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How useful are sources A, B and C to an historian studying the attitudes of British soldiers to their commanders during the First World War?

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Introduction

How useful are sources A, B and C to an historian studying the attitudes of British soldiers to their commanders during the First World War? When I evaluate and explain how sources A to C show how British soldiers reacted towards their generals and to find out what they thought of them. When evaluating the sources I will consider, who wrote it, when, for who and why they wrote it. I will also analyse the meaning of particular sources and assess the usefulness of them In source A you can see that it is not a real life picture and only a cartoon interpretation of what it might have been like. The soldiers disrespected their generals because the soldiers thought that they were scared to fight. In fact the generals were 35miles behind the front lines, and were well protected. Although if the generals fought with the soldiers on the front lines the morale of the soldiers would increase and they would feel privileged and more confident in winning if they fought with them. In the text a soldier is contradicting the general by saying that the generals absence in essential. A British cartoon company called "punch" made source A and it was made for the people of Britain and had no reason to not tell the truth. It was produced to tell the British public about the Generals being afraid to fight on the front lines. ...read more.

Middle

To be a military leader you have to be responsible for the deaths, Haig thought that the deaths was not important if he won the war. This is limited because the poster doesn't show that he was skilled. Source E was written by Haig prior/the day before and after the Battle of the Somme saying that no matter how skilled or trained the soldiers were the country would suffer deaths if they want to win, this showed that Haig was willing to sacrifice anyone to win. It also says, "The men are in splendid spirits and all the commanders are full of confidence", this is invalid evidence as well because Haig was about 35miles behind the front lines to be able to tell what the men were thinking. Part three that he wrote was implying that the attack went successful and the Germans are surrendering. This again was invalid evidence because Haig instructed a massive barrage of artilleries that bombarded the Germans for ten days or more. Although this seemed a good idea at the time the German bunkers were made out concrete so not many Germans died. Everything that Haig said didn't match anything that we have learnt through textbooks so presumed all lies. Keegan liked this view of Haig because Haig claimed that he was going well on the front lines. ...read more.

Conclusion

If you were from a rich background and during the war you didn't have to go because you were a higher-class citizen you may have thought that we won the war so forget the casualties or, if you were not so wealthy and you had numerous of your family going to war then you may have though Haig to have been a butcher. Over time the interpretations of Haig changed because people may have ad their own opinion from their elders, or may be persuaded to take their opinion. I believe that Haig was a skilled officer that had a wife who was Lady In Waiting so he could have special access to the king to tell him his points of views in private and to persuade the king to take his opinions. He had no thought of how many people died or even how. He knew in some battles that it was unlikely for him to succeed but decided to take his chances; this was wrong because if he may have thought about the situation and the consequences beforehand he may have resolved the problem and prevented the loss of millions of lives. However Haig did win the war and several of difficult battles with his plans that made him to be a great leader. It also may have been the problem that if he was from a poor background he may have though of the family he could have lost. ...read more.

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