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

Field Marshall Haig - 'the butcher of the Somme'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Field Marshall Haig - 'the butcher of the Somme'? (a) Study sources A and B How far does source A prove that Haig did not care about the lives of his men? Source A does not prove that Haig did not care about the lives of his soldiers because the purpose of the source is to warn the nation of an impending battle in which there will be many casualties. The source is not Haig's opinion. It is probably written a few weeks before the battle of the Somme. He was facing the reality of war because he knew that no matter how good the army was, men would die. In a way, it reveals he did care because he is preparing the relatives of soldiers for the worst. But if he knew there would be casualties, then why didn't he change his plan? Source B is a statement the day before the battle. It does not reveal his own opinion because he received information from the information centres on the frontline. We now know that this information was false because it says 'The barbed wire has never been so well cut' but on the first day, the British had 60,000 casualties. ...read more.

Middle

This is the opinion of a British general who fought in both world wars. Source H is more reliable than source F because the general fought in the war and so has first hand experience of what Haig was like as a Field Marshall. Although source G is an extract from the German Official History of the First World War, it is based purely on facts, and so makes it the most reliable and balanced source. Even though it is written by German's, it says that Haig did a good job in weakening German 'morale' and ' a great part of the best, most experienced and most reliable officers and men were no longer in their place'. Sources F and H are in need of facts which would support their ideas. John Laffin comments are more personal than those made in sources G and H, John Laffin insults Haig he says that he was 'as stubborn as a donkey'. This comment is made to entertain the audience and also makes him look unprofessional. Source H is written by a general who fought in the battle of the Somme, this might make us rely on his ideas because he witnessed the battle, but he wrote these 56 years after the battle so his memory might be a bit unreliable. ...read more.

Conclusion

The purpose of the source is to prepare the families of the soldier's for the worst. Haig is being realistic and sensible in this speech because he knows that no battle can be won without bloodshed. Therefore, this source is reliable in saying that Haig did care for the lives of his soldiers. Another source that opposes the view that Haig was an uncaring general is source H. It is written by a British general in 1973, who fought in both world wars. He says that they were 'inspired by his determination' and that he 'never wavered from his purpose of breaking down the powers of resistance of the enemy'. Although, this source opposes the above statement, it is not totally reliable because source H is wrote 56 years after the battle so his memory might be a bit unreliable and it is also biased towards Haig. It is need of facts and a balanced argument to make it more reliable. Overall, there are many sources that do and don't support the statement in the question. The amounts of sources that do and don't support the statement are equal. But neither side of the argument is reliable enough to come to a conclusion. Therefore, these sources can not support the statement as they need more information and facts to increase their reliability. Adhal Mahmood 11PL ...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. General Haig - Butcher or Hero?

    They were unable to exploit any success that they achieved. They were exhausting to operate and, with the exception of the French Renault light tank, deployed their armament in their hulls rather than in a rotating turret. Additionally, the Germans were able to capture tanks, and so were able to get their own plans for the weapon.

  2. Haig, Butcher of the Somme

    This certainly suggests the battle was not going well for the Germans, backing up Haig's statement that 'the German casualties have been greater than ours' (source 9). Given that the entire first world war, not just the Somme, was ultimately a war of attrition, the Somme could well have been a large factor in the overall allied victory.

  1. General Haig doesn't care about his soldiers.

    morale meaning that later on in the war they had to use young soldiers, "Whose training was poor". This source is even more reliable as it is written by Germans as an official history in 1930. Lastly source H fully supports what Haig did and claims that the men had, "complete confidence in the leadership of their commander".

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

    This was very good for the morale of the soldiers. He may have been ill-informed about the situation on the front line, but he certainly planned the battle very carefully, from the huge military encampment to the plan to take over the hill that the Germans were

  1. Haig butcher of the Somme?

    To some extent it's fair to suggest this for surely you would have to get closer then '50 kilometres' to understand the intensity of the situation.

  2. Was General Haig a donkey or a great commander?

    They say that the first day of the Somme was allowed to dramatically alter Haig's perceived character because it was grossly distorted. Charles Carrington, who watched part of the Somme offensive, wrote "If the first round, fought on that day went against us, the second round, fought on 13th July

  1. Does field Marshall Haig deserve his title as the Butcher of the Somme?

    The main argument in the favour of people who belive that Haig does not deserve the reputaion of "the butcher of the somme". Is that Britain went on to win the war. However I still think that the enourmous loses at the Battle of the Somme are inexcusable.

  2. General Haig

    This source therefore does support Keegan's interpretation of Haig. However, this source is not entirely reliable because it is a one-sided biased point of view of General Haig, because it is simply from his son who supports his father no matter what others say about him.

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