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Britain since the 1930s
Newspaper Work: The Outbreak of War
A great activity is to produce a newspaper front page which announces the outbreak of the war. As well as the sheets below I also provided my children with copies of pictures of famous people from the time, period advertisements, and copies of a period newspaper (to give them the layout of the page). It's also an excellent ICT activity.

This sheet should help you write your newspaper article.

Come up with your headline:
e.g. 'Britain at war with Germany!'

Now write your article. Try and answer some of these questions.

What has happened? Britain has gone to war with Germany
When did it happen?
Where was the news announced from?
Who decided Britain was at war?
Why did Britain go to war with Germany?

What made Britain declare war on Germany?
Where did Germany invade?
When did Germany invade?
Why did the Germans invade those countries?
Who was in charge of Germany?

Some other questions...

Why didn't Britain declare war sooner?
What did people have to say about the news that Britain was at war?

Use the other sheets to get evidence to put in your newspaper article.

(Remember to add comments from famous people at the time)

The events leading up to the Second World War

1918 Germany loses World War One. Britain, France and Russia had fought against the Germans.

27th January 1923 The first meeting of the Nazi party in Germany takes place. Their leader is called Adolf Hitler.

15th March 1933 Adolf Hitler and his Nazis come to power in Germany.

March 1936 German troops march into the Rhineland in Southern Germany, breaking the promise they signed when they lost World War I.

September 1938 Germans invade some of Czechoslovakia. Britain says that's okay.

March 1939 Germans invade the remaining parts of Czechoslovakia. Britain and France don't stop them.

31st March 1939 Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister, promises Poland that if Germany invades them Britain and her ally France would help.

1st September 1939 Germany invades Poland. The British Government sends many women and children from cities into the countryside in an effort to keep them safe should war break out.

3rd September 1939 Britain declares war on Germany. It is the start of (what will come to be known as) World War II.

Quotes by famous people after the war was announced

The announcement of the war with Germany by Neville Chamberlain

"I am speaking to you from the cabinet room at 10, Downing Street. This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German government the final note stating that unless we heard from them, by 11 o'clock, that they were prepared, at once, to withdraw their troops from Poland a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and that consequently this country is at war with Germany."

Adapted extracts from the broadcast to the nation from King george VI, made at 6pm

"For the second time in the lives of most of us we are at war. Over and over again we have tried to find a peaceful way out of the differences between ourselves and those who are now our enemies. But it has been in vain."

"We have been forced into conflict. I ask you to stand calm, firm and united in this time of trial. The task will be hard. There may be dark days ahead but with God's help we shall prevail."

"(Britain) need expect nothing other than annihilation as an enemy of the nation (of Germany)," Adolf Hitler.

Other information

France made a similar announcement to Britain, declaring war with Germany at 5pm.

Winston Churchill was appointed as First Lord of the Admiralty.

"There will be peace in our time," said Neville Chamberlain in 1937 after signing a peace treaty with Germany.


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