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Haig in sources

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

1. Study Source A (The headline and the cartoonist both refer to the events of July 1st 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme). What messages are the cartoonist and writer of the of the headline trying to give? Refer to the cartoon and the headline and your own knowledge of the period to help you explain your answer. (6) The messages that the cartoonist and writer are referring to, are the July 1st 1916 the Battle of the Somme. This cartoon and headline, is a propaganda and patriotic. It shows the British Army as a fist slamming into the Somme, France is represented as the face of the Kaiser. There are a few words the headline. "...our..." is one because they were our boys that were going over the top into no-mans-land. It did not matter how brave, strong, weak, or little the soldiers all died the same death at the mercy of the German machine gunners and barbed wire. It was no surprise that the British and French combined forces were going to attack at the Somme because Field Marshal Haig ordered a artillery bombardment for 5-7 days before the attack. "...well..." because the first day of the was not a good day and did not go well because on the first day of the Somme nearly 20,000 soldiers were slaughtered. The Somme was a political position to relieve pressure of the French at Verdun. Field Marshal Haig changed his plans, instead of attacking to bring more Germans out of Verdun he kept attacking for 100 days of stalemate in the western front against Germany. 2. Study Sources B and C Use sources B and C and your own knowledge to explain why the British launched an attack in the Somme area in 1916. (7) The British launched an attack in the Somme area in 1916 to relieve pressure off the French Army at Verdun. ...read more.

Middle

The documentary which was shown in the cinemas later in 1916. The government or war officials could have altered the movie, to show how well "our boys" are doing and showing all the good parts of the war. From the figures of deaths from the first day of the Somme, nearly 20,000 soldiers were killed, but none of the still images show the horror of the first day. One shows a man carrying another through a trench, maybe to show how our patriotic heroes are coping rescuing the injured or wounded and to show that the soldiers were not giving in. Another shows a group of men walking across no-mans-land, this could and couldn't be real because incoming machine gum fire would be killing them, as they went towards them. This also could be a real assault but on a less important and less protected territory. It could also be to boost the men/soldiers morale and keep the public confident that the generals were winning the war. Source H is a first hand account of what it was actually like. Although it was written in an interview in 1971, but in 1916 William Slater was a member of the Bradford Pal Battalion that went over the top, on the first day of the Somme. "...nothing seemed to happen to us at first..." that would have been where the machine guns were being sent back up at their posts after the bombardment. "...in the midst of a storm of machine gun bullets and I saw men beginning to twirl...fall...kind of curious ways...." As soon as the machine guns started to fire, the soldiers were being forced to twisted and twirl because of the sheer force of the bullet entering the body. This is more useful than evidence than source I because William Slater was part of a squad that went over the top, he cannot change or alter his memories or what he saw because he was there. ...read more.

Conclusion

From 1914-1917 the advantage lay with the defense, Haig was stupid to keep attacking the German lines at Somme for 100 days, and even if the artillery did managed to punch a hole in the German lines, the lacked a fast moving force to take advantage of the situation. This would of where Haig's cavalry would have been useful but they were little use in the trenches of the Western Front. "Generals of World War One were faced with a tactical dilemma unique in military history." Lloyd George the priminster of Britain during the first world war and believed that the defeat of the German army would come from the east with Russia. Unlike Haig he thought the defeat of Germany would be in the west. By 1918, much had changed, the BEF put into practice the lessons learned so painfully and such heavy losses over the previous four years. Both commanders and soldiers had learnt in the hardest possible way how the fight a high-intensity modern war. I think Haig was not a good or a bad commander, he made a lot of stupid mistakes but he made vast improvements from 1917-1918, and "by 1918 he turned an army of band clerks, shop assistants, business men and miners into a formidable fighting force." Also Haig cannot be critisised for the Somme completely because his officers gave him changed information about the enemy, the trenches, and in general the Somme. So he was going by what his officers were telling him the truth. The first world war may have been a disaster in some ways but the commanders and soldiers had to cope with a unique problem which neither Napoleon or Wellington had to deal with before and World War Two after. Throughout my essay I have discussed a few sources and used my own knowledge to show you why I believe that Field Marshal Haig was neither a good or bad commander and with conditions which no other military force has succeeded in defeating a tough enemy and changing inexperienced civilians into a well trained fighting force. ...read more.

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