Before we begin…
World War 2 was terrible because there were battles in the skies over Britain and bombs dropped of many cities. A man called Winston Churchill, the prime minister at the time, managed to save one of his favourite buildings, St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Also, children who lived in cities and towns vulnerable to bombing were evacuated to the countryside. Also, at the end of the time period, there will be a story about a made up- evacuee. See which bits are true and see which ones are -false.
World War 2 (along with World War 1) is the worst time periods in history. More people were killed than ever during World Wars 1 and 2.
How World War 2 began
World War 2 always has a back story to it. It all started at the end of World War 1!
The treaty made the Germans poor and angry.
Enter Adolf Hitler
One of the angriest was nasty Adolf Hitler. He told everyone that he would make Germany a better place if he came into rule. Did he come into rule? Sadly, yes! In 1933, Hitler became ruler of Germany.
Everyone believed his fibs. Anyone who actually said that would be beaten up!
“Who just said that?”
Err, no one!
Does anyone know when the next flight or ship back to England is? Anyone?
A FEW HOURS LATER…
OK, I’m back in England! Jewish people were the Nazi’s targets! On the 7th of November 1938, the Nazis rampaged Jewish sections of German towns, looting, killing and smashing anything or anyone Jewish in their path.
They started rounding up people such as Gypsies, Handcapped people, Communists and other people they didn’t like. They locked them up in concentration camps.
Hitler joined up with the leader of Italy and Japan. These three leaders formed up of what was known as the Axis.
Meanwhile, Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill knew something was up. So, Neville and the French Prime Minister, Daladier, went to go and see Hitler and sign a treaty.
Did Hitler keep his promise? No! He attacked Poland. Britain, France, Canada, Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany, Italy and Japan! Neville Chamberlain came out of 10 Downing Street and Winston Churchill replaced him.
Hitler called Britain to surrender, but this is what Winston Churchill said,
Hitler ordered a massive air attack on London. We call it the Blitz but we didn’t give in.
Peace and harmony in all of Europe… not
In 1938, Neville Chamberlain went to see Hitler. Hitler and Chamberlain signed their names on a piece of paper. When he made his speech, he held the piece of paper up in the air. He thought there would be no war in Europe. Winston Churchill, on the other hand, knew that Hitler was trying to take over the world. Just like those villains you watch in films. Yes, he doesn’t succeed. But it begins war in Europe.
Also, Hitler said (in German) “That good for nothing!”
It’s mainly like a goodie (Winston Churchill) VS the baddie (Hitler) in a film, instead Hitler kills Jewish people for no reason. Then, eventually, the baddie died in 1945. And how did he die you ask? Well, he was asked to be killed before the British soldiers.
1st September 1939- Where did all the children go?
3 million children were evacuated to the countryside to places like Norfolk, Wales and other places in the countryside.
If you were lucky to have a relative living in the countryside, then you would stay with them!
If you didn’t have a relative living in the countryside, then you would be evacuated to the countryside and wait to be chosen by a complete stranger!
3rd September ‘39- an “ordinary day”
On the 3rd September 1939, Neville Chamberlain, our Prime Minister at the time along with Australia, New Zealand, Canada and France, declared war on Germany and Italy.
Everyone was heartbroken, as well as frightened and worried.
Mums and women took men’s places in factories. Men between 18 and 41 were forced to join up.
You (children) would be evacuated to the countryside (if you lived in or near a city). You would be evacuated to places like Norfolk, Wales, Suffolk (pronounced Suffok) and a few others (not by the seaside.)
2,700 children experienced life very different abroad. 2,630 children came back at the end of the war. 70 children, however, died.
For 9 long months, nothing really happens in the UK or France. Some people started calling it the “phoney” (fake) war. However, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands were being taken over by Hitler and his troops.
The Blitz was when Hitler started bombing major UK cities. Find out more about it here.
8th May 1945-
Victory in Europe Day
The war has ended (in Europe!) Everyone was on the streets, waving the Union Jack and singing songs and all that.
Meanwhile, a few thousand miles away, in Japan, two atomic bombs dropped and the explosions were so big, they wiped out entire cities, like a wipe cleaning a sink. It wasn’t until August that World War 2 ended in the East.
Hitler killed himself on the 30th April 1945 so he couldn’t be put in prison or be on trial. He also ordered the soldiers to burn his body.
The Allies won (Britain, France and Poland. America joined us later on).
Let’s go to the movies…
After 1939, they were comedy films made about the war. But, you didn’t have 30 minutes of adverts before the film starts. Firstly, you had a Walt Disney cartoon THEN you had the latest news of the war (because there was no TV service) and then FINALLY, the film. Imagine watching BBC News in the cinema. Which one do you think is worse? 30 minutes of adverts or a Walt Disney Cartoon and the news? Take your pick.
Pleased to be bombed!
The Royal Family was popular during the war. One of the main reasons is because they wanted to share the dangers of the ordinary people. Queen Elizabeth II was pleased when Buckingham Palace was bombed. She was now like the poor victims in the East End of London. This isn’t true since she had one or two comfortable houses to waddle to.
For the first time in forever…
Wars all bring death, guns and tanks. But there were some things that the war brought that we never had before.
Ball point pens didn’t need ink pots to dip into because in the planes the ink didn’t stick.
The Princess Mechanic
Queen Elizabeth II was a mechanic during the Second World War.
The thing that nobody likes: deaths. They always come in the package of war.
The Government predicted that there would be 600,000 deaths in the whole of the war! So, they:
• Printed out a million burial forms
• Layed out hundreds of cardboard coffins.
Here is a video that summarises what happened in the war: