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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

History Coursework-Assessment 2 Studying Sources Question a) How Far does Source A prove that Haig did not care about the lives of his men? Haig himself wrote source A in June 1916. He writes how a nation cannot expect to win a war without heavy casualties. It is addressed to the public and the nation in general. Haig also wrote both extracts from source B. The first is written the day before the attack and the second was from his report of the first attack. It was also written in 1916 however I would expect it to have been written before Source A because source A seems as though it is explaining the losses from the battle of the Somme. Source B is also addressed to the general public and the general nation. In detail Source A seems as though it is trying to prepare the nation for the losses it is going to bear or maybe it is trying to explain the losses from the battle of the Somme. I would not say that Source A says that Haig did not care about his soldiers lives, he is just trying prepare the nation for necessary casualties in war. He is trying to say however well prepared your soldiers are and how nothing the army can do can stop people dieing inn the war. Source B says how well the preparations are for the first day of the attack. With hindsight we can see just how untrue this source is, but did Haig know this? Haig could have been given false information by the people working under him due to fear or maybe pressure to produce good news. ...read more.

Middle

We can tell this because of the drawings that depict Haig. It also shows the Generals dressed in fine clothes and shiny boots whereas the soldiers look tatty and worn out. It is saying how the generals were not present at the actual attack and is trying to complain about it. At the time of this cartoon morale was starting to drop ad it shows an underlying unsatisfactory towards the generals at that time. In conclusion I think that to a certain extent, these two sources are useful to somebody studying Haig and the Battle of the Somme. It is very useful if they are studying public opinion and reputations but if they are studying historical facts then these would nit be very useful at all. Question d) Do Sources G and H prove that Source F is wrong? Source F is written by an historian called Laffin and is from the book 'British Butchers and Bunglers of World War'. It is a completely one sided, tunnel visioned view of Haig from somebody who comes across as ignorant and stubborn. Laffin seems as though he is unable to weigh up both sides of the argument but instead he takes one side and throws insults left right and centre. If Laffin was one of many well-known historians who had such an extreme view of Haig then people may take him seriously. In a way it almost seems as though he has such a strong opinion so that he gets himself noticed and gets paid to have his name in a book. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe that his source B shows how ill informed Haig was about the casualties and how he doesn't know the full scale to which his soldiers were killed. I f he didn't know how many were killed then he would not realise what he was doing. Source C was probably written around the time of the sixties. At this time public opinion of the generals was not very high. It was easy for the public to blame the generals for all that went wrong during the First World War. Private George Coppard tells us how the barbed wire was not cut properly to the pointy in which light could not shine through it. He describes how as many soldiers were dieing on the barbed wire as they were on the ground. The tone is almost mocking the preparations of the attack and does not have a good word to say about it. Although this seems to be a more truthful account of the offensive it is only truthful to the part of the line that he was fighting on. This does not give an accurate account of the whole line but it can tell us how bad it was in some places along the line. George Coppard could have been influenced by public opinion at the time, which would have swayed his opinions. This source tells us that in some parts of the line there were heavy losses and many soldiers were being killed however it is only true to one part of the line. In conclusion I believe that Haig did care about his soldiers however he was not given the right information by the people working under him and was seen as an easy scapegoat for the public Lee Price Fuller 11manns ...read more.

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