Source A is useful and reliable to a historian as it is a primary source. Source A is a British propaganda poster and was designed in 1916 by the British recruitment office or the Government, to encourage married men to enlist. Two years after the war had commenced the excitement and romantic ideas of an adventure had died down, so did the numbers for enlistment. There for propaganda posters such as source A were put in place. In this poster we can see illustrates 2 children and their father.
The boy is interested and happy when playing with his toy soldiers, while sister is busy with an open book pointing and questioning her father about the war. ‘Daddy what did YOU do in the war? ’. The facial expression of the father seems very blank and sad, this picture suggests that the father didn’t not go to war and had no way to answer his daughters question an now he feels ashamed and embarrassed for not enlisting to go to war.
Historians can see the use of this poster and why the Government would place these posters around. In 1914 for the First World War Britain had no problem in encouraging men to enlist. Many of these had reason such as; ones duty to defend the king country and empire, a great holiday, first full time job and impress the women. All these men shared the belief that the war would be a quick one and would be over by Christmas, so the need to volunteer quickly was so that they could avoid missing out on the action.
However as the losses of the volunteering on the western front became known to many people, and the realisation that the war would not be over anytime soon the number of enlisting men dropped and because of this in July 1915 the height requirement dropped from 168cm to 157cm and also the age requirement increased from 19-30 to 19-40 historians can rely on the source to tell them that the British army needed more people and were desperate that not only did they have to make changes to the height and ages of enlisting that they also had to create posters to encourage men to enlist.
These facts of events suggest that it is a reliable and useful source. This source is useful to a historian studying World War 1 as it illustrates the many different attitudes of men and the government when enlisting to war. The attitudes of the Government seem desperate to get men to enlist. To get as much men as possible to enlist the Government was to achieve that by creating these posters to make men feel guilty and ashamed that they hadn’t enlisted, showing them what could happen in the future once the war is over, this can easily be seen in source A.
It is useful to a historian as it can tell us the Attitude the men had to war in general. In 1914 when the war had commenced the government had no trouble with getting men to volunteer to enlist men attitudes towards the war was great and exciting but however, this excitement died down as men soon become aware of different situations in the western front and so did the enlistments. This source is useful to a historian when looking attitudes to war or uses of propaganda in World War 1.
This is a reliable primary source of propaganda as it gives an insight on the way the government manipulated the emotions of its targeted audience. In this particular moment the audience are men who are made feel guilty into joining the army because they were exempted previously. The purpose of this propaganda poster was to promote voluntary enlistment. Source A is reliable as it is closely connected to manipulate their targeted audiences emotions. Source B: Extract Source B is a secondary source.
It is an extract taken from a book called Allsopp &H. R Cowie’s Challenge and response: A History of the Modern World, Melbourne 1981. Source be briefly describes event such as the blockade of European ports, Why the USA declared war on Germany in 1917 and the Result of the defeat of Russia by the Germans. The war was being dragged into 1915, with many men realizing it was not going to end quickly, the War had become a War of attrition, where each side tries to exhaust the other.
In saying this, there were also many attempts to break the stalemate and the Allied Naval blockade was one of the attempts made. Britain had imposed a tight naval blockade on Germany. Which then prevented the importation of essential food and supplies of raw material, the blockade then created major economic problems for Germany. Therefore Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare, sinking any merchant ship making its way to Britain. And because of the Submarine campaign it then brought the United
States to declare war on German in 1917. Source B is useful to a historian studying World War 1 because it describes in brief the effectiveness of the blockade of European ports by the British and French. Germany was forced into making desperate moves, and because Germanys improvisations were the U-boats their attempt were to starve Britain by sinking all their ships. It is also useful as it also tells us information as too why America declared war on Germany in 1917, and how it is somewhat linked to the improvisations made by Germany.
It continues to be useful in giving information as to how Germany was able to defeat Russia in the east, and be able to launch a new offensive in March 1918. For a Historian studying World War 1 Source B may be very useful as it is a summary describing the events that lead up to the launch of a new German offensive in March 1918. How ever because source B is very brief in detail and may be hard to understand if the historian doesn’t have full knowledge of WW1. Source B can be reliable to a historian as it is a recount of events, but summarised allowing the information to be understood.
Source B is also reliable as the authors are not eyewitnesses from the event and therefore have no emotional involvement in these events being described. The tone in this written extract is neutral and unbiased and therefore only states the facts of the events. This extract is also reliable as it is taken from a published book meaning the authors would have done a lot of research and editing to be able to publish the book. As time passes secondary sources made after the events increase in reliability due to many reasons such as hindsight and technology.
SOURCE C Lloyd Georges Speech: The extract from a speech by British Prime Minister Lloyd George, reported in the London newspaper The Times on the 29th of March 1918, is a primary source. The tone of this speech is sad and worrying, waiting for worse things to come. However there is a tone of hope when Lloyd George speaks about the USA and the willingness to do there best to get to Europe as quickly as possible. In source B Allsopp &H. R Cowie’s clearly mention the fact that USA took many months to organise and equip and army to send to Europe.
This speech was delivered in March 1918 after the USA declared war on Germany in April 1917 but it was only in 1918 that the presence of the USA on the battlefield was felt. While America took many months to prepare and equip an army, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in November 1917 led to the withdrawal of Russia from the war. In 1918 Russia was then forced to sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended the hostilities of the two countries. So Then Ludendorff, a German general, was then able to transfer hundreds of thousands of troops to the western front.
This source is useful as it gives a political view on the Attitudes of the British government towards a specific time of the war; know as the Ludendorff Spring offensive 1918. Where the withdrawal of Russia opened a window of opportunity for Germany to attack in great numbers. Source D is useful as it explains because of the spring offensive Britain was forced to retire and the British would be waiting for the USA to help, And how “time is Vital” when it comes to war. Source D is a reliable as Lloyd George delivering this speech is an eyewitness of the events that was happening around him.
This speech is a very personal and expresses his emotional involvement thought out the speech, which may be unreliable because of this. However in this speech Lloyd George does not try and sway his audience but rather state only the facts about the war. The language of Lloyd George in this speech is very worrying, which makes it reliable to a certain extent because he doesn’t know what may happen due to America taking a long time to equip and prepare an army to send to Europe.
However in saying this he doesn’t assume what may happen while America isn’t present but only suggests, “in war, time is vital”. On the other hand he believes that this war “is only just the beginning”, which may not be reliable because he doesn’t know the future and doesn’t know when the war will end. SOURCE D British poster: British poster produced by the ministry of food depicts a woman slicing bread. Behind her there is a big ship crushing into a small submarine.
She appears calm and smiling, and the words that follow are ‘Save two slices everyday and defeat the U-boats’. The U-boats were small German submarines of approximately 65metres long they carried 35 men 12 torpedoes and were able to travel under water for 2 hours at a time. In the first year of World War 1 the U-boats caused a terrible loss of allied shipping. In the end of January 1917 German announced the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare and by April of the same year 430 allies and neutral ships were sunk.
Any merchant shipping going to an allied port were fired upon without warning. As Britain imported food from the USA and Canada the German offensive produced large shortages of food. The British Government introduced the Defense of the Realm Act (DORA) to ensure food shortages never occurred, which made people ration food such as bread, sugar and meat. The use of propaganda is useful to a historian studying World War 1 gives an insight between two topics the U-boats and the rationing of food.
Source D is useful for a historian because it provides information in studying the impact of war on people in the home front and shows how their civil rights were removed. Source D is also useful as it shows us a political situation and how the government deals with it. As the U-boats were sinking all of Britain’s supply ships, wheat stocks had fallen and it was important for the Government to tell the people at the home front to not waste their food. This situation was resolved by the bread economy campaign and increasingly successful anti-submarine activity.
Source D is an example of a poster from this campaign. Therefore because it is a primary source it is useful when studying the impact of the home front, political situations and the use of propaganda in World War 1. Source D can be reliable to a historian as it is a primary source and also gives insight on a political situation and how the government deals with it. This source is also reliable as it has its targeted audience, the home front. As the Government produced this propaganda poster it makes this source more reliable because the Government is a major part of World War 1.