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

Haig butcher of the Somme?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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?

    At 7:23 am July 1st the British Royal Engineers detonated 60 000lbs of explosives 53 feet under the German line which left a crater 90m deep by 300m wide. When the time came for the British troops to go over thetop of the trenches (7:30 on the 1st of July 1916)

  2. General Haig - Butcher or Hero?

    His tactics came under harsh scrutiny, with critics believing that the mass casualties could have been avoided with better tactics. Also, Sources 2 and 3 have lived through the domestics of the war; low morale; poor living conditions, diseases, friends dying around them etc.

  1. Haig, Butcher of the Somme

    the Somme offensive and should be free from bias, unless perhaps previous generations of his family died fighting. Another major reason for Haig being considered a butcher by the British public, were the opinions of other vocal people. Many soldiers were critical of Haig because they saw their friends being killed and saw Haig as 'almost 50km behind the line'.

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

    This means that he either didn't know, didn't understand, or most probably didn't care how they felt. However, Haig's personality was not all 'ogre'. Haig took responsibility for savage operations, heavy casualty lists and disappointments. He never gave up and managed to convey his own resolution to his men, which was good for morale.

  1. General Haig: Butcher or War Winner?

    Therefore I do not think that it is reliable, but is till think that we have to take in to account that the makers of the series probably tried to portray as much of the truth as possible.

  2. Does Haig deserve the title 'The Butcher of the Somme'?

    It is for this reason that the men were carrying 30 pounds of pack on their shoulders, and were told that they were walking towards empty trenches. However, when this clearly wasn't the case, and it was obvious that they were not walking towards empty trenches, why carry on walking if the only reason for doing so is now void?

  1. Does General Haig deserve to be remembered as the Butcher of the Somme?

    Pearson says that 'everybody hated him', this cannot be reliable, as he does not represent everyone. However Fred Pearson worked on the western front so he experienced the feeling there and it is an opinion of what the soldiers thought of him and it is a primary source.

  2. General Douglas Haig Butcher or Hero?

    One of the most important reasons, and one which showed he could make difficult decisions and show that he was a good general, was to help the French, as the original reason for the battle was to relieve the pressure for France further south.

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