|Enquiry 5: Activity
|The popular interpretation of the Battle of the Somme, reinforced by
TV programmes such as Blackadder, is that British soldiers were betrayed by their
leaders. Were the British soldiers 'Lions led by donkeys'?
- Play the Trench Warfare Game. What difficulties did commanders such as
Haig face when planning major offensives?
- Read the Interpretation: The Battle of
the Somme article.
Make a list of the errors that Haig made. How many
of these errors can only be seen with the benefit of
- How many of these should Haig have foreseen?
- Why do some historians argue that the Battle of the Somme was not a
- Imagine that you are a military historian who thinks that Haig has been
unfairly criticised . Write a letter to a newspaper explaining why you think
that Haig was not totally incompetent.
|Many people see the Battle of the Somme as one of the
most significant events of the war. Explain why.
|How should we remember the Battle of the Somme? Look
at the descriptions below:
Collect evidence to support each description. Decide which description you
think is the most appropriate. Write a speech to support your point of
- a military disaster
- a great victory achieved at a terrible cost?
- a crucial turning point in the war that saved France and led to the
eventual defeat Of Germany
- 'lions led by donkeys' is an accurate statement. Soldiers who displayed
great courage were betrayed by incompetent leaders such as General Haig.
|Use the Major Events, People and
Changes article and the Interactive Timeline.|
Compare the decisions
that Haig and the British High Command made on the Somme to those made in
Did the British Commanders learn from the mistakes made on the