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8 June 1940

8 June 1940



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8 June 1940

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War at Sea

HMS Glorious sunk during the retreat from Narvik



14 June 1940

Paris started mobilizing for war in September 1939, when Nazi Germany attacked Poland, but the war seemed far away until May 10, 1940, when the Germans attacked France and quickly defeated the French army. The French government departed Paris on June 10, and the Germans occupied the city on June 14. During the Occupation, the French Government moved to Vichy, and Paris was governed by the German military and by French officials approved by the Germans. For Parisians, the Occupation was a series of frustrations, shortages and humiliations. A curfew was in effect from nine in the evening until five in the morning at night, the city went dark. Rationing of food, tobacco, coal and clothing was imposed from September 1940. Every year the supplies grew more scarce and the prices higher. A million Parisians left the city for the provinces, where there was more food and fewer Germans. The French press and radio contained only German propaganda.

Jews in Paris were forced to wear the yellow Star of David badge, and were barred from certain professions and public places. On 16–17 July 1942, 13,152 Jews, including 4,115 children, were rounded up by the French police, on orders of the Germans, and were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. The first demonstration against the Occupation, by Paris students, took place on 11 November 1940. As the war continued, anti-German clandestine groups and networks were created, some loyal to the French Communist Party, others to General Charles de Gaulle in London. They wrote slogans on walls, organized an underground press, and sometimes attacked German officers. Reprisals by the Germans were swift and harsh.

Following the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, the French Resistance in Paris launched an uprising on August 19, seizing the police headquarters and other government buildings. The city was liberated by French and American troops on August 25 the next day, General de Gaulle led a triumphant parade down the Champs-Élysées on August 26, and organized a new government. In the following months, ten thousand Parisians who had collaborated with the Germans were arrested and tried, eight thousand convicted, and 116 executed. On 29 April and 13 May 1945, the first post-war municipal elections were held, in which French women voted for the first time.


Today in World War II History—June 8, 1940 & 1945

80 Years Ago—June 8, 1940: Off Norway, German battlecruisers Gneisenau & Scharnhorst sink British carrier Glorious and British destroyers Ardent and Acasta (1537 killed on 3 ships).

Neptunium (Np), element 93, is discovered by Edwin McMillan & Philip Adelson at the University of California in Berkeley.

US passes Bald Eagle Protection Act, which prohibits taking, possession, and commerce of bald and golden eagles.

60-inch cyclotron at the University of California Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Berkeley, in August 1939, used in the discovery of neptunium (US National Archives: 558594)

75 Years Ago—June 8, 1945: US & Australian Naval Task Group 74.3 bombards Brunei Bay on Borneo.

Jozef Tiso, former president of Slovak Republic, is arrested by US forces he will be extradited to Czechoslovakia and executed in 1947 for collaborating with Germans and for war crimes.


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This month in history, June 1940, the name ‘Italian Monarch’ was removed from Star class 4-6-0 No 4025, one of a series of names of ‘enemy’ monarchs which were removed from these locomotives. The words ‘Star Class’ were painted on the centre driving wheel splasher instead.

The locomotive had been built in September 1909 and named ‘King Charles’, which was removed in 1927 when the new King class locomotives were introduced, and replaced by ‘Italian Monarch’. This photograph, taken by Ben Brooksbank from a passing train on 28 December 1948, shows No 4025 freshly painted outside Swindon Works. The locomotive was withdrawn in August 1950.

Didcot Railway Centre

Today, 19 June, is the 25th anniversary of the death of Vivian Ellis in 1996. He was a music composer, born in 1903, and his most famous piece was ‘Coronation Scot’ which he composed while on a train journey in 1938 from London Paddington to Taunton. This was a frequent journey for him as he had a country cottage in Somerset and he admitted to being inspired by the rhythm of the train.

The obvious title would have been ‘Cornish Riviera Express’. However, as fellow light music composer Ernest Tomlinson has pointed out, this does not exactly ‘trip off the tongue’! So Ellis chose ‘Coronation Scot’ – which was a prestigious train running at that time from London Euston to Glasgow Central, taking 6½ hours. This streamlined service had been inaugurated during the previous year, 1937.

The first photograph, by Eric Treacy, shows the Coronation Scot in the late 1930s headed by a streamlined Coronation class 4-6-2 on the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). The second photograph shows the Great Western Railway’s Cornish Riviera Express headed by King class 4-6-0 No 6000 ‘King George V’ in the mid 1930s. The carriages are the distinctive Centenary stock introduced in 1935, with the bodies built to the full width of the broad gauge legacy loading gauge and the doors recessed to keep the handles within the loading gauge. It was not only the music Coronation Scot that was inspired by the GWR. The Coronation class locomotives were built by the LMS when William Stanier was the company’s Chief Mechanical Engineer, who had been trained at Swindon and took many GWR practices to the LMS.


The WW2 soldiers France has forgotten

The fall of France 75 years ago is conventionally seen as a moment of abject national disgrace. But today some insist the French military has been wronged - and that the hundreds of thousands of French troops who fought in the Battle of France deserve to be honoured, rather than forgotten.

It all took less than a month. Faced by the onslaught of Hitler's tank divisions - the notorious Panzers - the French army collapsed and Prime Minister Philippe Petain capitulated.

"After the war, as we all know, de Gaulle wanted to wipe out the memory of the debacle," says historian Dominique Lormier, author of several books on the period.

"So the focus was on the Resistance and on the Army of Africa, which fought the Germans from 1944. The sacrifice of the soldiers who fought in 1940 was forgotten."

Lormier is one of a number of historians who are reinterpreting the events of May-June 1940, using French and German military archives. And the picture they paint is not the Nazi walkover that has commonly been represented.

Five million men were mobilised in France at the start of World War Two. The army was reputed to be one of the strongest in the world, certainly every bit a match for the Germans.

Along the eastern frontier ran the supposedly impregnable Maginot Line, a series of more than 50 ultra-secure fortresses.

And if the Germans decided to invade from the north - as they did in World War One - then there were plans for a counter-thrust to block them inside Belgium. The British Expeditionary Force was there to help.

The problem was that Hitler defied the military theorists by sending his Panzers through the wooded Ardennes hills, at the corner of France's northern and eastern fronts. No-one expected this because everyone assumed the roads there were impassable. But it worked.

Until recently, most historians have focused on the evident shortcomings of the French armed forces.

Unarguably, French commanders made terrible strategic errors. They put their best forces into Belgium against the German feint, and were dangerously exposed along the vital river Meuse at Sedan (which the German tanks had to cross after penetrating the Ardennes).

The French air force was large in size, but most of its planes were out of date. And on the ground the concept of modern tank warfare - the concentrated armoured thrusts made by Rommel and Guderian - had yet to be accepted by a French command that was still obsessed with infantry.

In his classic To Lose a Battle: France 1940, British historian Alistair Horne also makes much of the collapse of morale among the French.

Like many writers, he says the memory of 1914-18 still haunted the French leadership which meant there was little appetite for a fight while the bitter ideological divisions of the 1930s - with far-left and far-right at times battling on the streets of Paris - had sapped the patriotic spirit.

But for Dominique Lormier and others of the revisionist school the truth is more nuanced.

"Morale was not nearly as low as Horne says. People have forgotten that in many places the French fought hard and bravely and put the Germans in real difficulty," he says.

"The figures speak for themselves. Of the 3,000 tanks the Germans deployed, 1,800 were put out of action. Of 3,500 planes they lost 1,600. In a month of fighting they lost 50,000 dead and more than 160,000 wounded. It was a genuine combat."

One example is the Battle of Hannut, which actually took place in Belgium. Here the French Somua tanks, though outnumbered, proved every bit as powerful as the Panzers, Lormier says. The result, in his view, was a tactical victory for the French.

Other memorable moments in an otherwise depressing litany of defeats were Gen de Gaulle's tank charge at Moncornet and the battle of Stonne - a village near Sedan which changed hands nearly 20 times over days of bitter fighting.

The French also capably covered the British retreat to Dunkirk, says Lormier, with the result that far more men were successfully evacuated than had been feared.

In addition, there was also tough fighting against the Italians in the Alps, while on the Maginot Line only a handful of forts had capitulated by the armistice in mid-June.

But the greatest injustice - for many - is not the failure to commemorate these minor victories, but the slur over the years on the courage of individual French soldiers and airmen.

  • 10 May - German forces advance into Holland and Belgium
  • 11 May - German Panzer forces break through Allied defences at Sedan, effectively bypassing the Maginot Line
  • 13 May - Germans cross River Meuse into France
  • 20 May - Gen Guderian's tanks reach Abbeville, cutting off Allied forces in Belgium
  • 9 June - Tanks led by Rommel cross the Seine
  • 16 June - French PM Paul Reynaud resigns new government formed by Marshal Philippe Petain
  • 22 June - Franco-German armistice signed northern France occupied, the south-east to remain under control of Petain's government in Vichy

Philippe de Laubier, now in his 80s, has only vague memories of his father - an air force group commander called Dieudonne de Laubier. But the story of his death in May 1940 still inspires him.

"My father was flying these ancient bombers called Amiots. They were hopelessly old-fashioned.

"When the Germans put their pontoon over the river Meuse at Sedan, it was vital to throw everything at them. My father had just flown a mission and he was not supposed to go up again.

"But the thought of his squadron flying into such danger without him was unacceptable. So he stopped one of the Amiots as it was taxiing on the runway, and ordered one of the men off so he could take his place.

"Of course they were quickly shot down by German flak and my father was killed."

The idea that the French military lacked fighting spirit is to him both misplaced and offensive.

For Dominique Lormier, proof of the grit of the French soldiers is to be found in the German army day logs - where commanders described the progress of the battle.

He quotes Gen Heinz Guderian as writing: "Despite the major tactical errors of the Allied command, the soldiers put up an obstinate resistance with a spirit of sacrifice worthy of the poilus (French troops) of 1916."

Rommel, meanwhile, wrote: "The (French) colonial troops fought with extraordinary determination. The anti-tank teams and tank crews performed with courage and caused serious losses."

Of course it is debatable how much credit should be given to give such statements. Commanders conventionally honour their opponents, if only to make their own victories appear the more impressive.

And at the end of the day, the fact remains that the French army did collapse. On 17 June, Marshal Philippe Petain gave an infamous broadcast calling on troops to stop fighting (even though an armistice had yet to be agreed), triggering mass surrender.

But today many feel not enough has been done to remember the "First Resistants".

"These soldiers have been doubly punished. Not only did they lose their lives in the Battle of France, but then they lost the battle of our memories," says Charles de Laubier - Dieudonne's grandson and a journalist.

In Le Monde newspaper, Charles has written a call for a national day of commemoration to honour the estimated 90,000 French dead in the Battle of France. Today there is no physical memorial for the men, and their story is rarely told.

"It is a denial of memory that verges on the taboo," he says. "It is time to bring it to a close."


Today in World War II History—June 8, 1940 & 1945

80 Years Ago—June 8, 1940: Off Norway, German battlecruisers Gneisenau & Scharnhorst sink British carrier Glorious and British destroyers Ardent and Acasta (1537 killed on 3 ships).

Neptunium (Np), element 93, is discovered by Edwin McMillan & Philip Adelson at the University of California in Berkeley.

US passes Bald Eagle Protection Act, which prohibits taking, possession, and commerce of bald and golden eagles.

60-inch cyclotron at the University of California Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Berkeley, in August 1939, used in the discovery of neptunium (US National Archives: 558594)

75 Years Ago—June 8, 1945: US & Australian Naval Task Group 74.3 bombards Brunei Bay on Borneo.

Jozef Tiso, former president of Slovak Republic, is arrested by US forces he will be extradited to Czechoslovakia and executed in 1947 for collaborating with Germans and for war crimes.


HistoryLink.org

Kettle Falls was second only to Celilo Falls (which was inundated by The Dalles Dam in 1957) as a fishing and gathering place for Native Americans along the Columbia. Salish speakers called it Shonitkwu, meaning roaring or noisy waters. European settlers in the late nineteenth century named it Kettle Falls, after the great depressions -- or kettles -- carved by the pounding of water on the huge rocks on the edges of the river. For centuries, Indians had come together at the falls to fish, trade, and socialize. "This is where people met, got married, had babies, settled disputes," said Patti Stone, a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes (Los Angeles Times, 2002).

It was said that salmon were once so plentiful at Kettle Falls that a man could walk across the river on their backs. Huge numbers of fish began arriving in late June, continuing through October, en route to their spawning grounds upriver. Fishing here was dangerous, because of the rushing water and slippery rocks, and required a high degree of organization. A salmon chief, or “Chief of the Waters,” opened the season by spearing the first fish. He also supervised the building of scaffolds that were cantilevered over the water, and the placement of large J-shaped basket traps alongside the rocks. At the end of the day, he divided the catch among the families.

Fishermen speared and netted up to 3,000 fish in a single day. “When fish were running, Kettle Falls was a place of excitement and festivity, drawing more than a thousand people annually,” wrote historian William Layman. “The camps bustled with activity -- a rich assortment of families sharing the work of fishing by day and the pleasure of singing, dancing, and gambling at night” (Layman, 23).

With Grand Coulee Dam nearing completion in June 1940, the U.S. Department of Interior ordered the closure of the Kettle Falls fishery. On June 14, members of tribes from the Colville Reservation in Eastern Washington, Tulalips from Western Washington, Blackfoot from Montana, and Nez Perce, Yakimas, Flatheads, Coeur d’Alenes gathered at the site to mark the end of a way of life that had developed over thousands of years. The Spokane Spokesman Review counted 1,000 people, but writer William D. Layman put the figure at 8,000 to 10,000.

"On horseback and in automobiles, by motor truck and buggy, Indians of the Northwest gathered today," the Spokesman Review reported. "Braves in feathers and beaded buckskin talked in the midway with college-taught Indians in slacks and sports coats in the best Hollywood fashion."

Six chiefs from the Colville Reservation addressed the crowd in their native language with the assistance of a loud speaker system. They mourned not only the loss of the fishery but the destruction of thousands of acres of food-producing bottomlands, source of the roots and berries that were an important part of their traditional diet.

U.S. Senator Homer Bone (1883-1970), a main proponent of the Grand Coulee project, was an honored speaker. That week, the German Army had marched into Paris, and France was capitulating to Hitler. Instead of dwelling on the loss of Kettle Falls, the senator focused on the reality of world events:

"We can build more airplanes and tanks and can train more pilots for national defense than any other nation or combination of nations and the quicker we do it the better. We know now that the only thing in this world that Hitler will respect is more force than he controls.

"The Indians have fished here for thousands of years. They love this spot above all others on their reservation because it is a source both of food and beauty. We should see to it that the electricity which the great dam at Grand Coulee produces shall be delivered to all the people without profit, so that the Indians of future generations, as well as the white men, will find the change made here a great benefit to the people" (Spokesman Review, June 17, 1940).

The Colvilles eventually got electric power, but not as cheaply as other areas.

Kettle Falls near Colville, 1910s

Colville men's stick game played during Ceremony of Tears, Kettle Falls, June 15, 1940

Courtesy UW Special Collections

Colville women, Ceremony of Tears, 1939

Courtesy UW Special Collections (L96-90.38)

Mural depicting Kettle Falls, Kettle Falls Historical Center, 2005


Hitler's triumphant tour of Paris, 1940

Adolf Hitler with other German officials walking in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, 1940.

One day after France signed the armistice with Germany in June 1940, Adolf Hitler celebrated the German victory over France with a triumphant tour of Paris. Hitler surveying his conquest with his various companions and became one of the most iconic photos of the 1940s and World War 2. This was the first and the only time he visited Paris.

Adolf Hitler made a swift tour of Paris in the early hours of 23rd June, accompanied by Albert Speer his favorite architect and later Armaments Minister, and Arno Breker his favorite sculptor. The day before (June 22), France signed an armistice with Germany following the Germans’ successful invasion. Hitler’s tour included the Paris opera, the Champs-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. After visiting Napoleon’s tomb and the Sacre Coeur, Hitler left Paris. In all, Hitler spent about three hours in the city.

His visit to the Napoleon’s tomb was special. “That was the greatest and finest moment of my life”, he said upon leaving. As a tribute to the French emperor, Hitler ordered that the remains of Napoleon’s son be moved from Vienna to lie beside his father. He also ordered the destruction of two World War I monuments: one to General Charles Mangin, a French war hero, and one to Edith Cavell, a British nurse who was executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape German-occupied Brussels.

Hitler would gush about Paris for months afterward. He was so impressed, he ordered architect and friend Albert Speer to revive plans for a massive construction program of new public buildings in Berlin, an attempt to destroy Paris, not with bombs, but with superior architecture. “Wasn’t Paris beautiful?” Hitler asked Speer. “But Berlin must be far more beautiful. When we are finished in Berlin, Paris will only be a shadow”.

Albert Speer’s memoirs about Hitler’s visit in Paris (taken from Albert Speer: Inside The Third Reich):

Three days after the beginning of the armistice we landed at Le Bourget airfield. It was early in the morning, about five-thirty. Three large Mercedes sedans stood waiting. Hitler as usual sat in the front seat beside the chauffeur, Breker and I on the jump seats behind him, while Giessler and the adjutants occupied the rear seats. Field-gray uniforms had been provided for us artists, so that we might fit into the military framework. We drove through the extensive suburbs directly to the Opera, Charles Garnier’s great neobaroque building… It was Hitler’s favorite and the first thing he wanted to see.

After a last look at Paris we drove swiftly back to the airport. By nine o’clock in the morning the sightseeing tour was over. “It was the dream of my life to be permitted to see Paris. I cannot say how happy I am to have that dream fulfilled today”. For a moment I felt something like pity for him: three hours in Paris, the one and only time he was to see it, made him happy when he stood at the height of his triumphs.

In the course of the tour Hitler raised the question of a victory parade in Paris. But after discussing the matter with his adjutants and Colonel Speidel, he decided against it after all. His official reason for calling off the parade was the danger of its being harassed by English air raids. But later he said: “I am not in the mood for a victory parade. We aren’t at the end yet”.

Adolf Hitler visits Paris with architect Albert Speer (left) and artist Arno Breker (right), June 23, 1940.


The British Offer to End Partition, June 1940

One of the most intriguing episodes in the history of Anglo-Irish relations is the British proposal in June 1940 to end partition in return for Ireland’s participation in the war against Germany. The British ‘offer’ was made during the course of discussions between de Valera and Malcolm MacDonald, the former dominions secretary. According to Robert Fisk: ‘had these discussions reached any kind of fruition, the history of Britain and Ireland in the second half of the twentieth century would have changed irrevocably’.
Virtually the only source of information on the de Valera-MacDonald discussions are the latter’s, remarkably detailed reports to London. On the Irish side there were no comparable records. Until January 2001, that is, when a file on the MacDonald mission was released by the National Archives. In it is a hand-written note by the secretary to the government, Maurice Moynihan, on the cabinet discussion of the British offer. In the margin of the his note is an annotation by Moynihan dated 27 July 1940 which states: ‘this record follows closely the lines indicated by the Taoiseach personally’.
The first de Valera-MacDonald discussion took place on 17 June 1940. There were further meetings on 21 and 22 June. Finally, on 26 June MacDonald presented de Valera with the British government’s proposal:

A declaration to be issued by the United Kingdom government forthwith accepting the principle of a United Ireland.
A joint body including representatives of the government of Éire and the government of Northern Ireland to be set up at once to work out the constitutional and other practical details of the Union of Ireland. The United Kingdom government to give such assistance towards the work of this body as might be desired.
A joint defence council of representatives of Éire and Northern Ireland to be set up immediately.
Éire to enter the war on the side of the United Kingdom and her allies forthwith, and, for the purposes of the Defence of Éire, the government of Éire to invite British naval vessels to have use of ports in Éire and British troops and aeroplanes to co-operate with the Éire forces and to be stationed in such positions in Éire as may be agreed between the two governments.
The government of Éire to intern all German and Italian aliens in the country and to take any further steps necessary to suppress fifth column activities.
The United Kingdom to provide military equipment at once to the government of Éire.

Moynihan’s note of the cabinet meeting on 27 June is as follows:

Meeting of the Government 27 June, 1940 Council Chamber 11 am to 12.10 pm

Present:
All members of the Government

In attendance
Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach Mr Smith
Attorney General Mr Haugh
Secretary to the Govt. Mr Moynihan

Communication from the British Govt.

The Taoiseach informed the Government of the contents of a communication which had been conveyed to him on 26th June 1940, by Mr Malcolm MacDonald on behalf of the British Government.
He said that he had informed Mr MacDonald that he was satisfied that the proposals contained in the communication would not be accepted, but that he would submit them to the Government.
The view which had been expressed to Mr MacDonald by the Taoiseach was confirmed.
The Taoiseach said that Mr MacDonald had suggested that some members of the government might like to ask him questions about the matter whilst he was in Dublin. Arrangements were being made for a luncheon at which Mr MacDonald would be a guest and the Taoiseach thought it would be well if one or two members of the government, in addition to himself, were present at the luncheon, when he would inform Mr MacDonald of the government’s decision. He was of opinion that there would be an advantage in Mr MacDonald meeting members of the government in addition to himself. He proposed, in this connection, the Ministers for Supplies [Sean Lemass] and Co-ordination of Defensive Measures [Frank Aitken]. This was agreed to.

The cabinet minute of this meeting reads:

COMMUNICATION FROM THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT

The Taoiseach informed the government of the contents of a communication which had been conveyed to him on the 26th June, 1940, by an envoy of the British government. It was agreed that the proposals contained in the communication were not acceptable and that the view of the government thereon should be communicated to the envoy by the Taoiseach, accompanied by the Minister for Supplies and the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures.

The projected lunch between MacDonald, de Valera, Aitken and Lemass was held later that day. According to MacDonald’s report on the meeting while Aitken ‘was extremely rigid in his opposition to our plan’, Lemass ‘seemed far more prepared to discuss our plan in a reasonable way, and to see whether there was any means of reaching some agreement which was mutually satisfactory’. Lemass was particularly interested in the possibility that, according to MacDonald, Éire could remain neutral and non-belligerent providing Britain was granted port and military base facilities with a view to joint defence of the country against German invasion.
In response to the objections raised by de Valera, Aitken and Lemass at this meetings the British amended their proposals on 29 June. On that day Neville Chamberlain—responsible for the British side of these negotiations—wrote to de Valera stating that clause (i) would now read (changes in italics):

A declaration to be made by the United Kingdom government forthwith accepting the principle of a United Ireland. This declaration would take the form of a solemn undertaking that the Union is to become at an early date an accomplished fact from which there shall be no turning back.

A joint body, including representatives of the government of Éire and the government of Northern Ireland, to be set up at once to work out the constitutional and other practical details of the Union of Ireland. The United Kingdom government to give assistance towards the work of this body as might be desired, the purpose being to establish at as early a date as possible the whole machinery of government of the Union.

The government of Éire to invite British naval vessels to have the use of ports in Éire, and British troops and aeroplanes to co-operate with the Éire forces and to be stationed in such positions in Éire as may be agreed between the two governments, for the purpose of increasing the security of Éire against the fate which has overcome neutral Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. [In this clause the main change is the deletion of the words ‘Éire to enter the war on the side of the United Kingdom and her allies forthwith’].

It seems that the amended British proposal was never considered by the Irish cabinet and on 4 July de Valera wrote to Chamberlain formally rejecting the plan, arguing that it ‘would commit us definitely to an immediate abandonment of our neutrality’ while giving ‘no guarantee that in the end we would have a united Ireland’. De Valera also reiterated his alternative plan for a united but neutral Ireland which would defend itself from attack and ‘would provide the surest guarantee against any part of our territory being used as a base for operations against Britain’.

Geoffrey Roberts is Statutory Lecturer in History at University College Cork.


3. Coupon allocations decreased as the war progressed

The rationing scheme worked by allocating each type of clothing item a 'points' value which varied according to how much material and labour went into its manufacture. Eleven coupons were needed for a dress, two needed for a pair of stockings, and eight coupons required for a man's shirt or a pair of trousers. Women's shoes meant relinquishing five coupons, and men's footwear forced the surrender of seven coupons. When buying new clothes, the shopper had to hand over coupons with a 'points' value as well as money. Every adult was initially given an allocation of 66 points to last one year, but this allocation shrank as the war progressed.

The coupon allowance was at its lowest from 1945 and 1946. For the eight month period from 1 September 1945 to 30 April 1946 only 24 coupons were issued, effectively allowing the shopper only 3 coupons a month. Throughout the war, special provisions were made for some people, including manual workers, civilian uniform wearers, diplomats and theatrical performers. New mothers were also given 50 coupons. Government publicity offered advice about the complex rationing system. Shoppers were constantly reminded of the need to plan their clothes purchases carefully and make difficult choices between garments of differing coupon values, as seen in this poster.