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"How far was the Battleof the Somme a "Victory" for the British?"

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Introduction

"HOW FAR WAS THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME A "VICTORY" FOR THE BRITISH" A) PLAN OF INVESTIGATION: "How far was the Battle of the Somme a "Victory" for the British?" This investigation seeks to evaluate the extent to which the Battle of the Somme was a victory for the British. The main body of this investigation will outline the way the British set out their strategies to win the war and what were its weaknesses and oppositions. During this investigation two main sources are going to be used: "The first day of the Somme" by Richard Tames and the other source is from the British newspaper "The Times" written on July 3rd 1916(still existing today).Through these 2 different sources we will evaluate and highlight the differences and similarities about the British "victory" over the Somme. To evaluate the success and failures about the British offensive in the Somme it is important to know who is writing the source because the writer may be biased in favour of one side. This will be mentioned during the investigation. The investigation will also mention the origin purpose, value and limitations of the sources chosen. B) SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE: The aim of the British army was to bombard the German defences by breaking through their trenches and barbed wire until they gave up. At first there were around 120,000 British soldiers attacking along the 18 mile front. ...read more.

Middle

The book also refers to quotes that are given by Generals/soldiers from the British and the French army. However one of the flaws of this source is that Richard Tames only offers statistics about the failures of the British offensive strategies but does not offer statistics about the failures and successes of the German army. By offering statistics and explanation of the quotes we get a clear idea of how far was it that the British had victory during the Battle of the Somme. The value of this book would be the year the book was published (1990). This makes it important because this means that that Richard Tames had a lot of time to collect all the sources required to give a full view over the Battle of the Somme with important statistics. "The Times" newspaper is biased in favour of the British. They give an optimistic view over the British offensive during the Battle of the Somme although the British are having a lot of difficulties. The extract is from a newspaper written on July 3rd 1916, 2 days after the Battle of the Somme had started. This source unlike the Richard Tames book does not give a lot of statistics on the casualties on the British/French side. The Times is sympathetic towards the British side and tries to make a better picture of the Battle:" It was a lovely morning, the sun, still low, shining directly in our faces from behind the German lines, so that where we stood it was necessary to be careful in the use of field-glasses". ...read more.

Conclusion

Why is it that they did not achieve complete victory, although they defeated the Germans? These questions can be easily answered; however the answers you obtain depends upon the sources you get it from. "The Times" is very much a biased source. If we were to extract all our information from it we would not obtain a full view over the battle of the Somme. However the Richard Tames book offers a balanced view over the whole Battle. Although the British did achieve victory in the end the British lost a tremendous amount of life in a matter of few days just after the battle of the Somme had started. General Douglas Haig had been criticised widely by the British people and Woodrow Wilson for flaws in his plans. I think that the British government is at fault since they appointed a general like Haig in command of the Battle of the Somme. The reason is because Haig had very little experience in fighting battles against a strong side. He was placed as general of the British army when fighting against colonies. However the colonial armies were not as strong as the German army. As a result Haig's plans were not very effective as they would work only against the Weak armies but not strong armies like the Germans. F) LIST OF SOURCES Richard Tames: "A day that made History, the First Day of the Somme", First published 1990, London Simkin,J.-"Contemporary accounts of the 1st world war, Tressell, Brighton,1981 The Times, July 3rd 1916, THE GREAT BATTLE, UK LONDON Bharath Sundar Grade 11 16th November 2004 1 ...read more.

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