• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Britain and the First World War 1914 –1918 Sources Questions

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

GCSE History Coursework Depth Study E - Britain and the First World War 1914 -1918 Objectives 1 & 2 Assignment A - The Battle of the Somme Question 3 'The Battle of the Somme provides an excellent opportunity to study the changing tactics of World War I and the advances in warfare.' Do you agree with this statement? The tactics and technology used in the Battle of the Somme were both those of traditional warfare (use of infantry and cavalry) and those of modern origin: the use of tanks, artillery, gas, and mines, among other things. The Battle of the Somme shows a useful comparison between the two, and shows just how effective they were. Firstly, the old tactics were not terribly effective. The infantry were mainly used for mass bayonet charges, as this was believed to be the most effective way to take over enemy positions; the French commanders sent their infantry straight into the battlefield with no equipment to dig trenches. Unfortunately for the infantry, they were particularly susceptible to machine gun fire, and both sides suffered from this. The cavalry were still considered a major part of warfare in the First World War, and the British, French, and German armies all had about one third of their entire armies as cavalry. ...read more.

Middle

Phosgene caused more than eighty per cent of the gas casualties in the First World War: it did not take immediate effect, but after a few days caused acute inflammation of the lungs and those who felt quite healthy afterwards often died suddenly in the next couple of days. The German army first used chlorine; it destroyed the respiratory organs, and lead to a slow death by asphyxiation. One nurse watched the death of a soldier by chlorine: "He was sitting on the bed, fighting for breath, his lips plum coloured. He was a magnificent young Canadian past all hope in the asphyxia of chlorine. I shall never forget the look in his eyes as he turned to me and gasped: I can't die! Is it possible that nothing can be done for me?" Gas masks were developed soon afterwards: the photograph below shows the crudeness of the first gas masks: just a piece of cotton wool soaked in urine, with goggles attached. The ammonia in the urine neutralised the effect of the chlorine although it cannot have been terribly pleasant to have urine against your face, although undoubtedly more so than being killed by chlorine. The only real disadvantages of using gas was that if the wind was wrong, it could get blown back into the gasser's trenches. ...read more.

Conclusion

Torpedoes could hit a target up to eight kilometres away, and could be launched from ships, submarines, or the air, making attacking options much more flexible. Sea mines were developed to blow up enemy ships, and were very effective if not detected. Special ships known as minesweepers were invented to safely remove any intrusive mines from where the big battleships wanted to sail. Radio had a much longer range, and allowed contact between boats, planes, and HQ. Aircraft carriers were used to get planes closer to enemy ships for reconnaissance purposes, to get more precise coordinates of the enemy's position, to allow the ship to get close enough to start firing without endangering itself. Submarines were used which made it very easy to hide from enemy ships, and to torpedo them. In conclusion, I think that the Battle of the Somme provides an excellent opportunity to study the changing tactics and technology of World War One, since it used both old tactics and new ones, of which the cavalry proved to be rather ineffective, and although the use of tanks seemingly failed, they showed a great potential future usage. Although the Battle of the Somme did not include all of the new technologies mentioned above, (simply because aircraft carriers and battleships are not desperately practical on the battlefield) it did include a lot of them, and showed their strengths and weaknesses. Alex Pinkney 11R Page 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. World War One Trench Warfare Sources Questions

    If some of the young men who had not joined the army, found out about the conditions of the trenches and what the soldiers were going through, they may be reluctant to join up. Also, the publications would not give away details of army strategy and plans , ensuring that Britain had the upper hand in the war.

  2. The Battle of the Somme 1916

    Source E is a primary authentic part of the last letter written by an Australian, Lieutenant John Raws before his death. It was written during the battle of the Somme on 19th August 1916 and he died a few days later.

  1. History - World War One

    home to England so that they were safe from the war and further harm. The Germans realise the extent of what she was doing and executed her. The British saw this as an opportunity to make men want to enlist.

  2. Production of chlorine

    Chlorine gas is an extremely reactive and poisonous substance that rarely occurs in nature. At normal temperatures and pressures, chlorine gas is heavy, yellow-green gas with a sharp, irritating odour. Industrial method of chlorine gas: On industrial scale CL2 is obtained by the electrolysis of aqueous solution of NaCl called Brine.

  1. The North Sea

    The government made this policy decision to cut back production in order to maintain reserves for future use. Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) is the country's largest producer of natural gas. The United Kingdom The UK produces the most natural gas in the North Sea region.

  2. The year 1916 was the year of the Battle of the Somme.

    The source is shown to support the war because telling the children about the allied soldiers and that God is on their side and Germany were evil, shows us that the children would acknowledge this and once they get older, and if their was a war, would help to fight and support the war again.

  1. The Battle of the Somme 1916 - source related study.

    his letter suggests that he may have been a journalist as he wants it to be "on record" and uses words such as 'callousness' in his letter, whereas an ordinary soldier would probably not have enough education to use such words.

  2. Why were the major cities of Britain bombed by the Germans in 1940-1941?

    However, in general, the British morale was not broken. Above I exposed how but for thousands of British civilians the Blitz was a terrifying ordeal which they would never forget. Abdullah Mamaniat 10Q Assignment Two: Objective 1 Britain in the Age of Total War, 1939-45 Question Two Describe the effects of the Blitz on everyday life in Britain.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work