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history somme

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Introduction

A. I think that source A proves that Haig didn't care about his men to some extent. Also it is a reliable source as it is from Haig himself. When he writes about how 'the nation must be taught to bear losses' this shows he didn't care about their lives because when he says 'losses' it doesn't seem like it means much to him, but as we know this obviously did mean a lot to the soldiers and the families and he didn't seem to realise this. He also mentions how 'No amount of skill on the part of his 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.' this sounds like he himself is ready for the men to die, like they have no chance of surviving at all, even if they did have all the training and skills etc. like he was sending his men to die. The way he uses the word 'sacrifice' sounds to me like the words of someone who knew that thy were going to be large numbers of death and therefore had willing sent them out to die, showing that he didn't care for the lives of the men. The source then ends with 'The nation must be prepared to see heavy casualties.' This just proves that he knew men were going to die and he didn't seem to want to change his plan which shows that the loves of the men obviously didn't mean much to him. Through the source I can sense no hint of sympathy to the soldiers or their families having to 'sacrifice'. Source B can somewhat help to back up my points, it shows how Haig had no idea about what was really happening on the frontline, this could be the reason for his lack of knowledge. ...read more.

Middle

D. I think that sources G and H do prove that source F is wrong. I think this because source G was from official German history and I doubt that the Germans would lie about why they lost the war. Also source F is from the book 'British Butchers and Bunglers of War' Which meant the author of the book could be saying those things about Haig on purpose to match the title of the book. Source F describes Haig's strategy which was 'if he would kill more German than the Germans could kill his men, then he would at some time win the war.' The book related to this as an appalling strategy but the other sources have praised this strategy because one of the sources have said how Haig's move had killed the more experienced and reliable officers and put young soldiers whose training was poor into the battle which lead to heavy losses on the German side. This strategy proved itself again in another source because the source describes how the British hammering had lead to the German spirit of resistance being broken. This source also describes how the soldiers 'were inspired by his determination, for he never wavered from his purpose of breaking down the powers of resistance of the enemy, both morally and physically.' This showed that Haig's strategy of keeping his men out there and fighting lead to the demise of the German army and he also had the faith of his soldiers which showed they agreed with his tactics. Source F also describes how Haig 'knew he had no chance of a breakthrough but still sent men to their deaths.' But in the other two sources it describes how by sending his men out to supposed 'slaughter' he destroyed German spirits, killed their experienced officers and he did breakthrough their defence in the end. Haig was described as 'stubborn as a donkey' in source F but in source H it showed how this stubbornness made sure he ...read more.

Conclusion

His strategy about if more Germans die than British he had won the battle. This can be thought of as an appalling strategy because it clearly showed that Haig was just willing to throw lives away to win and no matter the numbers that were lost winning was what counted but by winning the battle of the Somme it did not give any real boost to Britain it actually just started as a sign that the British were helping. So Haig was willing to destroy all those lives just to show the French that the British were helping and that fits the model of an uncaring General who sacrificed lives. Lloyd George also criticised Haig's strategies about cavalry riding through in 'front bristling for miles with barbed wire and machine guns.' This showed that Haig would rather sacrifice yet even more lives with cavalry which was quite a stupid idea considering the barbed wire and machine guns, and he did this just to stick to old traditions and maybe to get victory with style and finesse instead of worrying more about the lives of men which meant significantly more. But in other sources such as sources G and H it shows Haig as a face of determination and Iron. In the sources they describe how the soldiers had full faith in the leadership of Haig and they were inspired by his determination. This leads to conclusion that if Haig was not so determined maybe even the battle of the Somme might not have been one. This also shows that even though Haig was sending out his soldiers to certain death his soldiers most probably knew about it and they were willing to put there lives on the line for their country so it might be as much the soldiers fault as it is Haigs. But Haig still had no right to do that to his troops and more sources support the view that he is an uncaring general who sacrificed lives and these sources support that view to as far as the view reaches. ...read more.

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