Lions led by donkeys - How valid is this interpretation of the conduct of British soldiers and generals on the Western Front, 1914-1918? Free essay! Download now
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Lions led by donkeys - How valid is this interpretation of the conduct of British soldiers and generals on the Western Front, 1914-1918?
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| Words: 1200 | Submitted: 12-Feb-2009
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DescriptionLions led by donkeys - How valid is this interpretation of the conduct of British soldiers and generals on the Western Front, 1914-1918?
Source F was written just before the third battle of Ypres, until then British forces had been suffering and had lost many men. Lloyd George wanted the army to support Italy rather than Germany. This source is very good evidence of self-justification. Haig who had made the decision to carry on fighting against the Germans was to trying to reassure himself that he had made the right decision. This source is also a useful evidence of the slowly deteriorating relationship between Lloyd George and General Haig. Lloyd George was correct to think that the battle would have ended by 1918, however he was wrong to tell Haig that he had to help Italians.
Source G was written after the battle by General Gough who would have
most probably been affected by post war controversy. This source is
useful as information because it tells us the awful condition the men
had to go through and how little they progressed. This source is
evidence of what Gough thought Passchendale was like. We also have to
look at a major decision made in the battle when Plumer replaced
Gough. This perhaps shows Gough's jealousy of Plumer, because Gough is
no longer in charge. So in this source he may exaggerate the
conditions the men had to suffer because Plumer led them into this. So
he is trying to say that had Haig kept him as commander, the British
troops would not have had to suffer as much as they did under Plumer.
Gough says at the end of the source that he informed Haig that success
was not possible, under such conditions. He may be trying to tell us
that Haig listened to him; things would have turned out better (in
terms of number of casualties). This source also tells us that Haig
was prepared to sack people in order to get results. This source was
written by Gough In order to defend himself and perhaps change other
peoples views, because the British public would have been thinking
that they had only succeeded in the battle because Haig had replace
Gough with Plumer. Gough wanted to change that view and so he
published this source. This source is most certainly against Haig and
it supports the lions led by donkey's statement.
Source H is clearly agreeing with 'lions led by donkeys'. This source
was published after the battle and Lloyd George may be trying to tell
the public that if Haig had listened to Gough the number of men lost
would have been reduced. This source is written by Lloyd George who
initially disagreed with Haig's battle plan, Haig chose to go ahead
with his plan this must have made Lloyd George angry because Haig's
plan actually worked. This source is good evidence of Lloyd George
trying to undermine what Haig did, and had Haig listened to Gough and
what Gough intended to do, things would have turned out better. This
source agrees with Goughs source G, both are trying to convey the same
message, that if Haig had done things as they had said he would have
save the loss of many lives.
Source I is written just before the battle, so the Germans have no
idea of what is still to come. This source is evidence of what the
Germans may have thought of Haig, in a positive and negative way. At
first they praise him and elevate his status, but then it goes on to
say that no matter how good he is his attack is not equal to the
German art of defence. This source is evidence of how sure the German
are just before the battle that they can win and no matter how good
Haig is he is not at the same level as the Germans.
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