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Lions Led by Donkeys? By Mr RJ Huggins 2006 V Q3.

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1 Lions Led by Donkeys? By Mr RJ Huggins 2006 V Q3

2 Lesson Objectives Discuss the reliability of comedy as historical evidence. Analyse two different types of comedy, a film clip and a cartoon about the Battle of the Somme and General Haig. Finally, make a judgement about whether these two sources are useful to an historian.

3 How reliable is comedy as historical evidence? Comedy Ever a true word said in jest! Satire and irony can be very effective criticism In order to get people to laugh, you have to exaggerate the truth! People who can't talk openly because of censorship, often do so through jokes You can learn a lot from comedy & jokes about peoples attitudes Jokes often have hidden meanings! 2 minutes to jot down some ideas

4 Blackadder Goes Forth, 1991 What can we learn from this source about how many people viewed Haigs tactics in 1991?

5 How accurate is Blackadder? The following sources are extracts taken from letters written by soldiers who witnessed the shelling of the German trenches before the Battle of the Somme in July1916. What can we learn from these sources about how accurate Lieutenant Georges view was of how soldiers viewed Haigs before the Battle of the Somme? Source 1: Private Williams We saw the bombardment the Germans were getting. We thought it was a chance of getting our own back. Everyone was wildly enthusiastic. Far less men went on sick parade. Nobody wanted to miss the fight. Source 2: Lieutenant John Parker We couldn't speak, but it was an amazing show. We stood behind the lines and watched the giant fireworks in the darkness. No one could live through that. What evidence is therein these two sources to support Lieutenant Georges view of General Haigs tactics?

6 How accurate was Captain Blackadder?

7 The popular image of Haig in the Comedy series Blackadder, 1991 Positive: Lieutenant George Negative: Captain Blackadder Looking forward to going over the top and giving the Germans a darn good thrashing. Suggests that he expects Haigs tactics will be successful. Sees Haig as an uncaring arm chair warrior who doesnt care about how many men he sacrifices to: more his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin. Blackadder expects that Haigs tactics will be a disaster when he says: You mean are we all going to get killed? Lieutenant George is presented throughout the TV series as an over optimistic, fool ….

8 What is the message of this source?

9 Source E It appeared in a political magazine called Punch, Feb 1917 The General looks like Haig its a caricature Does not directly mention or criticise Haig The caption The absence of the General Sir shows that people were beginning to criticise Haig Its a cartoon so it is designed to exaggerate the truth in order to get people to laugh. Over 150 British Generals were either killed or captured during the FWW

10 OCR Question 3 Study Sources D & E. These two sources are not about General Haig and the Battle of the Somme. How far do you agree that these sources have no use to an historian studying Haig and the Battle of the Somme?

11 Mark Scheme

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