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

'Haig was an uncaring general who sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason.' How far do these sources support this view?

Extracts from this document...


Question 6 Shannon Phillips 'Haig was an uncaring general who sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason.' How far do these sources support this view? I think that sources A, C, D, F, G and J all claim that Haig sacrificed his men for no good reason. Source A was written by Haig in June 1916. I think that even though Haig wrote this himself it shows that he is cold hearted and would actually sacrifice his men for no good reason because he says, "The nation must be taught to bear losses." This quote shows that he is preparing the nation for what is to come. "No amount of skill on the part of the higher commanders, no training, however good, on the part of the officers and men, no superiority of arms and ammunition, however great, will enable victories to be won without the sacrifice of men's lives." I think by writing this he is saying to the nation that if they want victory then the sacrifice of men's lives are crucial. If Haig could have come up with a good plan then he wouldn't of had to sacrifice as many of his men's life, but he must not have been bothered about a good plan so in other words source a shows that he was ready to sacrifice his men's lives for no good reason. ...read more.


"It was clear that there were no gaps in the wire at the time of the attack. The Germans must have been reinforcing the wire for months. It was so thick that daylight could barely be seen through it. How did the planners imagine that Tommies would get through the wire?" this shows that the Germans had made loads of planning but the British mustn't have as the planners would have thought of a 'what if the wire is to thick? Plan'. "any Tommie could have told them that shell fire lifts wire up and drops it down, often in a worse tangle than before." This shows that our men haven't been trained properly or else we wouldn't be using shell fire. This in my eyes shows that Haig sacrificed the lives of his men for no good reason or else he would have given them good training and hired someone to think up of a good plan instead of just sending his men out to kill as many Germans as they can without a plan. Source J is Lloyd George in his memoirs, written in the 1930's. "when the Battle of the Somme was being fought, I travelled the front of Verdun to Ypres. I drove through squadrons of cavalry. ...read more.


Source I was Lloyd George writing to Haig on 21st of September, 1916, after visiting the battlefield. Lloyd George was secretary for war at the time of the Somme. "I can say that the heartening news of the last few days has confirmed our hopes that the tide has now definitely turned in our favour. I congratulate you most warmly on the skill with which your plans were laid." This source also seems like a source that you can trust as it is written by Lloyd George himself. At the end of the source it says 'I congratulate you most warmly......' well in other sources it is showing that Haig didn't make any good plans for the battle. The sources that I have picked that are for Haig show that Haig sacrificed the lives of his men for a good reason, but 1 of the 3 I think is just propaganda. I think that source E doesn't really take a side as it just tells you that the General doesn't attend a real attack, which is slightly more against Haig than for Haig. In my conclusion I think that Haig did sacrifice the live of his men for no good reason because there are more sources against Haig than for Haig and because of the points that I have stated above. Shannon Phillips ...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. General Haig - Butcher or Hero?

    His men, however, returned to bankruptcy and unemployment. The former soldiers would have viewed that as both they, and Haig participated in the victory over Germany, it was unfair of the awarders to remunerate Haig alone, and condemn them to poverty. Even if he was eventually a war winning general, those who 'really did the job' should have taken as much credit as Haig did.

  2. General Haig doesn't care about his soldiers.

    did think that they would teach the Germans a lesson and that it would be easy and over by Christmas. What the man with the moustache says in reply is obviously making a joke saying, "You mean are we all going to get killed?

  1. How important were Haig's tactics in bringing an end to WW1?

    Due to a series of British blunders, including confused orders and poor intelligence reports, and thanks to a brilliant retreat manoeuvre by Scheer, the German fleet escaped under cover of darkness, bringing the battle to an end. Out of a total of 110 German vessels engaged in the battle, Scheer lost 11.

  2. Was General Haig a donkey or a great commander?

    2000-yard front and then, after 35 minutes, to lengthen the range of the artillery to allow the infantry to take the trenches destroyed by the first bombardment. Unfortunately the plan failed due to lack of ammunition and a five-hour delay before the launch of the infantry assault.

  1. General Haig

    why Haig would continue the attacking in places like Somme to end the war. Overall it is giving both sides of the argument and gives the point of view from a modern historian. This source therefore does and does not support Keegan's interpretation of Haig.

  2. Haig in sources

    and the Boer War (1899-1902). This must have been where his obsession with the cavalry began because unlike World War 1 there were no firing machine guns and barbed wire and because he never visited the front he tried slotting his cavalry charge in where ever he could.

  1. "Haig was an uncaring general who sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no ...

    Throughout the war his "persistence" was not a public favourite as he made many mistakes. On the other side of the coin though, what could he do? He had been told by supporting generals that his plans were "brilliant" and therefore why would he change them?

  2. Some people have the view that British generals like Haig were incompetent leaders. How ...

    the disaster but it was not their fault but of the fault of the experienced leaders like Haig who were not willing to join in the fighting. These sources increase my understanding as to why so many historians argue that leaders like Haig were incompetent.

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