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

    As censorship under the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) did not apply to Australians, Lieutenant Raws, of the Australian Infantry, was free to write what he wanted without his letters being censored, enabling him to write about the real truth whereas it was not mentioned in sources D and F.

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

    Every person had a book of coupons which they had to hand over when they bought their ration. There were stiff penalties facing anyone who broke the rationing rules. On the whole though, rationing was widely welcomed as a fairer system of sharing out the available food.

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

    They came on a steady, easy pace as if expecting to find nothing alive in our front trenches.' This shows evidence of a tragedy because men were ordered to walk across 'no-mans land' So many men wouldn't have died due to this order.

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

    the same time many soldiers understood that the German soldiers were going through the same things as the British army and so also could understand their position. The soldiers attitudes towards the war was very negative as they hated trench warfare and there was a shortage of supplies, many soldiers

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

    Sights such as these would have been horrifying for men to see knowing that it could happen to them next. Officially 304 soldiers were executed for cowardice and disobeying of orders event though they were suffering from shell shock. The realisation that no progress was being made would have been

  2. 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.

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