Despair and Fear during the Battle of Britain

1503 Words4 Pages

Was high and strong British morale during the Battle of Britain an historical reality? This investigation determines how the British people were affected by the Luftwaffe’s attacks on their cities and the British Royal Air Force. In order to disprove or prove the idea that the British morale was high and strong, the investigation will evaluate their reactions, individual’s quotes, songs, and a newspaper article. One source, “World War II Blackout Regulations”, is a newspaper article outlining the rules in the case of a Blackout and the description of the Blackout by a citizen who experienced it. The investigation will include the attack on Coventry specifically and the Blackout. It will not include, however, information on other countries’ reactions towards Britain nor detailed weapons use. Summary of Evidence Adolf Hitler gave Britain a final chance for peace in his speech, “A Last Appeal to Reason”. When Sefton Delmer heard Hitler’s speech, he “spontaneously, without government approval, [ . . . ] rejected any notion of a compromise[d] peace”(Lee Richards). Delmer replied to the speech, “ ‘Herr Hitler, you have on occasion in the past consulted me as to the mood of the British public. [. . . ] Let me tell you what we here in Britain think of this appeal of yours to what you are pleased to call our reason and common sense. Herr Fuher and Reichskanzler, we hurl it right back at you, right in your evil smelling teeth”(Richards). During the war, “popular songs were important in keeping up morale” so people created songs that were positive, such as There’ll Always Be An England (Paul Halsall). This song elevates Britain with its upbeat lyrics, “Red, white and blue; what does it mean to you? /Surely you’re proud, shout it aloud, [ ... ... middle of paper ... ...n Longmate, 158). This despair did not reach the Luftwaffe and Hitler because they would not have publicized such feelings in their attempt to keep up the British war spirit. One of the witnesses to the bombing of Coventry even realized the situation “deducing that ‘morale was obviously failing’” (Longmate, 38). Furthermore, the Royal Air Force report in Air Raid: The Bombing of Coventry, 1940 exposed that the working classes were believed to be revolt, another indication of poor morale. Conclusion In conclusion, the government exhibited a high morale towards the world in order to appear strong, even though British morale suffered. By displaying a strong spirit through speeches, movies, songs, and propaganda, Great Britain was able to fend off the Luftwaffe’s Blitz. In reality, British citizens were dying from limited sight and filled with despair and fear.

Open Document