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"The General" written by Siegfried Sassoon, an infantry officer on the Western Front in 1917. source based questions

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History Coursework: Source Questions Q.3 Source C is a poem called "The General" and is written by Siegfried Sassoon, an infantry officer on the Western Front in 1917. He criticises the war effort and the plan of attack the Generals used (going over the top). He comments on two particular soldiers (Harry and Jack) who were killed as a result of the Generals ordering them to go over the top: "But he did for them both by his plan of attack." So it could be said that Sassoon is blaming the General for Harry and Jack's death. Of course there were many like Harry and Jack who got wounded or killed when they went over the top. Siegfried Sassoon enlisted as soon as the war had been declared. ...read more.


So Source C is Sassoon's personal view (opinion), which is likely to be biased. Because he became anti war after spending a couple of years at the Front. So even though it is an opinion, it can be said that a lot of the soldiers felt the same way. That agrees with my own knowledge. A more cynical approach to war would've been appearing in soldiers' minds as time went by. Q.4 Source D was written by Lloyd George in 1935 and it's called "Lloyd George's War Memoirs". It is written for the public. He criticises Sir Douglas Haig's abilities as Commander-in-Chief of the army. He calls him a "...second rate commander..." But he did not attack or sack Haig during the war because he thought it would "undermine public confidence". ...read more.


It could be said that he wore them down. Lloyd George is criticising Haig because people blamed Haig for the immense loss of life at the Somme. And Lloyd George didn't replace Haig. So now in his memoirs maybe he is self-justifying what he did, because he claims it would've dented public confidence but it could've in fact boosted public confidence Source E gives some of the good qualities of Haig. The author (a historian) says that there wasn't any other way suggested or likely to work except a war of attrition. But the historian also recognises the cost at which Haig won the war. Both sources are secondary. And there was no censorship issued by the government the time they were written. It is fact that Haig won the war, but at a high price. And the success of a general depends on whether or not he wins wars, does it not? ...read more.

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