• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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

    The purpose of this source is to show how many soldiers died and got injured at the beginning of the Somme. This source is not reliable because it does not say when it was established and by who or where it's from.

  2. Did Haig deserve his reputation

    the war which had been fought before the Battle of the Somme, was fought using cavalry in South Africa. This had been a great success and Haig wanted to experiment to see if it would have the same results in France.

  1. What were the causes of Indian Independencein 1947, and was partition inevitable?

    Many violent disputes broke out as the border line was drawn. Sikhs had their homeland split in two and were ignored during the partition. This was the final physical act of partition and independence, both of which had been inevitable for quite some time.

  2. Battle of the Somme

    to some degree that haig did not care about the lives of his men but he was a man of his time. B) Before I can make a judgement on which of the two sources I trust more I need to analyse the purpose and content of the two sources.

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

    Custer proved to be a less able peacetime leader than wartime commander after the civil war, stationed in Hempstead, Texas. Being seemingly poorly equipped to deal with the problems of disciplining the troops who were citizen soldiers and were

  2. 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.

  1. Does Haig deserve to be remembered as the butcher of the somme?

    Many people believe Haig to be the Butcher of the Somme. For example in source 1a, Fred Pearson, a private on the western front, in 1966, comments for a local newspaper on Haig. He says 'The biggest murderer of the lot was Haig' this quote supports the opinion that Haig

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

    For a week beforehand 1,537 British guns had fired over one and a half million shells at the German trenches. They had two targets, the trenches themselves and the barbed wire in front of them. There were problems with the timings of the exploding shells and therefore they exploded in

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