• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Battle of the Somme - source related study.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Battle of the Somme - GCSE History Coursework The Battle of the Somme was launched 1st July 1916 and has become infamous for its supposed futility. It was originally planned as a French offensive but the commander of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), General Sir Douglas Haig, soon took it on, he planned and orchestrated the battle but his tactics are still controversial almost 90 years on. The main aim was to relieve the French at Verdun. The German-launched offensive began 21st February 1916. The Germans had planned to capture the historic and sentimental town of Verdun and the surrounding forts, which restricted their defence. The battle continued until June with the Germans making a few, slow territorial gains. When the Battle of the Somme was launched, at the beginning of July, the Germans could no longer afford to fight two high-profile battles so they withdrew from Verdun. The attack was centred on the River Somme; the British and French troops were to attack stretches both North and South of the River. The battle began with a weeklong bombardment of the German front line before the British and French troops attacked, surprising the Germans. Unconcealed troop and armament movements ensured this was not a surprise. The Germans built reinforced dugouts and when the bombardment began they moved into them. ...read more.

Middle

the House of Lords.) However this source does not seem to show this dislike, Lloyd George is praising Haig but I question his motives, at this point in his political career he was looking to replace Asquith as the next Prime Minister and this brings into light the real motives behind this letter. Perhaps it was election propaganda? Lloyd-George, as Minister of Armaments, would have only been shown certain stretches of the front line and this maybe why he has come to the conclusion apparent in this source, it is true that the battle did see territorial gains around this date and it maybe this that Lloyd-George is referring to. I believe this source contradicts the statement; it talks about the battle being a success of sorts and for this reason I can only conclude that it contradicts the source. Source E, supports objective 3 in source A. Erich Ludendorff, an influential German General wrote it and it seems to reiterate the fact that the entente troops did inflict much damage on the Germans. It is possible that the General is justifying his defeat and so this brings into light the reliability of the source as does the reason for Ludendorff writing "My War Memoirs," over-all it maybe a biased book. Ludendorff experienced the battle first hand so this is a primary source. ...read more.

Conclusion

The soldiers would not have seen the battle in terms of objectives unlike the Generals, he would have been pre-occupied by his battalion and his own life, for him the battle would have been a futile exercise. We are not given a date as to when this source was published but it may have been influenced my modern opinion against the war. This source is of great contrast to the opinions expressed in sources E, C and D this source talks very negatively about the tactics employed by the Generals whereas the Generals seem confident and have a disregard for life. This source clearly supports the statement; the battle was an unprecedented disaster. In conclusion, the Somme was a terrible disaster in terms of loss of life and the damage to the reputation of the British army but it was also a success in the sense that is relieved the French at Verdun and it wore down the Germans mental and physical strength. The Battle of the Somme did gain some territory, (source I) but the greatest thing that the battle achieved was experience for the British army. To conclude the sources given, which provide a very narrow view on the battle, both support and contradict the statement so the battle was a great success in its positive aspects but it was also an infamous failure in its negative aspects. Matthew Richards 5L Dr Spring ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE War Poetry essays

  1. Was the Battle of the Somme a success or a failure?

    This plan was made by Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army on the Western Front. General Haig believed that if he bombarded the German trenches for seven days he would kill everything that was there.

  2. To What Extent Was the Battle of the Somme a Disaster.

    "Hundreds of dead were strung out like wreckage washed up to a high water mark, as many died on the enemy wire as on the ground, they hung there in grotesque postures and sufficient guns to command every inch of the wire".

  1. Why is the battle of the Somme regarded as a great military ...

    How wrong he was! The artillery bombardment not only failed to achieve its intended result, despite lasting for seven days, but even warned the Germans that an attack was on the way. The barbed wire was not cut and poor weather prevented accurate fire against the German artillery.

  2. Why is the battle of the Somme regarded as such a great military tragedy?

    Verdun was also the reason that Haig was forced to launch his attack forward by three months. If he would have commenced his attack in the autumn when the tanks will have arrived in substantial numbers to have an impact then maybe the Somme would not have been viewed as such a great catastrophe for the British.

  1. Saving Private Ryan Examine Steven Spielberg's use of images and Presentation of war. ...

    There is a long shot that moves across the beach so that you can see the amount of death and destruction caused by the battle. Then the camera gradually zooms in from a long shot to an extreme close-up on the wording of a backpack of a soldier.

  2. "Assess the importance of Britain's contribution to the defeat of Germany in WWI"

    The tanks moved 3-4 miles into German territory. The German lines were penetrated, but a great problem was the infantry couldn't keep up with the tanks because the infantry couldn't get past the Germans who were still in their trenches and past the barbed wire. The British government was very happy the church bells were even rung after three and a half years.

  1. Why Did So Many Men die in the Battle of the Somme?

    was the barb wire which defended you from the enemy coming into your territory and also making it easier to defend. The good thing about the trenches (attacking wise) was when you were using deadly machine guns the trenches made it more vulnerable when attacking.

  2. The Crimean War.

    their nerve, and there horses reared, there bravery repelled the force of the huge Russian cavalry division, and this was one of the most well skilled movements of the battle. It was the 93rd's bravery here which led to the Russians unwillingness, to face the allies again with a cavalry charge, and perhaps helped the British to survive the battle.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work