Coursework Assignment: the war on the Western Front

After analysing sources A and B we can now focus in perspective the point that neither source is more reliable than each other. Source, A which is a second hand source, may be written much later than the picture was taken, however this does not mean that the author is not accurate with the details.The effects of artillery can be seen from Source B but however source A gives us more insight to the events that took place, from the picture we can not see of what the written source states. Considering these points we cannot state that totally reliable nor can we state a source is totally useless. Source A may be a second hand source however it is still reliable and after analysing this source it does not contain much bias. In addition to the previous aspects source A’s caption states that the extract was used for textbooks in British schools.Furthermore source B does show that the effects of the artillery were devastating however in the question of reliability source B could have been of that o a British Army on the contrary the British did commence and did carry on to defeat the Germans at this specific point. Taking these points on account neither source is more reliable than each other in spite of this source B the picture was taken by someone of the bombardments, this someone could be a German but as I have stated before the British did commence and did effectively defeat the opposition at this point.Question 2Source C that is a poem by Siegfried Sassoon clearly portrays the fact that the soldiers at the time gave a bad name to the generals.” His staff for incompetent swine”This quote shows the above but however this was not a common poem and was not used by many soldiers.The poem was written and aimed at the western front and has an underlying theme of mutiny in the atmosphere of the trenches. However to my knowledge the British did have not cases of mutiny in spite of this the French who were the allies did have mutiny in their army. Additionally soldiers at the time would not have all used this poem.Question 3Source D differs from E because primarily source D’s author believes that Haig had misplaced optimism which led to the fact that he did not relies that he was continuing attacks on what he had been defeated.”It was probably this inability to recognise defeat that led to his continuing attacks on the Somme.” This quote reinforces the fact that Haig was had great self confidence which is a positive point however it was this of his positive qualities that led to his continuing attacks even though he knew he was going to be defeated. This source is against Haig and the extract has been taken from Great Battles of World War 1. Source E that is pro Haig has been extracted from the book Field Marshall Haig. From this we can rely instantly that this source is a biography and may contain some bias. This source states that Haig used the best methods at the tie and what was available. In addition he does state.”Cost of victory was appalling” This quote states that even though victory was achieved there was a huge cost of lives that was unfortunately paid. However this extract says that what Haig did was a victory. This source also mentions that attrition was another factor as this process was the wearing down the opposition. This was a very weary and slow process.In my opinion I feel the sources have a different interpretation due to them being extracted from two extremes one source is from a biography of Haig which is pro Haig. The fact that one was written later than the other would apply if the dates were much further apart but however there is only there is only a few years difference. In this time historians may have found new evidence. Considering these issues as I have stated above is why the two sources differ.Question 4After observing source F we can tell in perspective that this poster was used to support the war effort. As we can observe the soldiers are all peering over the trenches? As we have realised today that this was a truly uncommon site in the trenches, as if you would look over the top you would be instantly killed. From the picture the soldiers are in uniform and do have some arms of what was used however this does not prove that the life in the trenhches was as this advertisement of cigarettes portrays. Another factor of the poster, which is accurate, is that the soldiers are in trenches. Trenches were dug all along the western front during the war.This was a war of attrition of wearing the opponents out however in spite of this the source is not as accurate as the soldiers are smiling. The conditions in the trenches were appalling, soldiers would have had to some limbs amputated due to the unhygienic conditions of the trenches but from the poster we can see the people smiling. The war especially on the western front was often regarded as a holiday. The image of going to war and killing a few soldiers and to be back home for Christmas was very common. Posters like this were used to support the war effort.This advertisement is propaganda and uses these holiday images to attract the British people to not only buy the cigarettes but to go and fight and then while there in there trenches and a cigarette. We can often imagine this and creates a very vivid image that it was so muddy in these trenches the only thing clean would be these white sticks in their mouths. Today we would call this source very ironic as I have stated before standing up in a trench was very dangerous. The soldiers are smiling, which was not a common site as feet and other parts were amputated. However the uniforms are very realistic as u can even see the stripes of the sergeant. Furthermore this poster also kept the moral and good attitudes.Question 5Taking on account all of these sources in my judgment I think that the sources do tell us on why World War lasted so long. At the time lack of technology was a very vast factor as tanks had just been introduced and were very unreliable and ineffective. As early tanks did not have a periscope attached this enabled soldiers of the opposition to fire a single shot where the drivers hole was and the driver would be shot. This fault was then later on fixed on where a periscope was added so know the soldiers could fire all they could but this improvement was introduced later than the first war.Transportation was very slow also as supplies often took a great time to be transported from places. The fact that trenches were built added to the time because these trenches were permanent you could not move these. It was a war or attrition, which was to wear the other opponents down. Bearing in mind that both sides had this tactic, which added to factor of the war taking a long time. This is what the people did not realise they believed that the war would be over before Christmas which was only a few months away from that of the start of the war. An alternative factor is that lack of flexibility was present. They two sides were much too late in finding out that their attrition tactics were not working as they should and this enabled them not to change their tactics or anything.Sources A clearly states that the plan of the British did not work which would increase the amount of time to recover and let alone recover that specific situation. Source B does help us in way due to the fact that September 1916 was later than the war had started. It shows us that it was effective but slow. Source C relates to the fact that mutiny was a factor, which it was not in the British army’s case however it was in the French. Sources D and E reinforce the fact that attrition was a factor and lack of flexibility was present.Source D even though it is against Haig still tells us that Haig still continued the attacks on defeat; this also led to a long time on the western front. As Haig’s plan was to go over the top after believing that the barbed wire was cut and the Germans would be defeated was a humongous tragic loss to the British. Source G also informs us of a long war due to the conditions of the soldiers and their environments and even their own health. Trench warfare is a very slow and unhygienic method of fighting. The trenched dug would remain there for years to come and the conditions in these trenches would be horrific to some soldiers. As the source states many people got “trench foot” which consisted of their feet swelling up.”They’d scream at you not to come any where near them.” This quote reinforces the fact that even these brave young men that have come to fight or their country are screaming we can not imagine this but the source states them to scream if you would go any where near them. This overall clearly states that conditions were very poor in the trenches leading to a very slow and painful fight between the two sides.In my opinion I feel that considering all the aspects above we can now come to conclusion that the sources do help explain why the first World War lasting so long. In addition to the above people thought that the war had lasted so long maybe due to the fact that it was the First World War and there had been no other event such as it and no one really knew the timescale of such thing as I have stated above some if not all people thought that the war would be over before Christmas indoctrinated by many posters such as source F which increased the moral and spirits of those who were fighting. I think people thought it lasted long also due to the fact that they thought the war would be so short and the difference occurred were such a vast time gap people thought it had lasted long. Today we still do not have all the knowledge on how long a war should actually take, as there have only been 2 world wars. Hopefully it will be kept as this.