The Decision to Evacuate British Children During World War II

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The Decision to Evacuate British Children During World War II During the first years of World War 2, two main evacuations took place in Britain, in order to remove innocents, such as children, to rural areas and out of target cities that were under threat from German bombing and the Luftwaffe’s ‘Blitzkrieg’ tactics. There were many reasons why the Government chose to evacuate. These included, protection of civilians, fear of bombing and gas attacks and the aspiration to avoid another major conflict. Two different evacuations were held, one in September 1939 followed by the second in September 1940. Sir John Anderson the Home Secretary, was responsible for devising a plan to evacuate endangered civilians from major cities and important areas, such as London, Liverpool and Middelsbourough. London was a target due to Parliament and monarchy. Cities with ports such as Liverpool were vital for trade. This worried people, as they feared invasion from the sea so they were named target cities. Fear of attack was high so an evacuation plan began to come together. The country was separated into 3 evacuating regions. Around 3 million people were re-located to safer places. There were short term and long-term reasons for evacuation, including: Fear of bombing, fear of gas attack, propaganda, the battle of Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. The first, short-term reason for evacuation was the countries fear of bombing. A ‘knock-out’ blow from Germany would cause total destruction and the Government was determined to avoid it. The German Luftwaffe (air force) had a new tactic-‘Blitzkrieg’. This meant lightening war. It involved a massive, fast, direct air attack to flatten enemy ground, and then during their attack on Poland Germany stationed tanks on the border, which entered in groups called Panzers after the blitzing. To asses the power of his new tactic Hitler targeted a small Spanish town called Guernica. It took place during the Spanish civil and, worked with devastating effects pleasing Hitler and heightening the state of fear in Britain. Fear also steamed from
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