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

'Lions led by Donkeys' Use The Information In The Sources And Your Own Knowledge How Valid Is The Interpretation Of The Conduct Of The British Soldiers And Generals On The Western Front.

Extracts from this document...


'Lions led by Donkeys' Use The Information In The Sources And Your Own Knowledge How Valid Is The Interpretation Of The Conduct Of The British Soldiers And Generals On The Western Front. In ones opinion the phrase 'Lions led by Donkeys' is a valid interpretation of the British army during the first world war. In 1914 stalemate occurred; when both sides of the army could not make any progress. This interpretation was given General Haig decided on a full offensive in the battle of the Somme which caused enormous casualties thought to be caused by the arrogant Generals. One can argue that this interpretation is not accurate and that the Generals were not arrogant as they did win many battles but in this case of the stalemate there were not many options. Source A is a phrase often attributed to certain German commanders of the First World War. This source says 'the English soldiers fight like lions but they are led by donkeys. ...read more.


Making it easy for the German army to kill them as they were well organized and had good leaders how would not run away when war started. Source D is a piece of writing by Private P. Smith who fought on the western front in 1916. From this source we can tell that everything was not going according to plan as the piece of writing tells us that the cream of British manhood was shattered in less than six hours. We see from this quote that the British army was in big trouble but was this all the doing of the generals disappearing. It was not all the doing of the generals. The piece of writing tells us that Douglas Haig was to blame for this slaughter of British man hood. The soldiers had very strong views on what should have happened to Haig for what he had done. Private P. Smith said he should have been hung drawn and quartered. The source also tells us that the soldiers at war were not very happy. ...read more.


Source G is a simple part of list of how many soldiers were killed or wounded from the Sheffield Pals Battalion on the first day of the Somme. Source G is a from the war memories of Lloyd George. It says that it was not his fault in putting Haig in charge of the army as he did not know that he was unequal to command an army of billions. George is also blaming Haig for what happened. As he killed off most of the British army and nearly ruined the whole country. I have come to the conclusion that the lions were led by the donkeys from what I have seen from the sources above. Haig had his own ideas of doing things but they went terribly wrong he was too arrogant to see it, which cost most of the lives of many British soldiers. The soldiers had the confidence to fight but the generals made it very hard for them to do anything constructive which would help them make progress. H/W FAISAL AMIN 01/05/07 1 ...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. General Haig - Butcher or Hero?

    At the start, I feel that the allies were trying to fight against overwhelming odds. This is because at first, they were being lead by incompetent generals. The quote 'lions led by donkeys' really did apply to this stage of the war, as men were being sent to their deaths by their commanders unnecessarily.

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

    It would be highly unlikely for any soldier to make it to the German trenches under these circumstances. This again shows how brave these men really were in the war. The generals sent waves of soldiers over to face the same agonizing deaths as they were miles away from the frontline living in the 'cushy life's'.

  1. Is the statement "Lions led by Donkeys" accurate? To answer this question, I will ...

    Failure April Ypres German First use of poisonous gas opened up 8km hole in allied line but eventually closed. Failure May Vimy ridge French 700,000 shells used; high ground captured at a cost of 100,000 French casualties. Failure September Loos British British troops poisoned by own gas; broke through into German territory up to 5km.

  2. 'Lions led by donkeys.' How valid is this interpretation of the leadership of Douglas ...

    He served in the Sudan where he was found to be very courageous. During the Boer War he occupied the rank of Chief of Staff to the cavalry commander. This held his strong likening to the use of cavalry in the war.

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

    The source is cartoon with a Major General addressing his men before practising an attack behind the lines saying "I want you to understand there is a difference between a rehearsal and the real thing. There are three essential differences: first, the absence of the enemy.

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

    A historical interpretation can also change with the time because new evidence always comes to light. The Battle of the Somme is one of the events that have been interpreted. Many historians argue that the Battle of the Somme was a disaster because leaders like Haig used the wrong tactics

  1. "The British Army were Lions led by Donkeys." Discuss.

    This showed that he was more donkey-like as he was a coward who was scared of death. Not only he did not care about his soldiers, he also used pointless tactics that killed 420,000 British soldiers in the Battle of the Somme and believed in the ?big push? theory and

  2. The Battle of the Somme: Were Lions led by Donkeys?

    However, Haig was not discouraged by these heavy losses on the first day and ordered General Rawlinson to continue making attacks on the German front-line. As the days developed, General Haig believed that the Germans were close to the point of exhaustion and continued to order further attacks, expecting each one to achieve the necessary breakthrough in the allies? front-line.

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