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John Keegan, a modern military 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 A to H to support this interpretation?

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Introduction

Katie Sutton 2003 GCSE Examination History Specification B HAIG 3) John Keegan, a modern military 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 A to H to support this interpretation? Use the sources and your own knowledge to explain your answer. John Keegan says that Haig was 'highly skilled and efficient' soldier; there are several sources that agree and several that do not. The fact that he is a military man leads me to believe that Keegan's statement could be true and not one-sided. There are many sources and pieces of information, which express some of their opinions on Haig. Some are written by Haig himself, and so might be one-sided for obvious reasons. There are some sourses agree with Keegan. Source A suggests that Haig is in control of the situation, although on reading it though thoroughly I have concluded that some of the statements are either untrue or impossible to know, as Haig wouldn't be able to know at that stage, how many German casualties there were. ...read more.

Middle

. Although the author, S. Warburton admits that Haig made numerous mistakes that contributed to the deaths of thousands. There are several sources that disagree with Kegans statement. The first of these is source B. At first glance, I thought that it was for Haig as it says 'Your Country Needs ME' with a picture of Haig in his army uniform, he seems how I would expect a good leader to look. This is until I saw the almost sly sentence underneath which says 'like a hole in the head- which most of u is going to get'. It shows that this person defiantly did not think of Haig as highly skilled or efficient! The author did not show who he was so this source is likely to be unfair and biased. Sources D and E are both completely against Haig. Source is written by a modern historian and so is unlikely to be biased. Unlike Keegan Anthony Livesey describes Haig as being silent, humourless and reserved, he says that Haig had misplaced optimism and believed that he was chosen by God. ...read more.

Conclusion

Its states that many British and Dominion offices and above died on active service. This proves that the officers and generals did (on occasion) fight with their men. It also talks of the huge successes Haig had between 8 August and 11 November 1918 that has been largely forgotten. In this process Haig's armies took 188,700 prisoners, important facts lost to stain the reputation of Haig. After carefully reading and studying the various facts presented to me while doing my coursework, in my opinion, too much blame was piled on Haig. People seen to forget that without the, some times unorthodox and repetitive tactics of attrition, Britain may have lost the war. If the prime minister and others were so concerned about the way Haig controlled battles, surely they had the power to put someone else in, unless the was no one else who could even match up? Even though there were fatal mistakes made Britain still won the war. I believe that there is sufficient evidence to agree with my theory and I think that Keegans statement is true Haig was an efficient and highly skilled soldier. ...read more.

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