• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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? Use sources A to C and knowledge from your studies in your answer.

Extracts from this document...


History Coursework 1. 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? Use sources A to C and knowledge from your studies in your answer. Source A shows a cartoon, which represents a view of soldiers' attitudes towards their general. It is a cartoon from the First World War period, which means it is a primary source. It was published by the British magazine 'Punch' which was around during the First World War. After some research I found out that the 'Punch' magazine was known to be satirical and a humorous magazine which was influenced heavily by the use of cartoons. The cartoons put a strong viewpoint across of how some people felt, even though the publishers used humour to put across their ideas to the reader. I think the cartoons must have been some what useful to historians studying them, as they put across ideas of some people. The source shows a Major General addressing his men, the caption beneath the cartoon is showing in a humorous way what the soldier actually thinks about the General. I think the soldier in the cartoon thinks of the General as being cowardly as he never comes to the front line during the war. ...read more.


The battle of the Somme was one of the most bloody of the First World War; more British soldiers had been killed than in any other battle before it. It earned Haig the title 'Butcher of the Somme', after he unnecessarily sent thousands of British troops to their deaths. Source C is written by Earl Haig, the son of Field Marshal Haig it was published in a newspaper in 1998, this is a secondary source. The source is telling us what the son of Field Marshal Haig thought of him, he thinks of his father as being a 'great man' and should be given credit for the job he did and the victories he achieved during the First World War. The source is likely to be biased as he is the son and he will do anything to make his father seem honourable and a respected man and so it may be quite inaccurate and thus making it insufficient evidence. The source does however share the same view as John Keegan's interpretation. More sources need to be analysed before I can conclude that there is sufficient evidence to support John Keegan's interpretation. Source D shows a poster which is been edited to mock Haig. ...read more.


Source K is written for a GCSE textbook and is therefore not likely to be biased in any way and is likely to give solid sound interpretations. Source K believes that the blame cannot be all put on Haig as he was ultimately victorious which is the part, which agrees with the interpretation. But, this source shows the other side as well and that he did make the mistakes, which killed thousands. I believe that this is a very reliable and unbiased account. To conclude the essay, I must state that overall there was not enough sufficient evidence in the sources to agree with Keegan's interpretation. The majority of the sources which I analysed were highly critical of Haig and his character. This is understandable as he did make mistakes and the losses of life were immense. However the sources analysed were mostly opinions, thus making the sources biased towards or against Haig. I believe that the interpretation of Keegan was too inflated and that Field Marshal Haig did make many mistakes leading to many soldiers death. However it was his persistence that one the battles but as a result huge losses of life were encountered. By Harvinder Singh Daurka (11T) Mr Thompson ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    What Were the Consequences of the First World War for the British People 1914 ...

    4 star(s)

    So even before the war women's suffrage was becoming recognised by the government, even some became supporters. There are numerous takes on why the suffragettes and suffragists won them the vote. The fact that they stopped campaigning during the war period meant they would gain some respect from the public

  2. General Haig - Butcher or Hero?

    was a loss for Germany and a gain for the allies, making the odds easier for the allies. During the war, new technology was developed to the allies' favour. Although tanks had first been used during the battle of the Somme they were unreliable and often broke down.

  1. 'Lions Led by Donkeys' How Valid is this Interpretation of the Conduct of the ...

    He was nicknamed 'Mad Jack', taking this into account we realise that he was extremely bias. These two poems show how he despises the generals for bad planning. This tells us that if Sassoon didn't agree with the way that the way in which the war was being planned then there would be more soldiers that thought the same.

  2. Was General Haig a donkey or a great commander?

    When the inevitable rains came, the area was reduced to a quagmire, in which men and animals drowned, and guns disappeared forever. Duckboards had to be set up, to allow men to cross the marshland.

  1. General Haig doesn't care about his soldiers.

    By telling Lloyd George that everything was going well, he could keep on fighting in search of that break of the stalemate. That is why I trust source C more as it is an actual account by a soldier fighting that day.

  2. "Lions led by donkeys". How valid is this interpretation of the conduct of British ...

    The way that the generals did win the war is often queried, as there were so many deaths, however, as Sir Douglass Haig, who was later appointed Field Marshal on the Western Front, described in source B3 "No amount of skill on the part of higher commanders, no training, however

  1. How useful are sources A, B and C in understanding what the Battle for ...

    These accounts may have been distorted by time, and the perspective with which they were looking at the events with may be limited. These sources are not particularly representative and typical, because another source says that the soldiers were all lined up on the beaches, and since that is in a picture, it is probably accurate.

  2. Some people have the view that British generals like Haig were incompetent leaders. How ...

    The fact that he was a solider fighting in the Somme makes the source reliable because he witnessed what had happened on July 1916; he had to witness the people he had fought alongside being killed because of the instructions that were given by leaders like Haig therefore he would have an instant negative opinion of leaders like Haig.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work