Open Library - открытая библиотека учебной информации

Открытая библиотека для школьников и студентов. Лекции, конспекты и учебные материалы по всем научным направлениям.

Категории

История Anticipating terror from the air
просмотров - 96

The Home Front

Finding a voice

Sir William Robertson, the chief of the imperial general staff from December 1915, recognised that the nature of trench war would shape the course of the conflict - that it would be dependent on material resources and would be a slow process of attrition.

Appointed at the same time, the commander-in-chief of the army in France, Douglas Haig, continued to believe that a breakthrough would be possible, but his steadfast conviction in ultimate victory bound him more tightly to the prime minister than either of them cared to acknowledge.

Such a war could not be waged without conscription, adopted in 1916. For its liberal opponents, compulsion threatened Britain with self-defeat, forcing it to militarise society and so become too like its principal enemy, Germany.

War reduced debate to slogans, but it widened politics.

But in practice the issues were not that clear-cut. The war was fought by citizens - temporary soldiers anxious to return home when the fighting was over. They were also determined to exercise the political voice which the popular press - thriving on international crisis - had helped them find.

The war may have reduced debate to slogans, but it also widened the political constituency, and its memory shaped much of the discourse of the succeeding years.

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/britain_wwone/overview_britain_ww1_01.shtml)

The concept of a 'Home Front' - when civilians are mobilised en masse to support the war effort during a conflict - dates from World War One, as far as the British are concerned. It was re-activated in 1938 during the Munich crisis, when civilians were encouraged to enrol in Air Raid Precautions (ARP) or the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS).

ARP was a reaction to the fear, shared throughout Europe in the 1930s, of the mass bombing of civilians from the air. In the 1930s, government estimates calculated that 600,000 people would be killed and 1.2 million injured in air raids during a future war.

Evacuation had already been running for two days by the time war with Germany was announced on 3 September 1939. Throughout the war, three million people were moved beyond the reach of German bombers, in what became a fundamentally life-changing event for many. The internment of German and Austrian 'aliens' also commenced at the outbreak of war, and those considered high risk were interned immediately. Later, Italian aliens were 'rounded up' under Churchill's orders after Italy joined the war in June 1940.

'Doing your bit'

The nation's labour was once again mobilised, and to an even greater extent than World War One. Half a million women joined the uniformed services, and millions more worked in the factories and on the land. Both men (from 1939) and women (from 1941) were conscripted. Men were even conscripted into the coal mines - one in ten of those enlisted domestically.


Читайте также


  • - Anticipating terror from the air

    The Home Front Finding a voice Sir William Robertson, the chief of the imperial general staff from December 1915, recognised that the nature of trench war would shape the course of the conflict - that it would be dependent on material resources and would be a slow process of attrition. Appointed at the same time, the commander-in-chief of the army in France, Douglas Haig, continued to believe that a breakthrough would be possible, but his steadfast conviction in ultimate victory... [читать подробенее]