were the english soldiers lions led by donkeys


Problem “were the British soldiers ‘Lions led by Donkeys? ‘” has been an ongoing issue since the end of the conflict. A conflict which is centered by pictures of weakling battles like the Somme and Passchendaele – futile frontal attacks up against the machine weapons.

There is a wide range of evidence to suggest that the troops were ‘lions led by donkeys’. The definition that the soldiers had been ‘lions’ in the war has never been questioned – due to the horrific reports with their lives in the war.

The troops were just young men: young men from across Britain placed into battle. It was hardly heard of males refusing to serve in the war – re-cruitment paper prints (source A) put pressure on males to join, by simply playing issues conscience.

Males were recruited, teenage young boys as youthful as 16 or 12-15! Even though the grow older was 18. Once kids had joined, whatever age, they were “in the armed service now” and so had to go and fight: to see horrific visuals they have to never have viewed.

(source D/E).

The Soldiers experienced miserable hails from the ditches: the food was limited to Ansto� beef, biscuits, tinned food etc . The soldiers always thought that that were there half of what they really should possess. The officers also enjoyed better quality meals.

Life in the trenches contained working at night time, and trying to get some rest in daytime: as well as needing to fight and fire firearms. The stand-to called at dawn and dusk regularly also found the troops standing occasionally for hours awaiting enemy disorders that hardly ever came.

Tedium was a major problem in the ditches, so many soldiers took to composing poetry or letters to home. Letters wherever they were definitely not allowed to publish of the full horrors they saw.

The ditches were basically huge abandons, the low floor meaning that they were often water-logged, and very damp and dull. The dirty trench conditions attracted all types of unpleasant creatures – strange horned beetles (source C). They were also infested with lice and rats and frogs. The dugouts where the males had to sleep would be moving with lice and they had been driven outrageous with scratching. The rats also helped the pass on of illnesses through the ditches and the males, feeding after dead human flesh. Contributing to the atrocities of trench life, were the terrible scents lurking there: (source E) the smell with the mud, man waste and decomposing systems.

The soldiers lived in daily fear in the trenches, of the smell of lingering gas. It was one of the most feared system. The opponent would explosive device the gases into the allied trenches – gases such as chlorine, mustard gas, and Napalm. These kinds of gases experienced horrific effects such as to help make the soldiers dish out their lung area, or to even rot with your life!

The military also experienced great deals in Battles such as the Somme, and Ypres and so forth Events in which they drowned in dirt, were cut down by simply German equipment guns, and suffered wonderful losses.

These pressures with the soldiers and their experience of the war, or perhaps the stories the survivors had to tell display that they were ‘lions’ with this war.

The situation mainly discussed though for the topic of the First Globe War is the generals being ‘donkeys’. The question becoming – where the soldiers of WW1 brave men, provided for their fatalities by inexperienced officers?

Source N highly suggests that guys were having slaughtered by enemy, due to the “stupidity…of those in charge”. This is immediate criticism up against the generals, and evidence the fact that soldiers had been ‘lions led by donkeys’.

The Commander-in-cheif Generals of the British Military services during the 1st World War were Friend John France (1915) and Sir Douglas Haig (! 915 onwards).

French was seen as an overall bad innovator to the M. E. F. Seen in this kind of examples as the 1st Battle of Ypres (1914).

The Uk and German troops co-incidentally met in Ypres, both with the intentions of out-flanking the resistance. However the British army are not only less in amounts, but poorly led simply by French – who was identified as ‘jumping coming from bursts of extreme confidence to gloom’. Therefore, the United kingdom suffered superb losses, with new soldiers being submitted in every single day – more casualties increasing the list.

Likewise in 1915, French staged an strike at a location called Neuve Chapelle on the 10th Drive. The British had not any shells, therefore there was not any preliminary bombardment – hence the attack on the Germans was a complete surprise and at first a success. Nevertheless French extended to fail from this level as the British hesitated to fill the space they had made in the A language like german lines within a wait for re-inforcements: by which time the Germans had loaded the distance. A pointless battle which will lasted simply three days.

Other alleged battles like these took place whilst Joffre insisted on ‘one more attack’. This triggered 50, 1000 French being lost in February (advancing only five-hundred yards) in Champagne. 70, 000 had been lost in St Mihiel, and a hundred and twenty, 000 had been lost in-may near Arras. The United kingdom tried fresh offensives at Festubert and Aubers Ridge, which only resulted in a bigger scale of casualties. Absolutely this is data enough to show that the Generals were not making the right decisions on possibly part of the Of that ilk armies, that is certainly was simply causing more men to die: possibly at this early stage from the war.

Another action that Sir David French got proved setting an example to any or all Generals and officers through the entire war: English generals who have prolonged the slaughter held their posts and earned promotions, While those who protested to the decisions were in danger of dismissal.

This kind of warning was performed during the harm at Ypres, where the Germans used the newest weapon in the event poison gas on the Uk. French responded by requiring on counter-attacks, but just proved to increases the casualty list. When the army leader, General Smith-Dorrien argued against French’s decision, he was rapidly dismissed.

Nevertheless , the General in whose decisions built most influence on the war was that of Douglas Haig, who for most of the war was the English Commander-in-chief.

Various people rebuked, and still carry out criticise him for the way he leaped the army. Many believe that Haig was too remote from the troops, and that he acquired no comprehension of their lives in the ditches. As he failed to visit them even once – one of many worst scenarios being during the Battle from the Somme, (source L): in which he dined forty miles aside in a cozy chateau. And remained uninformed to the horrors he was sending his guys into.

Haig also did not communicate well with the other generals. They were afraid of him, and so they by no means conversed regarding the conflict, and so a large number of views had been never advised or fixed. Such as seen in Haig (eg: during the Somme) where his tendency to monitor the missions, but not right officers who were doing a poor job, expense the lives of many even more men.

The Battle from the Somme is likewise a topic exactly where Haig may be criticised firmly. The ideas given by Foch and Haig (sources G-H) which were found in the battle plan for the Somme were highly incorrect and impractical. It was the huge underestimation with the machine firearm that price so many lives. Haig and Foch presumed that ‘grit and determination’ could defeat the firepower and fatality of the machine gun.

There were also huge speculation more than how the bombardment would succeed. There was so much assumption which the barbed line would be cut, and that (as Haig quoted) not “even a rat” would be left alive. It is come to be obvious in evaluation in the events of the battle that no ideas for basic safety were made (source M). Only the one probability of success was thought of, which will again proven fatal intended for the British soldiers because they were ploughed down by the German equipment guns, because they marched vulnerable, unguarded, isolated, exposed, unshielded, at risk across no-mans land: the Germans had nearly all made it in the good fortifications with their underground casemate.

A number of flaws can be chosen from the policy for the battle of the Somme. Source T suggests that ‘any Tommy’ might have known the concept of cutting the barbed line would not been employed by. This does not offer good facts for the Generals.

There were two aspires set to noticeably achieve inside the Somme. These were to get rid of as many Germans as possible, and to destroy the barbed cable fortifying the German trenches. The artillery did not be successful to do their very own jobs very well, and therefore both these aims failed.

The German born bunkers had been deep, and there was simply not enough cannon. The area decided to attack on was likewise too wide-spread, and had hardly any effect on the German trenches.

Haig having criticised French strongly for a few of his offensives during his amount of time in command, when in command word himself began to think that that they could operate. He had your favourite strategical program which was to attack Flanders and then ‘roll up’ the Germans in the North. This was his primary idea intended for the Somme. However , Joffre did not similar to this idea and instead pointed out the Somme as being a point, (which tactically will turn out to be better for the Germans) yet Haig did not defend his own idea.

It was a very unsuccessful plan, obtaining 57, 000 casualties within the first working day alone. A horrific number. But yet Haig pressed in, and the Struggle waged pertaining to 4½ a few months. Many are not able to understand why Haig chose to try this, and believe that it was a great act simply resulting in criminal neglegance.

Additional Battles exactly where Haig is usually remembered to be an unsuccessful leader is in that of another battle of Ypres – Passchendaele. Passchendaele was at the same time to the Somme together similar results also. Which emphasised Haig’s failure to learn via his errors. A more powerful point against him like a bad basic.

Haig released the Fight with an target on the German-occupied ports within the Belgian coastline. It travelled ahead on the 7th Summer 1917, and its first day cost 24, 000 guys. The main assault was on low surface, over drinking water sources. Putting had churned the clay-based soil and smashed the drainage devices beneath. So that it is the most severe scenario to get a battle feasible – with men, all their horses and pack espadrille simply too much water in the mud.

All the covering holes registered with water, and the just other stable objects in the desolation had been the German born strong items – where they managed their equipment guns to scyth down the attackers.

Irrespective of all this, Haig let the struggle continue – where this eventually resulted in November of the year. The fact that was supposed to be a “thrusting break through” experienced turned into a battle of attrition.

The British acquired made a total advance of just your five miles – at the expense of ¼ mil casualties! The only consolation the British generals took using this battle was that the Germans had as well suffered grievously.

The question which usually remains unanswered to many is why Haig let a challenge, fought in such horrible conditions, to continue; especially at such top dollar00 and quantity of casualties, high was the Somme also to demonstrate the mistake of challenges like these.

Lloyd George (Prime minister) as well asked the opinion with the two out-of-work generals – French and Wilson, who also both compared with Haig’s decision to keep the battle going; in the thought that all the ‘Germans will collapse’.

Haig forced his military services deeper into a battle, that numerous called the Slough of Despond. Reflected in poems such as that of Siegfried Sassoon’s – “I died in hell – They named it Passchendaele. “

Nevertheless , contrary to this evidence the fact that WW1 officers were most ‘donkeys’ there is evidence to prove or else.

The myth of popular opinion that all the generals were uncaring, and reamained remote from their soldiers at the frontline can be disagreed with. Less widely known is the fact that 79 British and Dominion officials of the list Brigadier Standard or over died on active duty in WW1. And there was a total of one other 146 injured. These figures provide evidence, that contrary to popular belief, generals frequently went close enough to the battle the front to place themselves in critical danger.

There was also pressure applied on the generals due to politicians. At the beginning of the battle, to keep the British open public happy the politicians were promising that the war will ‘be over by Christmas’ and that it would only be a ‘quick war’. This place tremendous pressure on the generals who sensed they had to comply to promises that were being made. However it is impossible to secure how much time a battle will last to get, and what military strategies at such an early stage in the battle would end the whole thing!

In 1917, when ever Lloyd George became Priminister, he placed the English army within the control of french. So therefore the British military had to follow the French strategies, and not their particular, due to the interferance of political figures; who had zero military know-how.

And again, politicians interfered with military plans, just like Joffre insisting in 1916 that a struggle plan Haig had invented should be fought at the Somme. A place which usually worked out tactically due to the location of the position, to be at the advantage of the Enemy soldiers! It therefore as being a location that Haig may have never picked himself.

Critics also pushed on that during the First World Warfare the officers were seeking to the past; that has been not completely true. They were interested in new technology, as in 1916 having invented the reservoir, and getting the first ever army to use them in warfare, by simply introducing them at the Somme.

Anyone who wants to criticise the generals of WW1 will certainly immediately consider battles like the Somme or perhaps Passchendaele – the most horrific, and in which the British suffered most reduction.

Despite the fact the British suffered great casualties in the Somme, there were reasonable aims behind the struggle (source F). And contradicting sources including K (suggesting that the strategy failed, and it had always been doubted) Source O shows that the harm was very well planned and this soldiers experienced confident and thoroughly informed.


  • Category: society
  • Words: 2581
  • Pages: 9
  • Project Type: Essay