Are The Generals Of Ww1 Donkeys?

1247 words - 5 pages

SHOULD THE GENERALS OF WW1 BE REMEMBERED AS "DONKEYS"? Frankie Tucker 9AAfter the major conflict of WW1, the quality of the generals has been questioned and defended by historians. Some think they were stubborn, uncaring and sent their troops into certain death to gain minimal land - supporting the view that they were donkeys leading lions. However other historians argue that, yes mistakes were made, but there had never been- such a war before. Arguing that they eventually learnt from their mistakes and there was no one better to take their place. Ultimately it can be argued that, generals made huge mistakes throughout the war.Generals can be seen as stubborn since they were unable to compromise their naïve, outdated and foolish tactics. For example the use of the cavalry charges in ww1 could have been effective if generals had not sent them up hill- (high wood), and across mud and barbed wire with shells going off in front of them, medieval horses never dealt with these circumstances. If the horses had been given more light armour; and they were used with a light fire arm as well as their classic sword, they would make a useful stealth force but they weren't.Generals can be seen as foolish since they sent their troops across no man's land walking and, giving the enemy half an hour to prepare for an attack; which will obviously happen, if you pound the enemy with faulty shells for one week. This is basically why one of the biggest and most well-known battles of ww1 had such a high casualty rate. Field marshal Douglas Haig received much of the blame for this mass slaughter; the British Army suffered 420,000 casualties (nearly 60,000 on the first day). This was just in an effort to relieve the pressure from the, French protected Verdun which was under extreme pressure from German troops.Generals can be seen as cowardly and uncaring, since they often ruled from, far behind the front line living in comfort while brave soldiers fought and died in the trenches. The soldiers were often made to dig down in dangerous (naturally or at a position of disadvantage, e.g. at the bottom or by a river) ground so the force did not look weak and to not give the enemy ground. Because of this, more soldiers died and they were at more risk from shells, enemy fire and were in a less effective position to "go over the top".Although generals made significant mistakes, 88% of trench-fighting British troops survived- this proves that generals did look after their troops. Further evidence for this is that soldiers spent nearly half of their time out of the trenches; and on average just 15% of their time in the front trench, thanks to a fair scheme generals produced.Photo-BBCIt is possible to challenge the view that generals were donkeys given that being one was a dangerous rank to hold. A total of 97 were killed or died during the war and 146 were taken prisoner. In the Battle of Loos in 1915 more British generals were killed, than in the entire Second World War. If...

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