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Study Sources A & B. How far does A prove that Haig did not care about the lives of his men? Explain your answer using the sources and your own knowledge.

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Introduction

Study Sources A & B. How far does A prove that Haig did not care about the lives of his men? Explain your answer using the sources and your own knowledge. Source A insinuates that Haig doesn't care about the lives of his men because he predicts their will be great losses for Great Britain without considering the men or their families. This can be seen in the line "the nation must be taught to bear losses". This seems harsh and inconsiderate towards his men and their families and suggests that Haig doesn't care about the hurt caused by the deaths of his soldiers. This also shows that Haig still sent his men to a war even though he knew a large proportion of them would not return home. Another part of Source A that indicates Haig does not care about any losses his men might encounter is Haig's prediction of "heavy casualty lists". If Haig had indeed expected such humungous losses, surely he could've done something to alter such a large death toll. ...read more.

Middle

Contrastingly to Source A, Source B paints a much more optimistic picture of the Battle of the Somme. Haig's tone changes to a much more boastful and proud one in Source B, contrary to the pessimisms he made in Source A. One such example of this is "the men are in splendid spirits". This shows that confidence is high and suggests so has been a success, thus directly contradicting his own words in Source A. Source B implies that Haig does care about the lives of his men because this report states "several have said that they have never before been so instructed and informed of the nature of the operation before". This shows that confidence was high and it also suggests that battle so far had been a success. This shows Haig cares about the lives of his men because it insinuates that he has taken time to converse with the ground soldiers, thus showing Haig in a caring light. However Source B could also be interpreted as showing Haig as not as being not caring for the lives of his men. ...read more.

Conclusion

Source B, however, I feel may be less reliable because it is written as if it were a report for others to read and therefore judge Haig on his progress. If others were to scrutinise the British progress Haig would have felt it necessary to exaggerate on any success his men had achieved and the confidence of which they undertook the task. Therefore Source B appears bias in terms of Haig's true opinions and is therefore not a true depiction of how much Haig cared for the lives of his ground soldiers. All in all I would say that neither of the sources definitely prove Haig did not care for the lives of his men. Source A may suggest he does not entirely care for the lives of his soldiers; however it is also apparent that in this source Haig is trying to paint a realistic picture of the realities of modern warfare. Source A also would appear to be reliable and seeing as Haig would've been involved in the planning process for the Battle of the Somme it is probable he would have had a pretty good idea of the casualties Britain would incur. ...read more.

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