Britain 1940-51- Britain at war

  1. Britan in WW2 - Overview
  2. Aftermath
  3. Crisis of May 1940 - Military
  4. Crisis of May 1940 - Political
  5. Fall of France and Battle of Britain
  6. Churchill's Wartime coalition
  7. Policies - War Economy
  8. Policies - War Costs
  9. Plans for Post War Britian - Causes
  10. Plans for Post War Britian
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Britan in WW2 - Overview

1st stage:

  • Britian fighting alone after fall of France 1940
  • Saved when USA declared war on Japan 1941 - 'real war'

2nd stage:

  • 1942-3
  • 'Turn of the tide' - Russia, Far east +north Africa
  • Battle of Atlantic 
  • B key part of Grand Aliance - USSR + US
  • Fighting 'Axis' - Germany, Italy + Japan
  • Axis started losing May 1943>

3rd stage:

  • 1943-5
  • G+ J many defeats - economic + miliatry strength of US + USSR 
  • B became junior member of alliance - worried about post-war world
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Aftermath

Public Opinion:

  • Most Brits proud
  • Damage + heavy debt - most believed it was worth it
  • Unity + purpose - accepted restrictions + ready for post-war reconstruction 
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Crisis of May 1940 - Military

Military Crisis April-May 1940: 

  • April - G invaded Demark + Norway
  • B forces sent - lost + evacuated - major setback
  • 10 May - G attacked W Europe - invaded France
  • BEF forced to retreat to Normany - Dunkirk - threat of invasion
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Crisis of May 1940 - Political

Criticism of Chamberlain

  • most from labour
  • appeasement- public support until hitler annexed Czech mar 1939 + poland sept
  • failed to ally with soviets 
  • april 1940 - boasted 'hilter had Missed the bus' - invaded Den + Nor few days later
  • didnt organise ecomony 
  • blockade of G not effective
  • Army ill equipt
  • not supported by Labs or most Cons
  • hated war

Resignation 

  • 7 may 1940 - debate over Norway
  • Labs demanded resignation
  • Cons refused to support unless Labs + Libs did
  • Refused - C resigned
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Fall of France and Battle of Britain

Fall of France

  • May 1940 - G forces in France 
  • BEF trapped on  Channel Coast
  • Nazis 20 miles from B 
  • threat of invasion - B alone
  • Halfiax wanted to negotiate - no help from US
  • Favoured comprimised peace to invasion
  • Churchill persuaded cabinet + public they should wait for US support

Battle of Britain

  • Summer 1940 - many aerial battles - needed control of sky 
  • organised few 100 RAF to fight Luffwaffe
  • held them off untill sept 
  • Hitler turned attention to invading USSR - 
  • 'Finest Hour' - B had won aganist G alone
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Churchill's Wartime Coalition

Organisation of Government

  • Charmberlain remianed Cons leader - Churchill could act neutral
  • War cabient:
    • Labour  - Clement Attle + Arthur Greenwood
    • Cons - Chamberlian + Halifax
  • 2 libs + 14 labour MPS
  • Other key MPs: 
    • Bevin
    • Anthony Eden
    • Lord Beaverbrook
    • Sir Kingsley wood
    • Sir John Anderson 
    • Lord Wooton
  • Other experts - Herbert Morrison + William Beveridge
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Policies - War Economy

  • Emergency Powers Act 1939 - govt could make regs over every aspect of life
  • Ministries; Food, Shipping, Information, Economic Warfare, Aircraft Production, Labour
  • M of Production in control of supplies
  • Treasury in control of finance
  • Bevin M of Labour
  • approx 1 mill unemployment
  • Coal industry production disappointing - mines not modern + many miners joined forces - B relied on US oil imports - U-boat attacks 
  • Reduced food imports - Rationing - 1940 + 41 - M of F - Lord Wooton
  • More control of industry - Royal Ordnance Factories 300,000 workers - 265 factories working for Admiralty + M of PA 
  • Non-essential industries run down + converted
  • New production methods
  • Use of science - improve economic effiency + develop weapons
  • More home food output - mills acres of land ploughed
  • Shift from meat to cereals + greater use of tractors + fertilisers 
  • Dig For Victory - encouraged home-grown food      
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Policies - War Costs

  • Earnings from imports cut + overseas investments sold
  • Gold + $ reserves gone by 1941 - dependent on US loans
  • Reduced comsumption - taxes, rationing & war bonds
  • No new investments
  • Aid from empire & US
  • Income tax > to 10s (50p) in every £ - most workers paid - Pay-As-You-Earn system 1943
  • Taxes on goods + services
  • £1000 mill gift + interest free loans from Canada
  • Colonies - war materials for IOUs
  • US - Lend-Lease scheme 1941 - loaned war materials & supplies - returned or paid for later - aid worth £27,000 million
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Policies - Plans for Post-War Britain - Causes

  • War turned in B's favour Nov 1942 - govt began to plan changing social problems
  • Needed to raise morale 1940-2 - wanted to offer better B after victory
  • 1943-4 - Public pressure - wanted improvements
  • Outside pressure: 
    • 1941 TUC sent deputation to M of H - asked for reform of national health insurance system
    • Churchmen - articles, radio talks, reports & publications 
  • Effects of war
    • Bombing - Emergency Health Scheme - state controled hospitals + free treatment for bomb victims
    • Rationing - free milk & extra food for children & mothers
    • Common danger = generous attitude to reforms - Means test abolished 1941
    • Parties set up commitees for reconstruction 
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Policies - Plans for Post-War Britain

  • J.M Keynes - proposals for <ing unemployment & inflation
  • 'Employment Policy' May 1944 - White Paper - maintanace of high employment & post-war controls 
  • 1944 Education Act - R.A.Butler - free & compulsary 2ndary education - leaving age raised to 15 (later 16)
  • WP 'A National Health Service' 1944 - Henry Willink - proposal of equal acess to medical care & free treatment
  • Ministry for Town and Country Planning 1943 
  • Town and Country Planning Act 1944 - allowed LAs to deal with bombed & slum areas
  • Family Allowances Act 1945 - weekly benefit of 5s for 2nd child & other children - no means test 
  • Beverigde Report 1942 - social insurance system, free health service & full employment
  • Churchill worried about costs & raising public expectation too high
  • WP 'Social Insurance' 1944 - accepted most of B R & set up Ministry of National Insurance
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