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Haig Sourcework

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Introduction

(a) Study Sources A and B. How far does Source A prove that Haig did not care about the lives of his men? [7 marks] I think that Source A does not prove that Haig did not care about the lives of his men. It just shows that he knows that you cannot fight a war without having casualties. You know that he knows this because he says "No amount of skill on the part of the higher commanders, no training however good, on the part of the officers and men, no superiority of arms and ammunition, however great, will enable victories to be won without the sacrifice of men's lives." He knows that in this particular battle there will be heavy casualties. You can see this when he says "The nation must be prepared to see heavy casualty lists." Haig's views on warfare were inline with what most people thought at the time. He believed that the country should expect men t loose their lives for Britain to win the war. Source B shows us that Haig was not receiving accurate information. He believed that the barbed wire had been cut, which was not true. ...read more.

Middle

Source B also shows that Haig was caring as he is talking about the men's spirit, this shows that he did care about the morale of troops. Source H backs this up and shows that the men had confidence in the leadership of their commander. (e) Study Sources I and J. Why do you think that Sources I and J differ about the Battle of the Somme? [7 marks] Sources I and J were both written by Lloyd George, Source I in 1916 and Source J in the 1930's. In Source I Lloyd George says "that the heartening news of the last few days has confirmed that the tide has now defiantly turned in our favour." We know that the British attack lifted the pressure on Verdun, this could have been what Lloyd George was referring to at the time. When Source J was written in the 30s Lloyd George knew the full extend of casualties and lives lost, and obviously wanted to distance himself from decisions made at the time of the war. He seems to be covering himself by saying that he expressed his doubts to General Haig. ...read more.

Conclusion

Source G is an extract from the German official history of the First World War. It shows us that despite the huge British lose of life; there was still a huge impact on the Germans. They to had suffered the loss of experienced officers and the German armies confidence had been knocked. Strategically this was a great consequence for the British. Source H does not support the view that Haig was uncaring and sacrifices the lives of his soldier for no good reason. It was written by a British general who fought in both world wars and describes Haig as a leader with courage and determination who never wavered from his purpose of breaking down the powers of resistance of the enemy. The writer clearly believes that the British army were inspired by Haig and that Germany's spirit of resistance was broken. Source I written at the time of the war is also congratulating Haig on his skill and plans and describes heartening news that the tide had turned in favour of the British. This source in no way shows Haig sacrificing the lives of his soldiers. Source J written in the 30s shows Lloyd George distancing himself from the decisions made at the time, but in no way describes Haig as an uncaring general who deliberately sacrificed his soldiers. ...read more.

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