The Spirit Of The Blitz.

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by ozzy16, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Noted lots of threads on here concerning the Blitz.

    I was recently given these 2 images no idea which book, magazine they came from or the area they represent.
    But they clearly show the spirit of people trying to carry out their normal daily tasks during the Blitz.
    A spirit Hitler could never break.

    Graham.

    bliz1.jpg
     
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  2. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    The Spirit of the Blitz is always considered a real sign of British strength and character etc, but is it? or is it just human nature? surely in German cities that Bomber Command and the 8th Air Force absolutely devastated the locals also got on as they had too, similarly more recently places like Sarajevo when it was under siege with shellfire and sniping, people still got on with things. I just wonder if its a case of life goes on.
     
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Strength of character shows itself across the ages

    From this perspective of The Blitz it was a true spirit when ordinary folk knew the consequences of defeat at the hands of hitler and indeed just got on with it
     
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  4. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I'm still not sure why the Blitz seems to be raised above - did people really know how terrible the consequences would have been? and were they thinking I need to just get on with things to stop Hitler or just trying to make the best of things. Would folk in Leipzig not also worry about the consequences of Stalin's hoards?
     
  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    The "Blitz spirit " was a very useful semi myth. In reality there were certainly examples where upper lips did not remain stiff and communities did not pull together. Whereas 1,500,000 children and mothers were evacuated from the cities under the two main evacuation schemes, 2,000,000 mainly adults fled the bombing of their own volition and without any form of organisation (Richard M Titmuss, History of the Second World War Problems of Social Policy, HMSO, London.1950 page 137) and there were many cases of looting and other crimes. I had two aunts both of whom stayed in London during its blitz (one was married to an American reporter covering it) and from their accounts whilst there were many who did display the blitz spirit there was a significant minority that did not. In order to foster British morale as a whole (and to provide the message to the USA that Britain was worth supporting) it was necessary to play up the former and suppress the latter and the British media did a superb job. It is interesting to note that Goebbels was constantly berating the German film industry for failing to engender a German equivalent (Jo Fox, Film Propaganda in Britain and Nazi Germany, Bloomsbury, 2007). He was still going on about it in April 1945
     
  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    I have never been a thinker

    upload_2020-1-16_14-55-39.jpeg
     
  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    There is a newsreel film somewhere I have seen, where Churchill, while visiting the London Docklands after a terrible night of bombing, tells the crowd "we can take it", only to be castigated by an old woman who tears a strip off him an tells him, "you come and stay here then and take it."

    My Nan told me that when the planes came over where she was in North London, they were supposed to go to the local tube station. The first time she attempted to take my two year old Mum and her little brother down there, they were knocked over by some men pushing passed to get below. She never went again, choosing instead to crouch everyone under the kitchen table in her second floor flat. She told me, "If we took a direct hit, at least we would all go together!"
     
  8. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    There is a photo of Churchill facing a number of workmen clearing rubble. They appear to be cheering him whilst he is giving a victory sign. It was used in many school history books as an illustration of inter class solidarity during the Blitz. Back in the 60s an old friend was teaching history in an army school at Aldershot. She drew the really hard case form - the kids who were always in trouble. One of them asked "please Miss why is he telling them to f*** off" and the whole form pointed out that the position of his hand showed that he was giving a very different kind of V sign. Subsequent research revealed that the workmen had been shouting abuse at Winnie and he had responded in a robust manner. The photo was not used again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  9. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    If I knew how to find and search my Kindle downloads I would give the title of the book about the bomber war but in it it states that in the early months and years of the war the British authorities actually believed that the German civilian population lacked the same type of moral fibre for them to withstand the bombing of their own country which was obviously wrong as life would go on after the all clear was given
    And in many cities, especially Plymouth, the authorities noticed that after the big raids a lot of the population would go out in to the countryside at night to get away from any follow up raids, something the authorities tried to stop to prevent any collapse in morale. And the same thing happened in Germany so in terms of a Blitz spirit or lack of one there wasn't much difference between the nations.

    EDIT: The book is The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 by Richard Overy
     
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  10. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    For a better understanding of the darker side of the Blitz spirit I would recommend reading Donald Thomas's: An Underworld at War. Spivs, Deserters, Racketeers and Civilians in the Second World War. It reveals in great detail what the 1945 Sidney Gilliat film Waterloo Road could only hint at. It will make you proud to be British.

    Waterloo Road (film) - Wikipedia
     

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