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The war on the western front.

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Introduction

The war on the western front. 1. Source A was written by Craig Mair in 1982 for a textbook in a British School, the source was written 63 years after the First World War which makes it a secondary source. The Source describes clearly the events of the battle of the Somme. In the source there are mainly facts which are read as from my own knowledge I know the British army was told all the Germans would be dead and were unaware they had build deep bunkers below, thousands were killed. The Source was written for a British textbook so it seems unlikely the source will be inaccurate and there is little evidence indicating the source is biased. Craig Mair was not an eye-witness and must have collected information from others therefore his source must have been put together with different people's views on things. Most historians have there own opinion on accounts so that may have influenced his source. However the source does describe the effects of artillery and is reliable in the account the information in the source is correct. Source B is a photograph taken in September 1916 near the remains of a German machine gun post near Guillemont. As the photograph was taken during the war it's a primary source. Although the source is a photograph we must not automatically assume the source is reliable. This source could have been staged as we don't know what is around the area which is photographed. At the time both the British and German wanted to recruit men and keep Morale high so this could have been used as propaganda. Also this could only show part of an event. ...read more.

Middle

The slogan on the poster reads "time for one more" creating the image of War being relaxed and fun. The poster has two main aims one is to sell cigarettes another is for men to join the army. The poster shows hardly any realistic objects or settings in the poster, the only things the poster has in common with reality are the trenches, gun and the uniform. The trenches were normally infested with disease there was constant firing so any heads sticking out would have been shot before anyone could have the chance to realise. In the source there isn't anything other then the guns and trench setting to link the poster with the war combat. The trenches were muddy and the weather was always a problem. The reality of the trenches was far from a laid back clean environment. We now know that they were infested with mice, rats and dead bodies heaped upon one another and the stench of blood baking in the sun. Trenches were deep and often showed men and horses drowning in this much: The combat on the Western Front was constantly under raids there was firing at enemy lines, soldiers going over the top and constantly artillery barrages were going. This is all known due to knowledge from other evidence and in this poster none of this can be seen. I don't think anything can be learnt about the combat at the western Front in world war one as there is no detail or much reality in the poster except the government was desperate for recruits they were willing to lie to the public. However I do believe the source is very useful in understanding how propaganda was used and how morale was kept high. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, this failed. Had this attempt succeeded, it would have opened up a new route to the Black sea and Russia and drawn the Germans away from the Western Front. If this had happened then perhaps the allies may have won back land and maybe have won the war on the Western Front. The new weapons in the First World War also helped to make the war last longer, as they added yet more new conditions to the 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. The next year in November 1917 at Cambrai, the tanks were improved and managed to break through the German barbed wire but over stretched themselves and got into trouble. Tanks, in order to have any real effect forced new tactics upon the generals and this took many battles and a lot of time to perfect these tactics and thus lengthening the war (eventually in 1918 it was well used and feared). Gas also lengthened the war because nobody was really sure what to do to avoid this incredibly effective weapon. Gas caused many deaths during the war but it was rather unpredictable if the wind blew. However, this only lengthened the war rather than shortened it and caused an even bigger deadlock situation between the two sides. Also the technology slowed the down as there was less war effort. Other reason the war wasn't a short war was the fact both armies had huge armies and heavy industries this caused there factories to produce huge quantities of weapons also the generals on both sides were confused by the new situation they had only planned a war of movement with cavalry and now had to develop new tactics for a new kind of war. ...read more.

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