Surviving the Blitz

In World War 2, 1940-1941, the people of Britain were heavily bombed by the Germans, (this was called the Blitz). Consequently they decided to build bomb shelters that would help to prevent the explosions of the bombs from killing of the British population. These bombings were called air raids, at the event of an air raid the air raid siren would be sounded, and everyone would climb into there shelters and wait for the enemy planes to go.
There are two types of air raid shelter: Anderson and Morrison for more imformation on these see paragraphs: Anderson shelter and Morrison shelter.

Air Raid Warden

The air raid warden would be the first to see the German planes. They would sit on the top of tall buildings, all day and all night searching the skies for the first glimpse of the enemy. Also another warden would walk the streets at night checking that no light could be seen from the windows of the houses, and if so tell them to turn it out!
Air raid warden on the roofs would carry a rattle and a bell to alert the town of the planes, when he shook his rattle the sound was so loud every one could hear it.
The warden would wear a helmet and a jacket, without these wardens during the blitz Britain's towns and cities would by destroyed.

Blackout

Blackouts were ordered by the British government to try to stop the German bombers from seeing their targets at night. A blackout is when all the lights were turned off. They covered their windows with blinds, curtains, cardboard, black felt or black paint. Even cars had dimmed headlights! Thousands of people died during these blackouts, they were so dangerous. Most of these deaths were car accidents or people walking out into the road and being hit by a car. Because of this the government decided on a 20 mph speed limit. Other people were injured by bumping into things or tripping and falling because they couldn't see a thing. The lights had to be turned out at dust and back on at dawn.


Anderson Shelter

The Anderson shelter was in the garden and made of corrugated steel sheets here are a few factors of this shelter:

  • Space for 4-6 people.
  • Cold, dark, smelly and damp.
  • Easy to escape from.
  • Provides some shelter from attack.

Anderson shelters were 6 feet high, 9 feet long and 4 feet wide. To help them blend in to thier surroundings, people would cover them in grass and leaves.


Morrison Shelter

The Morrison shelter was in the house and was very common, these shelters could also be used as a kitchen table. Women and children had to put them to gether because the man had gone war. They were made of steel and wire mesh, here are a few factors of this shelter:

  • Space for 2-3 people.
  • Warm and dry.
  • Difficult to escape from.
  • Useless if the house was bombed.

Morrison shelters were more common than Andersons because people felt safer in their home.


London Underground

The London underground was also used as a shelter during the Blitz, but sometimes it could not be very good. Once 111 people were killed when a German bomb was dropped on the entrance of the bank tube station, the bomb rolled down the steps and exploded causing great tragedy for the people below. Fortunately this was the only bomb that killed in the tube stations. Often these shelters were dirty and noisy but were often great protection for they were so far under the ground.