HIST150 World War 2 and The Blitz of London
HIST150 World War 2 and The Blitz of London History 150
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sarah Foster on Monday April 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to History 150 at Ball State University taught by Dr. Malone in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see The West in the World in History at Ball State University.
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Date Created: 04/18/16
HIST150 WW2 in Europe: The Beginning… Outbreak and key developments Important dates • Sept 1, 1939-Hitlerinvaded Poland,Sept3,1939 —Britain and France declared war on Germany • Poland was defeated less than one month due to blitzkrieg • Oct. 1939-April 1940—the phony war • April 1940- Hitler attacks Denmark and Norway • May 10, 1940—Hitler attacked the Netherlands, Belgium, and FRANCE • May 10, 1940-The Battle of France began, the Germans captured Paris on June 10 and France surrendered on June 22 • Signed amethyst Attack on Britain • Winston Churchill did not want to surrender o Replaced Chamberlain as Prime Minister o Extract of “Battle of Britain” speech …The Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization… . The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age…Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty and so bear ourselves that if the Br itish Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.” • People are anxious Civil defense measures • Plans for the evacuation of children from London and other cities • Bomb shelters—the Anderson shelter (private) and public shelters • Recruitment of people to work in the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) Service —air raid wardens, rescue workers etc. o Anticipating rescue work • Gas masks—gas masks had been distributed during the Sudetenland crisis • Does not sure for peace Battle for Britain • German air force defeating Britain air force • Operation Sea Lion —attack on Britain • Strategic targets o Radar stations o Ports • Detect planes with their radar • Stretched to the limit • End of August 1940, German dropped bombs on London by mistake • London attacked Berlin • Response: Hitler was furious • Told Hermann Goering to change his plans and concentrate on London • Leave the air force alone and never do operation Sea Lion The Blitz of London Bombing of London • ****September 7, 1940—the ‘Blitz’ of London began in the East End of London • First German planes came over to the doc k lands • “Blimey, we lost the war! ” • 12-hour raid • Results: o 430 killed o 6-1600 seriously injured o 1000s homeless • Just the beginning • Bombed for 56 nights in a row and sporadic bombing until May 1941 • Didn’t drop gas bombs, but incendiary bombs causing a lot of damage • Hitler believed the people would panic and ask for surrender Physical Destruction • Historical landmarks: o Tower of London o House of Commons o The British Library o Buckingham Palace o Iconic image: St. Paul’s Cathedral—Dec. 29, 1940 raid § Minor damage § Suggests London is still standing Home Damage • 1.5 million people were made homeless during the bombing • Damaged gas, water, and electrical supply systems infrastructure How people coped • Barbra Nixon’s account: Raiders Overhead: The Record of a London • Warden • Various behavior o People fell into a routine o Young people: courting shelter o Anti-social behavior • Record player in a shelter and played patriotic music o “Roll out the barrel” became the theme song for the ‘Blitz’ Sheltering in the London Underground/The Tube • Demanded for amenities • Bunk beds • Refreshment carts • Entertainment Edward R. Murrow American Journalist • Adapt and carry on with business usual • Used humor in the bombing Results • Casualties—c. 20,000 Londoners were killed The Eastern Front: The Invasion of the Soviet Union • Operation Barbarossa • Hitler wanted to conquer by 10 weeks at most • Hitler amassed: o 4M men o 3300 tanks o 5000 aircraft o advanced along an 1800-mile front • By Nov. of 1941: o The German has acquired a lot of land, but not all “General Winter” • In Nov. and Dec. of 1941 • Daytime temp. rarely rose much above -13 • Nighttime temp. fell as low as -40 • Reached -76 one night • Results: Frostbite, dysentery
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