This essay sample essay on Morgority offers an extensive list of facts and arguments related to it. The essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion are provided below.
Source A is an extract of comments made by Jack Cousins on atelevision interview years after the war. “You’ll find the barbed wire infront of the German trenches blown away.” However it had just been thrown about and got tangled even more. This source is fairly reliable and it is determined by this statement.
This source gives the impression that the battle should not have been fought because as Jack Cousins stated “wrong information” was given, so the battle was wrong as soldiers were not fully prepared for the things they faced.
Source B was written by a historian, B.H Liddle Hart, for a book in 1972. This source is from endless research and interviews. “German machine gunners had perfected to a three minute drill ” because the first day didn’t go well, this statement is also fairly reliable and the source is written by a historian, this gives its more reliablity.
However this source again shows the battle should not have been fought as Germans had better weapons and could use them affectively as the British had poor and obsolete weaponry which makes it unfair and a one sided battle. 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. However whether the battle should have been fought or not cannot be determined by this source, this source just shows that the Germans were more prepared for what they faced, than the British army.
Source D is Russel Bradshaw, a soldiers account of the crossing of no man’s land. This source could be reliable because of his first hand knowledge of it, but it could still be inaccurate. Because it is his own opinion of the instructions to “cross no man’s land at a slow pace” he could be biased and could have given incorrect information. Because this source may not be that reliable the descision on whether it should have been fought or not is hard to determine, because it could be a biased opinion. However if a descision had to be made it would agree that the battle should not have been fought because the crossing of no man’s land at a slow pace could have been suicide.
Source E is a frame from the Britsh official film of the Battle of the Somme, shown in cinemas in August 1916. This piece of film is definately a piece of propaganda as it will not show the full horrors of war because it could cause uproar within the nation. Also any single man standing over the top, as shown in the frame, would have been shot almost instantly. This piece of film could not be seen as reliable because it is a piece of propaganda, however the rest of the film would obviously have some elements of truth. But this piece of film agrees that the battle should not have…
…been fought because if the government had to hide the truth, the truth must have been bad for it not to be shown to the public.
Source F is a cartoon of a fist representing the Brtish army punching Kaiser Wilhelm on the nose, printed on the 2nd July 1916 in a British newspaper. The headline read ” the day goes well for our patriotic heroes.” This cartoon is also a piece of propaganda, fake information given to protect the British public from the truth of not doing so well on the first day. As source N shows the first day didn’t go well as 19,420 men were killed on the first day. This source also agrees that the battle should not have been fought because the great loss of men on the first day, they had to hide it from the british public, as it could cause uproar and people would refuse to fight so their morales were kept high so more men would join to fight and without the men, the battle could not have been fought well enough to win.
Source G is a statement on the Battle of the Somme written in a letter to General Haig, from Lloyd George in 1916. It talks about how well everything was going and how good the plans were, ” i can say that the heartening news of the last few days has confirmed our anticipation and hopes that the tide has now turned in our favor.” In this quote he is really optimistic about it all because the war is still going on he has to protect the nation from the truth. This source is reliable because it has come from Lloyd George but it is not reliable because the war is still going on and he has to le to stop uproar throughout the nation. So this source states that everthing is good but this is not true but his statement agrees that the battle should have been fought because everything is going well and it is helping to gain a better prospective of winning the war.
Source H is also a another statement made by Lloyd George but, after his fall from Prime Minister. A statement from his book published 1933-39. This source states how bad it actually was and Lloyd George’s opinion of it all had changed, he talks about ” it is claimed that the Battle of the Somme destroyed the old German army by killing off its best officers and men.” ” It killed off far more of our best.” This statement is very reliable as he does not have to lie anymore because the war is over and he is not Prime Minister anymore so he can say what he likes. So this source agrees that the battle should not have been fought as it went really bad for the British and many good men were killed.
Source I is an extract from a letter writen by Lord Bryce on the the 29th July 1916. He visited the Fourth Army Headquarters, a chateau and park in France. Haig and Rawlinson, Battle Director and Commander-in-Chief at the time seemed to believe the German forces were coming to ” their last legs.” ” Germans had few reserves, even German officer prisoners doubt escape of defeat.” These statements Are acked up by Source J but the two officers did exagerate to make themselves look good to the politician. The politician had never been to the front lines himself so he was an easy subject to mislead. This source is and isn’t reliable because of the two officers exageration and because of their knowledge of the front lines. But this source agrees that the battle should not have been fought as if they had to exagerate to make it sound as if everything were fine it couldn’t have been going that well so the battle should not have been fought.
Source J is an extract from a letter home from a German officer in August 1916, he was later killed in October. This German officer talks about how “Ghastly” life was on the front lines and how the village of Martinpuich that was once ” quiet and peacful was now a region of horror and despair.” This meant the Germans weren’t doing well so the British obviously were,so this source does agree with source I . It is very reliable as it has come from a German telling us that the British were doing well. This Source also agrees that the battle should not have been fought as it was causing horror and despair.
Source K is information taken from Haig’s despatchon the 23rd December 1916. At thos time the Battle of the Somme had finished for over a month. Haig set his objectives after the Battle had finished but they still might have been achieved. “The objectives were threefold:”
“1) To relieve pressure on Verdun.”
“2) To assist our allies in other theatres of war by stopping any further transfer of German troops from the western front.”
“3) To wear down the strength of the forces opposed to us.”
Haig would have definately acheived these objectives as he set them after the war he would have based them on things that had been achieved throughout the battle. This source is reliable as these were official documents concerning objectives. This source alone cannot determine an answer to whether or not the battle should have been fought. As it just states what objectives were set.
Source L is an extract from a report sent to the British Cabinet by Haig December 1919. This source is information on the effects of the Battle of the Somme. Haig’s opinion of the effects were ” practically beaten men, thoroughly tired of the war.” These both prove Objective three was acheived as forces opposed were being worn down. This source is reliable as these are also extracts from officail documents. This source agrees that the battle should have been fought as it plays a great part of the eventual defeat of Germany.
Source M is an extract from a German General’s book published 1919. This source talks about the British and how well they were doing. But because it came from a German General it can be believed, because why would he lie after the war has finished and it is the British he is supporting. ” Entente worked their way further into German lines” this statment is in comparison to all three objectives, because if the Entente worked their way into German lines it was wearing down the enemy so more men would have to be sent there, thus relieving pressure on Verdun and stopping the further transfer of troops. This Source is reliable as it came from a German. This source also agrees that the battle should have been fought because again it played a great part in the eventual defeat of Germany.
Source N are the figures of men lost on the first day and the total losses by the end of the battle. 1st July 1916, “19,420 British killed, ” by the end of the battle in total of all sides ” 1,070,000 dead.” The battle only lasted for 5 months and so many lives were lost in such a short space of time. This source is reliable as they are official figures, this source agrees that the battle shoud not have been fought as so many men lost their lives in the short amount of time of 5 months.
In conclusion from analysing thoroughly the sources and information provided it would seem that the morgority of the sources would agree that the battle should not have been fought for various reasons. However a final descision will never be made as there are so many points to be analysed and discussed. No-one will ever come to a conclusion because everyone has different opinions.