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feel there are both points for and against Haig being the "butcher of the Somme" Haig's aims were to reduce German morale and raise British morale, to break out of the trenches

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History coursework: F "Haig is an uncaring General who sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason" this is a statement which is believed by many people. I feel that after studying all the sources at hand that this statement is both true and false. To a certain extent I believe that there are some things that Haig could have done better. Others would say he was completely useless and didn't do anything right in the whole time he was in charge, but some people would say he was great and probably the best architect of the allied victory. When looking at source A, we can see that Haig knew what was going to happen and he tried to get the nation to accept what was going to happen and that they must expect to see large numbers of casualties. Looking at source B, we can see Haig's account of what is going on during the battle. These are two extracts written by Haig; one before the attack and one is a report on the days attack. Here we are told what Haig thought of the situation, "very successful attack this morning." He says this in good confidence followed by, "all went like clockwork." ...read more.


Source E is written only a year after the battle, it is showing the views of soldiers before they were sent to the front line. When studying world war one, most people are shocked to find that the Generals were often 50 miles away from the front line and this is exactly what the cartoon is trying to show, it shows us that because Haig is to far away it could mean that he doesn't care about his solders and army, all he wants to do is gain as much land as possible and make it look as if the attack was going well so that he can keep his job. Moving on to source F, we look at an extract from a book called, "British Butchers and Bunglers of World Wars", this means that whoever wrote the book was probably against Haig and though he was a butcher or he might even had liked Haig, but thought he was a good source to put into a book like that because Haig had so many people against him and so many things that people good criticize him for. The next source (source G) is a good source to have because it comes straight from the Germans themselves. ...read more.


In conclusion to my essay I feel there are both points for and against Haig being the "butcher of the Somme" Haig's aims were to reduce German morale and raise British morale, to break out of the trenches, relieve pressure on the French at Verdun and most of all try and bring the war to an end. Well what he did was kill many of Germany's most experienced soldiers meaning that the German morale was disturbed, because of this the British felt they had a better chance of winning now thus meaning a morale boost. As for relieving pressure on the French, this was probably Haig's biggest achievement because had he not done this then the Germans would have taken over Verdun and then most of France - leading to a 90% chance of the Allies in with a running chance of winning and he also weakened the Germans. My personal view is that Haig led to the winning of the war and that he was not butcher of but there will always be people who will disagree, but the question we are left with that no one can answer is :- Did, what Haig achieve warrant the death of so many Allied troops? ...read more.

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