War imagined
in Half the battle

For a decade or more a traumatized mankind was in denial about its historic complacency towards the use of war as an instrument of policy. Pacifism became a mass movement of international dimensions. The record seemed to confirm that in future all wars would involve a significant role for the air forces of the combatants. It also suggested that not only would civilian populations become prime targets but that the targeting would be successful. The various elements of potential disaffection and dissidence constituted a significant cause for official concern in the peace-threatening years from 1935 to the actual outbreak of war in 1939. Mass-Observation found that despite the rumours of war, the recurrent international crises and the visible evidence of Air Raid Precaution (ARP), there was only low expectation that war would come soon, or ever, and widespread cynicism about government information.

Half the battle

Civilian morale in Britain during the Second World War


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