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Why is the Battle of the Somme regarded as such great military tragedy? For this question, I will be exploring why the Battle of the Somme is regarded as such great

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History GCSE Coursework Question 1 Why is the Battle of the Somme regarded as such great military tragedy? For this question, I will be exploring why the Battle of the Somme is regarded as such great military tragedy. I will be discussing issues such as leadership, casualties, tactics, and war of attrition as well as weapons and life in the trenches. Firstly, there is evidence to suggest that Haig felt the battle could only be won by sacrificing soldiers' lives. Although many believe General Haig was a great strategist, his cold hearted attitude to casualties lead to him being often referred to as the "Butcher of the Somme". Hence it can be said that many hold General Haig responsible for the Battle of the Somme becoming a military tragedy. The Battle of the Somme is also regarded as a great military tragedy because of Haig's lack of tactics. It is known Haig had little understanding for modern warfare, yet he managed to make the same misjudgement by overestimating the ability of artillery to destroy German defences. ...read more.


In July, 1916; first day of the Battle of the Somme, there were 57,000 British casualties- a third of which were deaths. Moreover by the end of the battle there were 415,000 British, 195,000 French, and an estimated 600,000 German casualties. Also it is conventional that in a battle the target is to gain as much land as possible however in this battle, only 6 miles of land had been gained by the British and French. Thus many believe the Battle of the Somme was a military tragedy. Furthermore, Pal's Battalions were soldiers set in groups according to their local area, which was both a benefit and a hindrance as it could either boost or deflate morale. However friends, brothers and closely related men often died together, which lowered the soldiers' morale. For instance the 11th Cambridgeshire Battalion sent 750 men; 691 of which became casualties. This lead to a generation of young men often being wiped out of villages across Britain. ...read more.


Moreover hygiene was poor because of the dead human bodies present and their effects. These conditions lead to further diseases, killing as many soldiers as the enemy did. Even so, there was an unlikely chance that there would be a considerable victory when using trenches. Thus the suffering that life in the trenches caused is one of the reasons for why the Battle of the Somme is regarded as a military tragedy. In conclusion, I believe the most important reason for why the battle of the Somme is regarded as such a great military tragedy is the number of casualties and deaths. I think this because casualties and deaths can often be seen as the nature of a tragedy and also such issues do not only affect those injured or dead but also those that cared for them or relied on them. This also means that to the many people that did not care so much for politics could have only made a judgement depending on how they felt. In addition, the number of casualties seems unreasonable in comparison to the amount of land gained. By Yasmine Mohamed-Ali ...read more.

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