jueves, 14 de abril de 2011

World War 2 and Cold War Essay

Great Britain involvement in WW2 was an immediate response to Germany’s expansionist ideas. Great Britain one of the wealthiest countries in that time, looked at Germany as a country scared of another war and a weak one also, Great Britain let Germany not to follow what the treaty of Versailles said. They also under estimated the German state, some examples of this:

• Germany increased their army
• They militarized the Rhineland
• Annexation of Austria
• Annexation of the Sudetenland

On September 29, 1938 Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and France sign the Munich agreement which forces the Czechoslovak Republic to cede the Sudetenland, this with the promise that they would stop their expansionism and Germany agreed. Only one year needed to pass and Germany broke the promise given to the English state and invaded Poland. Two days after this the British and the French declared war on the Germans. Not a single year passed and the Germans where controlling almost all of central Europe.

Great Britain supported the French who had almost lost all of their territory by June of 1940. On September of the same year the Germans launched an attack against the Germans, it consisted on bombing London and England’s most important cities. The German failed but they made serious damage in Great Britain.
The British where also fighting against the Italians on northern Africa, this wars where tough and they got even harder when the Germans got there and helped the Italians.

In 1941, the U.S.A started giving support to the Great Britain with arms and ammunition because of the Lend-Lease Act, also in this year after the Pearl-Harbor incident USA enters declaring war to Germany. In 1942, Roosevelt and Churchill establish a combined chiefs staff and defeat Germany's first priority. This year also Gral. Bernard Montgomery takes command of Eighth Army in North Africa.
In 1943, the Casablanca conference was made up by W. Churchill and J. Roosevelt, during the conference Roosevelt announces that war can end only with the surrender of Germany. At the ends of this years Winston, John, and Joseph had a conference at Teheran.
On June 6 of 1944, American, British and Canadian forces invaded Normandy in one of the biggest invasions ever. This was called the D-day. Later that same year, in June 12 and also on September 8, the Germans started a missile attack against the British. This didn’t stop them and later they invade Greece. It won’t be until march 27 that the missile attack of Germans, called the v-2, ends. The war started ending on April when Mussolini was executed and Hitler die but it won’t be until the VE-day that japan surrender that the war will be officially over.

Great Britain, as well as many European countries suffered from the destruction of World War 2. This being in the country itself and economically. A new government was introduced, the Attlee government. With thoughts of peace and some socialist ideas it led for a short period of time. As the country was facing bankrupt, there were some food shortages. Potatoes, which was one of the foods that was granted for sure also suffered from shortages, which led to it being rationed as well as most of the food. This led to Great Britain receiving aid from the Marshall Plan. The USA gave funds to European countries to reconstruct.

The new government which had some socialist ideas, but were not extremist as in other countries; came up with some state benefits for its people, including aid for the sickness, unemployment, people with old age who could not work anymore, and med care. The government nationalized the National Bank and coalmines as well, which was accepted by the people without problems.

At the end of the war, the USA, France, Great Britain and the USSR divided Germany. This was to prevent another outbreak of the war, but little did they know that this would bring another world conflict between capitalism and communism. This had outbreaks in other countries, which had Great Britain involve. The Malayan conflict in 1948 broke. In this conflict Communist guerillas wanted to get rid of the British in their territories. A 12-year struggle continued, with Great Britain being victorious.

Great Britain joined NATO in 1949 along with many other countries to be protected against communism. Another conflict in which Great Britain was involved was the Korean War. Korea was independent after the war, but the conflict arose when the North Koreans invaded 90% of the South Koreans. These actions made the UN condemn North Korea and asked for countries to avoid giving any aid to them, instead they helped South Korea. Great Britain was not as involved as the US was. The US sent a whole army, while the British only sent a division.

Having these conflicts, as well as the problem in Germany, with the problems with communism and capitalism forced Britain to put a conscription in the population at the age of 18. Conscription is an obligatory time in military service. This was made to have manpower to be successful in the conflicts that came, as well as have the territory in Germany protected. There were some territorial changes in the British territory, as some countries like India, Pakistan, Burma and Sri Lanka became independent.

Having issues like these, and men going to the army Britain needed more labor workers. They sent invitations to Jamaica. With this invitations, people in Jamaica could go to work and have an opportunity in life in Great Britain, with a cheap fee so that they could be transported. This way, the British would not have any more labor problems and the industry could work faster.

This was the beginning of the Cold War, few of the conflicts were just arising. Even though Great Britain was not a big participant in the Cold War as the US and USSR were; it still had its conflicts to solve, and some more would arise later on.


"HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN (from 1707)." HistoryWorld - History and Timelines. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. .
"Korean War 1950-1953 - MyFundi." Main Page - MyFundi. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. .
"Malaya 1." Britains Small Wars. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. .
"World War II in Britain." World War II History Library. Web. 15 Apr. 2011. .

lunes, 11 de abril de 2011

Great Britain WW2

In France and Britain the immediate aftermath of the declaration of war is a return to the defensive tactics of World War I. The French rush troops to the Maginot Line, an elaborate complex of concrete fortifications connected by underground railway lines, which has been constructed along the Franco-German border between 1929 and 1938. (It is named after André Maginot, minister of war from 1929 to 1931.)

France's border with Belgium, running northwest to the sea, is not similarly protected. So, as in World War I, a British Expeditionary Force is immediately sent across the Channel to dig in along this line.

Here the troops of both nations await attack from the conqueror of Poland. But nothing happens.

It is not that Hitler is inactive against his new enemies. He is energetically demonstrating, with the deployment of his U-boats (Unterseebooten, or submarines), that Britain can no longer rely on her famed mastery of the seas. The aircraft carrier Courageous is sunk at sea in September, the battleship Royal Oak is torpedoed at anchor in Scapa Flow in October. Hitler also has a devastating new weapon to unveil - the magnetic mine, dropped into the sea from the air to cling to a passing vessel and explode. Inevitably indiscriminate, one such mine sinks the Dutch passenger liner Simon Bolivar in November.

Nor is there a lack of conflict in Europe. Stalin, assured of a free hand with Finland by the terms of his nonaggression pact with Hitler, sends troops across the Finnish border in November 1939 (provoking the Russo-Finnish war, also known as the Winter War, in which Finland resists her large neighbour with magnificent resolve). And in early April 1940 the French and British finally agree on their first joint offensive. They will send troops to seize the Norwegian North Sea ports, even though Norway is neutral. The strategic reason is the need to cut the supply of iron ore from Swedish mines to Germany. But they delay in putting the plan into action.

Meanwhile on the western front all is quiet.

As a result the war acquires in Britain and France a name suggesting a dangerous sense of relaxation. In Britain it is known as the Phoney War, in France le Drole de Guerre (the Joke War). By the spring of 1940 the western nations have been able to spend eight useful months building up their armaments. On April 5 Chamberlain is sufficiently confident to declare to the house of commons that one thing is now certain - Hitler has 'missed the bus'.

Four days later a German fleet of warships invades Denmark and Norway. All the important harbours of these two neutral nations are rapidly occupied. Within days British and French troops are on hand to assist the Norwegian resistance. But they have arrived too late and little is achieved.

Enter Churchill: AD 1940

The military failure in Norway heightens dissatisfaction in Britain with Chamberlain's conduct of the war. On May 7-8 he narrowly survives a censure debate in the house of commons (notable for Leo Amery's revival of Cromwell's famous words 'You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing... In the name of God, go!'). Then, on May 10, alarming news from the continent sets the seal on his term as leader.

In the early hours of that morning German divisions smash their way into the Netherlands and Belgium. In this new crisis Chamberlain realizes that an all-party government is essential. But the Labour party refuses to serve under a man associated so strongly with appeasement.

The only possible leader in the circumstances is a controversial figure waiting in the wings. Winston Churchill, after a brilliant early career (first as soldier and author, subsequently in several high cabinet roles), has been on the sidelines during the 1930s because of his implacable opposition to appeasement. He has described Chamberlain's 'peace with honour' at Munich as 'a total and unmitigated defeat'.

Pugnacious and inspirational, Churchill is the ideal man for the crisis now facing the nation. Appointed prime minister on May 10, he asks for a vote of confidence from the house of commons on May 13 - and receives it unanimously.

On this occasion, and on many subsequently, Churchill reveals the power of harsh truth transformed by the magic of oratory. His message to the commons is bleak - 'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.' But as the robust phrases roll on, the speech becomes a clarion call to the nation.

In a similar way each significant moment in this summer of 1940, the most dangerous in British national history, is marked by a high point of Churchillian peroration. The completion, on June 4, of the extraordinary evacuation from Dunkirk is the occasion for 'We shall fight on the beaches'. The loss of France as an ally, after an armistice signed with Germany on June 18, produces the vision of Britain now confronting her 'finest hour'.

Whenever there is a chink in the storm clouds, the prime minister proves as powerful in his commemoration of victory. In August 1940 his young pilots begin to turn the tables on the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. Churchill coins in their honour perhaps his most famous sentence: 'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.'

The first successful allied land offensive against German troops, driving Rommel westwards through north Africa in November 1942, is the occasion for the cautious but resonant hope: 'This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.'

Thanks to film and news reels, Churchill in person becomes an inspirational figure to a British public suffering the first prolonged and intense bombing campaign in the history of warfare. His trademark cigar (never seen in a much reduced state) and his famous V-sign are always in evidence when he visits a devastated area in the aftermath of an air raid.

On the international front Churchill's main challenge is enlisting the support of the USA. This is achieved in stages, with the start of lend-lease in 1941 followed by the Atlantic Charter. But the task is completed for Churchill by the Japanese action at Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

Hitler's invasion of the USSR, in June 1941, brings Churchill his other major ally. The trio of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin become the high command of the allied effort against the Axis powers.

While the Russians sap the German military strength in the bitter campaigns of 1942-3, Churchill and Roosevelt plan the western offensive which eventually takes place on D-Day (6 June 1944). By the time the three leaders meet at Yalta, in February 1945, it is evident that the war is all but won. Much of the discussion now centres on postwar dispensations. But for Churchill himself the last weeks of the war bring a rude shock, from a British public adjusting rapidly to a new social and political environment.

Wartime welfare: AD 1939-1945

The national war effort, more effectively planned than in 1914-1918, has a profound influence on British society. Conscription, introduced for some even before the start of the war (in April 1939), is by the end of 1941 very widely applied - men between the ages of 18 and 61 and women aged from 20 to 30 must all either join the services or work in mines or factories.

In World War I food rationing of a few basic commodities only came in during the last months of the war, from July 1918. This time ration books are ready almost at the start, to become a familiar part of everybody's war from January 1940.

Most basic foodstuffs are already rationed in 1940 (meat, eggs, butter, sugar, tea, milk, cheese, jam), to be followed by sweets and chocolate from 1942. Clothes are rationed from 1941, petrol from 1942.

Many social effects result from these measures. Even if only on a temporary basis, there is a reduction in class barriers. Everyone now is subject to the same restrictions, everyone is joining equally in the war effort (though working-class districts bear the brunt of the bombing, targeted on industrial areas and docks). But there is another more lasting effect of rationing and industrial conscription.

Full employment means that even the poorest families have an income, and rationing provides everybody with the same simple but healthy diet. The war generation in Britain is the first ever in which poor children eat adequately. Their parents, away in the forces or working in a local factory, now see a chance of a better life for the family. And the all-party government headed by Churchill recognizes this fundamental change.

A Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services is set up in 1941, under the chairmanship of William Beveridge. The resulting Beveridge Report, published in 1942, proposes a wide-ranging social security programme - with state insurance against the costs of illness, unemployment, old age and death.

The government accepts the Beveridge Report in principle, though action to put any such sweeping reforms into effect is impossible in the short term. But the Beveridge ideals are very much in the public domain when a general election is called for July 1945, shortly after VE-Day.

Churchill campaigns during the election as the war hero, and as such is widely cheered. He also reverts unashamedly to the role of Conservative leader, painting a dire picture of life under a Labour government. But the Labour party, with Clement Attlee at its head, has a seductive message - for a postwar change of direction, towards a new and fairer society.

The British troops all round the world have a vote, and it takes some time for their decisions to be counted and registered. But when the result of the election is announced, on 26 July 1945, it is nothing short of sensational. Labour has won a landslide victory, with 393 seats in the house of commons to a mere 213 for the Conservatives.

Churchill later describes this surprising turn of events in his own inimitable style: 'All our enemies having surrended unconditionally or being about to do so, I was immediately dismissed by the British electorate from all further conduct of their affairs.'

Read more: http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?groupid=1177&HistoryID=ab07>rack=pthc#ixzz1JERDrVZW