Was the Blitz spirit a myth or reality ?

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Transcript Was the Blitz spirit a myth or reality ?

“Their finest hour”

Was the Blitz spirit a myth or reality for the people of war torn Britain?

Can you give this photograph a caption ?

"Everything was blown to pieces, you could see it all by the red glow reflecting from the fires that were still raging. I looked out the back and saw that where my father's shed had been was just a pile of rubble. Then I saw two bodies, two heads sticking up. I recognised one in particular: it was a Chinese neighbour, Mr Say. He had one eye closed and I realised he was dead. I just convulsed, I was shaking all over. I thought, well, I must be dead because they were, so I struck a match and tried to burn my finger. I kept doing it to see if I was still alive. I could see, but I thought, I cannot be alive. This is the end of the world." Len Jones recalls emerging from an air raid shelter in east London after the first night of the Blitz (from The Blitz: The British Under Attack) What made the people of Britain carry on in spite of these horrors?

What was the Blitz spirit ?

British Stoicism and determination in a difficult or dangerous situation, especially as displayed by a group of people:

A reason Londoners retained hope in winning the war was because St. Paul’s Cathedral was never destroyed. It was damaged when a bomb smashed through it, but it never showed damage on the outside. One London citizen, Tom Stothard, said, “I think if St. Paul’s had shown damage, the heart would have gone out of Londoners. But there it was, hope.” The reason people saw hope in St. Paul’s is because they saw a spiritual landmark amid great devastation. It was a symbol of survival amid the devastation of the rest of Europe.

St. Paul’s was a symbol of survival

Churchill’s Speeches

Winston Churchill rallied the people’s spirits and efforts. He inspired the people on to their own heroic efforts and “Their finest hour” by his speeches. Churchill’s expertise at writing speeches brought the British people together for a common cause. Churchill was the embodiment of the British people’s determination to stay alive and not to give up.

“WE SHALL NEVER SURRENDER”

Propaganda - The government used its control over all forms of the media to present a picture of life going on as normal despite the constant nightly attacks.

The people themselves by volunteering for work helped keep spirits up during the Blitz Home Guard Reserved Occupations Rationing Women joined armed forces Weapons Factories

“There was endurance in the face of an external danger. People were going through it together.”

Juliet Gardiner

crime rates almost doubled as looting, black marketeering and armed robbery

spiralled out

of control!”

Angus Calder

But was this ‘Blitz spirit’ merely the creation of government propaganda?

http://ww2history.com/videos/Western/The_Blitz (7 mins)

“How for do the sources support the view that “The Spirit of the Blitz” was a reality?

In examining the sources, you need to consider : – The message of the source – Does it support the view that the Spirit of the Blitz was a reality?

– When was it written? Who was it written by? Is it reliable?

Structure

• Introduction: – What was the Blitz?

– What was the Spirit of the Blitz? Did it exist ?

– Explain that the sources show both sides.

• Sources that support the view that the Spirit of the Blitz existed. Explain why each source supports the statement. Compare the sources with each other.

• Sources that do not support the view that the Spirit of the Blitz existed. Explain why each source supports the statement. Compare the sources with each other.

• Conclusion: To what extent do the sources support the view that the Spirit of the Blitz existed?

You should aim to use 6 sources (3 positive and 3 negative)