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Haig - The Butcher of the Somme? Sources Questions

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Pablo Lorenzo 4C History Coursework Mr.Kovacevic FIELD MARSHALL HAIG: 'THE BUTCHER OF THE SOMME'? a)By looking at source A I can see that it doesn't support the idea that Haig did not care for the lives of his men because his speech is very open and honest and by making this speech he is risking the possibility of other men recruiting because they are now more aware of the danger, people might say that he didn't care for the life of his men because he's telling them that some of them will die, possibly the majority, and these men have families who care and worry for them, but Haig is just preparing them for the worse, and even though people might not see it this way I think he is taken a great responsibility and is being very brave, I think that he had no need to make that speech but he did and this shows that he did care for his men's lives. There is one thing that makes me think he doesn't care as much for his men's lives as I thought, it's not something said in his speech, it's something he doesn't say, he doesn't comment on things such as: those who die will not die ...read more.


These sources are critics of Haig, they might not be factual but they show what the public thought about him and what the people thought about him in my opinion represents what he is, and that if these critics were made there must have been a reason. d)I think that sources G and H do not prove F wrong. Many opinions have come up about Haig's role and actions during war world one, specially on the battle of the Somme, but that's all they are, opinions. Source F is an example of this; it was written by John Laffin, he wrote the book 'British Butchers and Bunglers of World War' in which he argues that a large number of casualties during WW I were caused by British commanders who were "vain, egocentric, incompetent and uncaring", one of them being Douglas Haig. Source F are just biased opinions made by John Laffin with a lack of facts, support and evidence. Sources G and H talk about Haig's great performance in the battle of the Somme, he was 'one of the main architects of the Allied victory' or at least that's what a general who fought in the battle thought. ...read more.


the main priority was to win with no matter the casualties, so winning meant more for him than low casualties, if they could win the war two months earlier and by this causing doubling all the casualties I am sure that he would do it. Source F supports this statement, source F is an extract from a book called 'British Butchers and Bunglers of World War' written by John Laffin, it says that Haig was as stubborn as a donkey and that what Haig wanted was to kill more Germans than the Germans could kill his men, well he did spend a week bombarding the enemy trenches without noticing that the effect the bombardment was having was little but the waste of ammunition was greater, also having a double effect of this causing 20,000 men to die, but source F is an opinion ,one of the many opinions raised by Haig. Even when people that supported Haig talked about him, they don't support him for trying his hardest to end this war "right" with as low casualties as possible, they support him for ending the war, so in a way they are showing indirectly he was an 'uncaring general who sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason'. ...read more.

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