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Source based questions on Haig.

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Introduction

Question A Q. Study sources A and B. How far does Source A prove that Haig did not care about the lives of his men? A. Source A is written by General Haig himself, so it is a reliable source to a certain extent. Where Haig says: 'The nation must be taught to bear losses', you can see that he expects a lot of men to die. Haig famously said, 'not even a rat would be alive'. At about half past seven on the morning of July 1st the British and French soldiers were ordered to go over the top, they didn't however duck and run. They marched slowly, upright exposing their chests to the hail of bullets that were about to come their way. They were Haig's orders. The Germans were ready for this attack, and had known about it for a good time, so had prepared themselves accordingly, digging large trenches, and lowering their machine guns on pulleys. ...read more.

Middle

All went like clockwork.' But his sub-ordinate officers were feeding him false information, telling him that the allies were doing better than they actually were, because his men were scared of him. It could be said that he didn't care about the lives of his men, but seeing that he was being fed false information about their well beings, he did not feel it necessary to stop the battle, as he believed they were doing well. So in some ways he did care about the lives of his men, but in some ways he did not. Question B Q. Study sources B and C. Which one of these sources do you trust more? A. Source B is written by General Haig himself, so it would be thought that this source is fairly believable. But Haig was not anywhere near the battlefield, so would not have been able to see the real goings on. ...read more.

Conclusion

So a lot of the barbed wire wasn't cut at all, meaning that the battle wouldn't go as well as planned. But even if Haig knew that he was being fed false information, he would still have needed to speak in positive terms because he was the General, so he needed to keep the morale of his troops high, so he needed to be believed by them. Source C is more believable than source because it was spoken by a soldier who witnessed the battle from the frontlines first hand, Private George Coppard. Coppard states: 'Quite as many died on the enemy wire as on the ground. It was clear that there were no gaps in the wire at the time of the attack.' I believe that Haig's thoughts on the barbed wire in source B were false because the source from Private George Coppard is more believable. However, like Haig's, Coppard's was only one view from the battle point, and there will have been many different viewpoints from many different soldiers. James Faux, History coursework ...read more.

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