• 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 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 C-L to Support this Interpretation?

Extracts from this document...


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 C-L to Support this Interpretation? I believe that there is not sufficient evidence in the sources to support this interpretation; but there are suggestions of Haig's almost outstanding skills. The other arguments, however, are also strong and so the contrast in the sources could support Keegan's argument or one of deep contrast. It is known that the public opinion of Haig was not of great respect, however, there are sources that support Haig's judgements, mainly consisting of those from his family. The public opinion was very bad because their greatest hope of winning the war was put on the soldiers of somebody who they regarded as a butcher. His tactics were old fashioned and he didn't know how to defeat the German trenches, so he took drastic measures in his tactics and the public were scared for the safety of their comrades. Even Haig's intelligence felt that he was incompetent and gave him false statistics about key battles. ...read more.


There was a sense of mocking towards the inability of Haig in the press, which was only emphasised by the propaganda that was in circulation. The newspapers knew of his lack of knowledge of what was happening on the battlefield, which is supported by the ironic "Tribute to Sir D. Haig," which supposedly was in a German newspaper. Despite the humour of this piece, there are also serious issues bought to light that are supported by modern day evidence. Such as his eagerness to attack not meeting the force of the German defence that disproves the theory of Haig contributing much to Britain's victory. Therefore, neither of these offer any support to the argument put forward by Keegan. Some of the sources are written many years after the event, which makes the evidence less reliable because it couldn't have been gained through first hand experience. After Haig died, he was heralded a hero despite the burdens that the public had previously placed on him. The view in source K supports this and also suggests that there was a problem with the lack of adaptability that was presented in his childhood. ...read more.


had fifty seven thousand casualties in just one day and Haig was said to be "quite unfit for high command in time of crises," which was only emphasised as the German machine gunners were the clear victors. This is where the third part of source E is quite interesting, as Haig describes a "Very successful attack." We know that the British army gained barely any land and lost many men during the attack that he writes about. However, this is supported as he previously said that no battle could be won without a loss of life. Also, the French were under enormous pressure before this attack, showing that Haig had no alternative but to help them, unless he wanted the whole of France under German control. This is supported in source H, as a lack of British support "would have meant the abandonment of Verdun. Proving that the errors that Haig made could have been due to the pressure he was under and the eventual victory at the Somme was an outstanding achievement in itself. In conclusion, there is not enough information in these sources to support the interpretation. In fact, many of the sources do not agree with Keegan's interpretation at all. ...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?

    Source 9 emphasised the narrow perspective of the front-line soldiers. It focuses on Haig, but in a condescending manner. 'With the old commander safely in the rear' and 'thinks he's very brave'; whilst those who served under him 'Are dead and in their grave'.

  2. Dunkirk - Defeat, Deliverance or Victory?

    The British Forces managed to save the B.E.F, which kept Britain in the war. The B.E.F. being saved generally boosted morale in both the armed forces and the public. Many other Historians feel that Dunkirk was a victory of morale.

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

    This would all take months. The Germans now began a race against time to win the war before the American's came. The early part of 1918 did not look propitious for the Allied nations. On March 3, Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which put a formal end to the

  2. Dunkirk - Defeat, Deliverance or Victory?

    It is significant that he regrets what he did, which means that he is most likely to be telling the truth if he expresses regret. I already know that a large number of French and British troops were killed at Dunkirk whilst apparently in the thick of their 'Dunkirk Spirit'.

  1. Haig in sources

    Using the sources provided and your own knowledge of Haig, explain whether you think he was a good or bad commander. (10) Since the end of World War 1 much has been written about Haig including soldier's stories and poems, newspaper articles, history books, films, T.V documentaries, and even T.V comedies.

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

    We know that nearly all of the B.E.F were evacuated and many saw the evacuation as well improvised, well ordered and calm. Many regard Dunkirk as a psychological victory, for numerous soldiers and civilians Dunkirk boosted morale leading to a sense of bravery and unity known as 'Dunkirk Spirit'.

  1. Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain - 'Dunkirk was a great deliverance and a ...

    This source lacks evidence of delivery because there is many things missing that would fit with my knowledge there is also no evidence of disaster. It is also an example of British propaganda to help boost morale. Source C is also a photograph supposedly taken at Dunkirk in 1940.

  2. Some people have the view that British generals like Haig were incompetent leaders. How ...

    the book seems to establish Lloyd George?s reputation as a war leader and at the same time destroy the reputation of Haig and leaders like Haig. In conclusion the source is reliable and useful because Lloyd George?s interpretation of events, whether true or not, seems to come from a good source i.e.

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