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I think Haig was a bad leader who made many critical mistakes during the battle of Passchendaele.

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Introduction

Q3. I think Haig was a bad leader who made many critical mistakes during the battle of Passchendaele. From looking at the sources I can see many bad views of Haig as a war leader, although some good views can also be detected. In source A it is evident that Haig always ensured that his army was well equipped by asking the War Cabinet for more ammunition. I also know that Haig was one of the first generals to pay attention to aerial intelligence, this was very good for Britain as it put them at an advantage over many countries. Also from my studies I have found out that Haig had always managed to hold enemy advances back. It is also know that Haig had good leadership qualities being strong willed and often ruthless. Haig was also committed when attacking by always going out in all out attack. The reputation of Haig and the fact that his chain of command was very much under his control was also a factor that can be said to make Haig a good war leader. All these reasons and the fact that Haig was also very religious to some made Haig a good war leader. This is because he was willing to sacrifice the lives of his men and himself for the cause in which he believed in. however there are many factors that may make Haig a bad war leader. For example source b, an extract from an account of the battle of Passchendaele published in 1931 and written by General Gough. ...read more.

Middle

This quote from Haig's son confirms the terrible mistakes told by other generals and historians made by Field Marshall Haig. There are 2 sides locked in heavy debate about the question, "does Haig deserve his reputation as a bad war leader?". Although Haig made his name as a good soldier and uprising General in the Boer war and Zulu wars, I think he deserved his reputation as a bad war leader. Although some people may argue that he was a courageous commander, fed fake intelligence and betrayed by politicians. I disagree with this and feel that incidents as I have mentioned earlier about the battle was proceeding, and the great loss of life in the battle of the Somme, support the theory that Haig deserved his reputation as a bad war leader Q4. in his war memoirs written in the 1930's Lloyd George called Pesschendaele, "the senseless campaign´┐Ż". From looking at the sources I can see that there are some extracts that support what George wrote in his memoirs. However there are also some sources that show this view by Lloyd George as not true. In source A Haig is very pessimistic about Passchendaele and only willing to support Italy with arms. The quote from source A says, "Lloyd George seemed to think the decisive moment of the war would be 1918. Until then we ought to do little or nothing except support Italy with guns and gunners". This quote supports the view that Lloyd George thought Pesschendaele was a senseless campaign. ...read more.

Conclusion

It says "the war cabinet deserves to congratulate you upon the achievements of the British armies in the great battle which has been raging since 31 July". This totally contradicts Lloyd George's view that he later wrote about in his memoirs. This leads me to think that this was nothing but a moral booster and that his view later on about a senseless campaign is written in hindsight. My research also tells of how lives were not necessarily given away for any reason. Some experts believe that Haig's actions in the battle did not make Passchendaele a senseless campaign. A source from the historian Andrew Wilson quotes Robert Burns, 102, who fought in the battle as saying, "the enormous loss of life was tragic but what else could be done?" He later goes on to say about Haig and the Battle of Passchendaele. "A weaker man might have given in but then the outcome would have been unimaginable". This shows that not everyone agrees with Lloyd George's view that Passchendaele was a senseless campaign. Dr Gerard De Groot also says, "Some have suggested that is another man had been in charge they could have saved thousands of lives. I simply don't think this would have been the case". Many other historians have also echoed this feeling about Haig and Passchendaele and its worth as a whole. Overall most of the sources agree with Lloyd George that Passchendaele was a senseless campaign. The fact that one of these sources was also from generals also involved in the war also supports Lloyd George and his view that the Battle of Passchendaele was 'A senseless campaign'. ...read more.

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