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

How far was Haig responsible for the failings of British war effort on the Western front 1916

Extracts from this document...


How far was General Haig responsible for the failings of British war effort on the Western front 1916-1917? In this essay I am going to tell the responsibility of General Haig in the failings of British war effort on the Western Front. Sir Douglas Haig was born on June 19, 1861, in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. Haig commanded the British 1st Corps as part of the British Expeditionary Force sent to France in World War 1 in 1916 replacing the job of Sir John French. General Haig now commanded over 1 million men and it was the biggest army in Britain. The Western Front was the key battle arena in the Great War. Most people believed that the Great War was going to be won on the Western Front this was because most of the troops on both sides are stationed along the Western Front and if the Germans brake through the Western Front they will take over Europe. The fighting method of World War 1 was very memorable because it was the first big war that was fought in trenches, so the war was stalemate. This was a different fighting method to all the fighting method used before so not many people knew what to do. ...read more.


The aim for the artillery shell fire was to cut up barbed wire, smash the trenches and kill the German defenders. The British used one and a half million shells in the bombardment. General Haig was so confident that he ordered the British soldiers to walk up to the German lines in a straight line sweeping no-man's land. On the attack 100,000 British soldiers climbed out of their trenches in a line of 25 kilometers long. The soldiers attacked in waves. The Germans had spent two years building their trenches so when the British started firing shells the Germans went and hid in their trenches, when the British stopped the bombardment the Germans quickly came out and set their machine guns up then started firing, sweeping backwards and forwards. British soldiers fell one by one as they came up each wave but General Haig did not halt the battle. By the end of the first day 60,000 men were dead or wounded. The Germans lost 8000 soldiers. This was the most loss in a single day that the British army had ever suffered. A critic, Dr Laffin said that Haig was a believer in war of attrition. At the 1st August Haig told London that he'll continue with the Sommes. ...read more.


In 1918 the American had joined the war so the Germans decided to attack before all the US troops reached the western front. The Germans attacked with half a million soldier but they used different tactics to the allied, they came in small units which was very effective and in 10 days forced the British to retreat 65 kilometers. The Germans had gone too far and fast so supplies were cut out. They were in allied territory with shortage of ammunition, food, and reserved soldiers. The allied, led by Foch, gathered a huge army and countered attack. The Germans retreated from then on back to the Hindenburg line, but it was attacked by the allies on 26th September and breeched by mid October. At the time Germany had a revolution and the new leader ended the war on the 11th November 1918. Haig joined forces with the French and American but the whole thing was led by Foch so Haig did not play a big role in 1918. After the war ended Haig was a hero to the British people everybody respected him, but as time went on he was more and more criticized because they thought more about his actions. Haig in the end did play a part in the failings of British war effort in 1916-1917 but some of the failings were not his fault. ?? ?? ?? ?? Pi Scott ...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?

    upon arrival back home. Therefore, we cannot make a conclusion as to whether he was truly sad about the loss of his men, or that he wrote that he was as a façade. Question 3: What impression does it give of Sir Douglas Haig?

  2. World War 1-Life in the Trenches

    die so people will lead better lives in the future is glorious. But at the time of the war this wouldn't have been recognised, you can only see the difference many years later, when the war had completely finished. Back then it would have been just another person.

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

    the soldiers are worth sacrificing and are dispensable, whereas the officers are not. Next we need to consider whether the Battle of the Somme was meaningless and was the sacrifice of men's lives for no good reason. Firstly source F.

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

    Allies and that would have meant victory for the enemies for sure. However, with the extra men that the Allies would have had from not giving men to the Russian cause may have helped the Allies more then the Germans on the Western Front.

  1. Field Marshall Haig: 'The Butcher of the Somme?'

    'Haig was an uncaring general who sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason.' Source A shows Haig to be caring: but not about the lives or families of his men. He shows great courage and determination for the winning of the war, despite the loss of many men, he writes: 'no training ...

  2. How far was General Douglas Haig Responsible for the Failings of the British war ...

    Haig's reconnaissance had warned him of this, yet he failed to take this into consideration when bombarding them. This meant that the Germans could dig themselves in, dramatically reducing the impact of the attack. This mistake was an obvious and awful failure of Haig's.

  1. 'Lions led by donkeys.' How valid is this interpretation of the leadership of Douglas ...

    He would operate without excitement... if the patient expired under the knife, he would not reproach himself." One person commenting on the First World War said, "It was pure bloody murder. Douglas Haig should have been hung, drawn and quartered for what he did on the Somme.

  2. World War I in France 1916 - the Somme and Verdun.

    defeat such as at the Somme and Passchendaele, where both offensives should have ended a lot earlier than they did.

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