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General Douglas Haig Butcher or Hero?

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General Douglas Haig Butcher or Hero? General 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 the worst fights in the entire war and 55,000 British soldiers died in the first day alone. After the Battle of the Somme, Haig got the nickname "Butcher of the Somme." However after examining the battle in more detail, some people decided that he was a brilliant general who miscalculated, ?a hero of the war?. So was Haig a butcher or a hero? Even at the time there were split views as to the moral standing of Haig. On one side you had the highly respected men who fought alongside him, but on the other you had the foot men (Tommies) and their families. Many of these men despised Haig, and arguably rightly so, but what is more important is why the hated him so much. ...read more.


watermark.? He then went on to ask how Haig had ever thought the bombs would cut the wire, and said that any Tommy could have told him that it just lifts it up and puts down in even more of a tangle. This shows that Haig should maybe have interacted more with his troops and asked them what they knew, this potentially could have saved many, many lives. ?Haig was fighting a war of attrition?. But was there a reason for Haig ?sacrificing his men for a few inches of soil?? Did Haig know that he would have to face the families? wrath when he returned to England but did it anyway for the ?greater good?? Did he do better than we give him credit for? ?Douglas Haig, great General who miscalculated? this is a statement which many people at the time believed and many still do, for example, the Germans praised him for being a brilliant general and a bold man ?Field Marshall Haig is certainly one of the ablest generals of contemporary England?, which shows that some thought, even though these people were the enemy, that he was a worthwhile general. ...read more.


In essence I personally believe that most of factors show that it was not his fault, as lots of them were not under his control, such as the in-experienced soldiers and also the limited supplies and the fact the battle was asked of him by the French. He was also an experienced soldier, and his tactics had worked before in the second Boer war and in South Africa, so anyone would automatically reuse the tactics. I think that he had the potential to make a much greater success, but unfortunately, he was not ?dealt the right cards? to make this happen. However I also believe that he was stupid to continue to use these tactics when it was clear they were not working, even if he did change and use tanks he still sent men out into no-man?s land, causing many more deaths than were needed. I do not think he was a butcher, but I also don?t think he was a hero I think he was a general who miscalculated and was doing his best for his country. By Tom Farrell 9W ...read more.

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