13.1 The impact of the Second World War on people's lives

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  • Created by: Lauren
  • Created on: 05-03-13 17:00

The second world war changed the lives of many people in Britain in different ways. Throughout the war, soldiers, sailors and airmen of different countries were base in britain particularly in the final stages of the war as the Allies prepared for the D-Day landings.

American soldiers

American troops often known as GI's began to arrive in Britain from 1942 onwards and they had a big impact on peoples lives.

  • The Americans were easygoing and not class concious like the British. They were much better paid than the British troops and were very popular with the women of the time.
  • In general, American GI's mixed well in British society, but sometimes there were tensions because of cultural differences between the USA and Britain.
  • Many of the US troops were African American soldiers who had come from separated and segregated communities in the USA. The British treated African American GI's very well and for these soldiers it was often their first experience of being treated normally by white people.

Other Allied soldiers

  • Commonwealth soldiers fought with the Allies in the Second World War, including large numbers of Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and Indians. 
  • There were 40,000 marriage between Canadian servicemen and British women. 
  • After the war, 120,000 Poles settled in Britain. Poland had been invaded by Germany in 1939 and many Poles fought on the Allied side. At the end of the war, Poland was occupied by the USSR and many Poles decided to stay in Britain rather than live in a Communist state.

The German and Italian prisoners of war held in Britain grew as the number of Allied victories increased. By 1945, there were 402,000 German and 157,000 Italian prisoners of war in Britain. Most were treated well and worked in agriculture. Surprisingly, at the end of the war, 25,000 German prisoners of war decided to mke a new home in Britain despite the fact they had fought against the British.

Women in Britain during the Second World War

Many more women were involved in war work during WWII than the first World War.

  • 1941- all women aged 20+ had…

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