To What Extent Did The Home Front

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To What Extent Did The Home Front In Britain Affect The Outcome Of The Second World War Essay, Research Paper To what extent did the Home Front in Britain affect the outcome of the Second World War? In September 1939 Britain went to war against Germany, the war lasted until 1945 in Europe. Throughout this time there was always on front, which was constant, this was the home front. The home front was the front at which the British people were involved. Those who were not fighting were expected to work for the British war gain and to support the war fully. They were also expected to make some sacrifices for the good of the country. In this essay I will be examining to what extent the home front and the people on it affected the outcome of the war for Britain. I will be

examining different factors including those affecting production and those affecting morale. There are a number of factors affecting production and output these included union militancy, morale and how the industries were controlled. A case study that can be used to best illustrate the factors is the coal industry. The coal industry employed 1 man in 20 during the war. There was a lack of technology therefore many men were needed. The coal industry had a history of union militancy and striking going back to the general strike in 1926. Worried about strikes and the effect they could have on the British war effort Churchill banned strikes and set-up a national arbitration tribunal, which would attempt to solve disputes. This did little to stop the strikes and in 1043 1,800,000

working days were lost to strikes with 1,875 separate strikes. This number increased in 1944 with 3,700,000 days being lost through 2,194 separate strikes. There was a drop in coal production, which was not beneficial for the British war effort. The government blamed the large number of strikes and absenteeism whereas the miners blamed the loss of skilled workers to the army. The media agreed with the government and argued that the strikers were holding back the war and holding back the invasion of France. Overall even though there were a large number of strikes production espcially munitions production was never halted due to a lack of coal. Because of the large numbers of men who had joined the army at the beginning of the war there were a large number of job positions left

open which need to be filled. At the beginning of the war Chamberlain called for women to become volunteer workers to help the British war effort. 30,000 enrolled but many were not found jobs and returned to the dole queue. Ernest Bevin the minister of trade and industry was reluctant to employ women but when it became apparent that another 2 million workers would be needed in 1940 he re-introduced conscription for female workers. Many women disliked war work because it detracted from their work in the home. Also women had to suffer prejudice as there was no equal opportunities for example they were only paid 60% of the male wage. This lack of equal opportunities did little to help the female morale. The women?s work was key to the British war effort as they were involved in all

the major war industries such as armaments manufacture. The population of Britain was much more involved in the war and the war industries than in the First World War. Churchill said ? whole of the warring nations are not only soldiers but the entire population?The workmen are soldiers with different weapons.? This state was sometimes described as a ?total war?. In 1939 with the declaration of war there was a mass evacuation of people from the major cities in Britain. Many people believed that there would be widespread bombings of the major cities so it was arranged that 3.5 million people would be evacuated to so called reception areas. The main area to be evacuated was London. There were a number of problems with the evacuation. People had little idea of where they were going