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

John Keegan, a modern historian, suggests that Haig was an "efficient and highly skilled soldier who did much to lead Britain to victory in the First World War". Is there sufficient evidence in sources C to L to support this interpretation?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

John Keegan, a modern historian, suggests tat Haig was an "efficient and highly skilled soldier who did much to lead Britain to victory in the First World War". Is there sufficient evidence in sources C to L to support this interpretation? Field Marshall Haig was a military leader during World War One. At the time of the war and soon afterwards, while Britain's victory was the focus of the nation, he was labelled as the hero who brought about Britain's success. However, over the years since the war, people began to reflect on the horrors of the war and what the soldiers had to suffer under Haig's order. Some people believe that Haig did not care about the lives of his soldiers and was not concerned for the loss of life that came about as a result of the orders he gave. He is often referred to as 'the butcher of the Somme' because he sent hundreds of thousands of soldiers to their deaths in allegedly the 'bloodiest battle of all history', the Battle of the Somme. ...read more.

Middle

Keegan and these sources are justified in their opinions of Haig because he did contribute greatly to Britain's victory-it was Haig's method of 'attrition' that eventually wore Germany down and won the war. As justified opinions of Haig, these sources are useful, but due to their obvious bias and one-sided nature, they do not contain sufficient information to serve as factual evidence to prove Keegan's view. There are also sources that oppose Keegan's view; sources D, F, G and J. Source D is a propaganda poster from 'Haig's private war', an anti-Haig leaflet. The poster says that Britain needs Haig "like a hole in the head". I do not know when this was published, but I believe that it was printed during the war, because it is an anti-war leaflet and would therefore only be of use during a war, as an attempt to stop it. It would have been 'underground' propaganda (illegal) because censorship during the war did not allow any negative media concerning the war to be printed. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Keegan's view is limited in that it is very one-sided; he makes no mention of the cost of victory-the lives of thousands of young men from all over the world (Although the source is only an extract and Keegan may have made mention of this at another time). I believe that Haig did his job as well as he knew how, and he was a skilled soldier. However, because he had experience of wars that were fought very differently to World War One, he made many mistakes. Trench-warfare had never been experienced before and there were no reliable methods to use, so Haig fell back on methods that had worked for him in the past. I agree with what a modern historian, S.Warburton said; "Blaming Haig the individual for the failings of the British war effort is putting too much of a burden of guilt on one man." History Coursework ...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?

    This would have delivered a huge blow on German morale. Also, back at home, seeing pictures of the potentially war winning weapon would have greatly strengthened the morale back at home; giving support from the public. Pictures of the tanks would have been shown in the cinemas, which made the

  2. Dunkirk - Defeat, Deliverance or Victory?

    Another view among historians was that Dunkirk was a victory for the military. The military did very well to hold the port of Dunkirk for long enough so around 340,000 soldiers where saved. Also saving the B.E.F. was considered a major military victory because without them Britain would have been defenceless against the Nazi onslaught.

  1. Defeat, Deliverance or Victory? Which of these best describes Dunkirk?

    all equipment was left behind by the B.E.F and there is no sign of this in the photograph. As 2,472 guns, 90,000 rifles, 63,879 vehicles, 20,548 motorcycles and well over 500,000 tons of ammunition were left behind on the Dunkirk beaches you would expect to see at least some small

  2. Dunkirk - Defeat, Deliverance or Victory?

    It must be mentioned that a significant amount of French troops were rescued on those beaches and ports and they are also mentioned to add to the propaganda. This suggests that Churchill himself was in a panic and was trying his best to keep his army together, and this is the first evidence to begin to question Churchill.

  1. John Keegan, a modern military historian, suggests that Haig was a "highly skilled, effective ...

    He also does not take into account the need to take Passchendale before fighting stopped for winter. He agrees with Gough in Source G in that Gough told Haig that fighting could not continue. However, instead of trying to find out why Haig pressed on, he instead blames it on an almost maniacal "obsessed mind."

  2. How did life for a typical soldier serving in a trench on the western ...

    The horsemen were armed with a heavy sword and one or two pistols. Some artillery was used in the English civil war with smaller guns following the army, but the heavier guns couldn't be moved easily so were used in siege warfare.

  1. The nations old ways of life and thought perished in the mud of Flanders. ...

    We remember those who perished while fighting for their country, in a number of ways. There are many war memorials dedicated to war victims, which is significant because this had not been done as much, in previous wars and battles, involving Britain.

  2. John Keegan, a modern military historian, suggests that Haig was an efficient and highly ...

    arrogant man, and that he believed that without him, the country would not survive. This proves that Haig was an efficient and highly skilled soldier, as Britain would not accept any less in their fight for, eventually, their survival. Source E assists the fact that the commanding officers, the men

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