• 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 The Butcher of the Somme?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Does General Haig Deserve the Title "The Butcher of the Somme"? The battle of the Somme was one of the most significant events in British war history. Over 57,000 casualties were made on the first day. Many people believed that the battle symbolised all the horrors of warfare in World War One. There has been an ongoing debate whether Douglas Haig, Britain's commander-in-chief during the war, was right in leading many British men and even boys to their deaths. Haig had the responsibility of deciding if he would loose thousands of mens lives, and have a slight chance of winning, or to stay with the stalemate. As General Haig was a military person he knew that lives are always going to be taken during a battle, but at this great quantity was it worth it? ...read more.

Middle

Haig when he realised that his plan wasn't working, could've probably saved the battle by making a few adjustments, but he didn't. Many people believe that his tactics were outdated which he could've changed, he was arrogant believing that 'god was on his side' and shouldn't have used bombardments as they warned the Germans they were coming. General Haig has been given so much criticism after that battle, one of the criticisms were that he just threw men onto no-mans land without a second thought. This is not entirely true, as he had tried to use tanks instead of men, but there was no break through. Politicians had been one of the groups to criticise Haig, but the General had claimed to have told them of how great the losses there would be and they had agreed. ...read more.

Conclusion

But the real question is was this all worth loosing thousands of lives and could the same results have been achieved without the enormous human sacrifice. It is easy now to look back and think that there must have been a better way to have dealt with the situation, but at the time it would have not been easy to have come up with a alternative solution. We must judge General Haig with this in mind, but even back then there must've been some other way to have fought the battle without such a great loss. I believe that what happened in the summer of 1916 was wrong and could've been solved in a different way, but the title "Butcher of the Somme" is probably too harsh for General Haig as it is judging him by todays, knowledge and understanding. However, this is an argument that will go on continuously in history, and everyone will have different opinions. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Does General Haig deserve the title Butcher of the Somme?

    5 star(s)

    Haig was also fed false Intel that was meant to boost morale. Haig was advised that his seven day artillery bombardment had proven to be successful (the aim of the bombardment was to brake all the barbed wire and kill most of the Germans in the trenches)

  2. General Haig - Butcher or Hero?

    thinks he's very brave'). Also, Foch's views of Haig refute these negative allegations straight away. The privates knew relatively little about those of superior ranks, and so assumed that the generals sat in their chateaus, drinking copious amount of wine.

  1. Does General Haig deserve to be remembered as the Butcher of the Somme?

    This source blames Haig for all the deaths as letters were sent home to the families that had lost a family member due to the war. This source shows it's reliable in a way and cannot be made up, as it is a fact.

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

    throwing lives away, for example (and this is my plan): Began the bombardment again and this time ran across, the barbed wire was a problem but the Irish got through the first time when they ran, so it was definitely possible.

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

    Rawlinson put up a good argument for this and was well researched. Besides, he and Laffargue were convinced it would work. Awareness Because of his distance from it, Haig really had no idea (and probably didn't care) what the situation was on the front line.

  2. Causes of the General Strike

    A huge economic depression meant there was a massive decline in foreign trade. Britain in particular was affected by this, as their economy relied on the sales of their products abroad, particularly coal. This resulted in a lack of demand for British goods, and naturally led to mine owners making little or no profits.

  1. Does Field Marshal Haig Deserve To Be Called The Butcher of the Somme?

    did accept the fact the modern weapons were needed to win the war. Many historians have said that Haig did not like tanks, "the tank is not the weapon that will win the war", and however Sheffield would argue that this was simply not true.

  2. Does General Haig Deserve to be remembered as 'the butcher of the Somme?'

    Many were of the opinion that Haig was a bad tactician. Haig's tactics were to start with a huge artillery bombardment which would devastate the German positions and shred the enemy barbed wire. The British troops would carry trench repair equipment so that they could better defend the captured positions.

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