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Do you agree with the view that the Great War resulted in a revolution in the art of warfare for the British Army (source 8, line 46)? Explain your answer using sources 7, 8 and 9.

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Introduction

Do you agree with the view that the Great War resulted in ?a revolution in the art of warfare for the British Army? (source 8, line 46)? Explain your answer using sources 7, 8 and 9. Many believe in the view that the Great War did result in a revolution in the art of warfare for the British Army as battles fought during and after the Somme, ended with outstanding results and developed various techniques which had changed the way the British army fought in the further battles. Sources 7 and 8 are both positive sources which highlight the significance of the tactics developed and how the huge advances in technology were put to use by the British army which led to the German surrender, however source 9 disagrees with sources 7 and 8 and rather, concludes that the British army was not the ?most advanced.? The techniques developed ?gave a striking proof of the enormous advance made by the new British Army? (S7) within the years 1916-1918. During the battle of the Somme, 19,000 had died just on the first day, however the attack near Amiens in 1918, ?was a masterpiece achieved with one tenth of the casualties it would have cost us in 1916?, implying that not only were techniques and tactics developed, casualties were also cut down, which shows that the British Army had improved somehow if not through the tactical ideas. ...read more.

Middle

?Tanks, mechanical transport, indirect fire by artillery, trench mortars, gas, portable machine-guns? (S8) were all ?huge advances in technology? (S8) made by what the BEF had become - a formidable military machine. ?All these innovations were seized and developed by the very generals? (S8), however, source 9 states that the British army?s superior officers were ?dull, inflexible senior officers? who ?were supposed to have been so resistant to change? (S8). However, the British army ?was not the most advanced and eager in new tactical ideas? (S9). For example, the Battle of the Somme attack, had been a disaster as they had ?an ongoing history of small wars in which the mobility was emphasised? (S9). They fired over 100,000 shells a day (shrapnel) which did nothing, and in total used 1 million shells, however, fuse 106 should have been used for effectiveness. Seven days and seven nights, the men were left with no food or water, leaving them hysterical. The British gave the German?s warning that they were going to attack, by setting off the enormous mine explosion off, eight minutes earlier than it should have been. Overall, July 1st 1916 was the worst day in British history with 57,000 casualties and almost 20,000 dying. The British had no intelligence of the German defences and they had gone from a breakthrough, to attrition leaving the battle to be a total disaster even through ?the ...read more.

Conclusion

The book highlights how commanders such as Haig, were still allowed to retain their positions in the army even after being the ones to blame for the high casualties, for example, Haig?s army suffered almost 60,000 casualties on the Battle of the Somme on the 1st of July, yet was still in command for more fighting. This book is negative as well as the extract from it, therefore, it cannot be seen as fully reliable as it is from an Australian perspective and not a British. In conclusion, I agree with the view that the Great War resulted in ?a revolution in the art of warfare for the British Army? (S8), as both source 7 and source 8 are seen to be reliable and trustworthy sources, and both conclude that improvements were made by the British army. The Great War was almost an eye-opener for the commanders who were so reluctant to change in strategies and techniques used by the army. Source 7 is from a Captain who experienced both the best and the worst of the British tactics and his memoir was published in 1930, making the source more reliable than the others. 1918 was the year that the British army really did have ?a revolution in the art of warfare?, concluding the Great War as a revolution for developing these tactics and techniques which changed the way the British ever commenced an attack again and led the German army to surrender. Zahraa Gooljar ...read more.

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