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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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The conflict in Ireland... The conflict in Ireland began in 1150 with the Norman invasion but it was not until 1541 when Henry the 8th made himself king of Ireland that problems between the Catholics and protestants. Protestants began to colonise Ireland building settlements called plantations, this meant that Catholics had land taken off them and became poorer. This later prompted acts of secretarian violence. In 1641 there was a catholic rebellion in Ulster, thousands of Protestants were either murdered or driven out of the area. Oliver Cromwell later defeated the rebels, many Catholics were massacred and their land was taken away from them. On The 12th of July 1690 William of Orange finally defeated King James 2nd the catholic king of England at the battle of the Boyne, which is still celebrated today by Protestants of the orange order. After 1690 anti "“ catholic laws wee introduced. Catholics could not vote, become members of parliament, own a horse or a sword or take a government job. These laws stayed in place for almost 130 years until the Catholic Emancipation act in 1829. In 1845 a potato famine struck Ireland, Catholics were given no help from protestant landowners and thousands starved. From around 1850 onwards support for Home Rule grew, the Irish people wanted their own government. By 1914 Home Rule was ready to be put into action but this was not to be as the outbreak of world war one in 1914 meant that Home Rule had to be postponed. These events show the way that Catholics and Protestants have treated each other for centuries, it is these killings and rebellions that have led to the situation in Ireland today and due to history the divide between the two communities is as wide as ever. As long as history is remembered in Ireland these differences will not be overcome and the two sides will always have a reason for conflict. The Easter Rising was the armed uprising of Irish nationalists against the rule of Britain in Ireland. The uprising began on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, and was centred in Dublin. The chief objectives were the attainment of political freedom and the establishment of an Irish republic separate from Britain. Centuries of discontent, marked by numerous rebellions, preceded the uprising. The new crisis began to develop in September 1914, following the outbreak of World War I. Suspension of the bill stimulated the growth of the Citizen Army, an illegal force of Dublin citizens organized by the Irish Volunteers, a nationalist organization and the extremist Irish Republican Brotherhood. Leaders of these organizations planned the uprising. Hostilities began around noon on April 24, when about 2,000 men led by Pearse seized control of the Dublin post office GPO and other points within the city. Shortly after these initial successes, the leaders of the rebellion proclaimed the independence of Ireland and announced the establishment of a provisional government of the Irish Republic. The rebels occupied additional positions during the night, and by the morning of April 25 they controlled a considerable part of Dublin. The counter-offensive by British forces began that afternoon with the arrival of reinforcements. Martial law was proclaimed throughout Ireland. Bitter street fighting developed in Dublin, during which the strengthened British forces steadily dislodged the Irish from their positions. By the morning of April 29, the GPO building, site of the rebel headquarters, was under violent attack. Recognizing the futility of further resistance under heavy British artillery bombardment, Pearse surrendered unconditionally in the afternoon of April 29. The British immediately brought the leaders of the uprising to trial before a field court-martial. Fifteen of the group, including Pearse, Connolly, and MacDonagh were sentenced to death and executed by firing squad. Four others received death sentences that were later commuted to life imprisonment. Casement was convicted of treason and hanged. Many others prominently connected with the rebellion were sentenced to long prison terms The Easter Rising had different long-term and short-term effects. In the short term the rising was a failure, as a republic was not formed and many of he rebels and their leaders were killed. Looking at in on the long term however the rising was in fact a success. When the people of Ireland found out about the way the leaders of the rising had been treated and the fact that 15 of them had been executed without a fair trial they were shocked. Due to this support for independence instead of Home Rule grew. When the leaders were executed the people of Ireland thought that the British had been very unfair. They felt increased compassion for the rebels and their cause. This lead to increased support for the Nationalist party Sinn Fein. The Easter Rising also affected the attitudes of the Nationalists and Loyalists. The Nationalists became even more determined that Ireland should become an independent state and that the rebels should not have died in vain whereas the Loyalists became even more determined that that Ireland should remain part of Britain and that the Nationalist rebels were traitors. Due to this in some ways the Easter Rising served to widen the divide between the Nationalists and the Loyalists. The Easter Rising is remembered today as a turning point in their history. The Easter Rising alone was not the only event that brought significant change in Ireland it was however the first major event that started the chain off events that led to significant changes within Ireland. Change may have occurred without the Easter Rising but I doubt it would have been so long ago or so quickly. The Easter Rising brought the republican groups to the attention of the Irish people and therefore they quickly gained the support that they needed for changes in Ireland to take place. The Easter Rising is remembered today by nationalists as a turning point in their history. Conscription also helped to bring support for Sinn Fein. In March 1918 the British were running short of men in the war with Germany. They decided to bring in conscription in Ireland. This meant that Irish men would be forced to join the British army and fight for Britain. After the Easter Rising in 1916 and the execution of the rebels this caused outrage. The anger meant that conscription was not brought in but ever more people now supported Sinn Fein. After world war one a general election was held in Ireland. Sinn Fein won 73 out off 107 seats in Ireland. This shows phenomenal support for Sinn Fein. The Sinn Fein M.P.'s refused to go to Westminster and set up their own parliament in Dublin. The parliament, called Dail Eireann, was banned by the British so they had to meet secretly. At the same time civil war was breaking out in Ireland. The IRA was willing to use force to make the British leave Ireland. By 1920 their guerrilla attacks on the British army and police were happening all over Ireland. This was called the war of independence and thousands of people were killed. It became clear that neither side could win the war and a truce was called in 1921. An Anglo Irish Treaty was signed by the Dail and Westminster, Ireland was to be partitioned. The North of Ireland became known as Northern Ireland with 6 counties staying part of the UK, the people here were mainly Protestant and Unionist. The south became the Irish Free State; the people here were mainly Nationalist and Catholic In 1921 after 'the war of independence' between the IRA and the British it was decided that Ireland was to be divided or partitioned. However this did not solve all of the problems in Ireland, in the years after the partition Northern Catholics felt that they were discriminated against. Many more Catholics were unemployed than Protestants, they had more council houses than Protestants, Catholics could be arrested and held without a trial and their votes were worth less than that of a protestant in an election. In Derry a town that was 70% Catholic it was fixed so that there could never be a Catholic council. The town was divided into 3 wards. There was one ward for the south of the town, which was predominantly Catholic, and 2 wards in the north and east where the inhabitants were protestant. The Catholic ward could elect 8 councillors and each of the 2 protestant wards could elect 6. This ensured that there could never be a Catholic majority. The Catholics wanted fairer treatment in Northern Ireland and so began non-violent protests and marches. However the mainly protestant police force took a very tough line and violence between Catholics. Protestants and the police spread rapidly. This unfair discrimination by Protestants against Catholics caused anger and resentment between the two sides to grow and increased the tension within the two communities. In August 1969 the British government was forced to send in troops to restore order. It was meant to be only a temporary measure but they have remained there ever since. At first the Catholics welcomed the soldiers to their streets even offering them cups of tea as they thought the soldiers would protect them from protestant violence. These acts of kindness however did not last long. The British army were under the control of the Unionist council and it soon became apparent that they would be little different from the police in the way they treated the Catholics. The arrival of the British army did not put and end to the violence and Northern Ireland seemed to be slipping out of control. Violence was increasing dramatically and this gradual slip into disorder finally reached its climax on Bloody Sunday, January 30th 1972. The Catholics were marching through the Streets of Londonderry on another non-violent protest against the discrimination that they were facing in Northern Ireland. The streets were heavily patrolled by British troops there to supposedly prevent any violence. It cannot be said for certain what happened next but a shot was fired. It cannot be proved which side fired the first shot but the results were devastating. The British troops opened fire on the protesters, they feel to the floor for cover but as a result of the shootings 13 unarmed Catholic protesters were shot dead. The actions of the soldiers were greatly criticized By the Irish people who found the deaths unacceptable. As a result of Bloody Sunday 20 000 people attack and burned down the British embassy. The IRA also stepped up its bombing campaign in Northern Ireland and England, they were also given orders to kill as many British soldiers as they could find. As a direct result of Bloody Sunday violence in Northern Ireland became the worst it had been for years. Bloody Sunday was to have a lasting effect on the conflict in Northern Ireland for years to come. The deaths during and following Bloody Sunday would never be forgotten nor forgiven by either side. After Bloody Sunday the British government had to return to a policy of Home Rule. For the IRA this was a success. It was not what they wanted but it was better than having unionists in control of Northern Ireland. Due to this the IRA thought that they could use violence to get a united Ireland, which would have a great impact on the conflict in Ireland in the future. I have found that all of the events that I have looked at have had some effect on the conflict in Northern Ireland. The Easter Rising was the first major event that set of the chain of events which led to significant change in Northern Ireland and therefore had a large impact on the history of the conflict. I have also looked at how the deployment of troops and Catholic discrimination led to hatred and resentment for the Unionists and British. I have also looked at Bloody Sunday and its effects on violence and the IRA and I have found that it has had a large impact on the history of the conflict in Northern Ireland. All of these factors have added to the history of the conflict, helping to widen the divide between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland and also providing a reason for the conflict to carry on today and into the future.   

The conflict in Ireland began in 1150 with the Norman invasion but it was not until 1541 when Henry the 8th made himself king of Ireland that problems between the Catholics and protestants. Protestants began to colonise Ireland building settlements called plantations, this meant that Catholics had land...

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The date was December 1915; Britain...The date was December 1915; Britain was in its first world war against Germany. Neither side had made any real progress toward victory, although hundreds of attacks had taken place either side and thousands of troops had been killed. The British were questioning how well their army was being run, so on the 10th December 1915 Field Marshall Haig was chosen as the new leader. He was 54 years old and had a long and successful military career; he had been a celebrated cavalry commander in the Boer War fifteen years earlier. This was not an easy job to take on however, as this war was the first to use trench warfare. It was a whole new way of fighting and no-one really knew how to fight a trench war, let alone win a trench war. British generals could not use ideas and tactics that had previously been used to success in past wars. February 1916 and the French allies in Verdun were struggling. The Germans had launched another attack; they did not expect to break through, only to wear down the morale and strength of the French. After five months and 700,000 deaths, the French were hanging on and the British needed to relieve the pressure on the French. Haig decided on a major attack along the River Somme, he thought this would draw the Germans away from the attack on Verdun and heighten the morale of the French soldiers. Haig had information that the Germans were outnumbered and their morales were low. However, there is a lot of evidence of poor planning and preparation. Haig actually failed to keep the plans and preparation secret. The Germans discovered the plans and strengthened their position, if Haig had been more careful with the information, the British would have had the key element of their attack, the element of surprise! June 1916 before the battle Haig said 'The nation must be taught to bear losses. No amount of skill on the part of the higher commanders, no training, however good, on the part of the officers and men, no superiority of arms and ammunition, however great, will enable victories to be won without the sacrifice of men's lives. The nation must be prepared to see heavy casualty lists.' This shows he does not worry about how many men die in the progress of winning a battle, but also shows the soldiers who were going to fight knew the risk. Despite their enthusiasm, British infantry and artillery training was not good enough. There was no training on flexible formations, even though they were going to make a linear advance. They had poorly trained gunners and only one gun every 50 metres compared to the French sectors 1 gun in every 18m. This can only be blamed on the Commander- in Chief Douglas Haig. 30 June 1916, the day before the attack started, Haig said- 'The men are in splendid spirits. Several have said that they have never before been so instructed and informed of the nature of the operation before them. The barbed wire has never been so well, nor the artillery preparation so thorough. All the commanders are full of confidence'. Yet Private George Coppard, who survived the Somme said' Quite as many died on the enemy wire as on the ground' and 'There were no gaps in the wire'. How did the planners imagine that Tommies British Soldiers would get through the wire? On the first day of the Battle, there were 60,000 British casualties. This was because the intentions of the attack on June 24 wire to cut the wire and run in and destroy German trenches. However, although the German trenches were destroyed, the underground the underground trenches were not. As a result, the Germans were able to crawl out and rapidly set up machine guns in the ruined trenches. When the British troops emerged from their trenches, they were slaughtered by German machine gun fire. The British artillery did not support the advancing troops and so they failed to make any significant advances. 1 July 1916, on the first day of the attack Haig said 'Very successful attack this morning"¦All went like clockwork"¦The Battle is going very well for us and already the Germans are surrounding freely. The enemy is so short of men that he is collecting them from all parts of the line. Our troops are in wonderful spirits and full of confidence.' As a general, Haig never personally visited the front line. A biography of Haig mentions 'While Haig slept in a cosy bed in a quiet country château and dined on the best food available, his men however lived in muddy, noisy trenches sharing their bully beef and biscuits with big bloated rats.' Also the French, who had the same number of men than the British and were facing the same amount of Germans, only lost a fraction of their men 195,000 compared to Britain's loss of 600,000. This was down to Haig's poor leadership. Although it can be said however that Haig didn't actually need to be on the front line as he wouldn't get the whole picture of what was happening and also a main part of why he actually was not actually on the front line was that he was needed back for communication reason. Haig had his explanations which he wrote after the war in 1919, he said 'In the course of the struggle, losses are bound to be heavy on both sides, for in this the price of victory is paid. There is no way of avoiding this but our total losses in this war have been no- larger than we expected.' We attacked whenever possible, because a defensive policy involves the loss of the initiative, the object of all war is victory and a defensive attitude can never bring this about. However there are a lot of points for both sides of the argument, one of the arguments is that all generals including Haig were taught the same way of fighting. No one knew how to fight a war on this scale. Haig wasn't to blame on all parts as he misjudged the size of the German army by misleading information. Haig and the British army were also very patient and although the attack wasn't going as well as planned they stuck it through and stayed with it. Also Haig was actually betrayed by the British Prime Minister David Lloyd George who placed Haig subordinate over the French commander, therefore the French commander was actually commanding. Haig actually didn't want to use the Somme as the German trenches were strong. A huge impact on Haigs view of how well the battle was going was that he was actually dis-informed about what happened, therefore thinking his attack was going well and stuck with it. Sir John French was actually in control as Haig succeeded him. Haig also mentions that if they were going to win the war then their had to be sacrifices and men were going to have to die. This shows that he informed, even warned people that the death toll was going to be high. If this is so, the why was it such a shock and outrage when so many men died? Haig blamed the inexperience of the soldiers, but there were faults on behalf of the British hierarchy. There was poor infrastructure of roads and rail which held up reserves and supplies. There was a failure to train infantry properly and frontal assaults were suicidal. The battle was said to be a total defeat for Haig. However, Haig cannot take blame for some things. This was a new style of warfare that he had no training in and so therefore felt the need to stick to old strategies like the linear attack. Also, Haig could not have anticipated the survival of the Germans after the British attack and could not have known how well dugout the German trenches would be. Any commander could have made the same mistake. In conclusion, Sir Douglas Haig proved himself to be a poor leader of the British Army and indeed deserves most of the criticism he received, yet some of his decisions can be understood to a certain extent when considered from his perspective. A balanced view needs to be taken of Haig's leadership, as some situations could not have been avoided.   

The date was December 1915; Britain was in its first world war against Germany. Neither side had made any real progress toward victory, although hundreds of attacks had taken place either side and thousands of troops had been killed. The British were questioning how well their army was being run,...

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