The Blitz and civilian morale in three Northern cities, 1940–1942

Brad Beaven, D. Thoms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The reports produced by Mass-Observation provide perhaps the most important record of the impact of the Blitz on the social and cultural experience of Britain's cities during the war period. The organization's network of local voluntary workers and small core of full-time, trained staff accumulated a formidable body of information. One of the great strengths of M-O was its independence for, as Harrisson noted, 'units of trained investigators were sent anonymously to blitz-towns to make overall reports, prepared regardless of any official accounts, departmental feelings or published glosses'.l M-O focused upon people's attitudes and behaviour in the aftermath of the raids and was concerned with immediate and specific considerations. Except at the most peripheral level, it did not concern itself with more sophisticated methodologies centring upon longitudinal or comparative studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalNorthern History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1996


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