Section 2 of unit 3B: Britain at War

What was the policy of appeasement and when was it ended causing WW2?
When Britain and France tried to avoid war by ignoring Germany’s breaking of the treaty of Versailles + it’s invasion of Czechocslovakia but it was clear that this policy wasn’t working when Germany invaded Poland (1 Sept 1939).
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What did Britain and France do when Germany invaded Poland?
Declared war on Germany. Expected Germany to invade France through French-German border. British Expeditionary Force (BEF) sent to France as soon as war broke out -394, 165 troops defending this border.
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How did the German army blindside the BEF (British Expeditionary Force)?
The BEF was excepting them to invade France through the French-German border but they invaded through Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium. The BEF tried to counter attack but was forced to retreat by speed + direction of attack.
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Who was Winston Churchill?
MP critical of govt. appeasement policy before war. Led the Navy when war broke out. May 10 1940 –German invasion began + Churchill became PM. Had great ability to inspire people to keep going in the fight against Germany – sig when France fell.
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What was operation yellow and when was it launched?
9 April 1940 Germany invaded Norway + Denmark (neutral countries without declaring war first. Operation Yellow launched 10 May = invasion of Western Europe. Developed new military tactic –Blitzkrieg (lightning War).
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What was the pattern followed for the new military tactic lightning war?
German: planes bombed area to be occupied, tanks moved in + took over area, troops moved in + occupied area under cover of artillery fire. Planes + tanks moved onto next target leaving troops to occupy captured area + put down resistance.
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What were the advantages and disadvantages of Blitzkrieg?
Very risky to move into enemy territory without ensuring area behind advancing army was safe but gave troops in countries under attack little time to prepare for invasion –unexpected, terrifying + effective.
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How did Blitzkrieg throw British, Belgian + French troops into confusion?
Had little time to prepare + tried to hold back the Germans but had no plan while Germans had a very clear one. BEF + Allied troops forced to retreat + evacuate from the French port of Dunkirk.
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What was Operation Dynamo?
Began 26th May -Govt. asked owners of small boats to ferry soldier to big ships. 29 May -300 boats doing this. Big boats shuttled from Dunkirk to Britain until 4th June. Estimated 20,000 -30,000 troops brought home. Final total over 338,000 large par
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What did the British Navy plan to do after the retreat of the BEF and other allied troops?
May 21 1940-1st retreating allied troops reached Dunkirk –only French port not held by Germans. Its long, shallow beach made it hard to evacuate from. British navy made plans to rescue as many troops as possible before Germans took to Dunkirk.
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What was the importance of Dunkirk?
-Helped British morale + was seen as a victory (although Churchill pointed out that ‘wars are not won by evacuations’). Saved many soldiers whom could fight again. Prop-‘Dunkirk spirit’, phrase used for keeping going in the face of obstacles
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What was operation Sealion?
Invasion of UK after France surrendered 22 June 1940. Relied on destroying the RAF so it couldn’t attack invading troops. British equally determined to win air supremacy –if not, UK would be at mercy of Luftwaffe+bombed into defeat.
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When did the USA which had been sending money + supplies to Britain enter the war against Germany and Japan?
On 7th Dec 1941 as the Japanese, allies of Germany bombed US naval base at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. Didn’t want to fight in Europe + in the Pacific against Japan for long, so made plans for quick invasion of Europe.
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Why did the British convince US general that an invasion had to be carefully planned?
Germans had years to plan defence along French coast. Although troops were being moved to fight SU, still huge no. in France.
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When was the raid of Dieppe?
Aug 1942 –showed problems of trying to capture a French port from the Germans. Over 3,000 killed + a destroyer sunk =. Clear a lot of sea + air support would be needed for D-Day.
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Where was the site chosen for the ‘Operation Overlord’ D-day landings)?
Normandy coast. Allies leaked information to suggest they planned to land on a different part of the French coast. Allies realised they had to land as many troops, as quickly as possible + follow up landing with more troops + supplies.
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How was Operation Overlord planned?
Scientists invented 2 floating harbours called Mulberries to be towed across Channel to help land troops + equipment. Pluto pipeline system (could carry about mill gallons of fuel across Channel everyday) tested + secretly laid.
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What did the allies have by the beginnings of June 1942 for Operation overlord?
The allies had troops ready for the first landings on 4000 landing craft. Over 250 warships and 11,000 planes were to support the invasion.
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Why did the first day fixed for the invasion change several times? before it was set for…
Night of 5/6 June 1944. Allies needed good weather, enough troops at the ready in southern England and enough of the Luftwaffe destroyed to stop them from being a threat to the invaders.
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What happened on the 5 June 1944?
5 June 1944: various allied + French resistance activities suggested any invasion would be on coast near Calais –far to the east of Normandy. Meanwhile, mine sweepers cleared mines from shipping lanes across Channel.
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How did the invasion (D-Day) begin?
Early morning, troop landings began timed to happen at low tide on each of the beaches. Ships bombed an 80km ***** of French coast, gliders + planes began to parachute troops
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How were more reinforcements and supplies landed on D-Day?
German army (under pressure on several fronts) were taken in by the deceptions + couldn’t move quickly enough to stop the troops landing + establishing control of the beaches - allowing more reinforcements+supplies to be landed.
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Thanks to careful planning + preparation D-Day was a success but how were the Germans confused about where the troops would land?
Due to: attacks on radar stations along the Channel up to Norway. Coded radio messages + other info leaked by resistance groups + SOE suggesting invasion near Calais. Variety of complicated plans = fleet of ships + large no. troops moving towards coa
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Following D-Day Germany was under pressure from all sides + needed more supplies/soldiers than it could produce. How did the allies put pressure on Germany?
By: bombing industrial sites, military bases +cities in Germany, using radar to find enemy submarines + bombing them –keeping seas clear to ship supplies to mainland Europe, helping sabotage road and rail links.
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Give an example of how the allies still made military errors?
Arnhem, September 1944 –failed to liberate the Netherlands. Unlike D-day their plans were hurries – only about 2800 of the 10,000 allied troops involved in the attack returned.
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Despite the allies’ military errors many Germans felt Germany was going to lose, what happened after some planned to assassinate Hitler and failed?
Got rid of all possible conspirators (many experienced soldiers->weakening military command) + kept on fighting. Dec 1944 Germans launched surprise attack through Ardennes forest in Belgium + France at Battle of the Bulge –lost with heavy losses
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Describe the very end of the defeat of Germany.
By April 1945 – clear that under attack on 2 fronts + short of men, arms + supplies, Germany faced defeat. Allies were advancing on all sides. As soviet troops neared Berlin, Hitler committed suicide + Germany surrendered.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What did Britain and France do when Germany invaded Poland?


Declared war on Germany. Expected Germany to invade France through French-German border. British Expeditionary Force (BEF) sent to France as soon as war broke out -394, 165 troops defending this border.

Card 3


How did the German army blindside the BEF (British Expeditionary Force)?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Who was Winston Churchill?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What was operation yellow and when was it launched?


Preview of the front of card 5
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