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Why was the first day of the Battle of the Somme on the 1st of July such a disaster? writing an essay help Accounting Homework assignment help

On 1st July 1916, the first phase of the allied offensive, took place on the Northern side of the Western front and was known as the Battle of the Somme. The main reason for the battle was to take pressure off the French army, which had been under heavy attack at Verdun since February, and was close to cracking. It was hoped that a major British offensive on the Somme would force the Germans to withdraw troops from Verdun.

The other reason was that it had been a stalemate for 2 years and Douglas Haig, the commanding officer of the British army, wanted to get the break through and win the war. Hence at 07:30 hours (zero hour) the allied troops came out of their trenches and charged at the German lines. The Germans within their highly effective trenches mowed down the oncoming troops. It was remembered as the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army when 60,000 men became casualties, of whom 20,000 were killed or died of wounds.

The failure of the artillery bombardment just days before the Somme was a key reason to why the first day of the Somme was a disaster. Firstly, as stated earlier, the German trenches were better than the allied trenches. The Northern area of the battle front was quite vacant (less fighting) giving the Germans a considerable time to improve their defences. Furthermore a German trench, which was made on higher ground, was made to defend.

A British trench however was made on lower ground as wasn’t made as good because, as the offensive side, they were meant to move forward, not stay put. The shrapnel shells used by the British, which were more effective on open land, were of little use at destroying the entrenched German infantry. High explosives were needed to produce some real damage to the dugouts, but these were in short supply as a result of the ineffectiveness of British industry to produce them in great numbers.

Moreover, some of the shells that were fired were duds – bombs that don’t blow up. Hence the German machine guns were not affected causing the British infantry to be useless against them. This was a reason as to why 1st July was disastrous. Another drawback was that the Germans were practically warned of the offense. A 5 day, 1. 5 million shell artillery bombardment, that was unsuccessful, and a series of mines detaching at one time was a definite alarm to an attack coming.

When the artillery stopped and the mines were detonated at 7:28 the Germans had two minutes to set up their machine guns and prepare for the attack. So when the British came out of the trenches they had lost the element of surprise and hence were slaughtered by the German machine guns. Also, over the previous few weeks, German spies had seen soldiers, rations and equipment being trucked in and were expecting a major offence to take place. This meant the battle plan did not go to plan hence the first day was a disaster.

Douglas Haig’s poor leadership skills were another significant reason to why the first day was a disaster. False news had reached him about the battle and so, he continuously sent men to get that all important breakthrough. His men were getting butchered but yet he insisted on the attack. His poor leadership skills were also shown when he ignored the advice of his officers to change the tactics; he sent millions of shells over to the German trenches thinking it would kill all the soldiers and didn’t call of the attack despite the ongoing onslaught.

This act was another reason as to why the 1st of July was a disaster. One more reason as to why the first day of the Somme was such a disaster was that the volunteer British troops commonly known as the Pals Battalion were not professionally trained. They were recruited by Earl Kitchener who trained them up where as the BEF or the Territorial Army would have been well trained ready for war at any moment. After roughly one year they would be sent to the trenches and would experience warfare.

They had not experienced battle as they had stayed in the trenches and rarely gone over the top. Hence they were not of much use against German infantry. Also, when they crossed no man’s land they were made to walk, since the commanders did not think that the troops could run due to the heavy equipment such as rations, weapons and clothing. This allowed the German rifles and machine guns to cut through them. This untrained and inexperienced division was an additional reason to why the first day was a disaster.

To conclude, the causes were; the failure of the 5 day artillery bombardment which very little effect on the German trenches, the Germans awareness of the immanent allied attack, Douglas Haig’s poor leadership skills and the inexperienced Pals Battalion. Amongst these I think it was the failure of the 1. 5m shell artillery barrage, because if it had been successful and all the German infantry had been destroyed than the war wouldn’t have taken place, was the most sufficient reason as to why the first day of the Battle of the Somme on the 1st of July such a disaster.

Asylum Challenges In Australia And Asia

Asylum Challenges In Australia And Asia.

Answer one of the following four questions. Your answer should be in the form of an essay of approximately 2000 words, excluding the reference list (Harvard style). You should refer to at least ten references in your answer. 

Essay questions

  1. Does a political party have to be ‘tough on asylum seekers’ in order to win elections in Australia? Your answer should demonstrate an understanding of the various debates within the Australian community and between political parties.
  2. What is ‘executive control’ and to what degree does ‘executive control’ characterise Australia’s asylum policies? Your answer should demonstrate an understanding of the implications of executive control (eg democratic, human). Please provide examples to support your argument.
  3. To what extent does Australia’s asylum policy impact on its relationship with other states in the Asian region? Choose one state to provide evidence for your answer.
  4. Should the Refugee Convention be amended? If so, why, how, and what impact would this have? Your answer should demonstrate an understanding of forced migration challenges we might reasonably face in the future.

Marking criteria:

When marking, the assessor will consider the following:

  • Has the student followed the instructions and guidelines?
  • Has the student demonstrated a good understanding of the topic and its debates?
  • Has the student demonstrated critical thinking and analytical skills when answering the question?
  • Has the student engaged with a sufficient number of quality references to answer the question?
  • Is the task well presented, including clear and formal writing, and the correct use of the Harvard referencing system?

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