid wardens and Auxiliary fire services were trained in Air Raid Precautions, the blackout was imposed, as were Anti Aircraft guns and Barrage Balloons to force bombers higher, sirens were put up to warn of attack and the WVS was set up to help women with injuries and comfort.

Britain managed to survive The Blitz. Government films and statements only showed the bravery and fighting spirit of the civilians and reports were censored if they gave numbers or photographs of the dead. The major target areas for the Germans during The Blitz were London, Birmingham, Bristol, Merseyside, Southampton, Sheffield, Cardiff, Hull, Plymouth, Belfast, Clydeside and Coventry. In the summer of 1941 German bombers were needed for the invasion of the USSR and The Blitz came to an end, though air raids continued and by Summer 1941



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