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"Haig was an uncaring generalwho sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason"

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Introduction

"Haig was an uncaring general who sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason" How far do these sources support these views Source A tells us that Haig did not care about his men and is willing to sacrifice lives in order to win. The source itself was written by Haig in June 1916, a month before the battle of the Somme, and was intended to be seen by the general public. " The nation must be taught to bear losses" This makes it look like Haig doesn't care about his mens' well being and seems to be telling people to "toughen up" and "live with it". Personally, I don't think Haig meant it to sound like that. I think he meant for it to explain that in war, men do die no matter how precautious you are. "No amount of skill on the part of the higher commanders, no training, however good, on the part of the officers and men, will enable victories to be won without the sacrifice of men's lives. The nation must be prepared to see heavy casualty lists." This sentence seems to tell us that Haig was ready to let people die in their thousands, if not millions, in order to win the war and also tells us that Haig believed that it was the only way to win. ...read more.

Middle

"You mean, are we all going to get killed? Yes. Clearly Field Marshall Haig is about to make yet another giant effort to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin." This line tells us that the other officer is not very confident about what is going to happen. He thinks that they will all die and that hardly any ground will be gained. He points out that he believes that no ground will be gained. This source tells us that history sees Haig as a butcher who would sacrifice many lives for the sake of a few inches of gained ground. Source E is from a British magazine published in February 1917, seven months after the attack on the Somme began. It is set at an army training camp, where an attack behind the lines is about to be practised. "Major-General: I want you to understand that there is a difference between a rehearsal and the real thing. There are three essential differences: first, the absence of the enemy. Now (Turning to the Regimental Sergeant-Major) what is the second difference? Sergeant-Major: The absence of the General, Sir." This tells us that the men were being trained to fight in trench warfare and that the higher commanders didn't have to do any real fighting. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was not responsible for the failure of the German effort to capture Verdun. This offensive was already a failure. It is claimed that the Somme destroyed the old German army by killing its best officers and men. It killed off far more of our best. Had it not been for the Germans in provoking a quarrel with America, the Somme would not have saved us from a stalemate." This tells us that Lloyd George thought that the Somme was a failure an that the battle killed off more of Britain's best men than it did the German's best. He also says that Germany only lost the war because they provoked a quarrel with America. This source tells us that Haig made a massive military blunder in the Somme. I believe that even though most of the sources tell us that Haig was a butcher, I believe that the three most reliable ones are sources B, G and H, and these all portray Haig as being a great general. Therefore, my judgement on Haig's decisions are greatly influenced by these sources, meaning that I also believe that Haig cared about his men and that he mde the right decision in attacking the Germans at the Somme. ...read more.

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