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Does field Marshall Haig deserve his title as the Butcher of the Somme?

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Discursive Essay: Does field Marshall Haig deserve his title as the Butcher of the Somme? I believe that Fild marshall haig deserves the tile of "the butcher of the somme" In December 1915 there was stalemate on the western front both side were dug into trenches and were scared to move forward. On December 10th 1915 Field Marshall Haig was appointed commander of the British forces. He was 54 and had a long and successful career in the cavalry. He had also fought in the Boer war 15 years earlier. In February 1916 the French forts around Verdun were under heavy attack. The French army pleaded for the help of the British. The British army led by Field Marshall decided to launch a major attack along the river Somme to take away the pressure on the French. The British intelligence reports told Haig that the Germans were out numbered and had very low morale. The bombardment started on June the 23rd 1916, it lasted for a week and used heavy artillery fire. ...read more.


Haig said after the first day that 'everything had run like clockwork' But how can this be possibly be the case if sixty thousands British troops lost their lives. In the same report he said "Our troops are in wonderful spirits and full of confidence. Again, how is it possible for Field Marshal Haig to know this if he has never visited the Front Line? When you first look the evidence you must realise that Haig's views on modern warfare were inline with what most people thought at the time. Haig believed that the country had to expect 'heavy losses'. This shows that he expected many men to loose their lives for Britain to win the war. Modern historians have said that Haig should have called a halt to the advance after heavy casualties but he may have been told something different. It has been reported that he was told that the bombardment had destroyed the barbed wire, which it hadn't. These two pieces of evidence show that Field Marshall Haig had been receiving inaccurate intelligence reports. ...read more.


But when people began to examine the evidence surrounding the Battle of the Somme they began to blame Haig. That is why modern historians now think that Field Marshall Haig was to blame. If I were a soldier at the time I do no think I would have doubted Field Marshall Haig's methods because the Battle of the Somme was just another battle of heavy casualties. Nowadays generals are in a position of care. They need to look after their troops instead of squandering them. One of the main reasons for this is that there is an expectation that no loss will be tolerated. If Haig was a General of today he wouldn't have squandered so many men because today it is just not right. Also the 1st world war was a new kind of war it was a war where many more men could take part, the tecnogly also allowed killing at a much greater speed, therefore the blood shed was much greater. It is easy to blame someone using hindsight. But I belive that field Amrshall Haig does deserve his title as the "Butcher of the Somme" Discursive essay Does Field Marshall Haig Deserve his Title as the Butcher of the Somme? ...read more.

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