Describe the effects of the Blitz in Everyday life in Britain
By 1940, Britain had seen the face of war through the Blitz.Devouring everything, Hitler’s Luftwaffe were relentless as they launched raids after merciless raids.Loved ones died, friends suffered, rationing ravaged the lands and there was the constant fear of death at every turn at every corner.
No one was safe, not even The Royal family when they moved to Coventry. The reminder of war and a reality that they could not escape haunted the people as some died of severe fatigue.
Morale was low, with death possible by a number of means and the quality of life alien to what people were used to, the Blitz was the most effective weapon against the Britons. The era of 1940-41 saw the focus of attacks on London as well as some other cities. Parts of these places were described as being razed. With thousands of homeless strangers wandering for shelter, and with virtually no finance, these houses stayed as rubble. Even people with homes could not stop to wander what they would do when they were without. Homelessness was just one of the problems, death being the other major factor.
There could be many possible means of dying. Shrapnel wounds, extreme exhaustion, being buried alive under the rubble the list is endless. Even in their subterranean cellars, people could die of flooding. Throughout the war there wasn’t even a bomb shelter designed to take full impact from a bomb. The few places which provided full shelter from the bombing, the underground railways for example, proved too costly for the Brits. The Blitz’s ruthless aggression took all and any victims, women and children took large percentages of the death toll.
Schools, entertainment facilities and even churches were targeted. The population’s moral was low, women feared for their husbands and sons abroad and dreaded for their children on the home front. Children were targeted by the bombing of schools and education, in theory this would prove an excellent tactic for the Germans as the children were the future of Britain, thus with a lack of education the British army would weaken. Furthermore, with entertainment facilities being bombed, morale would dip to its lowest for it was one of the only things which could relieve the Britons minds.
Not even churches were safe, the people had no one to turn to. With scarcity of faith and society in an anarchy they did want to be in, one wonders how the people coped with the devastation the Blitz brought. The first attack on Britain by Hitler’s Luftwaffe brought the start of a fifty seven day consecutive bombing. Around three hundred German bombers set out to destroy London. The Royal Air Force had a demanding task set against them as they were heavily outnumbered and could not replace the amount of planes falling from the skies. Women on the home front were expected to work overtime without extra pay.
The arduous labour they had undergone brought them severe fatigue and when they finished work and went home, if it was still standing, the air raid sirens and blackout would not help them to get any rest. The life of a commoner during the Blitz was no easy one. With friends and family dying abroad as well as on the home front life would have been torment. Huge amounts of stress and pressure would be exerted on those working in factories, urged to work overtime and for little pay. Death could be met at any and every corner, a bomb blast could lead to a number of painful deaths.
Rationing was enforced due to the bombing of major ports such as in Portsmouth. As well as the fact that entertainment was also targeted, life was made worse for the Brits as they had nowhere to turn to in order to relieve their pain and sorrow. Life during the Blitz was strenuous due to all these factors, yet probably the worst devastation the Blitz had brought was how the inhabitants could not talk about their problems as it may have revealed positions to spies. One must applaud those who survived the Blitz and all they went through for it is hard to live when there is nothing to live for.