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Think back over last lesson Why did the attack on the Somme fail?

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Presentation on theme: "Think back over last lesson Why did the attack on the Somme fail?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Think back over last lesson Why did the attack on the Somme fail?

2 Fighting in World War One Was General Haig responsible for the slaughter at the Somme? Objectives  To investigate the evidence on Haig’s role in the battle  To weigh up both sides of the argument  To come to a clear judgement on the question Haig has a plan

3 General Haig Guilty or Not?

4 Decision Making Your Verdict ! Was Field Marshall Haig to blame for the slaughter at The Somme ?

5 Background Information  Sir Douglas Haig was born in 1861  He was Scottish born and a member of the famous family of whisky distillers  On the 10 th of December 1915 he took command of the British Army  By this stage, the war was at a stalemate; the German and Allied troops were well “dug-in”

6 In 1915 General Haig was 54 years old; he had a long and successful military career behind him He faced a problem; “How could the deadlock on the Western Front be broken ?”

7 What did Haig believe ? Success in battle depends mainly on morale and determination (1907) The way to capture machine guns is by grit and determination (1915) The machine gun is a much overrated weapon (1916) We must wear the enemy down as much as possible (1910)

8 Your Task At each stage study the evidence Decide whether General Haig is guilty or not guilty of causing the slaughter at the Somme Give a reason for your decision StageGuilty or Not Reason

9 Stage 1 1.Haig decided that given enough men and enough guns a breakthrough was inevitable (certain) 2.More British troops died than at any other battle before 3.Haig was not to know that the German troops were so well “dug-in”

10 Stage 2 4.The Allies advanced 10 miles during the 5 month campaign; they suffered 600,000 casualties 5.At the end of day 1 of the battle, the British suffered 60,000 casualties and 20,000 dead 6.Trench warfare was a new way of fighting; no-one really knew how to overcome it

11 Stage 3 7.Haig bombarded the Germans with the biggest shell attack in history to wear them down 8.The shell bombardment let the Germans know that an attack was about to take place 9.The German losses by the end of the battle in November were nearly as much as the Allies

12 Stage 4 10.After the first day of fighting on the 1 st July, British morale went down; the troops felt let down by the Generals 11.Haig had British interests at heart; who won the war ? 12.The bombardment made it almost impossible to cross “no-mans land”,as it was full of craters and tangled barbed wire

13 Stage 5 13.In November 1916 the German Commander Ludendorff said that his troops were, “fought to a standstill” 14.If Haig had not attacked the Germans in July 1916 then the slaughter of the French Army at the Battle of Verdun would have continued; the French Army could have been destroyed completely

14 Stage 6 15.Despite the huge casualties on day 1 of the battle, Haig continued to order wave after wave of British troops to their deaths 16.Haig never visited the front line as a General

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16 Your Verdict Select the five facts from each side that YOU feel are the most important and copy them into your book You now need to write your answer to the question ‘Was Haig guilty?’ Intro…. One the one hand there is the following evidence against Haig……. On the other hand there is the following evidence which supports Haig’s innocence….. On balance I think Haig was…………….My reasons are……

17  Haig decided that given enough men and enough guns a breakthrough was inevitable (certain)  More British troops died than any other battle before  Haig was not to know the German troops were so well ‘dug in’  The Allies advanced 10 miles during the 5 month campaign, They suffered 600,000 casualties  At the end of day 1 of the battle the British suffered 60,000 casualties (and 20,000 dead)  Trench warfare was anew way of fighting. No one really knew how to overcome it  Haig bombarded the Germans with the biggest shell attack in history to wear them down  The shell bombardment let the Germans know an attack was coming  The German loses at the end of the battle in November were nearly as much as the Allies  After the 1 st day of fighting the British morale went down, the soldiers felt betrayed by the Generals  Haig had the British interests at heart. Who won the War?  The bombardment made it almost impossible to cross ‘no man’s land’ as it was full of craters and tangled barbed wire  In November 1916 the German commander Ludendorff said his troops were fought to a ‘standstill’  If Haig had not attacked the Germans in July 1916 the slaughter of the French Army at Verdun would have continued and the French Army could have been completely destroyed  Despite the heavy loses on Day 1 Haig continued to order wave after wave of British troops to their deaths  Haig never visited the Front Line as a General


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