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How far does Source A prove that Haig did not care about the lives of his men?

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Introduction

How far does Source A prove that Haig did not care about the lives of his men? I think source A completely suggests that Field Marshal Sir General Haig did not care about the lives of his men because after one day of fighting the Germans on the 1st of July 1916 in the Battle of the Somme, over 57,000 British troops had been killed. The British only gained 750m. The next day Haig still continued with the same tactic even though a large amount of the army had lost their lives the day before. After suffering such heavy losses Haig still sent men out to their death every day. In source A Haig himself writes, "The nation must be taught to bear losses". In every war there are losses but by writing this Haig gave no indications of just how many men he thought the nation would loose. I think Haig didn't care how many men were killed as long as his main objective to relieve pressure on the attack of Verdun was completed. ...read more.

Middle

Haig had used the same tactic at another battle where he had been General. The Battle of Neuve Chappelle, which happened during 1915. The method used was to continuously bombard the enemy with shells for weeks. The barbwire would be cut then the British would attack using infantry. The method failed at the Battle of Neuve Chappelle but Haig used it again at the Battle of the Somme but on a much bigger scale risking more lives. Using a method of attack that has failed shouldn't have been tried if it was going to risk so many men's lives. Haig had been involved in other wars before the 1900's when there wasn't any planes or tanks available. When they were available for Haig to choose he decided not to use them and instead use older tactics. In Source F a modern historian has written, "The principal that guided him was if he could kill more Germans than the Germans could kill his men then he would inevitably at some time win the war". ...read more.

Conclusion

* The Germans barbwire would be cut. The barbwire wasn't cut. It was simply thrown up into the air and it landed in a tangled mess. * The British troops would be able to walk across no-man's land. The British troops got caught in the tangled barbwire and were mowed down by the German machine guns. * The British would carry heavy packs and trench repairing kit. Each solider carried 66lb of kit, which was half the men's body weight. It was difficult to get out of the trench, move fast or even to get down or stand up quickly. These tactics sounded good but there were lots of faults. The Germans knew about the attack and were ready for it. Haig overestimated the ability of the artillery. The German's trenches were on higher grounds then the English's trenches so the Germans had a good view of anyone attacking. The German trenches had been there since 1914 and the German soldiers had not been idle. They had prepared the trenches well for the attack and fortified them with concrete. The Germans had barbwire stretching 30 meters wide all over the western front. ?? ?? ?? ?? Dominic Chrominski Assignment A 10MS 11th November 2001 ...read more.

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