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How far to do agree that Sir Douglas Haig is to blame for the failure at the battle of the Somme?

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Introduction

´╗┐Melanie Taylor: How far do you agree that sir Douglas Haig is to blame for the failures at the battle of the Somme? In the summer of 1916, Britain went into battle against a strong German army in a place called Somme in France. This war would come to be one of the most brutal and memorable battles of all time. In charge of the British army, was Sir Douglas Haig, one of the most controversial war generals ever. The failure at the battle of the somme is predominantly blamed on Haig, however what we are trying to uncover is was Haig really to blame? General Haig has been highly thought of as the main man responsible for the failures. However, upon researching this, I found an interesting statistic in the book[1]?Mud, blood and Poppycock? by Gordon Corrigan. In the battle of the Somme, 1 in 12 soldiers Commanded by Haig died. However, on the German side it was twice as high, as 1 in ever 6 died. This statistic goes to show that Haig's tactics were much more effective than the Germans, and therefore could not have been too bad. ...read more.

Middle

If anything, it was the people higher than Haig who should be taking the blame for this disaster of the Somme. Haig did not want to push forward then, he wanted to wait for a more suitable time to attack. However, as he was ordered to, he had to do what he was told. General Haig had a very rose tinted view of things, it could be said. Haig prepared for what he thought was the worst that could happen, however the Germans outdid those expectations, and went above and beyond Haig's wildest thoughts. The fight back of the Germans was unpredictable. It is said that[2]?The disaster of 1 July was because an attack on such a huge scale and of such ferocity was unprecedented. Its outcome could not have been anticipated.? With this said, it can be assumed that Haig was not to have known about the preperations the Germans had in place against the Brits. In a source that I found for myself, I found out that[3]the British troops ran rehearsals for the attack which they though were realistic, however they were not depicting that the Soldiers were not truly prepared for the attack that was coming. ...read more.

Conclusion

Sir Henry Rawlinson had very different ideas to Haig, however (perhaps) because Rawlinson was younger and had less experience to back up his suggestions, Haig decided to disregard them and carry on with his own failing battle plans. This shows that Haig, no matter how much he knew his own plans were failing, was still not prepared to disregard them for ones of younger yet smarter people. Conclusively, the evidence that I have gathered depicts that Haig was responsible for the failures of the Somme as if he hadn't have been so stubborn and listened to others then he may have succeeded more. Also, his lack of experience as a general and old style tactics really lowered every chance they had of succeeding in the war. With all this considered, I believe it is not ?taking the easy route out to find someone to blame,? I genuinely believe that Haig was responsible. I will not conclude that he was fully to blame, as I do think that there were other contributing factors, but with the evidence I have looked at Haig seems to be the sensible person to blame as after all, his decisions were crucial, an he made them wrong. ________________ [1]Mud Blood and Poppycock ? Gordon Corrigan [2]School source [3]http://patrick-hinton.suite101.com/did-douglas-haig-fail-in-world-war-one-a92774 [4]School source. ...read more.

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