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How Britain Helped Defeat The Nazi's During World War Ii

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How Significant a Contribution did Britain Make to The Defeat of Nazi Germany?

1945, the end of WWII, Nazi Germany was defeated when their generals surrendered to allied powers. This essay observes how Britain’s contribution assisted to defeat the Nazis. Nonetheless, British war efforts during the initial periods of the war, particularly their retreat at Dunkirk were regarded as insignificant in comparison to the huge losses which the USSR were taking on the eastern front. On the other hand, the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Navy (RN) of whom sufficiently maintained British war efforts on land, as well as their roles in supplying Russia and bombing Nazi Germany.

The British contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany could not have occurred without their involvement in the war on land. Although it has less significance than the war in air than the war at sea it still made a major contribution. Britain’s influence started on the 3rd of September, with the German invasion of Poland. Britain and France declared war on Germany. This gave Hitler an enemy in the west. In fact Hitler was surprised by this turn of events, expecting Britain to stay out of the conflict. Hitler was very doting of the British and wanted to be her ally. By doing this bold act, it showed that there will be people who will stop Hitler from world domination. The battle of Dunkirk was a German victory which resulted in the evacuation of 338,000, of which 220,000 were British. Allied soldiers were trapped in Dunkirk. Britain fought to protect a vital trade route In North Africa; ‘The Suez Canal,’ this was in order to confront Italy; Italy and Germany, who had betrayed the allies. But, this was also to prevent German access to the Iran and Iraq oil fields. This British contribution led to a defining moment in the War, which Rommel (a German general) was put into permanent retreat. This led to the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1943 as 130,000 Germans and Italians were taken prisoner. This victory had improved the Allies’ morale. The victory led to the control of the Tunisia, a perfect base for the invasion of Italy, in 1943, the demise of the Italian leader, Mussolini. As a result, Hitler had sent 23 divisions to North Italy which meant less soldiers on other fronts.

Britain contributed significantly to the war in air. The bombing campaign began in 1940 and it had intensified from 1942-1945 when led by Sir Arthur Harris. He was liable for 40000 firestorm deaths in Germany and 75% of the City of Dresden demolished. This shows how effective Britain was in defeating Nazi Germany. German industrial sites were destroyed and this damaged their profits, imports and exports; their effective war-making capacity as well as the German people’s morale. Britain used advanced technology to gain the advantage in the bombing campaign. Oboe, (which were radio beams) was developed to help locate targets. Pathfinders would use ‘H2S’ to locate targets on the ground even in the dark. ‘Window’ consisted of thousands of small metal strips which came up as thousands of aircraft flying towards them, on the German radar screen. This strategy was not Britain’s only contribution to the war in air, they gained a lot of attention for this. Hitler’s retaliation to the campaign was a ‘Blitz’ targeting Britain’s air force base. The battle of Britain is an important example of the British determination to defeat the Nazis. Britain were outnumbered severely by the Luftwaffe, with 3000 Nazi aircraft against 700 British aircraft. British ‘Air Raid Precautions’ (ARP) were put in place and it invalidated the German Blitz. As Germany started to look upon Britain, it became clear that a marine invasion would have been impossible with the RAF still active, as the German navy would have been vulnerable to an airborne attack. As a solution; came the Battle of Britain, in an attempt to cripple and destroy the RAF. Plane after plane had come flying over the channel, to the point where RAF fighter planes were outnumbered by the Luftwaffe 3:1. However, when the British threw all of their 160 planes against the 550 German planes, it fooled Hitler into thinking the RAF was still strong, making him postpone the invasion of Britain indeterminately. A partial reason why Britain was able to remain strong against Germany in both cases was because of their newly appointed Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. If Lord Halifax, an appeaser, had been appointed as expected, he would have tried to negotiate with Hitler — seen in the fact that he urged Churchill to negotiate with Germany after the fall of France in May-June 1940. However, Churchill had a had a different persona, he would not give up no matter the circumstance, his attitude can be clearly seen in his “we will fight on the beaches…” speech. Another reason that Churchill was an important character for the British war effort was because of his ideas. He made many speeches which helped keep morale high in Britain. Churchill helped ensure that Britain would fight on no matter the cost, and created Britain’s unbreakable spirit which kept her strong against German force. Britain was highly significant in the early stages of World War 2 as it surfaced a way for the eventual defeat of Germany by enabling the USA to come into the war and keeping another front open for the USSR. By 1944 America’s contribution to the bombing led to a concentrated productivity of German war vehicles; aircraft production was reduced by 31% and tank production was reduced by 35%. Britain’s involvement in the war in the air was greater compared to that of America and the Soviet Union. The Battle of Britain left the RAF outnumbered and out-gunned against the Luftwaffe. To get over such a setback is a great attribute which Britain had. Also, in the bombing campaign, whilst the intensification was due to America’s contribution, Sir Arthur Harris’ ruthlessness and strategy was critical in placing a handicap on German industrial production. The Soviet Union had marginal significance in the war in the air. Britain and America occupied 2 million Germans in anti-aircraft defences and had aerial supremacy on D-day and kept 80% of Nazi’s in Germany. This meant that there were only 5000 Nazis on the eastern front with the Soviet Union.

Britain’s role in the war at sea was very substantial. The battle of the Atlantic was another collaboration between America and Britain. Britain broadened their use of aircraft. They used them to attack U-boats in the Atlantic. German U-boats would only come out at dusk which meant they were difficult to find as it was hard to see. As a result Britain used ‘Very Long-Ranged Aircraft’ which had a radar to find U-boats. They were fitted with torpedos and search lights to reveal the U-boats in low light. They also used a ‘sonar’ (a sound emitted to find an object), and ‘Huff Duff’ (high frequency direction finding). These tools helped them seek out the U-boats. Britain made exceptional use of Squid mortars which were the best way to sink U-boats. The RAF also contributed to the Battle of the Atlantic through the strategic bombing campaign. The bombing of U-boat pens and factories reduced the number of U-boats that could be deployed in the Atlantic. In the west, the USA was producing two Liberty Ships a day, each the size of a small cruise ship. This was such a vast production scale that the Germans simply couldn’t keep up, and became vastly outnumbered. However, the Battle of the Atlantic contributed little to the defeat of Nazi Germany, as it didn’t exhaust Germany’s resources. It kept Britain’s economy from collapsing, therefore keeping the war going, but once the USA and the USSR entered the war, this became irrelevant, and this means Britain’s involvement in the Battle of the Atlantic contributed little to the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Britain contributed more through the breaking of the enigma code. The greatest minds from Oxford and Cambridge gathered at Bletchley Park (led by Alan Turing) and established advanced technology which could continuously decipher German messages in minutes. This changed the outcome of the whole war. This code breaking ensured the location of the German vessels in order for the Navy to attack. Britain managed to destroy 500 out of the 632 U-boats, which emphasises the importance of the British contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany. However, there were great losses of ships. The issue was quashed by astonishing shipbuilding from America. They managed to replace allied ships which were sunk. America had also supplied convoy protection in American waters. Overall, Britain made an extremely significant contribution to the downfall of Nazi Germany at sea through their remarkable use of technology, tactics and intelligence.

The Soviet Union’s contribution was on the eastern front of Germany. 1941, Operation Barbarossa commenced. Hitler had sent 3 million soldiers to the Soviet front. Germany was close to victory. At one stage the 6th Army had nearly taken over 9 tenths of Leningrad. In 1945 the Red Army had reached Berlin and Hitler committed suicide before the USSR could get to him. The Soviet contribution was very significant; Winston Churchill said that “It was the Red Army which tore the heart out of the German Army.” The most significant contribution on land was the Soviet contribution because they demolished the Sixth Army and conquered Germany which led to Hitler’s death which further led to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Through 1945 there remained 480 Red Army divisions battling against the Nazi’s, this was a very significant contribution compared to Britain as they were struggling to cope with 4 German divisions in North Africa.

Around this time, D-day preparations were completed, and the Allies were ready to invade Western Europe. Part of the preparation for D-day that increased Britain’s significance in the defeat of Nazi Germany was Operation fortitude. Britain deployed a fake invasion which confused the Germans into thinking that an invasion was coming from the wrong direction. They used burning camp stoves, and wooden planes, and even inflatable tanks. The operation was so successful, that even when the Allies were making an attack through Normandy, Hitler believed that the real invasion was simply a diversion from a greater invasion coming through Calais, which was actually the fake invasion. Britain didn’t only pull off a successful diversion, but also took reconnaissance pictures of Germany, allowing paratroopers to locate their position and plan their attack. Britain was vital in the preparation of D-day, however, Britain only contributed a quarter of the soldiers that the USA did, and was not as significant as the USA in the land based invasions. Operation D-day was not a direct contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany, however it did keep pressure on Nazi Germany by providing a second rapid attacking towards Berlin. Britain was not very momentous at this stage.

In conclusion, Britain was nearly the most significant in the early stages of the war, by keeping the war against Germany going, it allowed stronger countries and powers to enter the war, and also kept multiple fronts open, making the Nazi Germany defeat inevitable. However, as the war progressed, and the stronger countries, e.g. USSR entered the war, Britain’s significance began to diminish. Being a small country, it lacked the industry and population to contribute more to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Nonetheless, Britain proceeded to make a strong contribution in the area of intelligence i.e. the cracking of the enigma code, and also continued to develop inventions which ultimately would not win the war, but definitely contribute to the liberation of Western Europe. The USSR was the country that took the majority of involvement throughout the war. USSR was simply too big, and had a population large enough to overwhelm the German army. Russia was extremely significant in the overall defeat of Nazi Germany. The USA provided valuable resources to allied countries, and insured that Britain could fight on. The USA was significant in the liberation of Western Europe, but overall, was only a last resort alongside Britain compared to the USSR. Britain was highly significant in the early stages of the war, but became progressively less so as the war progressed.

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How Britain Helped Defeat the Nazi’s During World War II. (2019, April 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 29, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-britain-helped-defeat-the-nazis-during-world-war-ii/
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How Britain Helped Defeat the Nazi’s During World War II [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Apr 10 [cited 2022 Jan 29]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-britain-helped-defeat-the-nazis-during-world-war-ii/
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