Explain Why British Civilians Were Affected by World War

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World War II affected British civilians in a number of ways. It affected every single person including children. There were five main reasons why civilians were affected; this was due to economic impact, responsibility to protect civilians, government preparation plans, the improvement and increase in war technology and the changing tactics of Hitler. World War II was different from World War I; it was a total war. Britain had gone to war because Hitler invaded Poland. Britain had made a treaty to Poland saying that she would protect her if she was ever invaded. Hitler had wanted the 3 million Germans living in Poland, to be united with Germany because he believed that Poland was persecuting the Germans who were living there. Also the Allies had realised that Hitler wouldn’t stop until he got all of Europe and they were afraid of his rising power. It was estimated that 67,800 civilians were either killed or missing, injured or in hospital. One of the reasons that affected civilians was the changing tactics of Hitler. This affected civilians because they were the target now. In July 1940, after defeating France, Belgium and the Netherlands, Hitler planned for an invasion of Britain, called Operation Sealion. He sent the Luftwaffe to destroy Britain's Royal Air Force this later became known as the Battle of Britain. It was essential for Hitler to control the sky because this was the only way he could make a successful invasion of Britain. Hitler first tried to defeat the military army however, this didn’t seem to work so he decided to attack the civilians instead, he hoped that these damages to the population would weaken the morale and lead to the British publics demand for surrender. Hitler had before attacked in the daylight however the RAF, who controlled the skies during the daylight, put a good fight and this forced Hitler to change his tactics and start bombing at night. London, amongst Portsmouth, Coventry, Bristol, Manchester and Southampton, were being constantly bombed. London was being bombed every night for 57 days in a row. Hitler decided to attack London on the 7th September 1940; this was known as the Blitz. Now that the war was a total war this would change every aspect of life because Britain would have to fight alone and would have no help from other countries because by now most of the allies were already taken over by Hitler. However Hitler’s change in plans would not have worked if there weren’t any improvement and increase in war technology. Blitzkrieg used new technology such as tanks and more advanced airplanes to get a breakthrough in the fighting, which differed greatly from the stalemate trench fighting in World War I. The changing tactics affected civilians because they were the main target. On May 1941 Hitler decided to end attacking Britain as he was more interested in Russia. He decided to launch operation Barbarossa which was the invasion of Russia on 22nd June 1941. This was based on Blitzkrieg the same way he defeated France, Belgium and Netherlands. Blitzkrieg meant “lightning war”. This was based on speed and surprise. For Blitzkrieg to be successful light tanks supported by planes and infantry was important. Civilians were affected by war due to the improvement and increase in war technology because more technology had now been developed in such a way that aircrafts could fly over countries for longer times and carry more and more munitions, making it possible to carry out bigger destruction than before. Hitler wouldn’t be able to change his tactics and wouldn’t be able to carry out the Operation Sealion if there wasn’t any improvement in war technology because planes before were unable to fly for long distances, the time they could fly overhead now was 30 minutes which wasn’t that long either. Aircrafts were now being built which could carry up to nine men. Improvement and increase in war technology now made it possible to cause bigger destruction to countries and made bombing much...
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