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Why And How Did Britain Survive The War From 1940-1943?
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As you can see from this map war was raging in Europe in 1940 and Britain ?was in big trouble. Germany appeared unstoppable as the defeat of Poland had ?taken just under a month in September 1939 by using their new Blitzkrieg ?tactics in which tanks would converge in one big group and punch a massive ?hole through enemy lines. For the next months a phoney war occurred in which ?Britain prepared for a German invasion. Although Britain was officially at ?war with Germany, Britain had decided not to assist the Polish with their ?war effort but if war broke...
of military ?hardware the Americans produced. German invasion of Russia took the pressure ?off us and military planning and scientific skill meant that the German ?threat in the Atlantic was put to rest. The grit and determination of the ?British people meant that we survived the Blitz. Although as a result of the ?Second World War this country was in massive debt and had work to do to ?build itself up again, the factors from 1940-43 caused Britain"s eventual ?victory over it"s enemies and enabled future generations to live their lives ?freely and peacefully. Just think what could have happened????
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In March 1917, the... In March 1917, the situation for the Russians had become desperate, there was a serious mood of discontent. The climate in Russia is cold and harsh so the soil is poor making trade very difficult and sometimes not at all. The workers wanted political changes as well as food and fuel. In Petrograd as St. Petersburg had been renamed to avoid any German connection, 40,000 workers went on strike for higher wages and the people and troops overthrew the Tsar Nicholas II, as he was an autocrat absolute ruler. The outbreak of World War One had some positive effects for the Tsar Nicholas II. It created a sense of unity amongst the Russian population; it increased Russian's feelings of pride and patriotism. Also all the different strands of Russia's population looked to Tsar for leadership. However, these feelings of hope and prosperity were short lived. As the Tsar was very much influenced by his wife, Tsarina Alexandra, due to her encouraging him to withdraw from public events to a private family world and her determination that Nicholas should not share power with the people of Russia. Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich was one of the many contemporaries Nicholas's had, he stated that, 'Nicholas never had an opinion of his own"¦always agreeing with the judgement of the last person he spoke to'; As Sergei Witte's, chief minister under Nicholas; opinion of the Tsar was in his favor 'he has a quick mind and learns easily. In this respect he is far superior to his father' it is also known that Sergei disliked Nicholas but knew him to make this judgement, this proves that people had mixed opinions on him. Nicholas's way in dealing with protests, strikes and any other suggestion of trade unions was violence. Such as Bloody Sunday The 1905 revolution, this was the spark for an increase in opposition. It was the uprising of strikes, petitions and peasants. By June and July, the strikes had spread to other cities; workers demanded an eight-hour working day, higher wages and better working conditions. Different groups were demanding changes, the middle-class demanded open elections, freedom of speech and the right to form political parties. Poles and Fihns demanded independence and the Jews wanted equal rights; a peace treaty was signed between the Russians and the Japanese in September. However, on the 30th October 1905, the Tsar had the choice of giving in or using force as the strikes were co-ordinated and the soviets were formed in other cities. He gave in and issued the October manifesto. He promised the people of Russia a parliament or Duma elected by people, Civil Rights and uncensored newspapers and the right to form political parties. But later that same year, when the army returned the Tsar felt strong enough to take the control he had lost. He sent troops to take revenge on workers and peasants; their houses were looted and burned. After a year of violence 1905, Tsar Nicholas had an opportunity to address the grievances of his people middle-class, liberals, workers, peasants. However, the Tsar failed to do this, leading to increased resentment from many strands of Russian Society. Russian socialists and their relationship to the war played a crucial role for revolution in Russia. Lenin, the leader of the radical Bolsheviks otherwise known as Trotsky, was an outlaw and actually lived in Finland at the beginning of World War I. The Bolsheviks were workers and intellectual students, who worked in a secretive, organised party, that wanted to overthrow the Tsar and wanted to create a socialist state. Lenin carried lively debates with the mass organisation on the more moderate side of the Russian Social Democrats called Mensheviks. Who also wanted to overthrow the Tsar and create a socialist state, with the exception that they worked in a widely known party, which co-operated with trade unions unlike the Bolsheviks. Different to the other socialist, Lenin was actually in favour of war at this point because he thought that it would weaken capitalism. Simultaneously, many Russian soldiers were dying due to lack of leadership, shortage of munitions and very limited medical care. Millions of male peasants were sent to help the war so there was a shortage of farm workers therefore less food was being produced. In addition, the Russian railway system was being used to carry food to the home front and so the trains that carried the food to the cities had been reduced. Many factories were closed, making people unemployed. Coal and industrial materials were short, and meant that people were not only hungry but cold as well. As a result of the shortages, prices were rising but wages were kept the same. Tsar Nicholas II made a terrible mistake in September 1915. He decided to take over the running of the war and go to the war front himself. This may be due to Nicholas being trained as a soldier, not to become statesmanship. Never the less, this had serious consequences. Firstly, Nicholas himself was directly held responsible for defeats in the war. Following, the tsar handed over the control of the country to the tsarina. Due to her German background, the people mistrusted her and believed she was a spy. Her reputation was falling drastically. Tsarina Alexandra' s relationship with Rasputin contributed further to the collapse of her reputation; some even thought they were lovers. She refused to work with the Duma, which caused many problems. She worked with 'our men' who were friends of Rasputin. So many changes were made, that no one organised food, fuel and other supplies. To such an extent that food was just left to rot on the broken down railways. By this time, the Tsar was losing support severely. The middle-class were unhappy with the Tsar by the end of 1916, one of the many reasons was due to soldiers not receiving appropriate medical treatment. Copious amounts of industrialists complained about the lack of raw materials. The aristocracy were also depressed about the lack of workers for their estates and the control that the Tsarina and Rasputin had over the Russian government. This is when most of strikes broke out. There was no return now"¦the revolution had begun. The Tsar ordered that protests and marches be crushed with force; after all there had been many riots before. But when the leader of Duma, Rodzianko, sent Nicholas a telegram notifying him that the situation was at crisis point, however what Nicholas failed to realise is that they now wanted to get rid of him! So as a result the Tsar decided not to take any notice of this warning. Meanwhile, the Army had taken sides. Soldiers in Petrograd refused to fire on the swarm of people gathered in streets; even some regiments shot their officers and joined the demonstrations. The soldiers had had enough of the war and demanded that the Duma should take the control of the Russian government. Also on March 12 the revolutionary instinct of the people was released. Prisons were opened and the prisoners mingled with the demonstrators. Street fights developed with the troops and the police sent in to suppress them. Only two days later, on March 14, the Tsarist Regime is overthrown in St. Petersburg while an uprising in Moscow is also successful. Nicholas did try to return to Petrograd but it was too late. Railway workers refused to let his train into cities The Duma Committee then sent a delegation to see the tsar in Pskov and force him to abdicate - which he does on the following day, March 15th. His brother Grand Duke Michael took over but the people had had enough of the Royal Family. On 22nd March 1917, Nicholas II was arrested at the army headquarters and imprisoned at Tsarkoe Selo, the famous royal palace in the countryside. It was then the Tsar and his whole family were killed at Ekaterinburg in the Urals in July 1918. From this we can easily see that the Russian Government was poorly run, however from this evidence it is not whether that the Tsar's himself approved on the approach taken towards his dictatorship. Moreover, from our sources it is clear that, whether genetically inherited or purely leisure that violence was his way of moving himself up Russia's political hierarchy. Due to Nicholas's hatred and unpopularity his death was inevitable. Ironically, he was overthrown by his people that he was slaughtering for, thus leaving the thrown for the citizens decree.   

In March 1917, the situation for the Russians had become desperate, there was a serious mood of discontent. The climate in Russia is cold and harsh so the soil is poor making trade very difficult and sometimes not at all. The workers wanted political changes as well as...

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The war on the western... The war on the western front was not over by Christmas 1914 for a number of factors. These include; the failure of the Schlieffen Plan, meaning Germany had to fight a war on two fronts. Secondly, the development of trench warfare resulted in both sides fighting a defensive war. The introduction of new weaponry such as, machine guns, tanks and gas bombs caused a static war with few advances made. Another factor was the alliance systems in Europe. Seven years before the First World War, countries in Europe had formed alliances. Two of these consisted of the Triple Entente "“France, Britain and Russia, and the Triple Alliance "“ Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary. These factors inter-linked together to cause the prolonged war. The causes of World War One consist of long term reasons - historic events that build up to cause the war, and short term reasons "“ events that spark off the war. One of the most important long-term reasons was Empire Rivalry. In 1900, a large empire was not only good for trade but also for prestige. Britain and France had large empires, and these continued to grow during the 1900's. Germany too wanted a large overseas empire. The result was that in the years to 1900, competition between the European powers became intense. This therefore links to Naval Rivalry, as Germany resented Britain's large empire, they started building their navy rapidly. In 1900, Britain's navy was still by far the biggest in the world, its had to be to protect the vast British empire, yet Britain was getting worried about Germany's increasing strength. The British were determined their navy should remain the largest. Soon a race to build new battleships developed. Another long-term reason was Alliance systems. In Europe, to keep peace, countries had formed alliances, The Triple Entente and The Triple Alliance. Instead of making countries feel safer, it increased their fears of getting dragged into war. This links to a short-term reason, The assassination or Franz Ferdinand. Serbia was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, but they wanted to gain independence. Austria-Hungary did not want Serbia to become an Independent country, due to a decline in trade in Austria-Hungary. Some Serbs were so unhappy with this, that on the 28th of June 1914, Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary was assassinated. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Due to the Alliance system, Austria-Hungary's allies, and Serbia's allies were dragged into war. A second short-term reason was the creating of the Schlieffen Plan, a link to the Alliance Systems. Germany was so worried about being surrounded by their enemy alliances, France and Russia, that in 1905 a German general drew up the Schlieffen Plan "“ designed to avoiding fighting a war on two fronts. This lead to the war lasting longer as the alliance systems meant Europe was tangled in a web of alliances, adding more soldiers and weapons, therefore leading to the war lasting longer. European countries involved, had their own men and weaponry, and because this type of weaponry used was defensive rather than of an attacking nature, it lasted longer, and with more men able to fight, the longer the war would last. The Schlieffen plan was created so the German army could concentrate their forces on one particular country at a time, rather than having to split their army. The creation of the Schlieffen plan, links to the alliance systems because Germany was surrounded by two great powers, France and Russia, in alliance with each other and Germany felt threatened therefore being driven to war by fear and insecurity. Empire Rivalry is also linked to the creation of the Schlieffen plan, as Germany wanted to gain a bigger empire and thought that by taking over France and Russia, this would lead to greater power for the country as well as security. The plan stated that the German army would pass through neutral Belgium in 48 hours and attack France, before they had a chance to move their army from the border of Germany for defence. The German army would then move east, and attack Russia. The Schlieffen Plan was based on a very tight time schedule, and involved risks that were, at the time, considered unimportant. The main factor to enable the plan to run smoothly was the speed of the army, in attacking Belgium. The failure of the Schlieffen plan was a very important reason for the war to last longer due to the tight time schedule. The plan set 48 hours to attack Belgium, and the German army did not think this would become a problem, as Belgium did not have an army. Yet, when Belgium put up a fight, and prevented access for 10 days, this became a major problem. The French army had time to move up to Paris, and prepare defence, and Russia had longer to anticipate war and prepare their weaponry for German attack. Russia was a fairly poor country, and the Schlieffen plan stated it would take at least 6 weeks to prepare for attack, but whilst Belgium were withstanding the German army, it gave the Russians more time for preparation. The German army was also made from conscripts, and the timing for the plan was based on professional German soldiers. Alliance Systems contributed to the failure of the Schlieffen Plan as Britain had promised to protect Belgium and had formed alliances with France and Russia. Instead of just fighting one country, Alliance Systems meant other countries became involved and consequently making more equal forces and powers. The Germans did not think about the timing, and took many risks in putting the plan forward, and with its failure, led to the prolonged war. Trench warfare also led to the prolonged war. When the German army turned eastwards to fight Russia it met resistance from The Triple Entente. The Germans were driven back at the Battle of Marne. Both sides dug trenches. Trenches were built to protect the soldiers from gunfire, and defend their area. Trenches were built in rows, first the front line, then the support trench, followed by the reserve trenches. The aim was to take over the enemies' trench, and make advances by gaining ground, although the enemy lines hardly moved. British and French soldiers spent days, even weeks consecutively in the trenches, despite the conditions. The trenches were extremely, muddy, damp and wet. Clothing in the trenches never had a chance to dry out properly, meaning many soldiers developed 'trench foot' where the soldiers boots were constantly in moisture and a warm environment, perfect for bacteria to grow. This would rot the feet away, causing gangrene. Trench warfare developed as a result of the Failure of the Schlieffen Plan because French defences had time to move into the right place, consequently placing two enemies opposite each other, ultimately leading to trench warfare. The Germans met resistance from The Triple Entente at the Battle of Marne, and were faced with attack. Both the German army and The Triple Entente built trenches to defend their area, protecting the German army from invading France as the Schlieffen plan had stated they would do. Due to the tactics and weapons used in trench warfare, this led to a defensive war, with few advances being made on either side. This therefore led to stalemate, where neither side could advance, causing the prolonged war. During trench warfare, many new weapons were invented to 'help' defences advance. Tanks were invented by the British and were used to cross ' no man's land' and attack the oppositions' trench. Some tanks were made from strong metal and resisted gunfire, but if an well-aimed grenade hit the tanks, they were a death trap. The tanks were also extremely slow at 3-4 mph, and most got stuck in mud where they were hit by artillery. Few tanks actually made it over to the front line of the enemy trench. New weaponry also included machine guns, which would fire hundreds of bullets at a time and killed many people at a time. Mustard gas was also used on the opposition, yet it was not always reliable. If the wind changed, the weapon could be used against them. These weapons were used to protect trenches, and both the Triple Entente and the German army were well equipped. The trenches were so well defended; neither side advanced more than 10 miles forward or backwards from the positions they first held. New weaponry led to the prolonged war, because the defences used either killed soldiers or defended their land so well that no advances could be made, so war just carried on, leading to stalemate. Neither side could win. Neither side was willing to make peace. Stalemate is where trench warfare results in lack of movement or advances. Trench warfare meant that both sides dug down and fought a defensive war, rather than an attacking war. Each side was so well equipped, that many soldiers died without a consequence. The use of modern weapons continued, with no effect, or major advances, and made trench warfare the only possibility during The First World War. Stalemate was caused as a link to the failure of the Schlieffen Plan, as both sides dug down and used trench warfare as defence but with the new weaponry and battle tactics used, this led to Stalemate. Stalemate led to the war lasting longer, as neither side could win the war, and the method of warfare used did not enable either side to advance. By December 1914, lines of trenches stretched along the western front from the English Channel to Switzerland. Savage battles were fought, only to gain a few hundred metres. Overall, I think one of the most important reasons to have prolonged the war was the failure of the Schlieffen plan, because this led to a defensive war using trench warfare, which then contributes to stalemate. The main reason the plan failed was because the plan relied upon rapid movement. The resistance of the Belgians and the British army prevented this. One of the reasons, the failure of the Schlieffen plan led to stalemate was because it is easier to defend than attack and with two great powers with equal men and weaponry, made a conclusion that was difficult to resolve. It was only the Americans involvement in the war, in 1918, that broke the stalemate and enabled the Triple Entente to win the war.   

The war on the western front was not over by Christmas 1914 for a number of factors. These include; the failure of the Schlieffen Plan, meaning Germany had to fight a war on two fronts. Secondly, the development of trench warfare resulted in both sides fighting a defensive war....

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