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Haig - butcher of the Somme - is this statement justified?

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INTRODUCTION Sir Douglas Haig was the son of john Haig, the head of the successful whisky distilling company. He was born in Edinburgh on June 19th 1861. Sir Douglas Haig has been blamed for the slaughter of thousands of men who were under his control in WW1. The Battle of the Somme was one of his worst fights where 50000 men died on the 1st day alone. Haig was in Charge of the Battle of the Somme, which didn't go very well and there were lots of casualties. There, Haig was given his nickname "Butcher of the Somme" The term "Butcher of the Somme" was given to him by those who felt that Haig did not care how much ground was gained, for the heavy losses inflicted on the British troops during the Battle of the Somme. ...read more.


WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED? When the heavy artillery started firing, the Germans went and sat in their dugout shelters, which were lined with concrete, and they were totally safe during the 7 day bombardment which was meant to kill them. At 7:23 am July 1st the British Royal Engineers blew up 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 the top of the trenches (7:30 on the 1st of July 1916) they did and the Germans came out of their 30-foot deep concrete bunkers and set up machine gun posts and were waiting to shoot them. ...read more.


Haig thought that the Germans were beginning to get exhausted so he ordered more attacks to be made on the German Front line. There were many small victories such as Poziers on the 23rd of July, but none of them where anything substantial that would have a bearing on the War. On November 13th the first major victory came with the capture of the fortress at Beaumont Hamel. Unfortunately after the first victory, the battle of the Somme had to be brought to an end on 18th November 1916, because of weather conditions getting worse and worse. The land gained by the allies during the Battle of the Somme was minimal and at its deepest point there had only been 12km gained. On the 28th January 1928, Haig died and was buried at Dryburgh Abbey. ...read more.

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