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Table of Contents
See the fact file below for more information on the Blitz or alternatively, you can download our 24-page United Kingdom: The Blitz worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
GERMANY’S DESIRE TO INVADE GREAT BRITAIN
- After Adolf Hitler’s successful invasion of France from 10 May 1940 – 25 June 1940, he began to set his eye on a much bigger territory – Great Britain.
- However, its location as an island nation made it a little more difficult to invade. He needed aerial and maritime supremacy in order to defeat Great Britain.
- However, Britain’s powerful Royal Navy was difficult even for Germany to defeat without high numbers of casualties. Advised by his people, Hitler then authorized air raids infamously called the Blitzkrieg, meaning “lightning war”.
- Under the command of Hermann Göring, commander -in-chief of the Luftwaffe, the initial plan was to bomb the Royal Air Force (RAF) airfields and radar stations in preparation for the German invasion.
- The Luftwaffe’s poor surveillance prevented them from achieving the goal.
THE BLITZ ATTACKS
- Suffering from initial losses and casualties, Hitler approved the bombing of strategic areas in Great Britain: industrial cities, ports and mainly London.
- On September 7, 1940, 350 German bombers escorted by fighters bombarded London on consecutive successions.
- The cities and the capital were bombed until the following morning, leaving more than 430 dead and over 1600 people badly injured.
- The lightning attack was infamously called “Black Saturday”. However, it was only the first of many attacks, as the Luftwaffe executed smaller night raids over the next 57 nights.
- The attacks were composed of small units of Luftwaffes bombing in successive waves. Their main targets were London ports (Docklands) that were heavily populated by middle-class civilians.
- When the air raid siren went off, Londoners took refuge in underground stations or in Anderson shelters built at the bottom of gardens.
- In November 1940, bombing expanded to other cities. Liverpool and Birmingham were heavily bombarded. Other areas where industry was believed to be were also consequently attacked.
- Some of most noted were the attacks in Coventry and London on November 14 and 15, just 10 hours apart. Hundreds were killed by the Germans’ more thorough attacks, added by their new bomb nicknamed Satan, which used delayed action.
- London once again suffered its heaviest night of bombing on December 29, resulting in 1,400 fires and many more casualties.
- In early 1941, the Germans focused on bombing the country’s ports such as Plymouth, Portsmouth, Bristol, Newcastle, and Hull in England; Swansea in Wales; Belfast in Northern Ireland; and Clydeside in Scotland.
- However, London continued to take much of the brunt of the air raids. On April 16, 1941, an 8-hour air raid killed around 1,000 people and destroyed the remaining structures. It is believed the Germans dropped over 450 tons of bombs across the city.
- The bombardment continued three days later, killing mostly city service workers such as firefighters.
- On May 10, over 500 aircraft dropped high-explosive and incendiary bombs on London, killing 1,486 people.
- However, unable to break Britain’s defense, Hitler abandoned the Blitz strategy and most of the Luftwaffe were reassigned to prepare for Germany’s invasion of Russia.
- However, he still authorized sporadic bombings around the country in the following years.
- The Blitz attacks did not deter the British Air Force from strengthening their defense. In fact, they were the reason Hitler decided to shut down the Blitz plan as the Germans began to lose prowess in the dog fights.
- The target areas also tried to minimize the damage by turning off anything that illuminated their location, making it hard for the Germans to pinpoint key areas.
- One unique defensive strategy used was Barrage Balloons. These silver balloons were tethered to the ground by steel cables, serving as nets to low flying aircrafts. This forced the German planes to fly higher, reducing their accuracy.
- Shelters were initially problematic, but the British people found refuge in the network of underground tunnels.
- The Blitz claimed 43,000 lives and may have injured another 139,000 people in 147 raids, 71 of which targeted London.
- Around two million houses were damaged or destroyed, 60% of these in London.
- On the Luftwaffe’s side, around 3,363 aircrew lost their lives and 2,265 aircrafts were shot down.
United Kingdom: The Blitz Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the United Kingdom: The Blitz across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use United Kingdom: The Blitz worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Blitz which was the intense bombing campaign undertaken by Nazi Germany against the United Kingdom during World War II from September 7, 1940–May 11, 1941.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- United Kingdom: The Blitz Facts
- World War II
- Causes of War
- Blitz Belligerents
- Blitz Map
- Blitz Illustrated
- Images of the Blitz
- Strategic Defense
- Modern Defense Strategy
- Then and Now
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Link will appear as United Kingdom: The Blitz Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 4, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.