GREAT BRITAIN PHOTO JOURNAL

By Isabella Agostino

Introduction

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In late 1938 Neville Chamberlain after signing the Munich Pact which granted Germany the permission to take Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. The British allowed for this part of the country to be taken over by Germany as long as Hitler didn't take any other place. Hitler invaded the rest of the Czechoslovakia a few months later anyways, so the appeasement that Neville and his country was hoping for didn't work.

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In March of 1939 Britain said it would support Poland if Germany invaded which would mean war. Germany invaded anyway because secretly, Hitler and Stalin signed an agreement dividing up Poland. So, on September 3rd 1939 British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had to announce to his people the prospect of a war with Germany due to troops in Poland.

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Britain had made a pledge to stand by Poland. Most MPs were very concerned. By evening of 2 September it appeared the government might fall the next day unless war was declared.

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The British civilian population during World War Two was mobilized in a way never seen before or since, living in a heavily regulated society and coming under sustained attack from the enemy. Photo: A striking message painted onto a pavement in Manchester reminds everyone to carry their gas-mask at all times. The picture was taken on 5 September 1939.

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On August 25th of 1939 Britain and Poland sign a mutual defense treaty

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On September 10th of 1939 the headliners for a British newspaper, the Sunday sister newspaper to the Daily Mirror, ensured the people of the readiness of their country to enter the war, even though it was not the ideal situation to be in. Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany, and a day later the Royal Air Force attacks the German Navy.

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This was taken during the ceremony in May of 1940 when Winston Churchill took over Neville Chamberlain's former position as Prime Minister. Churchill was a more aggressive war-time leader and was the right person for the job during this time of war for Great Britain.

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On May 26th of 1940 in the face of a large scale German offensive, British troops were forced into the largest evacuations in history- the evacuation of British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk on the Belgian coast. The army requested for any civilian who had a floatation device to send it through the channel. People sent anything that they could to help the troops come home safely.

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From July to October of 1940 the English suffered under the Battle of Britain which consisted of intense German bombing. The Royal air force defended its homeland from German Luftwaffe and the Nazis were unable to crush Britain morale. In this specific picture a RAF squad is rushing to respond to a call to fight the enemy.

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Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act of March, 1941. This act enabled the Americans to start giving direct support to the British with arms and ammunition. America is not aiding Britain directly though, that won't happen until after Pearl Harbor.

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The Blitz was Nazi Germany's sustained aerial bombing campaign against Britain in World War Two. The raids killed 43,000 civilians and lasted for eight months, petering out when Hitler began to focus on his plans for Russian invasion in May 1941. Photo: People in Coventry walk to work past smouldering piles of rubble after a bombing raid in 1940.

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Throughout World War Two, in a massively complex and dramatic operation, approximately three million people were evacuated from towns and cities that were in danger of being bombed by enemy aircraft. Photo: Very young evacuees prepare to travel, circa 1940. The experience was not always the exciting and jolly one that contemporary propaganda portrayed.