In source A it seems as though Haig doesn’t care for his men. He isn’t very sympathetic. He says ‘The nation must be taught to bear losses’. He is saying that even though someone in your family may die, you will just have to forget about it and get over it straight away. He also didn’t train his army and there was ‘no superiority of arms and ammunition’. How could he expect them to win? If he cared about them then he would train them and give them decent weapons. He doesn’t necessarily have to care but if he wants them to win the battle, then he must show some sort of caring.
But was it Haig’s job to care? He wasn’t a nurse or anyone who had to care. It was his job to send them out to the battlefield to win and not care if they die. If he wants them to win then he must show a bit of care. They will only go out and do their best if they feel confident that they will win, and to feel confident they need to have good weapons and be trained. We don’t know how he would have felt in this source, because he would be waiting for tomorrow to come and may be feeling nervous about the battle that he will have mixed emotions and may not be writing the whole truth.
In source B it is about all of the good things of the Somme. He oesn’t mention any bad things. He says ‘The men are in splendid spirits’, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the people who go over the top. He doesn’t mention the soldiers which shows a sign of not caring. Another part of the text that shows this is ‘the commanders are full of confidence’, but it doesn’t say that the soldiers are. Source A was written before the first day of the attack and it is really negative, but source B is from the first day but is very positive, even though lots of people got killed.
He says ‘Very successful attack this morning ‘, even though 20,000 people got died, which isn’t very successful, ut may have been less than the Germans. He says that the enemy is short of men, but he doesn’t know how many Germans were killed, and neither do we now. He is also getting a bit big headed because he says ‘Several have… never been so instructed and informed. ‘ Because he is the Field Marshall he would tell them what to do and if they say that then he must have done a good job. If he was being big headed then it shows that he must have done a good job.
If he was being big headed then it shows that he cares more about himself than his soldiers. We can evaluate source A by using source B. in source A it says ‘The ation must be taught to bear losses’. In source B it says ‘Very successful attack this morning. ‘ The whole point of the war is to achieve military objects and the number of soldiers killed is irrelevant. A battle can be successful despite the high loss of life. Overall, I think that Haig didn’t care that much about his men. This is because whenever he is writing he never mentioned how they were feeling.
He also didn’t give them any training or decent weapons, and how could he expect them to fight properly. In source B I think that he is trying to forget what the soldiers feely think, because if the soldiers wrote it then t would probably be very negative. If he tries to forget what the soldiers think and lie then it shows that he can’t care that much. But the question we still need to find out is was it Haig’s job to care and we cannot answer this question properly until we have found out the answer. b) Study sources B and C. Which one of these sources do you trust more?
Source B is written by Haig. It is a source that you can’t trust now, but you may have done in the wartime. It is hard to believe now because 20,000 people got killed in the first day but he says ‘Very successful attack this morning. People would probably have believed it in the wartime because you didn’t know how many people were killed, and we still don’t know. We know that people must have trusted in this source a bit because people were signing up for the war even after the Somme, but it may not have been released until after the war.
We could trust this source because if you had no knowledge of history then you would trust it because you wouldn’t know the number of people which died and if it did go ‘like clockwork’ or not. Also with it being the first day you would think that even the start of the plan was going Haig’s way. You would trust it when it says ‘the men are in splendid spirits’ because after one day they shouldn’t be that sad. Source C is probably a more realistic source. It is written by private George Coppard. It gives the truth of the war. We all know that the war wasn’t perfect, and in fact it was the opposite.
We know this because it says ‘Hundreds of dead were strung out on barbed wire’. He was very doubtful about the whole battle. He says ‘How did the planners imagine that Tommies would get through the wire? ‘ that is very trustworthy because we know now that the wire was thick and hard to get through so he would have een telling the truth. Source B was written by Haig and source C was written by Private George Coppard. I would trust source C more because Haig would not have been in the battle but Private George Coppard was. This makes us trust source C more because it is primary evidence.
Only one of these sources can be the correct information, because it can’t have been totally positive on day and then really negative the next. Overall, I think that I trust source C the most. This is because it states the reality. ‘Hundreds of dead… Many died on the enemy wire… it was clear that there were no gaps in the wire… It was so thick that day light could barely be seen through it. ‘ Another thing that makes me trust it more is the fact that it comes from someone who was at the battle. And even years after the battle he still remembers everything about it, so it must have been the truth or else he would have forgotten it. ) Study sources D and E. These two sources are not about Haig and the Battle of the Somme. How far do you agree that they have no use for the historian studying Haig and the battle of the Somme? Source D is a scene from ‘Blackadder Goes Forth. ‘ It shows two officers discussing an imminent attack on the Germans.
Blackadder is speaking to George and saying that they will go over the top soon. George replies saying that they will ‘Give Harry Hun a darn good British style thrashing. ‘ Then Blackadder says ‘Field Marshall Haig is about to make yet another giant effort to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin. They are sort of calling Haig an alcoholic because he has to move his drinks cabinet with him when he fights. This is a good source if a historian was studying the Somme because it was written after the Somme, so the writers would know more about it than at the time of the battle. Source E is a satirical cartoon from a British magazine published in February 1917. It has a Major General addressing the men before practising an attack behind the lines. It shows what part the Generals play in the war. This source is criticising the Generals. The Generals wouldn’t normally go to fight.
They are criticising them by saying ‘The absence of the General. ‘ This is saying that the General is never there. This is a helpful source because it shows to us how much fighting the generals did, and they didn’t do any. Source C can tell us things about the war. Blackadder says ‘Are we all going to get killed? Yes. ‘ He can answer his own question straight away so they know that they will get killed, as did nearly every one who was about to go over the top in the war. This source is relevant to Haig and the Battle of the Somme because Blackadder talks about it.
He talks about Haig and moving his drinks cabinet 6 inches closer. The six inches could have something to do with the Battle of the Somme because Haig only managed to move his troops six miles in it. We can also tell that they are going to get killed and then they refer to Haig and they also know that the plans won’t work if the last ones were anything to go by. Source E can tell us information about the war. We know from it that the generals don’t take part in the fighting. It also shows the soldiers do all of the fighting and they even know it. That is why they say what they say, which is ‘The absence of the General.
This can give us some information about Haig and the Battle of the Somme. We can use this information to tell us that Haig also probably didn’t fight in the Somme. He would have just sent them to fight like the General on the picture does. D) Study sources F,G and H. Do sources G and H prove that source F is wrong? Source F is a very biased source. It is really against Haig. It is from a book called ‘British Butchers and Bunglers of world war. They probably are so against him because of what has to be in the book, which is bad things, and if they fill it with good things about Haig then it is irrelevant.
The whole paragraph is full of bad things. They say that ‘Haig was as stubborn as a donkey. ‘ They think that the strategy was ‘appalling’ and that it isn’t a strategy but ‘slaughter. ‘ They also said that ‘The Somme was criminal negligence. ‘ Which means it is against the law because he is just killing people even though he knew he had no chance of a break through. Source G is the complete opposite of source F. it is all of the good things about Haig and the battle of the Somme.
It says the western countries confidence and ‘their armies has accomplished an achievement that gave good promise for the future. The German troops had their confidence lowered, probably because Britain were strong. ‘A great part of the best, most experienced and most reliable officers and men were no longer in their places. ‘ It was written by the German Official history of the First World War, published in the 1930’s. Because it was written sometime in the 1930’s it could have been during World War Two. They might have said good things so that when they were fighting, Britain wouldn’t be too harsh, or if it was the time leading up to the war and they sort of knew that there was going to be a war then they may have said the things to stop the war.
But it could have done the opposite. It could have made Britain feel that they are good at fighting, so they will go to war, but the Germans could also be improving, so they could just beat Britain. It being written by Germans is also quite surprising because you would expect them to be on Germanys side and say how good they were but they say how good Britain were. But this source doesn’t actually say that Britain was brilliant. It just says that they have achieved something, but the rest was about how bad the Germans were. Source h says the same sort of things as source G. This talks more about how good Haig was.
It makes Haig look powerful. It says that Haig’s armies broke Germany’s spirit o resistance by the courage and resolution they had, and they had complete confidence in Haig, which would have played some part in their courage. It also says that his armies were ‘inspired by his determination. ‘ Haig also had the ‘moral courage’ and without that the ‘French resistance would have crumbled. ‘Haig was one of the main architects of the Allied victory. ‘ That means that if Haig wouldn’t have done what he did then the war could have ended up the opposite of what it did and Britain’s confidence would have collapsed.
It is written by a British General in 1973. He fought in both wars. He might have been there but not necessarily fought, because not many Generals did. I don’t think that sources G and H prove that source F is wrong, but because there is more evidence saying that Haig was nice, that is what you believe. e) Study sources I and J. Why do you think that sources I and J differ bout the Battle of the Somme? Source I is written by Lloyd George to Haig on 21st September 1916, after visiting the battlefield. At this time he was Secretary for War at the time of the Somme.
This source says good things about the Somme. He congratulates Haig on his skill used. He is being nice to Haig. Lloyd George can’t say bad things about Haig, because his job gives him limits of what he can and can’t say. If he said bad things about Haig then he might have lost his job. What I want to know is was this letter a personal letter or one that the nation could know about? If it was a national letter then he probably ould have been a bit more encouraging, so it is probably a personal letter because he only has one person to try and please, instead of a whole nation.
The purpose of this letter is to support Haig and all of the people in the battlefield. It is also to congratulate Haig for all of his efforts. It may also be to boost morale of the soldiers. In source J David Lloyd George has completely changed his attitude. He is saying how bad the battle was, even though he was congratulating Haig in the battle. He is getting quite stressed out. He says ‘It killed off far more of our best’ and he ‘expressed hi doubts’ at the time even though he aid that everything was going fine in the war. In our textbooks, GCSE Modern World History, written by Ben Walsh, there is a source on page 36.
It is from Lloyd George’s War Memoirs. It says ‘Should I have resigned rather than agree to this slaughter of men? ‘ he is calling the battle ‘slaughter’. It also shows that he was doubting whether they would win the war. David Lloyd George says bad things in source J because he hasn’t got a job to lose. He may be criticising so they don’t go to war again. There is no need to boost the morale of the soldiers. He also has no responsibility because he wasn’t secretary of the war. I think that sources I and J differ about the Battle of the Somme because of what position Lloyd George is in.
It is his job that stops him saying bad things, because if he does then he would probably lose his job. In source J he can say what he wants. f) Study all the sources. ‘Haig was an uncaring general who sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason. ‘ How far do these sources support this view? ‘Haig was an uncaring general who sacrificed the lives of his men for no good reason. ‘ Some people would agree with this statement. From the sources we have we can prove this. In source A it says that the men had ‘No training… o superiority of arms and ammunition. If Haig cared about his men then he would have trained them how to fight and given them good weapons. He also said ‘The nation must be prepared to see heavy casualty lists. ‘ This shows that Haig knows that there will be lots of casualties and he doesn’t do anything to help try and stop as many casualties e. g. he could give them weapons and training. He has no consideration for the feelings of the people at home, who may lose loved ones. He just says ‘The nation must be taught to bear losses. ‘ He is just telling people to ‘get over’ losing their family. He pens his paragraph with that and closes his paragraph with something just like it.
Source B also shows that Haig is uncaring and wastes the lives of his men. He mentions all of the good things and no bad things. He says ‘All the commanders are full of confidence. ‘ He doesn’t mention the soldiers or their thoughts. This shows a sign of not caring. He also says ‘A very successful attack this morning,’ but 20,000 people died, which isn’t very successful. He is trying to forget what the soldiers think, which shows a sign of not caring, and he also lies to himself. Source C is realistic about the deaths of people. ‘Hundreds of ead… many died on the enemy wire. Private George Coppard wrote this and he can’t see why the planners (including Haig) could send soldiers up to the Germans barbed wire even though ‘It was so thick that daylight could barely be seen through it. ‘ Haig wouldn’t send his soldiers out if he cared about them, because he knew they would get killed. He would have known that they wouldn’t be able to get through the wire. Source D is also a source, which suggests bad things about Haig. Blackadder and George are talking to each other then Blackadder says ‘Clearly Field Marshall Haig is about to make yet another giant effort to ove his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin. They are making jokes about Haig, because in the Battle of the Somme he only managed to move six miles. They are showing that he doesn’t care about his soldiers because he would be more interested in taking his drinks cabinet to Berlin instead of taking his soldiers, who helped him get to there. Source E is a cartoon from a British magazine from 1917. It doesn’t mention Haig’s name but it is talking about Generals. It says how they are never at the battles. If they cared about the troops then they would go out there and fight to help them, instead of just sitting down and ordering the roops about.
Source F is very biased. It is from a book called ‘British Butchers and Bunglers of World War. ‘ The book has to have lots of bad things in it, and we can tell this because this paragraph is full of bad things. It says ‘He was as stubborn and as unthinking as a donkey… that is an appalling kind of strategy. It is not a strategy. It is not a strategy, it’s slaughter. The Somme was criminal negligence. ‘ This says bad things about Haig’s personality and his fighting strategies in one small paragraph. It also says that ‘He knew he had no chance of a breakthrough but still sent en to their deaths.
This shows that he doesn’t care and he sacrificed his men for no reason because even though he knew they will die he still sent then out. Source J is the final source, which shows that Haig was uncaring and he sacrificed the lives of his men. ‘I expressed my doubts to General Haig as to whether cavalry could ever operate successfully on a front bristling for miles with barbed wire and machine guns. ‘ Lloyd George told Haig that cavalry wouldn’t be able to operate and Haig would clearly be able to see that. But he still sent soldiers out to try and get past the barbed wire nd machine guns, which shows he didn’t care.
The battle’ killed of far more of our best. ‘ But some people would argue that Haig was caring and didn’t sacrifice the lives of his men. A source that shows this is source G. Britain are winning and the Germans are losing confidence. This shows that Haig might have cared because for the Germans to lose confidence then Britain must have fought well, and to do that they need to have a good leader who teaches them well, who would have been Haig. The Germans knew they were losing. ‘The most reliable officers and men were no longer in their places. The German officers would either have been killed or left because they knew they were losing.
In source H it shows that Haig was a good man and helped the troops. ‘The courage and resolution of Haig’s armies, which had complete confidence in the leadership of their Commander. ‘ Their commander was Haig and he must have been caring to get the soldiers confidence so high. The soldiers were also ‘inspired by his determination. ‘ It also says that the French resistance would have crumbled if it wasn’t for Haig and his moral courage. He must have cared to stop the whole French resistance collapsing. The final source which shows that Haig cared about his men and didn’t waste their lives is source I.
It is written by Lloyd George. He congratulated Haig for ‘the skills with which your plans were laid. ‘ This shows that Haig cared because he made good plans so he wouldn’t lose as many lives of his men. Overall, I think that Haig was uncaring and he sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason. In source A he can’t have cared because he didn’t give the soldiers any training or good weapons.
He also starts and ends his paragraph with ‘The nation must be taught to bear losses’ and the nation must be prepared to see heavy casualty lists. It shows that he is expecting lots of soldiers to die and he still doesn’t give them decent weapons. Source B also shows that he is uncaring and wastes the lives of his men. He doesn’t mention what the soldiers think about the war, and it just says about the commanders. He also says that it was a ‘very successful attack’, even though 20,000 died in one day, which isn’t very successful. If he cared then he would have sounded more upset.
In source C, Haig sent soldiers out to attack the Germans even though the barbed wire ‘was so hick that daylight could barely be seen through it. If Haig did care about them then he wouldn’t have let then go out. He was just wasting their lives. Source D suggests that Haig cares more about his alcohol than his soldiers because Blackadder says ‘Haig is about to make yet another giant effort to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin. ‘ He would probably be happy if his drinks cabinet got to Berlin and his soldiers didn’t, which shows a sign of not caring. Source E shows that Haig would have just sat down and ordered the troops about, but if he really cared hen he would have got onto the battlefield and helped the soldiers whether they win or lose.
Source F shows that Haig had bad strategies and that he has a bad personality. If he cared then he would have made up some better strategies and wouldn’t have wasted people’s lives. Source J shows that Haig doesn’t listen to people’s advice even though he knew it was probably right. Lloyd George said to Haig that the soldiers will never be able to stand miles of barbed wire and machine guns, and Haig knew that too but still sent the soldiers over the top. That shows signs that he is uncaring and wastes the lives of his men.