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Source Work : The War On the Western Front

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Introduction

Source Work : The War On the Western Front 1.Source A and B are different. A describes how ineffective the use of artillery was at the Somme. The second shows the effect artillery use has made. The photograph was taken in September 1916 most probably at the Somme. As it was the largest and most important battle of that time. To decide how reliable the sources are a number of aspects need to be considered. The purpose, Source A is taken from an educational textbook examining Britain at War. It does not deal directly with the issue of Artillery Bombardment. The writer has probably gathered evidence about artillery bombardment at the Somme and written a generalisation about its effects. It is clear the writer had access to information about bombardment as the piece contains lots of details about the tactics used in artillery bombing. The photograph shows the successful use of artillery there are also some aspects to consider, why was the picture taken, probably to be used as propaganda to the British people and other soldiers in the battle. It was obviously published or the picture wouldn't have been taken. It is a prime example of success that the allies needed to boast moral. From my own knowledge the best way to destroy barbed wire placed by the Germans was to use heavy Guns. But unless it was a direct hit it wouldn't normally destroy it completely. ...read more.

Middle

So the sources are so different because Haig was victorious at his battles by advancing the line and pushing the German Army Back off French soil. Only to have done this with huge loses to the allied army. Historians can look at his actions and take them both ways. That he was sending troops to be killed to work down the German army or that using attrition he won his battles and was victorious. This is why the interpretations are so different as the historians have looked at Haig both ways. 4.Source F an advertisement. It shows a calm view if trench warfare. From the picture it looks like there isn't a war going on. Maybe this is because it is not an accurate representation of war on the western front. The advert is at the time of D.O.R.A (Defence of the realm act 1914) this allows the government to censor if needed any images to do with the war. From what isn't shown in the picture shows the government did censor the advertisement. To raise moral of the British people at home and the soldiers at war. Displaying how good life is, its not boring or difficult to cope with. The picture is a bad piece of evidence if looked at only to describe warfare if the western front, because the picture only shows selective images. It doesn't show the opposition, true feeling of soldiers, the affect of trench life, any marks left by German shelling and attacks. ...read more.

Conclusion

This then meant that the senior officers had no idea how to win a mechanized war. Nobody was really sure what tactics to use against them. The British tanks, brought in 1916, during the Somme, failed to make a big impact. Another point the war lasted so long was the fact that the failure of the big offensives e.g. the Somme or Verdun, to break out of the stalemate situation between the two sides by piling in as many men as possible and as much ammunition as possible. . After all of this the offensives rarely gained anything. The war lasted a long time because these battles failed but lasted a long time. As is stated in the footage in Source H. Because the battle of the Somme didn't end quickly Haig used attrition to ware the other side down. And shown by Source D the fact that Haig couldn't accept defeat. The Sources do help to show why the war lasted so long. It Sources D,E and F tell of the incompetence of the generals who made mistakes. Sources A and B help to describe and show how it wasn't always plain sailing when using artillery. And this also slowed up the chances to win the war. Source G explains how terrible life was in the trenches and how low moral was. A soldier who is unwilling and not enthusiastic won't perform as well as a soldier who is. The sources do help to bring some understanding of why the war lasted so long. Instead of a few month's it was a few years. ...read more.

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