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

Life on the Western Front - Sources Questions

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

History coursework - Life on the Western Front The First World War was a shattering experience for all Europeans, both soldiers and civilians. Memoirs show that soldiers expressed a wide variety of views on the war. Some soldiers enjoyed the war and some hated it, but most were unable to decide how they felt about it. In this essay I will be examining whether or not official accounts of the Western Front more accurate than personal accounts. I will survey several sources and try to draw a conclusion. Soldiers in the war were allowed little correspondence. Their letters and postcards sent home were censored to the point of very little detail. They were only allowed to write about family, friends and their health, as can be seen on the field service postcard, source A1. The honour clause was a statement all soldiers had to sign to confirm they were not writing about anything else other than private family matters. The honour clause also gave the officials permission to examine the contents of the postcard/letter e.g. 'Green envelope' source A2. The officials censored letters and postcards because they didn't want people back home to know too much and also because they didn't want the Germans to accidentally find out their plans. ...read more.

Middle

Sources B9-B13 are more gruesome compared to the sources in the official account. The reasons for the difference are officials wanted to conceal all the gruesome deaths that the British soldiers had and only took photos of their peaceful deaths. I think photos, official and personal, are quite accurate as source of information on the Western Front for a variety of purposes. Punch was a British humorous political magazine. It contained anti-German propaganda. The main purpose of political cartoons is to get a message across in a more entertaining way. I think source A10 is very useful to historians studying soldiers' attitudes to life on the Western Front because it shows that soldiers were pessimistic and found trench life difficult to handle. I don't think source A13 is reliable. This is because the cartoon was taken from a British political magazine and the Germans were the enemy so they would have wanted to make the Germans look bad. There are a few hints of bias in sources A14 and A15, for example "Our operations, in conjunction with the French, definitely stopped the German attack, and it has not since been removed." ...read more.

Conclusion

To prevent this from spreading the soldiers rubbed whale oil on to their feet everyday. Being bitten by lice was also very common in the trenches. They tried to prevent this by running a lighted candle along the seams of their clothing but this only killed the lice, not their eggs. The lice carried a disease called trench fever. I think sources A9, B3, B13 would be most useful to historians wanting to find out about the morale of the soldiers. The people today view the war a lot differently compared to the people who lived through it. When you step back and take a closer look at the picture you see things differently. Overall, I have a fairly accurate view of life on the Western Front from looking at personal and official accounts. I have found both, official and personal, accounts useful. I can't really put together an accurate picture of what life on the Western Front was actually like using personal accounts because the soldiers may not remember what happened to give an accurate description and would be bias against Germans. The official account has been censored so that also is not really reliable. Therefore I think that by looking at both accounts would give a clearer picture. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. What Was Life Really Like In The Trenches On The Western Front

    part of the trench they could only fire down a little bit and probably kill a small amount of people and not kill a whole platoon. The trenches where about 1.8 metres -2.5 metres deep and almost two metres wide, the trench system was about four hundred metres long (front the front line trenches to the reserve trenches).

  2. "Poems and stories; official accounts. Which of these give a more accurate picture of ...

    It has been widely documented that conditions in these trenches was very poor, they were full of rats mud, and disease. In this case study I will be examining the conditions British soldiers had to endure in the trenches along the Western Front and determine what is the most useful type of source.

  1. Conscientious Objection Sources Questions

    He then goes on to say that he himself thinks that 'the Government should bring in a Bill for general conscription'. This however conveys the idea that the author thought conscription was a good idea. Therefore, this source by and large disagrees with source B although it does not give such a sweeping view on conscription.

  2. History Coursework - World War One Sources Question

    with the dead, shown, perhaps as this could not be concealed from the public for long.

  1. "The General" written by Siegfried Sassoon, an infantry officer on the Western Front in ...

    and deaths like Harry and Jack's. So even though many soldiers weren't as enthusiastic about the war when they joined, there were bound to be some soldiers who remained patriotic, or were willing to fight through thick and thin. A well-known proverb that spread within the trenches was: "Lions led by Donkeys".

  2. Did the Soldiers Themselves, Give a more Accurate Picture of Trench Life than Official ...

    It describes how war came to a point of stalemate and neither side were able to get past the others defences. A good term that is used to describe the war that this source describes is a 'War of Attrition'.

  1. Did the Soldiers Themselves give a more accurate picture of trench life than official ...

    Many soldiers found the trenches very unhygienic with little amenities. Source A2 shows that forty men had to use a two gallon tin of water for washing, and the lack toilet paper meant that troops had to use a handful of grass or the tail of a shirt.

  2. World War One Trench Warfare Sources Questions

    They would not let anything else be put on the card because no details of the terrible trenches were allowed to be revealed to the people, during the censorship of all publications during World War 1, as it may lower morale amongst the friends and families of the soldiers.

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