Learning Curve, The Great War
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Useful notes: Source1
Extracts from reports written by Major General Sir Henry Rawlinson in November 1914
(Catalogue ref: PRO 30/57/51)
  • Major General Sir Henry Rawlinson was a senior officer in the British Army in 1914. He was an experienced officer and most military historians regard him as a good commander. However, his reputation was damaged by the terrible losses suffered on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • These extracts come from reports written by Rawlinson to Field Marshal Lord Kitchener. Kitchener was responsible for supplying the army with the men and equipment it needed.
  • The reports give a strong sense of what it was like to be in the battlefields in the winter of 1914. They come from a time when the stalemate of trench warfare was beginning to establish itself. The trenches would face each other for the next four years.
  • The reports cover a range of issues, such as the heavy losses, conditions in the trenches and the fact that the opposing trenches were sometimes very close to each other.
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