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Haig butcher of the Somme?

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Haig; 'Butcher of the Somme' Does General Haig deserve to be remembered as 'the butcher of the Somme? In 1914, Europe descend was initiated into World War; fought between two powers, the allied and central. It also consisted of many hard well fought Battles; such as: the Battle of the Marne, Ypres, Cambria, and the worst in terms of soldiers lost, the Battle of the Somme. The Battle of the Somme was mainly between the British and the Germans. It started on the 1st of July 1916. It has been remembered for the tragic lose of lives. On the very first day 60, 000 or more British soldiers died, were injured or were taken prisoner. The British had set out to break through the German lines and in doing so help the French forces at Verdun. Those who led this Battle, were not praised for their bravery, but rather condemned. Most noticeably due to the methods they used. General Sir Douglas Haig sent line after line of British soldiers into No Man's Land; where they were mowed down by the German machine guns. ...read more.


Additionally because this is a primary source and this private is expressing his view from direct encounters with the general, it is therefore reliable. However, this private admits to being 'very bitter', possibly suggesting he had his own feud with the general that overshadowed his opinions and led to this interpretation of him. The Battle of the Somme relieved the French of pressure and was ultimately won by the Allied. As a result many people thought Haig did not deserve to be remembered as the 'butcher of the Somme' and that he was a general just doing his job. One of whom was a lieutenant, who understood the 'flawless' way the first part of the war was fought. He wrote in a letter to the daily express on 21st of December, the year of the Battle, that there 'was an obvious genius for pure general ship.' This shows the admiration, he had towards Haig. Haig acted professionally and confidentally causing this lieutenant to think of him as 'perfect'. It's difficult to say how this interpretation of Haig was reached. This lieutenant had no reason but to dislike the general for being 'gassed on the Somme' and invalided back to Britain. ...read more.


Surely this shows the butcher allegations for Haig to be invalid no matter the casualties. Even so, being under so much pressure from the British government it was impossible for a man to not make a mistake, he was only human. Those who supported the General's actions were most noticeably personal acquaintances, such as the Lieutenant and the family friend. Revisionist historians, though it's what their occupation entitles also supported the General. It is agreeable that a high number of soldiers were lost; the Germans were well prepared and took shelter in the dugouts. If they hadn't of been so crafty, Haig would not have been remembered in such ways and the infamous nickname would have been replaced with something much more glorious. So in many ways, Haig is not the butcher: the Germans were. Inexorably, Haig had used the best methods possible in the 1916s, and his plan did work in the end. Surely this shows Haig to be a good leader. He brought a new experience to Britain: the fighting in No Man's Land, living in trenches; a Battle of stalemate. His tactics eventually relieved pressure on the French at Verdun, like they set out to do initially, but also turned the aspiring young Kitchener's at war, into men. ?? ?? ?? ?? GCSE History Hajera Rahman ...read more.

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