Setting the scene By 1916, the First World War had become a stalemate. No progress was being made and conditions were getting worse in the trenches. The British decided to try to break this deadlock at the Battle of the Somme
Divide your A3 paper up Evidence Sum it up – min 3 bullet point Does it agree with the Lions led by Donkeys analogy?
Task 1 Private George Coppard, a survivor of the Battle of the Somme “ How did the British planners imagine the soldiers would get through the barbed wire? Didn’t any General know that weapon fire lifts the wire up and puts it in a worse tangle than before?”
Task 4 M Contemporary painting L Modern Historian K Politician letter J Photo I German General Hindenburg H Somme casualty figures G Modern Historian F British losses E Haig speaking in 1915 D British troops going over the top Overall strength of the evidence % Evidence it disagrees with Lions led by donkeys Evidence it supports Lions led by donkeys Source
Lions led by Donkeys ? 9set4 Even today, people hold strong opinions about the commanders of the British and Allied forces in the Great War (1914-18). There is a range of different views: 1. The commanders were 'donkeys'. They were incompetent and didn't take care of their soldiers, the 'lions'. They sat in safety behind the lines while they sent their troops charging against machine guns and barbed wire. Their men resented them and only obeyed because they would be shot otherwise. 2. The commanders didn't do a great job and the soldiers paid the price. However, we shouldn't blame only the military commanders, since the politicians shared in the big decisions and ordered the commanders to try to win the war. 3. The commanders did a remarkable job while facing tremendous challenges. They had to create a huge army from ordinary civilians in a short space of time. They also learnt new tactics and used new weapons as they became available. They took as much care of their men as they could and relations between officers and men were good