History Britain

Key topic 3

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Tighter control

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The governement needed to have tighter control and be more informative with the public. they needed to inform people about procedures in a blackout and not to speak freely about certain topics such as troops movements and punishements for wasting food. Also they needed much more central control to organise rationing and evacuations.

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New ministries

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1939 government set up a new Ministry of Supply that took ovder iron and steel industry to try and organise the production of war supplies. Other industries were put under governement control e.g. coal industry. some existing ministries gained resposibility e.g. ministry of labour-minsitry of labour and national services(war on the home front). The most important new ministry was the ministry of information or MOI(5th September 1939)

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MOI's most important job was censorship. This is stopping certain info. in radio waves, newspapers, letters etc. This was to stop info. getting out that would give foreign countries an advantage and to stop Brits being demoralised. They did this buy telling reporters what could be reported and what couldn't. They'd censor letters in and out of the country and armies had their own censors to censor troops letters.

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MOI were in charge of this. It's information made to make someone do something or beleive in something. They were impressed with the Nazi's use of this tools in 1930's so they made there own, including 'how to' films showing people how to dig a Anderson shelter or how to move during an air raid. Also short patriotic films e.g. Britain can take it, were shown all over the country in town halls and tour vans etc. Censors also forced films made during the war to make viewers feel patriotic.

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Before the war britain imported 55,000,000 tonnes of food a year(70% of total food)-in 1936 Ministry of Food began planning for supply of food in fear of Germans sinking supply ships which happened, by 1940 Germany had sunk 100+ships.

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How rationing worked.

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Began on 8th Jnauary 1940. 'On the ration' was the term used and the amount changed druing the war. People had ration books full of coupons, people then registered with shops who controlled how much of your ration was used and you got. Three main things rationed were; butter-by weight, dried foods e.g. flour, biscuits, cereal and tinned food by point system and finally products like milk and orange juice were given to babies, pregnant women, sick people etc. as first priority.

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What the MOF did.

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They encouraged people to grow their own crops in their gardens and places like parks were converted into allotments. Also people were encouraged to keep rabbit and chickens for produce and meet. People also had joint ownership of pigs then split the meat between them. However the food was still limited and lacked variation despirte the MOF giving out various recipes on radio broadcasts etc.The black market began to grow where you could buy rationed foods at high prices but if caught you were severly punished.

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Working Women

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As with the WW1, the WW2 took huge numbers of men into the army leaving plenty of jobs but they were soon taken over by the unemployed men but the governement restarted the Women's Land Army in July 1939. The farm land needed to be cleared to help produce the vast amounts of food. They were right by March 1940, over 30,000 men had left farming for the army and over 15,000 had left to do other war work making it clear women were need for work.

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8th of December 1941, conscription was introduced for all women who aren't married and aged 20-30. As the war progressed older single women and married women began to be conscripted. Women could choose to join the armed services or civil defence or industry- they joined in mass numbers and were soon doing vital work e.g. by 1943 there were over 100,000 women working on the railways from selling tickets to driving trains.

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Women in the armed services.

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They had their own sections such as the ATS(army), the WAAF, and Wrens(navy). At first their work was almost all cleaning, cooking or office work-war created masses of paper work. They were also trained as drivers. Women couldn't actually go into combat but as the war progressed they began to work on anti-air craft stations as spies, radio operators, motor bike messengers etc.

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Working after the war.

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When the war came to an end there was a sudden change in the workforce. Millions of men and women were discharged from the services and needed work. Women who had been 'minding' jobs were replaced when the men returned. Women mainly had to stop working even though attitudes to women, especially married women, had changed it was still of up most importance that me were given jobs.

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On 7th of December 1941, Japan (allies of Germany) bombed the US naval base at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. The USA then supported Britain not only with money and supplies but with military support. Their main objective was with the Japanese and didnt want to fight within Europe and the Pacific for long so they suggested a quick invasion of Europe.

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Operation Overload.

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British convinced US generals that an invasion had to be carefully planned. Germany had had years to plan defences along the French coast. Despite the fact htey were diverting troops to fight in the Soviet there was still large numbers in France. The allies could only land as many men as their aircrafts would permit and had to plan to send supplies etc. they needed to try and divert German troops from Normady the planned landing site, so they leaked info cleverly suggesting they were invading a different area. The date of invasion was changed numerous times as it depended on weather, amount of troops, amount of supply on the south-coast of Britain and if enough Luftwaffe had been destroyed so they werent a huge threat. It was finally decided that it would happen on the night of 6th of June 1944.

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Main factors for D-Day success.

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Careful planning and preparation made it a success. It was impossible for Germany not to see troops, ships, aircrafts gathering but they were confused as to where they were landing due to; 1) Attacks on radars all along the coast and as far up as Norway. 2) coded radio messages and leaked info by resistance groups and the SOE suggesting the invasion would be somewhere near Calais. 3) A various amount of complicated plans making the Germans believe that troops were landing in other parts of France and fleets were heading for Calais.

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Other factors for D-Day success.

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Deception was important but it also needed The Pluto fuel pipeline, the rapid ferrying of troops and supplies once invasions began and air and sea backup. Parachute troops helped capture inland areas on the first day and destroyed communication lines e.g. train tracks and bridges. The US provided large amounts of troops and equipments so despite heavy initial losses the allies could keep going but Germany couldn't as they were under pressure and had no time to properly regroup and organise a fight back.

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The defeat of Germany.

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Germany were under pressure due to D-Day and were low on supplies and resources in order to stop Germany rehabilitating The Allies performed bombing on industrial and military cites and German cities far more heavily than Britain was bombed during the Blitz, using radars to find submarines and bombing them from planes leaving ships clear seas and finally by helping resistance movements to fight the Germans and sabotage road and rail links.

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Was it all smooth?

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British and US commanders made military mistakes and the Allied forces suffered huge defeats when they attempted to fight in Arnhem in Sept 1944 - where they tried to liberate the Netherlands and take control of the road networks through the Rhine into Germany. But due to poor preparation and planning they had mass losses as only 2827 out of 10300 troops involved survived. Some German leaders plotted to assasin Hitler but he got rid of all conspirators and pushed on after his vicotry in Arnhem in December 1944 the Germans launched a suprise counter attack westwards but Germans lost men they couldn't replace and allies bought in reinforcements. Soviets moved in on Berlin and Hitler committed suicide and German surendered.

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