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Does the film, 'The battle of the Somme' provide us with a realistic picture of what it was like to be a soldier

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Introduction

Does the film, 'The battle of the Somme' provide us with a realistic picture of what it was like to be a soldier in the Trenches? Casualty figures over 60,000 by the 19th December 1915. The Battle of the Somme continues until General Haig calls a halt to the attack and even then the British have only gained 8 km and lost over 400,000 men. In August 1916, the film, 'The battle of the Somme' was released by the British government to provide a realistic source of information into what the war was really like for the General Public. Over the past decades historians have all disagreed into whether this file released by the Government really was a 'realistic' source of the War. The way that the film portrays the Trench Conditions can be supported by some of the Sources. The sources suggest that the trench conditions were poor and men loathed them. ...read more.

Middle

For example, a photograph taken by an official British photographer possibly after the war showed men thoroughly enjoying themselves, they all had large smiles on their faces and were all very clean. Overall I feel the evidence suggests that the film provides quite an unrealistic picture of the trench conditions. This is because the pieces of evidence that support this view are written for personal purposes of for the purpose of trying to make a point to the government such as a song or a poem. The sources that support the film may have been acted or written by order of the government to explain to Britain that we were having no trouble with the war and the soldiers were coping well. The way that the film portrays the medical facilities can be supported by some of the sources. The sources suggest that casualties in the camp were low and any injuries were treated well and fast by trained medical nurses. ...read more.

Conclusion

In addition some sources imply that there was a very poor level of help and the medics were hardly helping the soldiers. For example, a poem written by Wilfred Owen depicted just how poorly treated the soldiers were, 'Bent double like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots but limped on, blood shot. All went lame and blind. Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots of gas shells dropping softly behind.' Overall, I feel that the evidence suggests that the film provides quite an unrealistic picture of the medical facilities. However, different sources suggest different things. This is because some sources may be written for different purposes, photographs backing up the film may have been taken by the Government to reassure families that their loved ones were at no danger and were safe and therefore may be slightly unreliable. Poems and songs on the other hand may have been written by poets to express their views and may have contained more truth in their words. ...read more.

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