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Transcript of The Blitz:
Hitler's Attempt to Control Great Britain
The Battle of Britain was an important battle in World War II. After Germany and
had conquered most of Europe, including France, the only major country left to fight them was Great Britain. Germany wanted to invade Great Britain, but first they needed to destroy Great Britain's
Royal Air Force
(the RAF). The Battle of Britain was when Germany bombed Great Britain in order to try and destroy their air force and prepare for invasion.
Fighting in the Sky
Great Britain's air force was called the RAF or the Royal Air Force.
Germany's air force was called the Luftwaffe.
It is estimated that around 1,000 British planes were shot down during the battle, while over 1,800 German planes were destroyed.
The main types of fighter planes used in the battle were the Messerschmitt Bf109 and the Bf110 by the German Luftwaffe and Hurricane Mk and Spitfire Mk by the Royal Air Force.
Destruction of War
Germany continued to bomb London at night until May of 1941. This series of bombings was called the Blitz. At one point London was bombed for 57 nights in a row. While examining the images, imagine what it would have been like to live in Great Britain in 1940.
Surviving the Blitz
The Blitz & Propaganda
By now, you've probably seen a "
Keep Calm and Carry On
" poster, but did you know it originated during WW2? It was a motivational poster produced by the British government, intended to raise morale of the British public Check out other uses of Propaganda during the Blitz!
When was it?
The Battle of Britain started on
July 10th, 1940
. It lasted many months as the Germans continued to bomb Britain.
How did it get its name?
The name comes from a speech by the Prime Minister of Great Britain,
. After Germany had overrun France, he said that
"the Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin."
The Blitz: Germany's Air Force Reaches London
On September 15, 1940 Germany launched a large bombing attack on the city of
. They felt that they were closing in on victory. The British Royal Air force took to the sky and scattered the German air force (known as the
). They shot down a number of German bombers. It was clear from this battle that Britain was not yet defeated and that Germany's tactics were not successful. Although Germany would continue bombing London and other targets in Great Britain for a long time, the raids began to slow as they realized they could not defeat the Royal Air Force.
Who won the Battle of Britain?
Although the Germans had more planes and pilots, the British were able to fight them off and win the battle. This was because they had the advantage of fighting over their own territory, they were defending their homeland, and they had radar. Radar allowed the British to know when and where German planes were coming to attack. This gave them time to get their own planes in the air to help defend.
RAF or Luftwaffe? Which is which? How can you tell?
The Anderson shelter was in the garden and made of corrugated steel sheets here are a few factors of this shelter:
Space for 4-6 people.
Cold, dark, smelly and damp.
Easy to escape from.
Provides some shelter from attack.
Anderson shelters were 6 feet high, 9 feet long and 4 feet wide. To help them blend in to their surroundings, people would cover them in grass and leaves.
Anderson shelters in
The Chronicles of Narnia
The London Underground
At the start of the Blitz many Londoners decided to make use of tube stations (like subway stations in the US) as air raid shelters. Many people felt more secure deep underground than in other types of shelter.
It was initially discouraged by the authorities, because it was felt an important transportation service would be disrupted. However, as the War continued, platforms filled up and eventually it became necessary to provide canteens and toilet facilities for those sheltering in the stations.
Sheltering in a tube station may have given a sense of security but, as the pictures show, conditions were hardly attractive. Space was limited and many have spoken of the terrible smell of so many people sheltering in a confined space without adequate ventilation.
Nor was the tube always as safe as those sheltering within had hoped: in January 1941 a bomb fell above Bank station in the City of London, killing and injuring more than 100 hundred people sheltering below
The "Underground" is what Londoners call the subway system. Once the air raid alarm rang, residents and tourists would quickly go to their nearest station to seek shelter.