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

Did the Battle of the Somme change British attitudes towards the war?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Did the Battle of the Somme change British attitudes towards the war? When considering this question there are two types of attitudes to be considered: military and civilian attitudes. To many, the Somme is seen as a turning point for both the military and the civilians. It is seen as a wake-up call. It is made out as if support for the war, both in the army and back in Britain faltered after the Somme. It is a fact that in the early part of the war both civilians and soldiers were under false illusions about the war. Patriotism was the overwhelming feeling everywhere, and recruitment was amazingly high. People were enthusiastic to join the war. ...read more.

Middle

There was a slight increase in executions for military offences, from 94 in 1916 to 102 in 19171. However, this increase is negligible and this is still a minute proportion of the army. There was also some opposition from 'War Poets' such as Sassoon, Owen and McCrae. However, 'War Poets' were also a small minority, and were not all against the war. Sassoon's opposition came in June 1917, seven months after the end of the Somme. But it emerges that military attitudes did change, but not necessarily for the worse. Referring to the British Army, "...it was aware of the awful realities of war, yet grimly determined to fight on to victory."2 The Somme was a harsh awakening. ...read more.

Conclusion

There were some organized protests, such as 'The Women's Peace Crusade', but the fact that they were "making house to house calls"3 somewhat restricts the scale of this protest considerably. Perhaps "The Battle of the Somme did seem to change the mood in Britain", but it did not really affect the attitudes towards the War. In conclusion, the Battle of the Somme did not change British attitudes significantly against the war. It did have an affect in changing the military attitudes, but not for the worse. Civilian attitudes remained constant. If there was a turning point in attitudes towards the war, it was in 1917, after Passchendale, and not after the Somme. Amar Radia _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1 Figures taken from 'For the Sake of Example' by Anthony Babingdon 2 From 'The Somme 1916; Crucible of a British Army' by Michael Chappell 3 From 'The Great War' by Peter Fischer ...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. The Battle of the Somme - source related study.

    This is slightly different as the soldier on guard is situated at the back of the trench and the fire - step is on the opposite side, thus showing us that the trench has been captured by British troops. The trench is a German trench because the trench is very

  2. The Battle of the Somme 1916

    of the photo and the positioning of the fire step, barbed wire, parapet, sandbags etc...to the left of the photo. If this was a British trench, the soldier would be facing the wrong way. That is why we can assume that this is a captured German trench and that the

  1. Explain the changing attitudes of civilians and British soldiers towards the War.

    By the end of the war, as a result of rationing, the diet and health of many poorer people had actually improved in comparison with pre-war days. Censorship and propaganda also affected the lives of ordinary people and hence changed many people's attitudes.

  2. Why was the battle of the Somme regarded as such a military tradgedy?

    It was a major case of bad leadership and failure to assess the situation. The first day of the Somme Summary The generals also failed to see the loss of the men on the first day of the battle of the Somme and didn't change their methods of which to fight this war with.

  1. In what ways did the attitudes of soldiers and civilians change towards the war ...

    may feel lied to by the government as the war has gone one for more than 3 months more than the government first proposed. A few months later morale dropped even further as the Germans used gas, this scared the soldiers as gas could be used in the night and

  2. In what ways did the attitudes of soldiers and civilians change towards the war ...

    This occurred when men were standing in mud all day so their feet became wet. The skin would go numb and turn red or blue. If untreated this could turn gangrenous and result in amputation. This was a big problem at the start of the war before a remedy was discovered.

  1. The significance of the Somme

    If we continue to analyse his sources, one can see that the number of offenders and in 1916 and 1917 is considerably higher than in 1914 and has risen from four to 102. This figure is still not very high but has risen, I presume as a result of the battle of the Somme, a bloodbath.

  2. The aims of the allies were when they engaged in the battle of the ...

    Revolution was also staring the Russians in the face and so it was possible that even if the Russian situation had eased and the Germans had retreated there was certainly no guarantee that the Russians would not have turned their backs on the war effort and begun the Revolution anyway.

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