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

Does General Haig deserve the title Butcher of the Somme?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Does General Haig deserve the title 'Butcher of the Somme'? In this essay I will discus whether General Haig deserves to be remembered as 'the butcher of the Somme'. General Haig's title of 'the butcher of the Somme' originated after the First World War, when, due to large number of casualties Britain suffered from the war and mostly the Somme. The people of Britain wanted someone to blame. This was a coping mechanism in which people could deal with the loss of the 'lost generation'. Arguably Haig does deserve his nickname. This is because Haig sent thousands of men to their deaths continuously after his war efforts seemed not to be working. For instance 60,000 soldiers died in the first day alone in the battle of the Somme. The reason that so many people died was that Haig ordered his men to walk across no-mans land. They were easy targets for the German machine guns. ...read more.

Middle

therefore he ordered his men to walk across no-mans land and look for mines. This shows that he thought about what to do and what was in the best interest for his men as there was no point in telling his men to run across no-mans land to be blown up by mines. It is debatable that Haig deserves his nickname as, while his men are starving in the cold and muddy trench, Haig is sipping French wine in cosy ch�teau miles away from the fighting. This shows that he only cared for himself, not for the hard fighting soldiers. Haig did not spend his time on the front line with his men, but stayed away from the direct fighting. This was done not so he could live a luxurious life, but so he was able to see a further stretch of the trenches and plan his tactics accordingly. This is compared to being on the front line and only seeing a small area of the battle field and would therefore have less well planned tactics as they would only take a small proportion of the trenches into account. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore either way Haig would be considered a 'butcher'. In conclusion I believe that Haig does not deserve his title of 'the butcher of the Somme'. If the objective for a general to be successful is to win wars, then Haig must be judged as a success. Yes he sent thousands of men to their deaths, however in a war of attrition and with the limited amount of military tactics available that was the only way to win. There would always be a scapegoat for the death tolls of The Great War and are we forgetting that Haig was ordered by the government to get a large scale win? Therefore it is perfect for the government; if Haig is successful they can win the war. They also have someone to blame after the war is over thus making the public hold Haig responsible for the deaths tolls not the government. Perhaps Haig could be viewed, much like the soldiers he sent over the top as a puppet of the government. Therefore Haig does not deserve the title 'the butcher of the Somme'. ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

Overall, this is an excellent response that answers the question well and is focused throughout. The author does well to support points with concise evidence but also ensures that both sides of the debate are considered before reaching a conclusion. The introduction is the weakest area and could have included a line of argument. 5 stars.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 21/04/2012

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. Marked by a teacher

    What Were the Consequences of the First World War for the British People 1914 ...

    4 star(s)

    For example, since it was hard to obtain the staple products in Britain, if it became hard to obtain them overseas, then the staple industries will further decline. During the war, in 1915, the treasury agreement was passed which meant semi-skilled or unskilled workers could now be employed in jobs which were previously reserved for skilled workers.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Douglas Haig - Butcher Or Hero?

    In 1916 Haig was in Charge of the Battle of the Somme, which didn't go very well and there were lots of casualties. There, Haig was given his nickname "Butcher of the Somme" In 1918 Haig organised the final offensive, which eventually led to Allied Victory.

  1. Does General Haig Deserve the Title The Butcher of the Somme?

    The Germans had many advantages such as; being on a higher ground and they had a good defence system that Haig had under estimated. General Haig used the same tactics repeatedly which were obviously failing. The Germans were so used to the tactics of the British that they were never caught off guard.

  2. Dunkirk - Defeat, Deliverance or Victory?

    not have enough time to load machinery onto boats and there was not enough room on most boats for machines. It also shows me how much machinery was actually lost and that Britains factory workers had to work hard to replace the amount of machinery lost in Dunkirk.

  1. Why did World War One break out in 1914?

    Because of his great ambitions, Germany and England went head to head in a naval arms race which meant him and his cousin competing against each other causing rivalry and increased tension between the nations. The assignation of Arch Duke Kaiser Wilhelm was the trigger for WWI and is arguably the most important factor to why war broke out.

  2. Haig, Butcher of the Somme

    In anticipation that the British soldiers would simply be able to walk across no man's lands and occupy the deserted German trenches, Haig sent the men with heavy trench repair equipment. Unfortunately the German soldiers were still alive and manning their carefully positioned machine guns which the artillery bombardment also failed to destroy.

  1. Evacuation in Britain during the Second World War

    For most it was the first visit to the countryside and lots of evacuees had never seen a cow before the evacuation, so their education about the countryside was improved. Many of the children from the cities were very deprived in the cities - for example, Source A speaks of

  2. Why were British Civilians affected by World War 2?

    This created shortages that impacted civilians, food and fuel became rationed and propaganda campaigns were set up by the government to ensure that civilians would be able to survive the effects of the conflict for example the 'Dig for victory' campaign that was started in October 1939 and called for every man and woman to keep an allotment.

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