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

The Battle of the Somme - source related study

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Lee Hiorns 27th March 2003 History Filework: The Battle of the Somme 1. Uses sources 15.H, 15.I to explain why the British suffered such huge losses on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. From three sources I am trying to find out why the British suffered such a huge loss on the first day of 'the battle of the Somme'. Sources 15.I and 15.J are both written by British soldiers, 15.H is written by a German soldier. Source 15.H suggests a few reasons why the British suffered such a huge loss on the first day of the Somme. Firstly Germans had a lot of machine guns, which they could set up easily and was there main firepower. The average machine gun at that time could fire around 400 rounds a minute, so this could be very easy for the Germans to instantly kill and take out British men coming towards them. The British thought that they had killed all the Germans, but because the enemy trenches were deep and well dug out, the German soldiers were not visible. So, British soldiers just walked at a steady space and in an open space without any protection, so they were then shot down straight away. ...read more.

Middle

The German account, which was source 15.H agrees with the British account on some things, which Is source 15.J. They are both punctual and start their days attack at 7:30am. But later on in the source, it says, "We were roused at 7am for roll call." So they may have arisen at different times, but the attack on each other, was at 7:30 am. Also, both sources agreed that the British infantry soldiers were everywhere all lined up, left to right and moving towards the German trenches. The two sources agreed that when the first line of British soldiers had reached the German front line, machine guns opened fire. From the sources, I can see that they agree being in a battlefield, with machine guns going off everywhere, that it would have been a terrible experience. The machine guns were very quickly, pulled out of the German trenches and dugouts, from source 15.H, its says, "the rattle of machine guns and rifle broke out." Both sources agreed that British soldiers were falling to the ground, one by one and very quickly. Source 15.J says, "Men were falling, like ninepins and source 15.H says, "All along the line, men could be seen throwing their arms up and collapsing." ...read more.

Conclusion

The pie chart below shows the totals of different casualties: 4.b. Explain the tree aims given by Haig in 15N. Do you think that these aims justify the casualties? Explain your answer. Sir Douglas Haig was a British Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshall. Haig thought that the Battle of the Somme was a great victory for the British and the allies, regardless of how many noble soldiers were killed in the tragic battle. By the third week of November, Haig's three main objects had been achieved. Verdun had been relieved. Strength of the enemies had been worn down. Also, all the German forces had been held on the Western front. I quote from source 15.N (a speech by Sir William Haig) "The attainment of all three of them affords ample compensation for the splendid efforts of our troops." I do not think these aims justify Haig's speech. During the battle, 419654 British soldiers were killed. All these men, just for three aims, that probably didn't have any influence on Britain and the allies winning the war. From source 15.L, I can see that the allies only gained approximately 12 miles, out of all that fighting. Compared with all the land gained by Britain and the allies, when Germanys plan of the Lundendorff offensive failed. ...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. Battle of the Somme - source related questions.

    This man has obviously been sent by the government to observe the goings on at the front and as the General in charge of the Western Front; Haig, would be set the task of showing Hankey "around."

  2. The Somme - source related study.

    The RSM answers; "The absence of the general." Here the artist has made his point that the Generals are nowhere near the battles that they order to happen. He is right. At the time of the Somme, General Rawlingson was at a chateau in Quierriere,15 miles behind the frontline.

  1. Votes for women - source related questions.

    The language used to describe the women in both sources is similar; shrill cry, and shrieking sister. These show how, the suffragettes (in the case of source B), and women in general (in the case of source C) are being childish in their campaign for women's suffrage (shrieking and shrill are words that might be used to describe children).

  2. Field Marshall Haig: "The butcher of the Somme?" - source related study.

    have researched into Haig and found out that during the battle, more often than likely Haig would be anything up to 50 miles away, only when both sides were tired and there was not much action going on would Haig ever visit the frontline.

  1. The Battle of the Somme

    The infantry attack was a disaster for the following reasons. The Generals were so over-confident they ordered the men to walk over to the trenches as they thought the Germans were dead. The Germans were ready for them, and faced waves of slow-moving men- easy targets for machine-guns.

  2. The 1913 Derby - source related study.

    These two sources differ in their accounts of what happened at the derby in 1913, because two people with different opinions wrote them. D was written by a lady who was passionate about the suffragette movement and everything to do with it and E is written by a reporter who

  1. The Derby 1913 - source related study.

    to where the horses were and the extensity of the crowds at the Derby. Source C also shows the crowds on the other side of the track, expanding the image and giving me a better picture of the whole track.

  2. Dunkirk and the battle of Britain.

    I believe this was written for everyone back in Britain. For the sources to be more useful, I would have like on of them to e from one of the foot soldiers or bystanders on the beach so we can have a fighter's view of what was happening.

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