Challenges on the Home Front, World War II
Second Edition, Amazon Books
Peggy Lovelace Ellis
2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. This is an opportune time to remember life as we knew it during the war that devastated much of the world. For that reason, I decided to produce a second edition of Challenges on the Home Front World War II, which I edited for my writers’ group in 2004. That edition contained pictures of the era; however, the originals of those pictures are no longer available and reproducing them from the book leaves them less than perfect. Nevertheless, I leave them in because they add visual emphasis to the verbal.
From 1939 through the end of the war in 1945, we learned war is not only bombs and battleships, firearms and foxholes. War is also the support the military receives from people, both on the home front and in the military, who are not involved in battles. That is the basis for this book.
From the time Germany and Japan declared war, first on Europe then on the United States, until both Germany and Japan accepted total surrender in 1945, there was considerable war work on the home front as you will find in this book. From children in pre-school to the oldest grandparents, all people found a niche in which to serve during those years.
People who had dealt with the difficulties of the worldwide Great Depression now faced more deprivation, more rationing of necessary goods, more uncertainty of the future. Women carried a major burden: the need to maintain their homes and families while taking the places men had formerly occupied both in the home and in the workforce. To do this, they had to overcome the centuries-old belief that a woman’s place was in the home and only in the home.
Today, the people who struggled through that global war are becoming fewer and fewer in number as the years take their toll and memories fade. This book contains our memories of the second world war, memories that are not found in history books, while they are still fresh in our minds.
Inside the covers of this book you will find stories of a 16-year-old girl who was an official plane spotter, a 17-year old junior Red Cross worker, a 16-year-old city boy who gave up his summers to work on a farm growing food for the hungry, the mothers who took care of young children even while they waited for the dreaded telegram from the War Department, the London blitzes, life in the West Indies, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Belgium, and Wales, and the people who worked in factories turning out planes, ships, and tanks. And so many more.
Perhaps these stories will encourage you to learn your family’s experiences during the years when people took on new challenges and proved themselves to be, indeed, “The Greatest Generation” as Tom Brokaw labeled it.