The Psychological Effects of the London Blitz

Student Author(s)

Claire Barrett

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Marc Baer

Document Type


Event Date



In May 1940, Britain stood alone as the sole Western power engaged in battle with the German war machine. Against the near continuous blitz attack on London, its citizens persisted. This research will demonstrate how the mental fortitude of the London citizens, spurred on by the royal family and prime minister, helped them endure the crucible of war at the hands of the German Luftwaffe and deliver Hitler’s first defeat in WWII. Hitler sought to weaken the British infrastructure and distract the government by producing mass hysteria among its citizens to make way for Operation SEALION, Hitler’s battle plan for a land invasion of Britain. In effect however, the Blitz on London during 1940-1941 solidified the idea of the British identity. The innate characteristic of the British people is one of stoicism and steadfastness. Hitler had underestimated the resolve of the citizens of London. Furthermore, the residents of London were a part of a new and modern war in which the battlefront was the city itself. National survival hinged upon Britain’s ability to withstand the German onslaught. The bombardment aroused the quiet fury of the Londoners, and in turn they refused to yield to the German Leviathan.

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