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General Haig

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Assignment Part A In this essay I will talk about the usefulness of sources A, B and C to a historian studying the attitudes of British soldiers to their commanders during the First World War. I will use my own knowledge as well as using the sources. Source A is a political cartoon in a British magazine 'Punch'. The main purpose of this source is to show the effect of the absence of the generals as quoted in the caption. This statement is reliable as the generals were 40 miles behind the front line and not fighting with the soldiers. Other purposes of why the cartoon was published were probably to make money and entertainment. The cartoonist has implied that one of the generals was General Haig as in the picture there is a man that is similar in appearance. The value of this source is that it shows historians steps that had to be undertaken before an attack was made and the differences between the average soldier and the General. ...read more.


This source also shows the conditions of the environment and the soldiers state they were in 'asthmatic ant carrying some heavy shopping' this tells us that soldiers were not kept very well by their leaders. It gives a historian an idea of what the character felt about the war even though he is not real. This is because most of the statements are quite true like the soldiers were going into a 'mass slaughter' and also 'millions of men have died and we have advanced no further. Lastly show the attitudes of a soldier towards his general in a comical way. The limitations of this source is that it is consciously biased so therefore it is not a true expression of the soldier's attitudes towards their general and so it is not be useful to a historian. The speech tends to be over exaggerated and fiction. This makes the source fairly unreliable as a historian, can't tell what is fact and what is fiction. ...read more.


Overall this source is not useful as it is written by Earl Haig the son of Douglas Haig, and also over exaggerated to try and change people's opinion about Field Marshall Haig. In conclusion I believe that source A is the most useful source as I think that this source shows a historian the attitudes of soldiers towards their generals. Also if a historian were to read some diaries they would get a better idea of what a soldier really felt. It is the source that is most reliable out of the three sources given and therefore it can be studied in further depth although we are unaware of the cartoonist. Overall I believe that that source A is more useful compared to sources B and C because source A is unconsciously biased and is the most useful source to a historian studying the attitudes of soldiers towards their Generals hence the caption on top of the cartoon. Finally it is the only source that is not over exaggerated. History Coursework Nikita Patel 11S Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

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