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GCSE: War Poetry

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  1. The trapped soul

    Not a soul stirred in the Russian camp, exhausted after their one hundred and ten kilometre walk from Moscow: A cockerel crowed in the distance, signalling the dawn of a new day. Dimitry a peasant soldier of the Tsar, woken by the gentle breeze that caressed his innocent face, the sunlight danced, dappled through the tree that had protected him from a midnight downpour. Dimitry was a lanky figure compared to his smaller grubbier friend even though they were of similar age.

    • Word count: 1148
  2. "How far was the Battleof the Somme a "Victory" for the British?"

    At first there were around 120,000 British soldiers attacking along the 18 mile front. The British and the French offensive against the Germans were led by General Joffre and General Douglas Haig. According to the Richard Tames book both the generals had certain qualities in common. Both had a reputation for a cool head in crisis. They seemed to be the right people to lead the British and the French through victory according to the British point of view. During colonial captures they were generals against the weak side. But this time they were going to fight a stronger side which they were not used to.

    • Word count: 1887
  3. Are knights and castles a sufficient explanation for Norman military success between 1066 and 1087?

    However, there is some debate amongst historians as to the importance of the cavalry. Richard Glover stresses, from looking at the Tapestry, that there was no uniformity of armament, nor unity of the Norman cavalry charges. Moreover, he points out that eventually the cavalry were forced to dismount their horses and fight on foot, as more horses were killed. ( It was suggested by William of Poitiers that William the conqueror had three horses killed from under him) This suggests that the knights in cavalry were not essential to military success.

    • Word count: 1867
  4. Does Ridley Scott achieve the structure of an Epic in the film 'Gladiator'?

    Ridley Scott doesn't waste a second. You are with Maximus getting the troops ready for battle. This means that there is no introduction to Maximus and who he is, but the way it starts almost makes you think you know him. He is the respected leader as the film follows him around the battlefield. This links him again to the epic hero needing no introduction. There is a muse at the very start of the film with Maximus walking through the fields; this is relating him to the basic essentials of life. It makes a humble connection so that he is at one with the earth.

    • Word count: 1346
  5. Why Did So Many Men die in the Battle of the Somme?

    While the bombardment was taking place, the Germans had withdrawn into especially prepared deep dugouts. Once it had stopped, they prepared for the advancing British soldiers. (Evidence here a primary source from a German soldier describing what he saw after when he saw the bombardment stopped) (Another source but secondary from a film showing the British troops coming out of their trenches) The Germans only had one order to give, 'Fire!' The British suffered 60,000 casualties, including 20,000 deaths, on the first day of the attack alone.

    • Word count: 1787
  6. Diagnostic essay on 'Waterloo' by Raymond Garlick

    Not only is the concentration placed on Waterloo, the subject of war, generally, could also be applied to the speaker's rhetorical and subtle questioning in the poem. The speaker invites the readers on a journey (as could be suggested from the first stanza: ... we went once There were several hours to fill Before we caught the boat. He influences the readers' view, by conveying his own views about the Battle, as well as the value of war from a modern context.

    • Word count: 1320
  7. How far was The Battle of the Somme a

    B Summary of evidence In 1916, the British planned to attack the Germans near the Somme River. Their main aim of this attack was to relieve the French pressure at the battle of Verdun, which was going on from the early part of the year. 'Their plan was breathtakingly simple. Having assembled the greatest concentration of artillery in its entire history, the British army would bombard the German defenses until their barbed wire was cut destroyed, their trenches caved in, their strong points were smashed to fragments and the few remaining defenders were to too scared to fight.

    • Word count: 1721
  8. Was the Battle of the Somme a success or a failure?

    In 1916, one of the biggest battles in the history of British Military history started. This battle was named The Battle of the Somme, named this because the region the battle took place was called the Somme. There were many reasons for basing the attack there.The most important reason was to relieve pressure of the French who were being attacked at Verdun. The Germans were very close to breaking through the French lines so Britain had to act quick and attack Germans from a different angle.

    • Word count: 1657
  9. The Comparison of November, 1806 (Wordsworth); To the Men of Kent (Wordsworth); Drummer Hodge (Hardy); and The Charge of the Light Brigade (Lord Alfred Tennyson)

    To the Men of Kent has no setting but is written about the population of Kent, Southern England who are asked to protect England from the threat of invasion across the channel. November, 1806 is set in Prussia. This is told to us by the footnote at the bottom of the poem, which tells us that 'The Battle of Jena, on 14th October 1806, resulted in the complete over throw of Prussia by the French under Napoleon'. The settings of these poems all involve British me in some way, as it is either the British army ("The Charge of the Light Brigade" and "Drummer Hodge")

    • Word count: 1079
  10. Battle of the sexes.

    And the outcome, which is the result of such negotiation, is called negotiated settlement. This game is the classic example of how cooperation can be achieved even when people are selfish. It shows how commonality of the objective can resolve conflict. Battle of the sexes illustrates the conflict between a man who wants to go to a prizefight and a women who wants to go to a ballet. Though selfish, they are deeply in love and would, if need arises, sacrifice their preferences in order to be with each other. Here cooperation, not rivalry, works.

    • Word count: 1959
  11. 'Stalingrad was the most significant turning point of the war on the Eastern Front for both the Soviet Army and the Wehrmacht.' To what extent do you agree with this interpretation? Use all of the sources and your own knowledge to explain your answer.

    This implication is reasonably correct, because there was much death and destruction at Stalingrad, but the source was Soviet propaganda, which limits its reliability. I feel that German morale was not greatly affected by the loss at Stalingrad because it was kept a secret from the German public for a long time after the battle. The German army's morale may have lowered and Source E supports this view, by describing the valiant effort made by the Germans so that their future generations may live.

    • Word count: 1191
  12. 'The Age of Iron' commentary by Eda Karaman.

    However, after reading the piece of writing the title is of some relevance. The title of the extract is a metaphor used to allow the reader to draw a link between it and the passage itself. An iron-willed boy that is driven by the powerful force of battle, 'The instinct of battle too strong in him, driving him on,' depicts the connection between the title and extract. The clever use of a metaphor helps the reader to vividly draw this link.

    • Word count: 1411
  13. "Compare the ways in which "on the idle hill" and "The destruction of Sennacherib" portrays images of war".

    Byron's poem is a stereotype of war. The title shows action and it brings a sense of all encompassing. Whereas "On the idle hill" shows laziness as "idle" personifies the hill making the start of the poem peaceful and natural. This image contradicts war, which is very ironic. The two poems by Byron and Housman portray war. "On the idle hill" is a very natural affair. "The Destruction of Sennacherib" is a very violent and graphic event. Both of the poems show the beginning and the end of the battle and misses out the actual war. This firstly leaves the battle to the readers imagination so it can be interpreted differently, and secondly it makes the reader concentrate of the consequences.

    • Word count: 1013
  14. Why is the battle of the Somme regarded as such a great military tragedy?

    This though, did not happen and instead of this great British victory was this. The British had not concealed their plans of attack and the Germans intercepted some, plus the weeklong bombardment gave the Germans plenty of warning. The Germans were happy to stay on French land so German trenches were heavily fortified and, furthermore, many of the British shells failed to explode. When the bombardment began, the Germans simply moved underground and waited. About 7:30am on the 1st of July they blew their whistles to signal the start of an attack. This plus the 10 minutes between the end of the bombardment and the land assault gave the Germans plenty of time to man their machineguns and get ready for the British.

    • Word count: 1024
  15. Battle of Britain

    The RAF could not afford to lose the battle, and they certainly rose to the challenge. The official 'start' to the Battle of Britain was the 10th July 1940 (although this has been much debated) when the Luftwaffe started to hit British convoys in the Channel. Their aim was to hit British shipping and other various targets on a daily basis to draw out the RAF so they could engage them. In this way, they hoped to weaken the RAF until 'Eagle Day', when the Germans would launch an all out attack on RAF airfields and destroy the RAF in one killer blow.

    • Word count: 1779
  16. The battle of the Somme - This analysis is to debate whether or not the battle should have been fought using the sources and information given.

    The Germans had a better prospective of winning. Also soldiers on the British side were mislead by their commanding officers. Source C was written by a well known historian A.J.P.Taylor, for yet another book in 1979. Agian his information came from endless research and his own knowledge. "German machine gunners had perfected to a three minute drill" this statement is more than likely true as the first day didn't go well for either side. The historian is well known for his accurate information on topics like the war so this source is fairly reliable.

    • Word count: 1929
  17. Why is the battle of the Somme regarded as such a great military tragedy?

    The Allies realised that any attack that was made on the Germans would have to be proceeded by a heavy, accurate and lengthy bombardment. Just prior to the attack it was planned for some mines under the German front line to be exploded. Aerial spotters was intended to locate and put out of action the German artillery batteries by guiding the bombardment to them. The bombardment was supposed to begin on June 24th 1916 and was supposed to last five days.

    • Word count: 1013
  18. Two pre-20th century poems about war.

    He then wrote this poem of loyal and brave soldiers who gave their lives because of one man's mistake. The differing tones of both poems are clear from their beginnings. 'The Battle of Blenheim' begins very calmly on a summer's evening with 'Old Kaspar sitting in the sun'. Whereas, 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' gets right into the action of the battle with the steady rhythm of galloping horses. The children in 'The Battle of Blenheim' bring peace and enjoyment to the beginning of the poem, but then suddenly the tone becomes chilling and menacing as one of the children discovers something small and round and Old Kaspar says 'tis some poor fellow's skull'.

    • Word count: 1369
  19. War at Sea.

    The actual fight starts at 4PM when Admiral Beatty's battle cruisers open fire on Admiral von Hippers battlecruiers. Beatty attempts to sail south to cut Hipper off from his base in Germany. Hipper undertakes a withdrawal to the southeast hoping to lure Beatty into a trap, force Beatty to face the main fleet, which Beatty will be crushed. During this chase Beatty is at a disadvantage as the sun brightens his ships while his enemy's ships are hidden in the haze and mist. Beatty did not even reach the High Seas Fleet and he already took severe damage.

    • Word count: 1487
  20. Why is the battle of the Somme considered such a great military tragedy?

    Another advantage was the fact that the Somme was relatively flat and possessed only a small portion of shrubbery that could provide hiding places for the enemy. What the British high commanders failed to realise when planning the battle however, was that it also provided little hiding space for themselves. Also, because no battle had ever before taken place upon the Somme the Germans were able to carefully prepare their defences without being discovered or disturbed and did so extremely well in the years building up to the battle.

    • Word count: 1858
  21. The Graveyard.

    The position they were in was exactly where a commander of a platoon would be. The tombs themselves looked battled scarred; chunks of stone were missing and bullet holes covered the walls. Long grass surrounded the tombstones almost engulfing them. With the ground not being visible, it gave the feeling of a creature moving through the long blades and striking its' prey unknowingly. The smell of blood filled the air. The man pulled back the Black cape, revealing a horrible distorted face, and muttered with fear the words 'Flavit Jehovah at dissipah sunt.' The ring on his left index rose up instantaneously towards the statue.

    • Word count: 1300
  22. Loss. The giant Anzac leader, Connovar, stood silhouetted atop the hill, watching for signs of enemy movement in the ridge below.

    A sudden gleam of silver down in the ridge below bought him back to the present. A quick glance told him that the Varlet infantry were beginning to fall into formation, readying for the imminent attack. He signalled to the young corporal beside him to ready his horse and sound the signal that would tell the other men to ready their own mounts and arms. In moments he was riding towards his own men, who had quickly readied themselves and either taken up pre-arranged battle positions in the secret trenches they had dug the previous night, or fallen into their own formations outside the camp.

    • Word count: 1391
  23. Gladiator and Empire of the Sun.

    Here is where the hero encounters the evil emperor once again. The emperor challenges Maximus to a duel in the coliseum in front of thousands of spectators, inevitably the fight is rigged and Maximus is injured to favour the Emperor. The Emperor and Maximus take to the centre of the Coliseum for the climax of the film where he kills the Emperor avenging the deaths of the previous Emperor and his own family, he repeats the last wishes of the previous Emperor that Rome should be a republic and then dies from his injuries.

    • Word count: 1004
  24. 'Why was the battle of the Somme regarded as such a military tragedy?'

    Of the 330 infantry regiments of the French Army, 259 fought at Verdun. The German advance was stopped at the end of February. On the 6th March, the German Fifth Army launched a new attack at Verdun. The Germans advanced 2m before they were stopped at Mort Homme Hill. The French held this point until the Germans finally invaded it on 29th May. Further attacks continued throughout the summer and early autumn. However, the scale of the German attacks was reduced by the need to transfer troops to defend their front-line at the Somme.

    • Word count: 1213
  25. Explore the similarities and differences between "The charge of the light brigade" and "The last of the light brigade".

    "The charge of the light brigade" was written to commemorate the soldiers who survived the war, calling them heroes. The author wanted us to experience the battle to help us realise how much was risked to save our country. Alfred Lord Tennyson shows the reader the bravery that was behind the fighting and the fact that some sacrificed their lives in order for the hearts and courage to be lived on and past down to younger generations through the poem. "The last of the light brigade" was written to tell the public of the poorly treated way the now ex-soldiers are treated.

    • Word count: 1398

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