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The Battle Of The Somme As A Victory For The British

2168 words - 9 pages

The Battle of the Somme as a Victory for the British

This investigation seeks to evaluate the extent to which the Battle of
the Somme was a victory for the British. The main body of this
investigation will outline the way the British set out their
strategies to win the war and what were its weaknesses and
oppositions. During this investigation two main sources are going to
be used: "The first day of the Somme" by Richard Tames and the other
source is from the British newspaper "The Times" written on July 3rd
1916(still existing today).Through these 2 different sources we will
evaluate and highlight the differences and similarities about the
British "victory" over the Somme. To evaluate the success and failures
about the British offensive in the Sommeit is important to know who is
writing the source because the writer may be biased in favour of one
side. This will be mentioned during the investigation. The
investigation will also mention the origin purpose, value and
limitations of the sources chosen.


The aim of the British army was to bombard the German defences by
breaking through their trenches and barbed wire until they gave up. At
first there were around 120,000 British soldiers attacking along the
18 mile front. The British and the French offensive against the
Germans were led by General Joffre and General Douglas Haig. According
to the Richard Tames book both the generals had certain qualities in
common. Both had a reputation for a cool head in crisis. They seemed
to be the right people to lead the British and the French through
victory according to the British point of view. During colonial
captures they were generals against the weak side. But this time they
were going to fight a stronger side which they were not used to. The
British army was strong but the German defensive strategy was
stronger. From the book of Simkin,J.: "… the Somme campaign might
yield that the necessity of relieving pressure in the French army… is
more urgent than ever": This quote is from Sir William Robertson who
gives a reason on why the British were involved in the war. He and
Douglas Haig had the same thoughts and were criticised for their
failures during the Battle of the Somme. Although the British were not
completely successful in the Battle of the Somme quotes like the above
convinced the French that the British were trying their best to help.
From the Simkin,J book Haig claims that:" the enemy's position to be
attacked was of a very formidable character, situated on a high
undulating tract of ground… well provided with bomb-proof shelters and
with numerous communication trenches connecting them… 2 belts 40 yards
broad, built of iron stakes interlaced with barbed wire". According to
Haig the Germans had a strong defensive strategy which could only be

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