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Essay on England in the Second World War

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In the summer of 1940, the German Air Force attempted to win air superiority over Britain (South) and the English Channel by attempting to destroy the Royal Air Force aircraft and the British aircraft industry. This would eventually be known as the Battle of Britain, and victory over the Royal Air Force was perceived by the Germans as an essential victory if they were to build any momentum to mount an invasion of the British Isles.

To start talking about the pre-war build up we must go as far back as 1931 and to the other side of the world, when Japan embarked on their first move in their expansionist bid to gain land in South East Asia to secure more territory for their ever so growing population and to gain supplies of oil and rubber. Their first activity was in the invasion of Manchuria (an area in North East China which has a long history of changing control between Russia, China and Japan). However, the Japanese were also very interested in the British’s oil and rubber territories of Malay and Burma. Around this time the enforcers of keeping world peace were the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations. England still had the largest navy in the world built to defend the huge British Empire. The English, after the First World War, were not in the mood for war. But Germany had other ideas, as Germany was ruled by a fascist dictator, Hitler, who was determined to not only get the lands back Germany had lost in the First World War, but to rule the whole of Europe, based on an ideology of race.

As for England’s entry into World War II, The British had plans for their first troops to land on friendly French territory by 9th September. What the English did not know was that Hitler and Stalin, the Russian dictator, had an agreement to attack Poland simultaneously, both from opposite sides one from the West the other from the East and share to the spoils. The Russians invaded on the 17th of September. The Poles resist manfully but are no match for the German Blitzkrieg techniques and by the 6th October this battle is over while the British army is still in France. During this period September/October 1939 the English are expecting the Germans to bomb London as a precursor to a main land invasion. The bombing does not happen and after a few months many of whom who fled due to the fear of a bombing return to their homes. England now ‘stands alone’ as the only nation in Europe or indeed the world who is willing to stand up and face Hitler’s obviously excellent military machine.

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Now on to probably most known Battle from this war the Battle of Britain. This is considered a low point for England having been thrown out of continental Europe by the Germans who are now prepared to invade England which is as difficult for them as it is for the English to land forces in Europe because of the 20-mile-wide sea ‘moat’, known as the English Channel. The Battle of Britain and the Blitz Perhaps better described as the Battle for Britain with Germany’s plan to eliminate the Royal Air Force, claim all territory, and destroy all morale that England has left. Something interesting to note is that Hitler to begin had no plans for invading England, as a matter of a fact he would have preferred to strike a deal with Britain before he’d invaded Poland; that if Britain would ignore his plans to dominate Europe he would not strike at either England or the British Empire. Anyways back to the topic, the Battle of Britain started on 13th August 1940 and lasted until October 31, 1940 when Hitler saw the Luftwaffe had not achieved the air supremacy necessary for an invasion. Daily life for civilians were dog fights or aerial battles between British and German aircraft. In those days they were quite visible from the ground being between only 1000 to 5000 feet above your head. Darkness was not uncommon because of ‘Black Outs’ almost every day. Thirdly, having to sleep or at least trying to sleep in a fortified part of your house. This did not stop until 17th September when Hitler postponed the invasion and on 12th October, he abandons all thought of invading England. In the aftermath of that battle Germany did not accomplish what they had intended to. Both sides lost heavily during the Battle of Britain, but Germany lost more this showed that Germany was not as strong as they say they are. More than 1700 Luftwaffe (German Air Force) planes were destroyed, which included 2662 German casualties, no military loss for Britain.

It was August 14, 1941. Pearl Harbor was not too far in the distant future. With Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill already working together to make a plan to foil the Nazis. The pair were drafting what’s now known as the Atlantic Charter, which was an agreement between the two world powers about how the world should and would look after the war was won. The two leaders issued their joint declaration on this day in 1941. Churchill’s main motivation for attending the secret meeting was to get the United States to join the war. But Roosevelt refused to discuss the United States joining the war. At the same time, he hoped that the Atlantic Charter would help to convince Americans they should back the move. “However, public opinion remained adamantly opposed to such a policy until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941”, writes the Office of the Historian. This was a huge turning point for England. But also, the end for any major event involving them solely as they were pretty much just backup for the US for the rest of the war. Until D-day which I won’t talk about this much because it could be an essay all by itself. The thing England did do was design a plan to storm German territory, although it did result in many casualties it did help win necessary land.

England played a major role in World War II, although it may not seem like it. The whole country helped defeat Germany, whether it was civilians or the military. The military did not fall into the traps Germany had set up. Among other things I did not mention they defended their empire in Asia from the Japanese and simultaneously defend England, Europe, Egypt and the Middle East against Hitler's Germany who was determined to conquer the whole of continental Europe from the Atlantic to Moscow. As for civilians they never gave up on their military, they never lost hope through the tough nights from the Battle of Britain.

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Essay on England in the Second World War. (2023, January 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from
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