Sunday, January 20, 2019
Do you agree with this interpretation of the importance of the battle of the Somme? Essay
Source A is an extract from a storey written by General Haig in December 1916 about a month after the battle of the Somme, the taradiddle was then sent to the British locker. Douglas Haig was commander in chief of the British army and in the history he was trying to show how vital he thinks the battle was in perspective of pass onning the war. As with every origin, it needs to be looked at in context so you can review its provenance and reliability. When the constitution was writhen there was a new government in Britain. David Lloyd George who had been secretary of State for War was now Prime Minister replacing.Haig had been criticised by Lloyd George, Churchill and Beaverbrook and for his schema of friction at the Somme, this being the cause of huge casualties during the battle and totally a very small push in land taken. The British only gained an average of 5miles for 420,000 casualties. Haig was now starting his own battle spine home to save his reputation as a milit ary commander.In the report Haig seems to obligate been using the report to justify his decisions that had led to the largest loss of forces and custody ever undergo by the British army in wizard battle.Haig was commander in chief during the Somme and it was his business to set the tactics for commanders to accommodate out. The fact that Haig was Commander in Chief at the Somme stringentt that he was mostly responsible for the tactics used at the battle. This means that in rise A Haig is having to defend or justify his actions in on the Somme. This result make the source less reliable as Haig has cause to be biased in his report. He is trying to slip a sort his job and wants to be known as a great military hero not a military disaster. This would have given Haig even more origin to give a biased report.Haig was respected by the French generals and had the comport of the king, this put him in a position of power small-armicularly as there was no one better to do the job . He knew that members of the cabinet did not kindred him being Commander in Chief so this whitethorn have made Haig present the evidence in source A in a more positive light. He did this to harbor his reputation, justify his decisions and to keep his job.There is no evidence that Haig was a dishonest man. However, the likelihood that he was badly informed about the situation and his authorization and the fact that he was wanting to protect his reputation and job mean that Haig could be biased in his report and his reliability as a source can be doubted.Looking at Source A, it looks like most of the extract is accurate but not wholly accurate. Haig states, the German casualties have been greater than ours . This is misleading as although the British casualties were less than the German casualties (420,000-500,000), the combined allied casualties were more. The allies suffered 620,000 whereas the Germans suffered about half a one million million million casualties. Nevertheless Haig may not have known about this at the time. Roll calls at the end of battles meant there were truthful records of allied casualties tho German records would not have been available, so these casualty figures were estimates. Nonetheless Haig may have said the German casualties were greater than ours because he wants to keep his job and make his situation look better than it is.Haig admits that, the amount of ground we have gained is not great which is true but he then says, That is zipper. Even before the Somme, Haig had been more concerned with a strategy of attrition so. Haig was expecting his strategy to have large casualties but the public wanted a justification of wherefore so galore(postnominal) lives had been lost. Even though the German army had been disconnected from strong defensive positions the cost was very proud and the Germans had often retreated to equally strong defensive positions. Haig was presenting only part of the situation. He is doing this to put him self in a positive light. Because he wants to keep his job and be seen as a public hero kind of than villain.However writing about the Somme in 1919 the German General Ludendorff wroteWe had to a great extent losses in men and material. As a result of the Somme we were all told exhausted on the western front.This German quote supports Haigs assurance of the effect of the Somme on the troops in the German army. Other than reports from captured prisoners its undecipherable how he can have been sure of this at the time. Whilst he has not lied in the report, Haig might be seen as guilty of position out the information in a way that isnt completely truthful. Also he has been discriminatory by only mentioning the upbeat information. maybe the principal thing wrong with the extract is it not showing the force of the Somme on the British troops, but this would have undermined his argument because this would have showed the eat side of the war and therefore not put Haig in a positiv e light.In conclusion, it appears that in the extract Haig is justifying his strategy of attrition at the Somme by showing the significance of the battle, for demonstrating the might of the British army, and its role in the destruction of the German army. Haig is reasonable in his view. It seems from the Reich archive that the affect on the German army from the Somme was great but nevertheless they still fought on for 2years. There are a number of key reasons why the Somme was heavy. It helped the French defence of Verdun and allied relations. It was a trial for new technologies in warfare such as tanks, machine guns and planes.Before the Somme, Kitcheners volunteer army had been amateurs and inexperienced. After the Somme, they were a force of battle hardened experienced troops. The objectives that were achieved through the Somme were done through a strategy that cost many lives and unfortunately many errors made the battle longer. There is no way of telling whether the same thin gs could have been achieved using different tactics. Haig was writing his report to people who were hostile to him and his strategy. He believed in his strategy and his ability to win the war, he was also worried about defending his reputation and job.His genuine aim was to wear down the German army in a war of attrition. From his view he achieved his aim so it is understandable why he wrote what he did. It is my view that what he said he achieved was important but even as an report to the British government themselves it presents a biased view because Haig has all the motive to be biased.