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The Somme, 1916

No battle in the Great War is better known than the Battle of the Somme in 1916. At the time, its huge casualties made Britain realise that the war would be long and hard.

After the war, in the 1920s and 1930s, people came to believe that the losses at the Somme were unacceptable. Many thought that it was the result of incompetent officers who did not care about their men. In this case study you will see whether the original sources from the time support this view.

You will probably find it helpful to study the Background before you start looking at the sources.
Use the Worksheet as you look through the sources. This will help you plan your research and think about how to present your findings.

Soldiers in a trench
Sources:
1. General Haig's letter to newspapers, May 1916 2. Orders to British commanders, June 1916 3. Experiences of army units, July 1916 4. Telegram from Haig after the 1st day of battle
1 General Haig's letter to newspapers, May 1916 2 Orders to British commanders, June 1916 3 Experiences of army units, July 1916 4 Telegram from Haig after the 1st day of battle
5. Haig's summary of the battle, August 1916 6. Map showing land captured at the Somme 7. British film 'The Battle of the Somme', 1916 8. Diagram of German forces on the western front
5 Haig's summary of the battle, August 1916 6 Map showing land captured at the Somme 7 British film 'The Battle of the Somme', 1916 8 Diagram of German forces on the western front
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