Preparedness For War Essay

Submitted By jessicastevenson
Words: 968
Pages: 4

Preparedness for War
Civil Defence
Evacuation in September 1939- Issues arising from evacuation, including treatment of evacuees and the varying attitudes towards them
140,000 patients sent home from hospitals to make way for expected air raid casualties
An analysis of the extent to which the ARP scheme provided effective protection for civilians and the response of the emergency services to the Blitz
Blackout procedures and the role of the ARP wardens
Women’s Voluntary Service for Civil Defence. (February 1939) Did a variety of jobs including medical support and staffing public kitchens
Shelter provision, Anderson and Morrison shelters. Affordability and effectiveness of these
Use of the London Underground (the tube) for sheltering- troglodyte mentality
Anti-aircraft defences. Severe shortage of guns to defend cities
Gas masks. Many distributed, turns out gas attacks were not a big threat
Rescue Services including Auxiliary Fire Service, medical services- shortage, some areas blocked them from leaving
Britain’s armed forces
Financial stringency of the 1930s. The government was fully aware of the exorbitant cost of rearmament.
The Army was given the lowest priority of all three services.
Preparedness of the armed forces for warfare. Defence of the Empire was the main priority for the Army during the 1930s.
Army fairly small with not enough eqiupment
The degree to which the Norway campaign and subsequent Dunkirk fiasco showed up exactly how unprepared the armed forces were.
Introduction of conscription in May 1939 prior to war breaking out. Ages and numbers involved, still not full out
The relative strength of Bomber and Fighter Command at the beginning of the war.
Development and introduction of new RAF fighters (which replaced biplanes) Spitfires and Hurricanes, which were a match for the Luftwaffe.
Development of radar (RDF) and its importance to the defence of Britain.
The strength of the Royal Navy in 1939. Number of, and age of, surface ships and submarines.
Strategic role of the Royal Navy, defending the Empire and protecting Britain’s sea routes.
Anti-submarine measures to combat the U-boats menace. However Coastal Command was not sufficiently prepared in 1939 to locate and destroy U-boats
The state of the economy
A discussion of what Chamberlain meant by “playing the long game” and how that impinged on economic policy. This was the belief that France would hold the Germans, and in the meantime Anglo – French strength would be built up to the point of overwhelming superiority and economic warfare would weaken the enemy's capacity and will to fight.
If Britain was to field the promised 32 division army before the end of the first year of war, and at the same time reaches its targets of aero plane and ship production, a much more rapid and extensive imposition of economic controls was required.
The government did move early on to take over the importation of raw materials, but allocations to industry allowed too many inessential goods to continue to be made. Inessential goods could be imported only under licence, but licences were not difficult to obtain.
The extent to which Chamberlain’s ideological opposition to government intervention in the economy led to failings in economic planning.
Chamberlain’s unwillingness to consult with the trade unions over mobilisation of labour and production targets.
Attlee’s comment that Chamberlain “treated us like dirt.” Chamberlain had been Chancellor during the 1930s and was associated with the Means Test and mass unemployment
One and a quarter million people were still unemployed by January 1940.
Spare industrial capacity in the economy still existed into 1940.
An export drive was promoted in the belief that a balance of payments surplus might provide the resources needed for the war.
Shipping space was not rigorously rationed; inessential goods were still