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Home front is an
English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient that migrated from , a peninsula on the (not to be confused with ), to the area of later named after them: . Living languages mos ...

English language
term with analogues in other languages. It is commonly used to describe the full participation of the British public in
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
who suffered Zeppelin raids and endured food rations as part of what came to be called the "Home Front". Civilians are traditionally uninvolved in
combat Combat (French language, French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violence, violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed (Hand-to-hand combat, not using weapons). Combat is sometim ...

combat
, except when the fighting happened to reach their dwelling places. However, the expanded destructive capabilities of
modern warfare Modern warfare is warfare that is in notable contrast with previous military concepts, methods, and Military technology, technology, emphasizing how combatants must modernize to preserve their battle worthiness. As such, it is an evolving su ...
posed an increased direct threat to civilian populations. With the rapid increase of
military technology Military technology is the application of technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of any Art techniques and materials, techn ...
, the term "military effort" has changed to include the "home front" as a reflection of both a civilian " sector" capacity to produce arms, as well as the structural or policy changes which deal with its vulnerability to direct attack. This continuity of "military effort" from fighting combat troops to manufacturing facilities has profound effects for the concept of "
total war Total war is war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper ...
". By this logic, if factories and workers producing material are part of the
war effort In politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive process resulting in ...
, they become legitimate targets for attack, rather than protected
non-combatant Non-combatant is a term of art Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), communicative context and may not be well understoo ...
s. Hence, in practice, both sides in a conflict attack civilians and civilian infrastructure, with the understanding that they are legitimate and lawful targets in war. This military view of civilian targets has effects on the equity of applied legal principles on which the prosecution of
crimes against humanity Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A g ...
are based. The concept of civilians' involvement in war also developed in connection with general development and change of the ideological attitude to the state. In
feudal Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discov ...
society and also in
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or absolutism as doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocracy, autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monar ...
the state was perceived as essentially belonging to the monarch and the aristocracy, ruling over a mass of passive commoners; wars were perceived as a contest between rival rulers, conducted "above the head" of the commoners, who were expected to submit to the victor. However even given this, in feudal societies the income of estates and nations, and therefore the wealth and power of monarchs and aristocrats, was proportional to the number of commoners available to work the land. By killing, terrorizing, destroying property and driving away a nobleman's serfs, a tactic known as
chevauchée A ''chevauchée'' (, "promenade" or "horse charge", depending on context) was a Raid (military), raiding method of medieval warfare for weakening the enemy, primarily by Early thermal weapons, burning and pillaging enemy territory in order to red ...
, an attacker could hope either to diminish the strength of an opponent or to force an opponent to give battle. In contrast, since the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, the state was increasingly perceived as belonging to "the People", a perception shared—though in different forms—by
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polit ...

democracy
,
communism Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

communism
and
fascism Fascism () is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and the economy that rose to prominence in early 20th-century Europ ...

fascism
. A logical conclusion was that war has become everybody's business and that also those not taken into the military must still "do their part" and "fight on the home front".


History

The importance of civilian manufacturing and support services in a nation's capacity to fight a war first became apparent during the twenty-five years of the
French Revolutionary The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General of 1789 and ended in November 1799 with the formation of the French Consulate The Consulate (French: ''Le Consulat'') was the top-level Government of ...
and
Napoleonic Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...
wars when the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
was able to finance and, to a lesser extent, arm and supply the various coalitions which opposed France. Although Britain had a much smaller population than France, its global maritime trade and its early industrialisation meant that its economy was much larger than that of France, which allowed Britain to offset the French manpower advantage. During the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865, fought between northern U.S. state, states loyal to the Union (American Civil War), Union and sout ...
, the capacity of Northern factories and agriculture proved as decisive in winning the war as the skills of the generals of either side.


World War I

During
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, the British
Shell Crisis of 1915 The Shell Crisis of 1915 was a shortage of artillery shells on the front lines in the First World War World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July ...
and the appointment of
David Lloyd George David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, (17 January 1863 – 26 March 1945) was a British statesman and Liberal Party (UK), Liberal Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1916 to 1922. The last ...

David Lloyd George
as
Minister of Munitions The Minister of Munitions was a British government position created during the First World War World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 t ...
was a recognition that the whole economy would have to be geared for war if the Allies were to prevail on the
Western FrontWestern Front or West Front may refer to: Military frontiers *Western Front (World War I), a military frontier to the west of Germany *Western Front (World War II), a military frontier to the west of Germany *Western Front (Russian Empire), a major ...

Western Front
. The
United States home front during World War I The United States homefront during World War I saw a systematic mobilization of the country's entire population and economy to produce the soldiers, food supplies, ammunitions and money necessary to win the war. Although the United States entered t ...
saw the first ring World War II.


World War II

A factor in Allied victory in
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
was the ability of Allied nations to successfully and efficiently mobilize their civilian industries and domestic populations in order to turn out weapons and goods necessary for waging war. By contrast, mobilization of economic resources in
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
was so inefficient that some early historians of the Reich's economy concluded that the Nazi leadership must have had an intentional policy of favoring civilian over military production until late in the war. The British, by contrast, had already accomplished mobilization for total war by 1940, thereby increasing the output of weapons—especially
heavy bomber Heavy bombers are bomber A bomber is a combat aircraft A military aircraft is any fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support from the Atmosphere of Earth, air. It coun ...
s—vastly. This view was for example presented quite early by
John Kenneth Galbraith John Kenneth Galbraith (October 15, 1908 – April 29, 2006), also known as Ken Galbraith, was a Canadian-American economist, diplomat, public official, and intellectual An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking Cr ...

John Kenneth Galbraith
in ''
Fortune Fortune may refer to: General * Fortuna or Fortune, the Roman goddess of luck * Luck, a chance happening, or that which happens beyond a person's controls * Wealth, an abundance of items of economic value * Fortune, a prediction made in fortune-te ...
'' magazine in 1945 "The simple fact is that Germany should have never lost the war ...". According to
Adam Tooze Adam J. Tooze (born 5 July 1967) is a British historian who is a Professor at Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private ...
this view was influenced by the post-war reports from
Albert Speer Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer (; ; March 19, 1905 – September 1, 1981) served as the Minister of Armaments and War Production in Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for s ...
and
SS
SS
''Wirtschaftsführer'' (economy leader) , which were not free from own interests. Tooze's alternative view is that Germany was extremely mobilising - already in 1939 there was a higher degree of mobilisation of women in Germany, for example, than Britain ever achieved during the whole war -, but the economy of Germany was simply not strong enough in comparison to the economies of the war opponents, especially with respect to the ever growing support coming from the USA. Slave labour and foreign labour in addition to women's labour could not change this.
Adam Tooze Adam J. Tooze (born 5 July 1967) is a British historian who is a Professor at Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private ...
, ''Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy'', 2006, picket 2007, pp. 429seq.
Hitler was early aware of this German weakness. He hoped, however, by a series of
Blitzkrieg Blitzkrieg (, from ''Blitz'' lightning"+ ''Krieg'' war" is a method of warfare where the attacker spearheads an offensive using a rapid overwhelming force concentration Force concentration is the practice of concentrating a military forc ...

Blitzkrieg
s to change the situation early enough in favour of Germany. This failed due to military defeats in Russia and the ongoing support provided by the US to Britain. During the Nazi invasion of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
, Soviet soldiers and civilians moved their industries out of reach of the advancing Germans (sometimes disassembling and reassembling entire factories) and began turning out vast numbers of
T-34 The T-34 is a Tanks in the Soviet Union, Soviet medium tank introduced in 1940, famously deployed with the Red Army during World War II against German invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa. Its 76.2 mm (3 in) tank gun wa ...

T-34
tanks,
Il-2 The Ilyushin Il-2 (Russian alphabet, Cyrillic: Илью́шин Ил-2) Shturmovik (Russian alphabet, Cyrillic: Штурмови́к, ''Shturmovík'') was a ground-attack aircraft produced by the Soviet Union in large numbers during World W ...
attack aircraft, and other weapons.


See also

*
Aerial bombing of cities Image:Frampol bombing.jpg, Bombing of Frampol, Frampol before ''(left)'' and after ''(right)'' the German Luftwaffe Strategic bombing during World War II, bombing raids in September 1939 during early World War II (the town was almost completely de ...
* British home front during the First World War *
Civil defense Civil defense ( en, region=gb, civil defence) or civil protection is an effort to protect the citizens of a state (generally s) from s. It uses the principles of s: , , preparation, response, or and recovery. Programs of this sort were initiall ...
*
Confederate States of America The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or simply the Confederacy, was an unrecognized herrenvolk republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system ...

Confederate States of America
, for 1861-65 * History of France during World War I *
History of Germany during World War I During World War I, the German Empire was one of the Central Powers that lost the war. It began participation in the conflict after the declaration of war against Kingdom of Serbia, Serbia by its ally, Austria-Hungary. German forces fought the Alli ...
*
Home front during World War IThe home front during World War I covers the domestic, economic, social and political histories of countries involved in that conflict. It covers the mobilization of armed forces and war supplies,lives of others, but does not include the military hi ...
, covering all major countries involved *
Home front during World War II The home front covers the activities of the civilians in a nation at war. World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved Worl ...
, covering numerous countries *
Union (American Civil War) During the American Civil War, the Union, also known as the North, referred to the United States, governed by the federal government of the United States, U.S. federal government led by President Abraham Lincoln. It was opposed by the secession ...
, for the U.S. 1861-1865 * The United Kingdom in World War I *
United States home front during World War I The United States homefront during World War I saw a systematic mobilization of the country's entire population and economy to produce the soldiers, food supplies, ammunitions and money necessary to win the war. Although the United States entered t ...
*
United States home front during World War II The United States home front Home front is an English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient that migrated from , a peninsula on the (not to be confuse ...


Notes


External links


Regional Oral History Office / Rosie the Riveter / World War II American Homefront Project
{{Authority control Civilians in war