Senior Honors Theses

Author(s)

Tyler SmithFollow

Publication Date

Fall 12-12-2016

School

College of Arts and Sciences

Major

social Science--Teacher Certification

Keywords

Blitz, Battle of Britain, World War 2, British, 1941, 1942, Luftwaffe, Churchill

Abstract

The Blitz was a roughly nine-month mass bombing of London and other cities in Great Britain by the German Luftwaffe in 1940-1941. It was a time of great destruction and death but also of unity and courage among the British people. After the war had ended, Winston Churchill described how “for a year, all alone, the people of this island defied the tyrants of the world and held the fort for freedom until other great nations, themselves assailed, came into the line of battle.”[1]The Germans aimed to achieve a decisive defeat of Britain. They believed that by attacking the civilian population, the people would be miserable and desperate enough to sue for peace. Instead, the opposite occurred. Great Britain unified and defied the conventional expectations, not only resisting defeat but eventually even convincing the Germans that the effort was futile. This stand by average British citizens was due to their intense national pride as distinctly British, their ability to see themselves in a greater historical context and the dangers of allowing Germany to win, and finally their development of a mental toughness that could not be diminished regardless what the Germans did.

[1]. “Mr. Churchill Recalls His Early Manchester Days,” The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959), December 6, 1947, 3.

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