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Source Questions - World War One

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Introduction

Adam Painter Coursework - Source Questions 1) Both Sources paint a picture to describe how the war, however there is one significant difference, Source B is a primary source, and Source E is a tertiary source. Source B is a contemporary picture of German soldiers 'going over the top'. It shows the trench, men who have gone over the top and men in position, waiting to go over the top. Source E is a painting from the 1970's showing men waiting to go over the top. Source B shows a scene from a battle, in which German soldiers are going over the top. The battlefield does not contain an accurate representation of what the battlefields looked like at the time. The scene looks empty and quite barren and this was not what it was like. The fields of the Somme for example, were filled with corpses, shrapnel and mounds of barbed wire. In this picture there is no barbed wire to be seen, very unlikely for a scene taken at the trenches. The trench seems to be unusually dry and uncluttered, with troops rising from it with ease. Whereas the real trenches were extremely wet and often rat invested. ...read more.

Middle

3) Source C is an extract from The Great War by Marc Ferro, explaining the impact of the German assault. Ferro, a French historian wrote the book in 1973, and the basis of the book revolves around the period of 1914-1918. Source F, is an extract from the book Tales Of The Old Soldiers, and was written by George Jameson in 1993. Both sources give different accounts of events that happened during the First World War. Source C is about the impact of the German assault, on 21st March 1918, and describes how the British were broken through by the German Army. It shows that despite the fact that the British had superior artillery, the German fighting skill was greater, and had the British retreating towards the channel ports. Source F explains the same occurrence, however, it differs from the other account. Jameson tells us that although the German offensive had pushed them back, it did not break through the British line, and when the Germans eventually retreated, the British troops had gained advantage. Source C, written by a French historian, uses many other sources to back up the account. These sources could range from maps, personal testimony (like Jameson's) ...read more.

Conclusion

German forces had gained ground quickly and were pushing the British back towards the ports. The aim of this was to capture Flanders, separate the British from the French and gain access to the Channel ports. This is all documented in Source D. Also, the assault was to be launched across the Western Front before the American troops could grow in number. When this was done, the last task was to seize victory before the stranglehold on Germany increased. However, as the Germans got near Flanders, the German command realized that they were outnumbered and that the British and American forces were greater in size than previously expected. This is described in Source G. The British forces began to fight harder, and faster, as this is how the Germans foresaw themselves gaining victory. Eventually, the Germans were forced back further and further, and this is how the attack failed, as they could not gather troops quickly enough. This fact is shown in Source F, where Jameson explains how they had the Germans 'On the run.' As the offensive gathered pace, the German communications systems became over-stretched, and eventually collapsed. This was a vital factor in describing how the offensive failed. Troops became worried as morale was very low, and this is shown in Source E, where German assault troops are about to be sent out. ...read more.

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