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

Douglas Haig - Butcher Or Hero?

Extracts from this document...


Douglas Haig Butcher Or Hero? Douglas Haig has been blamed for the slaughter of thousands of men who were under his control in World War One. The Battle of the Somme was one of his worst fights were 55 000 British soldiers died in the first day alone. After the Battle of the Somme, Haig got the nickname "Butcher of the Somme" This site is going to look at Haig and his life and help answer the Question "Was Douglas Haig a Butcher or a Hero?" It will also look at Haigs worst battle, the battle of the Somme. Douglas Haig was born on June 19th 1861. He was the son of John Haig, a wealthy owner of a whisky-distilling factory in Edinburgh. Douglas Haig was educated at Clifton College, Oxford and the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. After his education, Haig joined the 7th Hussars in 1885 and served in India. Haig also served at Egypt, South Africa and the Sudan and slowly worked up through the Ranks. ...read more.


When Haig returned home after the war he was rewarded with an earldom, �100 000 and the ancestral home of the Haigs at Bermersyde, for his service. On the 28th January 1928, Haig died and was buried at Dryburgh Abbey. The French forts at Verdun on the Western Front, were getting slowly weaker and the French needed to think up a plan to get the Germans awy from Verdun so that the forts could get back up to strength. So the French Commander in Chief Joseph Joffre asked Douglas Haig to make a counter attack at a different place. Haig agreed and chose the area around the River Somme for the Battle. The Battle at the Somme was originally meant to be a joint attack against the Germans made by the French and British. But because of the attack on Verdun on February 1916 it meant the Somme offensive had to be mainly fought by the British. The Plan Haig took over responsibility for the attack and came up with his own plan. ...read more.


This meant no-one could get through and they got shot. The term "Butcher of the Somme" was given to Haig by those who felt that Haig did not care or how much ground was gained for the heavy losses inflicted on British Troops during the battle of the Somme (July-December 1916).Defenders of Haig argue that he had few options and had himself been ordered to launch the offensive to let the French recover at Verdun, where there was heavy fighting. What I Think I think Douglas Haig was not a Butcher. The Somme was a diversion wanted by the French and Haig did it for them. If the Somme had not been fought then the Germans could have broken through Verdun and taken France. Douglas Haig was not used to modern warfare, no-one was and Haig tried his best in situations that he had never come across before. Another point to consider is that Germany had the most casualties in the battle of the Somme which shows that the tactics used by Haig did work, although they didn't work very effectively. ...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

Since this has been prepared for a website, it does not take the form of a structured essay, but still provides an interesting and well supported view on Haig's role. There is perhaps too much background information though; this could be replaced be more detailed analysis. 3 out of 5 stars.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 13/03/2013

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. Why did World War One break out in 1914?

    When Germany heard of this they wanted to build a ship similar, bigger and better. And so it happened where the countries started to compete with each other and huge amounts of pressure were put on their shoulders to make more technology advanced weaponry.

  2. Evaluate the impact of the First World War on the social, economic and political ...

    your country needs you, let us show ourselves worthy of citizenship, whether our claim be recognised or not." Millicent Fawcett - Source A. This showed that those women, who did campaign, did care about their country and they weren't selfish like some people thought they were.

  1. How were the lives of women on the home front affected by the First ...

    In this source, she pointed out the point that the women had to work for long hours and paid less. She wrote that "for six or more of the 30 women dope painters to be lying ill on the stones outside the workshop" This shows that women worked in poor working condition to help win the war.

  2. Women in world war one

    This further outlines the economical progress women have made. Another significant change was in women's political status. In 1917 in a speech by the former prime minister, H. Asquith congratulated women for working 'out their salvation' 'during the war' and therefore he found it 'impossible to oppose them getting the vote'. Before the war he was divergent to it.

  1. Defeat, Deliverance or Victory? Which of these best describes Dunkirk?

    The title of the book is very dramatic showing he has his own interpretation. The author however gives a primary eyewitness account that's balanced and as the book was published in 1941 the event would still be clear in his memory.

  2. Haig and 'The Battle of the Somme' - source related study.

    To some extent I do think that there is reason for an historian studying the battle of the Somme and Haig to refer to this source, as I believe that it reflects the point of view of many of the soldiers and the public.

  1. How were the lives of women on the home front affected by the First ...

    The source says that women working at this aircraft paining factory were paid only 15 shillings a week, and worked long hours from 8am until 6:30pm, sometimes expected to work until 8pm and paid low overtime rates. Also out of 30 of the women dope painters, it was common for

  2. How much impact did music have on society 1955-75?

    The change in music can be seen as a reflection of the change of social attitudes, represented by the formation of a new age group known as teenagers, which was not previously considered.

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