The British Home Front

How effective were the efforts of the British governments during World War II in mobilising and protecting their civilians
On September 1st1939 Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, invaded Poland and consequently the British and French declared war on Nazis; this was the beginning of the World War II. The lives of millions changed as total war swept the globe. Governments instantly realised that the only way to achieve victory would be to adapt their home policies to protect their civilians from the brutalities of war. The British government was one of those who were successful in changing their home policies to prevent starvation and malnutrition. They also exploited propaganda and distributed helpful wartime information. Conscription was introduced to bolster the armed forces and replace the men at war. Measures were also taken to minimise the impact of German bombings.
Britain is a small island with a relatively large population; consequently they are heavily reliant on imported goods. The German navy recognised this weakness, acknowledged the implications, and decided that a blockade of Britain would lead to mass starvation and eventual submission. Germany’s U-boats (submarines) took to the Atlantic sea to sink transport ships supplying Britain with vital foodstuffs. The British government immediately recognised their vulnerability to the blockade and decided that the British reliance on import would have to change if starvation was to be prevented. Within days of Britain’s declaration of war, the Ministry of Food instituted a rationing system as a measure to reduce national consumption. Each person was provided with a ration booklet containing coupons which could be exchanged for certain foodstuffs. At the beginning of the war, the consumption of bacon, butter and sugar was limited but as the war progressed most foodstuffs were rationed. Contrary to the depictions of long lines outside rationing stations, the rations were more than adequate; as it turned out the...