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Does Haig deserve the title 'butcher of the Somme'?

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Does Haig deserve the title 'butcher of the Somme'? Not entirely. Haig only deserves the title because he is the one who put 'the plan' into action. He fought a war of attrition with the support of Lloyd George. The Somme was only really put into action to ease pressure on the French at the battle of Verdun. Because the Germans were bleeding the France white (Germany too incidentally, but that wasn't the plan) and the British (Haig) were forced into making an ill planned attack which cost them greatly as everyone knows. Haig was under great pressure so he's decisions may be not have been rational. One of the main events of the battle was the Artillery attack. ...read more.


In this battle 425 thousand British troops were killed and 500 thousand German soldiers were killed. The Somme was a huge military disaster from most points of view though. But it served its purpose. 'The cost of victory was appalling, but Haig's military methods were in line with the ideas of the time'. This suggests that what Haig did was what other commanding general's would have done and so it was not all entirely his fault because it was the 'normal' thing to do. He made it difficult for people to tell him bad news about the battle. This was a big mistake and it meant that anyone trying to tell him something would be afraid of the way he would react. ...read more.


But on the other hand Haig thinks that 'the object of all war is victory and a defensive attitude can never bring this about' this suggests that he is willing to pay 'the price of victory' 'the best of the male population' of the islands. He understood that 'losses are bound to be heavy on both sides, and for this the price of victory is paid'. These statements suggest Haig really wants to win the war and will go to extremely long lengths to do so. This maybe one of the reason that he was given the title of the 'butcher of the Somme'. But I do not fully agree that he deserves this title because of the pressure he was under and the information he could have received. ?? ?? ?? ?? Chikay Lo 10AAJ ...read more.

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