Tag Archives: 20th century history
The comparatively static nature of the front line in the west for much of the war meant that, after the first three months, most of France and Belgium was not directly in the fighting zone. But for those trapped in the areas of German occupation the war took on another meaning. Some were interned in concentration camps and others held as hostages. For the remainder, the pattern of the day was set by German time; they required passes in order to go about their daily business; family life was disrupted as women were deported as labourers; class was reversed as bourgeois families found themselves short of food and humiliated by the invaders.
The Allies agreed that the establishment of a second front in north-west Europe was essential to defeat Germany. The Soviets had been calling for a Second Front since the German invasion of their country in 1941. But it was not until the United States entered the war, bringing its huge reserves of manpower and resources, that such an operation became feasible.
Author: Louise Miller
Publisher: Alma Books
Reviewed by: Elaine di Rollo
Price (RRP): £25
Do we need another book chronicling women’s experiences of the Great War? Perhaps. Are not library shelves groaning under the weight of such worthy publications? Undoubtedly.
For German families living under the threat of mass bombing, many experiences of everyday living were similar to those known in Britain. The blackout was strictly enforced, for example, and people had to get used to finding their way round in the dark, sometimes wearing luminous patches or using feebly glowing torches. Gas masks were issued and German children, like their british counterparts, took furtive delight in blowing rude noises through their rubbery cheek pieces.