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Battle Of The Somme Coursework 2

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Introduction

Battle of the Somme coursework- Question 3 This questions asks of me to study Sources D and E. These two sources are not about Haig and the Battle of the Somme. I must show how far I agree that they have no use for the historian studying Haig and the Battle of the Somme. Source D is taken from Blackadder, set in 1917, and is showing two officers discussing an imminent attack on the Germans. When discussing the attack about to commence, Blackadder makes the comment, "You mean 'Are we all going to get killed?' Yes.". This shows the view that many soldiers did not have belief in this tactic and believed it to be a complete loss of soldiers, not an attack. ...read more.

Middle

This is a criticism. A quote from the source was "there are three essential differences... (Between a rehearsal and the real thing)... first the absence of the enemy... what is the second difference?... The absence of the General, Sir." This does not show much confidence or reliability in the Generals. People in Britain would read Source E, and see the criticism of upper class citizens, who do no work, and lower class citizens who do all the work. People in Britain would be starting to criticise the Somme themselves as they know more about it. This cartoon was published in February 1917, when not many people knew what went on in the war. It does not specifically mention Haig, although people would jump to conclusions and blame him, in both his time and ours. ...read more.

Conclusion

When the Source says "the principle that guided him..." it was talking about the concept of attrition, as in that if he killed more Germans than the Germans could kill his men, people would get killed, although if he had more soldiers, he would still have some soldiers left. This was proven to work, not morally, but physically, in the figures shown (these were taken in the five months between July the 1st and November 20th?): German loss= 650 000 (approx.) British Empire loss= 480 000 (approx.) Therefore, in theory, the British had a victory. You cannot tell whether this source is true or not as it is the writer's opinion, not facts. If he had elaborated his quotes with facts, this would be easier to evaluate. ...read more.

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