Modern History- Assessment Task 1 WW1 Source Analysis
1. Use Sources A and B and your own knowledge. How successful were the Allies and the Germans in using technology to break the stalemate on the Western Front?
The Allies and Germany used new technology to break the stalemate on the Western Front. Source A clearly shows new technology used in WW1 such as the Rifle with Bayonet attached shown in the hands of the soldiers. In the photo of the trench, the soldiers are seen standing on duckboards and using sandbags as a form of shield. Source B speaks predominantly of the tanks used to attain defensive positions and break through successive German lines.
After going in to war with Napoleonic tactics, both the Allies and the Germans were unsuccessful in implementing a break through in the stalemate in 1914. Another problem in the early stages of the war was that the artillery used was mainly for defence rather than attack and the main way to move about in battle was by horse. Due to the lack of technology, most attempts of breaking the stalemate in 1915 failed.
In another attempt of breaking the stalemate, the Germans brought to light a new technology, poison gas. Poison gas was first used at the Second Battle of Ypres and was very effective. After many attacks from the Germans with poison gas, the Allies became aware of the dangers of the gas and came up with their own gas shells, as well as issuing soldiers with gas masks.
2. How useful would Sources A and B be for a historian studying the impact of new technology in breaking the stalemate on the Western Front?
Source A is a primary source. It is a photograph of soldiers in a trench on the Western Front. It shows the soldiers using Rifles with bayonets, using the trench as a shield and trench periscopes, which were used to watch the enemy without being injured. The reliability of this source is limited as there are no details of the photograph such as when it was taken, who took the photo or who was...