The Blitz was when for two years Germans mounted an air attack on British cities, main ports and any other important industrial areas with heavy bombings.
The Blitz was taken from the German word ‘Blitzkreig’ meaning “lightening war”
The Blitz began on the 7th September 1940 and ended in May 1941.
It started because in August 1940 the first German bombs were dropped on Central London. In retaliation the RAF started to attack Berlin. The Germans responded to this by attacking our industrial areas and large civilian populations. The main German aim was to ‘soften up’ the British population and destroys it’s morale before their planned invasion.
The warning system the British Government used was Air Raid Sirens. When lookouts spotted an oncoming attack, they would send messages to the people, often police, who were by the air raid siren and tell them to sound it. The siren was very loud, so all those in the area would hit it and know they had to get cover.
The protection people had from the bombings were Morrison shelters in their homes, Anderson shelters in their gardens, public shelters in some streets, the London underground stations, evacuation, sandbags and taped windows.
The effect this had on people was that the blackout was introduced, and many died or were injured in car accidents or fell over in the dark. They also had to build shelter, and make sure they blacked out all their windows and doors properly. It made it hard for them to get to sleep and made them constantly frightened for their lives, and parents had to put on brave faces for their children’s sakes. People became confused and anxious as the Government restricted information about the Blitz to try to prevent panic.
It affected the cities as many important services were destroyed or needed repair, with vast amounts of their populations being decimated.