British Homefront WW2

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  • Created by: Phoebe
  • Created on: 02-06-13 16:45

Was there a threat from Germany?

  • German's resentment for treaty of versaille grew
  • Hitler's revision of treaty of versaille led to international tension
  • 1933 Germany left league of nations and started to rearm
  • 1936 hitler ordered rearment of the Rhineland- France and Britain did nothing
  • Baldwin said Germany had right to move troops within their own territory 
  • Britain had economic problems and couldn't afford costs of rearment and wanted to avoid war
  • Peace movements were popular in uk
  • Welsh council of league of nations active from 1922
  • Over 10 million homes supported peace and international disarmament
  • Peace pledge union 1936
  • Neville Chaimberlain Prime Minister 1937
  • appeasement- Britain give in to Hitler's demands to avoid war
  • Hitler wanted Anchuluss - Austrian nazis organised demonstrations in favour of anchuluss
  • Austrian Chancellor resigned after meeting with Hitler 1938
  • Nazi Chancellor of Austria invited German troops into Austria 12th March 1938
  • Britain and France protested but took no action
  • Anthony Eden resigned as he believed Britain should of took action
  • people feared every time Hitler got what he wanted Germany became stronger&would demand more
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Why did Britain have the policy of appeasement

  • to avoid war
  • economic problems
  • peace movements
  • Prime Minister thiught treaty of versaille was too harsh
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Why was there a threat from Germany?

  • Hitler demanded Germany to get control of Sudetenland- 3.5 million German speakers lived there
  • fears European war could break out
  • Munich conference- leadders of Germany, Britain, Italy and France met to resolve issue
  • The Munich Agreement gave Germany the Sudentenland, and Hitler promised to make no more demands
  • Chaimberlain was welcomed by cheering crowds and said "achieved peace in our time"
  • Hitler ordered German troops to occupy the resy of Czechoslovakia 15th March 1939
  • Britains attitudes toward Germany hardened 
  • Chaimberlain wrote to the Polish government promising that Britain and France would go to war with Germany to defend poland
  • 23rd August Nazi-soviet pact announced- Germany and Soviet agreed to share Poland
  • Hitler ordered German forces to invade Poland 1st September 1939
  • Britain gave Germanya ultimatum - Hitler didn't reply
  • 3rd September 1939 Chaimberlain declared war on Germany
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was the failure of appeasement the main reason Bri


  • they didn't stop Hitler
  • Allowed Hitler to invade Czechoslovakia 
  • Appeasement caused Hitler to act aggresively 
  • Gave Hitler what he wanted and was dangerous
  • Germany became stronger as more of what he wanted he got
  • If Britain acted in 1933 it would of been easier to control Hitler
  • Munich Agreement only made Hitler promise not to do something which wasn't strong enough
  • Politicans gave into Hitler only warned about political career


  • Hitler broke the promise of the Munich Agreement
  • Hitler brok Nazi-Soviet Pact
  • Hitler took advantage of appeasement 
  • Hitler's aims made war inevitable e.g break treaty of versaille & join all German's
  • Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia when he had no claim to them
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\what was Britain's preparations to war

  • December 1937 Air Raid Precautions Act was passed to protect population from air attack
  • The Munich Agreement gave British an extra 12 months to prepare fornwar
  • 1939 five-fold increase in expenditure on air raid precautions 
  • Large communal public air raid shelters were built
  • Anderson shelters made of steel, put in garden
  • Morrison shelters, steel cagesput inside house
  • Volunteer air wardens were recruited 
  • more hospital beds provided
  • plans made for evacuation- children in cities sent to countryside
  • RAF's hurricane and spitfire best fighter planes in the world
  • RADAR allowed RAF to track approaching enemy aircraft
  • British navy reasonably well equiped and big enough to protect Britain from invasion
  • Conscription introduced may 1939 for men 19-41 but when war broke out Britain short of soldiers, modern transport and tanks
  • September 1939 Navy and RAF put on war time alert
  • British expenditionary force was sent to France to wait for German attack
  • Children sent to countryside
  • Air raid sirens installed and tested
  • barrage balloons and anti-aircraft guns were produced
  • everybody issued gas mask 
  • blackouts
  • Home guard- local defence volunteers
  • little action during first 6 months of war- germany occupied with poland campaign
  • 1940 british forces failed to stop Germany invding Norway and Chaimberlain resigned
  • Winston Churchill Prime minister 1940
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How successful were Britain preparing for war


  • five fold increase in expenditure
  • raf's fighter planes the hurricane and spitfire best in the world
  • radar enabled raf to detect enemy
  • navy large enough to protect britain
  • conscription men from 19-41
  • evacuation
  • home guard
  • blackouts
  • shelters


  • when waar broke out army was short of trained soldiers
  • gave in to Germany too much
  • evacuated children too early, as no bombing some sent back
  • hoped appeasement would work
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What were experience of Evacuees

  • Many sent to South Wales valles
  • whole schools evacuated with their teachers and allowed to share local school building
  • most evacuees made welcome and lived as full members of host families, sometimes a better standard of living
  • Some evacuees resented by host families, expected to work on farm or business
  • some host families shocked by evacuees behaviour - bed wetting
  • Many evacuees from Merseyside and else where came to speak fluent welsh
  • Evacuation helped depessed areas of South Wales as evacuation allowances paid to host families spent in local shops
  • reversed depopulation
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How successful was evacuation


  • made welcome by host families 
  • better standard of living sometimes
  • boosted welsh language
  • reversed depopulation in Wales
  • Helped economy in depressed areas
  • most had good experiences


  • sometimes resented by families
  • felt forced to take them so
  • different cultures sometimes
  • expected to do labour
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What was the Blitz

  • Germans defeated other countries with lightnighg war tactics
  • British troops fighting in mainland Europe were retreated to Dunkirk
  • France surrendered to Germany 22nd June 1940
  • Hitler ordered lufftwaffe to destrot raf and then he would invade uk
  • Battle of Britain- was fought in the skys above south-east england until september 1940
  • RAF won Battle of Britain 
  • autumn 1940 lufftwaffte started bombing campaign of London andother cities, the blitz
  • High explosive fire making bombs used
  • London and Coventry hardest hit, in Wales Cardiff, Newport and Swansea worst hit
  • London underground open at night
  • no bread, milk, electricity and gas in london
  • wartime spirit and cooperation to boost morale and cope with harship of losing loved ones
  • 1941 blitz ended and germany invaded soviet union
  • new weapons- V1 flying bomb&v2 rocket caused many deaths
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What were the effects of the blitz

  • no bread, milk, electricity, gas and telephones
  • lowered morale
  • newspapers exagerrated to boost morale
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What was the importance of rationing

  • britain short of food because 50% of supplies came from abroad and German U-boats stopping supply of goods to uk
  • shortage of agriculture workers
  • fuel and cosmetics short in supply- dealt with by increasing production
  • farmers ploughed grassland
  • ordinary people grew food on allotments and fields
  • dig for victory
  • pig clubs formed
  • rationing-  price control put on goods
  • no private cars allowed petrol
  • people encouraged to wear utility clothing- "make do and make mend"
  • no more than 4 inches of water in a bath
  • children encouraged to collect scrap metals
  • january 1940- meat, butter, sugar rationed june 1941 clothing rationed
  • everyone issued books of coupons
  • black market- illegally selling goods- sold rationed goods "under the counter"
  • people encouraged to eat grown food by cartoons eg potato pete and doctor carrot
  • rationing improved diets
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How was work affected?

  • men who weren't conscripted worked in factories producing ammunition
  • job of ernest bevan minister of labour- to ensure war industries had enough workers
  • wokers consisted of- under 18's, over 45's, women and workers in reserved occupations like coal for fuel
  • miners became known as bevin boys
  • government directed wrkers to factories across countries; anyone who refused/striked fined or imprisoned
  • illegal strikes by young miners south wales 1944
  • workers expected to do home guard duties after work "dads army"- part time soldiers guarded their local area from invasion, make sure obey blackuts, make sure you knew when air raid siren was on
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How were women affected by ww1

  • encouraged to enlist in armed services, auxiliary territory service, womens auxiliary air force and womens royal naval service
  • women didn't fight- filled sandbags & operating search lights
  • unmarried women conscripted in factories to produce munitions, aircraft and vehicles
  • women were main workforce at munitions complex in bridgend 
  • 1941 women could be directed into work by law
  • 1943 57% workers were women
  • Some women joinded land army- skilled at dealing with livestock and operating farm machinery 
  • attended four-week training courses - usk agricultural college and lived in hostels
  • Women's land army and "dog for victory" doubled food production by 1943
  • some nursed in civilian and military hospitals or looked after evacuees
  • increase in job oppurtunities and an increase in earnings meant attitudes and behaviour changed- more independant, went to pubs, increase in sexual activity. 
  • Increases in bigamy, divorce and illegal abortions
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What was the role of women ww2

  • enlist in armed services, auxiliary territory services, womens auxiliary air force, womens royal naval services
  • work in factories- munitions, aircraft and vehicles
  • land army- agriculture
  • nursed in civilian and military hospitals
  • looked after evacuees
  • supportednot fight
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What was role of media and propaganda?

  • Ministry of information encouraged people to help with war
  • boost morale
  • press and radio were censored
  • radio broadcasted Churchill's speeches
  • comedy programmes "it's that man again" and Vera Lynn music was popular
  • cinemas let people escape war worries
  • propaganda films advised people about issues- rationing
  • Newspapers focused on successes e.g. battle of britain
  • civilians told not to talk about work because of spies
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What was the role of Winston Churchill

  • in 1930's Winston churchill opposed Chaimberlain's policy of appeasement
  • war went badly with Chaimberlain
  • 10th may 1940 churchill became prime minister
  • speeches inspired britain, insisted Britain fought on
  • strong leadership skills and refused to leave london during the brits
  • v for victory
  • visited badly bombed areas
  • he cooperated with us president Rosevelt and Soviet Union's leader Stalin- which led to defeat of Germany
  • his power to control events became less and his popularity was declining in 1945
  • criticised for ignoring rights of workers 
  • thought to be a man of war
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Why was Churchill a important leader?

  • people believed he was leader britain needed
  • inspired British
  • boosted morale (speeches and propaganda)
  • strong leadership
  • personal feelings aside (didn't like Soviet Union because Communist but worked with for war)
  • ideas proved right and he had british people's trust
  • led by example (refused to leave London during the brits)
  • determined to win war but neglected rights of workers
  • continued war even though some people wanted peace
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Did everyone support the war?


  • majority supported war
  • most people worked hard to contribute to war
  • main political parties joined Churchill's wartime government
  • Trade unions called on workers to produce everything needed for the war
  • main shurches supported war


small group of pro-german party known as union of facists supported nazi viewsand wanted Britain to join Germany

Communist party opposed before Germany attacked Russia 1941

Some Welsh and Irish Nationalists saw England as the enemy not Germany

Quakers- pacifists (conscientious objectors) don't like violence

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How successful were government methods in maintain


  • Churchill's speeches
  • propaganda
  • censorship
  • trade unions called on workers to make sure everything needed to win the war
  • majority of population supported the war
  • most worked hard to contribute to war
  • main churches supported war
  • v for victory
  • cinema- escapism
  • opinion polls proved most were supportive


  • conscientious objectors
  • pro german parties
  • nationalists (welsh and irish) 
  • Quakers were pacisfists
  • Chrchill criticised for neglecting workers rights
  • those who directly suffered got the least support
  • fascists tried to et people to join germany
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Did Britain pull together during the war?

  • people made scarifices
  • millions served in armed sevices
  • people in countryside looked after evacuees
  • people in cities faced hardships eg bombing
  • some made financial sacrifices- paying higher taxes and giving money to wartime charities
  • children collected scrap metal
  • some refused to join armed forces
  • some strikes- coal industry
  • reports of thefts and supplies from factories and military bases and food from gardens
  • vandalism increased
  • air raid shelters locked to prevent vandalism
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Did Britain pull together during the war?

  • people made scarifices
  • millions served in armed sevices
  • people in countryside looked after evacuees
  • people in cities faced hardships eg bombing
  • some made financial sacrifices- paying higher taxes and giving money to wartime charities
  • children collected scrap metal
  • some refused to join armed forces
  • some strikes- coal industry
  • reports of thefts and supplies from factories and military bases and food from gardens
  • vandalism increased
  • air raid shelters locked to prevent vandalism
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