Description of the Battle of the Somme

Source D is a cartoon, depicting the battle of the Somme. It portrays one big fist, about to punch a hole in the German line. The view it is giving is the official British propaganda view, which under DORA, the censoring act, had to be depicted by all newspapers. The motive of this is to try and keep public moral high, and ensure a steady stream of volunteers to the army. The source was written in 1916, just before the battle when it was vital that a steady stream of recruits volunteered. The source depicts the official British army view of the battle, and it is one of staggering over-confidence.

It implies the battle will be quick and easy.Source E is a diary entry from a soldier who went to the war, and fought in the battle of the Somme. This source represents the average soldiers view. It is reliable as it is a diary entry. This means it is reliable as it was written for personal reasons. It plays down what had happened, probably because the author himself was having such trouble coming to terms with it. It was written as if the soldier knew what was happening, but was not willing to write it in its full horrific details. It is possible that he was too shocked by what was happening to really register everything.

This is in opposition to the cartoons flippant view of the war.Source F is a letter from an officer who fought in the battle of the Somme. It is written by an officer, who wants to make his view the official one, and therefore avoid any blame or responsibility. It was about this time that the officers started to get questioned about whose fault the failures were. The excuses made however are very poor, and highly implausible. This source represents a personal view, but a very biased one.It is written to the author of the official British history of the war. This is significant because it was It describes how attacks on German positions failed.

It says that the first waves got through fine, but the reserve waves were inexplicably mown down. He believes it to have been by camouflaged machine guns. This is an absolutely dreadful excuse, as surely the whole point of war is to camouflage things so the enemy cannot see them, and then use them to the greatest effect.Source D was published before the battle in 1916, and hopes were high for the coming war. Source E is written in late 1916, around the time of the battle, and they were starting to realise that the war may not be as simple as they had imagined. Hopes were starting to fade. Source F was written aftrer the battle, in the 1920’s.

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Hopes has been dashed then, and there was a sense of reluctance to accept blame.All of the sources differ in reliability. D is not reliable as it is propaganda. F is not reliable as it is trying to avoid blame, therefore bending the truth.

E is the most reliable by far, as it is written at the time, by someone who has no reason to lie.In conclusion, all 3 sources differ, as they are from different perspectives, with different motives for writing them.