‘We Can Do It!’: The Second World War 1939–1945

  • Sue Bruley
Part of the Social History in Perspective book series (SHP)


The Second World War marks a definitive moment in British history. Never before or since has British society been so massively affected by warfare. The enormous mobilization of resources, scale of government intervention and extent of civilian involvement made this even more of a ‘total war’ than the First World War. Sometimes referred to as ‘the people’s war’, the Second World War was certainly a more ‘popular’ war than the first, although much of the population was war weary towards the end of the six long years.1 Many contemporary and early historical accounts of the war maintained that social divisions were lessened, but more recent work has failed to substantiate this.2 Events such as the Blitz have also been subjected to the revisionist treatment.3


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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    For a good overall account of the war see A. Calder, The People’s War, Britain 1939–1945 (London: Jonathan Cape, 1969 Pimlico edition, 1992).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Sue Bruley 1999

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  • Sue Bruley

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