The Blitz, Britain, and The People: Reassessing the “Blitz Spirit” in the Lives of British Civilians
Date of Award
This paper covers the topic of The Blitz in Britain from September 7, 1940 to May 11, 1941 and mainly addresses the experiences of the civilians of Britain. It has been said that the civilians adopted a certain attitude known as the “Blitz Spirit,” which encouraged positivity and bravery in the face of danger, as well as evoking a sense of nationalism for the country of Britain. What the “Blitz Spirit” does not mention is the fear and the disruption that The Blitz inflicted on the lives of ordinary people. This paper will analyze this idea to see if this “spirit” was merely fact or fiction. I propose that this “Blitz Spirit” and the positive morale that it implies was mostly fiction and that morale among the people was negative, overall. My research draws on both secondary and primary sources, including online archives, as well as published primary documents. The Imperial War Museum’s website, which has a large collection of information regarding the First and Second World Wars in Britain, contains useful primary sources, such as letters, photographs, and propaganda posters from the time that The Blitz took place. For finding additional primary sources, I used memoirs from the people who lived through The Blitz. This research is significant because shedding light on the less positive aspects of The Blitz for the British people underscores the reality of living during this uncertain and fearful time in Britain's history. It may also serve as a cautionary tale for future disruptive events that will affect civilians in wartime and in times of peace.
Gee, Olivia, "The Blitz, Britain, and The People: Reassessing the “Blitz Spirit” in the Lives of British Civilians" (2020). History Undergraduate Theses. 47.