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

Haig: Hero or Butcher of the Somme?

Extracts from this document...


Question Four Sir Douglas Haig was born in Edinburgh, 19th June 1861. He studied first at Brasenose College in Oxford and then in 1884 at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. He passed out of Sandhurst in less than a year and he joined the 7th Queens Own Hussars. He served there as a cavalry officer for nine years. He took part in the Omdurman campaign and in the Second Boer War. In 1906, he became Director of Military Training at the war office. In 1909, he was made the Chief of Staff of the Indian army. After the end of the war, Haig served as Commander in Chief of the British Home Forces until 1921, which was when he retired. He was made an earl in 1919. In 1921, he was made Baron Haig of Bemersyde. Sir Douglas Haig died on 28 January 1928. But the real question is: was he a hero? Or a butcher? First, I am going to discover what proved him to be a possible hero. Sources A, F, H, L, M and N show he is a hero. Source A demonstrates this by using a cartoon and headline from a British newspaper on 2nd July 1916. ...read more.


shows that Haig was not who many thought he was, which was an idiot. Because he led the British army to many victories, he is in fact a good leader. Source M is a piece of writing by Philip Warner in 1991. "If the criterion of a successful general is to win wars, Haig must be judged a success ..." shows that Haig must be a good general because he made the British army win not only many battles, but also the First World War. Source N is comments on Haig by a soldier from the First World War. I think this shows that Haig was a hero because as a soldier from the time, he has a clear image of what happened. He questions what Haig had done as if it would have been bad if he didn't chose to do it; "If he hadn't sent us over the top at the Somme, what would have happened? What would have happened if the war would have gone on and on ...". I think that the soldier thought that Haig chose all the right ideas. He also thought that Haig was a good commander: "Haig looked every inch a commander. He was a very capable man ...". ...read more.


21000 British soldiers who died that day.". This is pretty obvious really as you wouldn't expect 21000 men to die on one day. Source I is an extract from War Memoirs by David Lloyd George and it was published in 1936. There are two main statements which I have found in the text to make me think that Haig could be a possible butcher. The first is "... one of the bloodiest battles ever fought ..." as it clearly shows that the battle was very bloody. The second is "... The casualties on both sides were well over a million ..." as it obviously shows there were many severely wounded or dead. Source J is statistics of casualties during the Battle of the Somme. Although the statistics are all different, I feel that Haig was claimed a butcher correctly as the number was well over half a million either side. Source K is an extract from The Western Front by Rosemary Rees, a school textbook which was written in 1995. I feel that this shows Haig as a butcher for one reason, and that reason is "... His one tactic was to attack over and over again, no matter how little was gained or how many died." I think that this shows Haig is a butcher because its almost as if he doesn't care how many people die because of him. ...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 History Projects 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 History Projects essays

  1. Was Cromwell a Hero or a Villain?

    The king was now dead. Some people were happy; some weren't. But one group in particular decided it would be right to bring their own idea across to someone who they thought were humble and not a miser. They were known as The Levellers.

  2. oliver cromell- hero or villain?

    They had served faithfully in Cromwell's army and he repaid them with death because he did not wish to share power with lower classes. Nowhere are Cromwell's actions more open to argument than in his campaign in Ireland.

  1. Does Haig deserve his title as "butcher of Somme"?

    While it could be argued that Haig could have ended the battle when he realised the full-frontal attacks were not breaking through, he did not however realise that this was the case. Source 6 on page 42 of the text book, written by Haig himself (making it completely trustworthy)

  2. Does General Douglas Haig deserve to be remembered as the butcher of the Somme(TM)?

    Haig can also be considered as the Butcher of the Somme, as seen in source 3. The source is a page from the list of dead and wounded on the first day of battle. It shows a name of soldiers who died and that most deaths were on the 01/07/1916

  1. Did Haig deserve his reputation

    Tanks were too unreliable as they keep breaking down, aircraft was not used for bombing, only for seeing the position's, and Gas caused too many problems, and it had been used before with not much effect. Some people ague that the idea for Haig to use cavalry was outstanding, however,

  2. Who was the real Custer, and to what extent was he to blame for ...

    We know that it could have been called bravery but was in fact glory seeking and being blood thirsty, which can be seen as bravery but only because he was not being cowardly. Custer made sure that he was in the public eye and so cumulated a lot of followers who admired his work.

  1. Gallic war

    M. Jones: says Lepidus allowed himself to be ordered around; states that he had all attributes/material possessions of a great noble, but "under them there was only a lay figure. He lacked the ruthless qualities needed for success, or indeed survival, in these [troubled] times."

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

    They put up extra barbed wire and dug deep shelters beneath their trenches. When the British guns started firing the Germans simply went into their shelters and when they stopped, they quickly went up to their machine gun posts. They hardly had to aim all they had to do was

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