Battle of the Somme and Source

Topics: British Army, Battle of the Somme, Western Front Pages: 3 (908 words) Published: April 18, 2013
How far does Source 3 challenge the impression given in Sources 1 and 2 that the Battle of the Somme had achieved worthwhile objectives?

Having analysed all 3 sources, it can be said that source 3 significantly challenges sources 1 and 2 giving an entirely different perspective on the battle of the Somme.

Source 1 is an extract from Sir Douglas Haig’s final dispatch, published in March 1919. This source begins to describe the Battle of the Somme as a tremendous victory. Haig claims that “The three main objectives… had been achieved.” Haig also then begins to describe the three objectives, “Verdun had been relieved…”, “German forces had been held down…” and “the enemy’s strength had been considerably worn down”. Haig also claims that as the objectives had been “achieved” this was enough to “…justify the Somme Battle.” This source was published shortly after the war in 1919, but was a few years after the Battle of the Somme allowing some time for the truth about the events of the battle to emerge. The source has some limitations as it was an extract from Haig’s own writing, who was Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces therefore the source may be bias towards Britain and their success in the battle. The purpose of the source was to inform people of Haig’s perception of the battle and due to this being one person’s view, the accuracy of the source cannot be verified.

Source 2 is extract from a book published in 1929 by Charles Carrington who was a Junior Officer during the time of the Battle. Similar to source 1, this source was written by someone who had authority in the armed forces, and describes the Battle of the Somme as another “moral” booster for the British Army. The author of the source states there was a “definite and growing sense of superiority over the enemy” and by the use of the word “definite” the use of facts is now apparent. In contrast, later on in the source Carrington states “we were quite sure at the time that we had got the...
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