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Douglas Haig - Butcher Or Hero?

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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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

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