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

General Douglas Haig Butcher or Hero?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐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.

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. Marked by a teacher

    Douglas Haig - Butcher Or Hero?

    Haigs plan meant a massive bombardment along a 18 mile long stretch of front would hopefully destroy German resistance of 16 German divisions. 27 divisions of men (about 750 000 men) would then cross no-mans land and take the German front line.

  2. General Haig - Butcher or Hero?

    Soldiers would have had a narrow perspective though, as they would only see what surrounded them. Source 4 implies that he did care about his men, saying he knows 'how many [men] will have to pay the penalty for peace', and that he felt 'quite sad' about this.

  1. Was Field Marshal General Sir Douglas Haig a hero, or the butcher of the ...

    The fact is that most of WW1 was fought by means of attrition. Any ambitious campaigns were likely to result in large casualties, but if there was a chance of gaining an advantage, and in the case of the Somme, helping the French at Verdun, the chance has to be taken.

  2. Field Marshall Haig: 'The Butcher of the Somme?'

    As it is only a cartoon and has no detail it is unreliable to say whether Haig was caring or not. Source F is from a recent book which describes Haig to be 'as stubborn as a donkey' and

  1. How important were Haig's tactics in bringing an end to WW1?

    One of the biggest campaigns on the Eastern Front was the Gallipoli campaign. It started when Turkey joined the war on the side of the Germans. This, of course, was a serious blow to the Allies. Mostly because the Turkish navy closed the Dardanelles.

  2. Why did the General Strike of 1926 take place?

    The industry slump leading to wage reductions in other industries heightened this fear and this was another reason for the formation of the General Council; the unions saw it as protection against their members being exploited by employers. The unions believed that it they could stop the cuts in the

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

    Whether or not this is true, this skill did not emerge very obviously during the Somme. Nevertheless, his supporters, still undaunted, then justify the Somme for other reasons. One of these is the fact that the Somme was an excellent training ground for the BEF.

  2. Causes of the General Strike

    decline in the competitiveness of British coal in foreign markets due to the Gold Standard led to poor relations between mine owners and mine workers. When productivity fell in the mines due to lack of modernisation and reinvestment, mine owners responded by proposing a reduction in Wages and an increase of hours.

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