Why The Major Cities Of Britain Were Bombed By The Germans In 1940 1941

1866 words - 7 pages

Why the Major Cities of Britain Were Bombed by the Germans in 1940 - 1941

Immediately after the defeat of France in the June of 1940, Adolf
Hitler gave his generals the orders to organise the invasion of
Britain. This plan was code-named Operation Sealion and its objective
was to land 160,000 German fighters along a forty mile stretch of
south-east England's coast. It was only a few weeks before a large
fleet of vessels was ready for attack. Among them 2000 barges lay
waiting for the go ahead in German, Belgian and French harbours. As
Hitler's generals were concerned about the damage the R.A.F could
inflict upon their armada the invasion was postponed until the British
air force had been annihilated. On 12th August the mass bomber attacks
on radar stations, aircraft factories and fighter airfields began;
This attack was followed by daily raids on Britain, this became the
beginning of the Battle of Britain. Although these plans were drawn up
Hitler was never very keen on them, his lack of enthusiasm caused
their abandonment on October the 12th 1940. Instead of invasion Hitler
switched his efforts to pounding Britain into submission with gruesome
sustained nightly bombing campaign. 'Blitz' the German word for
lightening was applied by the British press to the raids carried out
over Britain in 1940 and 1941. This concentrated direct bombing of
industrial targets and civilian centres began on 7th September 1940
with heavy raids on London and other major cities.

Manchester (marked ('A')

London

Belfast

Sheffield

Coventry

Portsmouth

Glasgow

Edinburgh

Canterbury

Newcastle

Norwich

Sunderland

Liverpool

Bristol

Bath

Plymouth

Exeter

Norwich

Birmingham

Nottingham

Hull

Middlesborough

Clydebank

Swansea

Cardiff

The bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War and the
subsequent fear that was struck into the hearts of the people
convinced many (including the German leadership) that a population
could be bombed into surrender. The theory was that being in fear of a
sudden and violent death there would be uprising and civil unrest
urging the British government to capitulate. That theory was now being
put into practise.

It was believed at the time that British towns and cities would be
bombed immediately after war was declared and preparations were made
for the estimated 3,500 tonnes of bombs that would be dropped on the
first night and the further 700 tonnes every day after that. 1,250,00
a cardboard coffin were produced and plans were made for mass burials.
All non-emergency hospital patients were sent home in order to make
room for the 2,800,000 expected casualties. This was all done after
all hospitals were taken over by the government under the Emergency
...

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