• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

At first glance the sources seem to point towards Haig being a butcher of the Somme. However in my opinion, the most reliable sources point to Haig being a strong general.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Question F At first glance the sources seem to point towards Haig being a butcher of the Somme. However in my opinion, the most reliable sources point to Haig being a strong general. Sources, B,C,D,F and J all accuse Haig of being arrogant and accuse him of being a 'donkey'. Source F also accuses him of having an 'appalling' strategy. Source F is an extract from a recent book called 'British Butchers and Bunglers of World War'. I believe that this source cannot prove that Haig was a donkey or a butcher and I believe the source is unreliable. This is because the book was written about 70 years after the war had finished. And many views have changed and been warped since then. Also quite a few of the views expressed are clearly opinions, such as 'the Somme was criminal negligence' and 'he knew he had no chance of a breakthrough, but still sent men to their deaths'. This, I think, is using hindsight, as at the time it is probable that Haig thought that his strategies would work . I think that you cannot judge Haig on these comments as they are quite extreme opinions, and are not really backed up. ...read more.

Middle

Also this programme plays on Haig's reputation as a donkey to get laughs, and it is unlikely that there would have been much research done, or they would not have studied both sides of the argument. This leads to this source being totally untrustworthy, as the programme was made a good seventy years after the war and it stereotypes Haig greatly. It useful to show how his reputation has changed over the years but it cannot be at all used to judge Haig. The same can be said of Source E. It is a cartoon from a magazine in 1917. Being a cartoon it is likely it is going to be someone's opinion and not hard evidence to judge Haig by. The cartoon contains a General addressing his Sergeant Major saying 'there are three essential differences between a practice and the real thing: first, the absence of the enemy' turning to his Sergeant Major 'what is the second difference?' when he replies 'the absence of the general sir'. This cartoon is trying to say how the generals are never present when it comes to the real battle. This is quite true, as the generals were rarely there at the time of the battle, but this is only to be expected, as the generals need to be doing the planning, and someone as important as Haig can't really be risked for the sakes of just attending the battle. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is written by a British General in 1973, who would have been a fairly experienced veteran, as he was a general. He writes, 'Germany's spirit of resistance was broken, mainly by the courage and resolution of Haig's armies, which had complete confidence in the leadership of their commander.' This goes to show how many of the men had confidence in Haig, as this general would have experienced it first hand, unlike some of the other sources. He also says 'had Haig not had the moral courage to shoulder the main burden of the struggle in the Somme battles of 1916, French resistance would have crumbled.' This shows us how Haig was a strong man to take responsibility of the battles, and take the burden. I believe that the War needed a strong man to take it by the scruff of the neck, and I believe that Haig did this, the majority of the sources may point to him being a bit of a butcher, but I think the stronger ones point towards him being a strong man who carried the burden of a terrible war. The fact that more Germans died in the Somme is often overlooked, as people are always too quick to jump on the bandwagon and criticise Haig. Sources A, G, and H, I believe show that Haig helped win the war for Britain and I believe that can be easily forgotten. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. General Haig - Butcher or Hero?

    of tanks was so small that even to think that they had a chance of breaking the stalemate wasn't really worth thinking about. Haig was 'advised not to use them until they were available in greater numbers', and as we know, he 'ignored the counsel', and the tanks were and overwhelming failure.

  2. Was General Haig a bad leader, source based

    The main purpose of the video is to inform and educate people studying the Battle of Somme. It is mostly reliable as it many historians who have studied the battle very carefully give their opinions and facts. They back everything said with evidence.

  1. Explain the importance of the battle of Britain as a turning point of the ...

    of the whole world, so for that, I have to give kudos to the Battle of Britain as a remarkable and probably the most symbolic victory of the War. This is despite the fact that even if we had lost the Battle of Britain I believe that our navy could have defeated the German armada.

  2. Does Haig Deserve To Be Called The Butcher Of The Somme?

    Haig had every right to believe that god was behind him, as it is a belief of the Christian religion, not a sign of madness. He wasn't actually unpopular with everyone, sergeant Williams of the Worcester regiment commented that Haig was 'not only a leader, but also a friend', and

  1. How far was General Douglas Haig Responsible for the Failings of the British war ...

    It apparently did not bother Haig that his war was so much more comfortable than that of the men he commanded..." This also highlights the fact that Haig was unaware of the dreadful conditions that his men were living in and proves that he was absent most of the time.

  2. General Haig: Butcher or War Winner?

    best food available, his men lived in muddy, noisy trenches sharing their bully beef and biscuits with big, bloated rats. It apparently did not bother Haig that his war was so much more comfortable that that of the men he commanded.'

  1. Does Haig deserve the title 'The Butcher of the Somme'?

    isn't going to decline, so maybe he was put in a position were he had to make decisions he didn't know how to make. Also, Haig has been pulled apart by historians recently saying, as I have done, that he was a bloodthirsty waster of good life, and fully deserves

  2. Some people have the view that British generals like Haig were incompetent leaders. How ...

    anyone, assuming that these diary entries are Haig?s real thoughts and feelings (a leader wouldn?t want to send many to their slaughter without feeling bad even if it was for the right reasons). According to research, Haig was a brilliant self-publicist that was recognised throughout the nation, if we infer

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work