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Study all Sources - 'Haig was an uncaring General who sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason' How far do these Sources support this view?

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Introduction

Study all Sources. 'Haig was an uncaring General who sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason' How far do these Sources support this view? Question 6 The sources that support the view of Haig being an uncaring general who sacrificed the lives of his men for no good reason are sources A, C, D, E, F, G, J and areas of source B. Whereas the sources don't support that view are parts of Source B, H, and I. In source A general Haig says: "The nation must be taught to bear losses." This suggests that he was going to sacrifice the lives of a lot of his soldiers, which he did as on the first day of the some they were 60.000 casualties and Haig could not have known this because in source E it says: "The absence of the general sir." This suggests that Haig was never there when his soldiers were mowed down by the machine guns, which once again suggests he didn't care. ...read more.

Middle

Source B was written by Haig and in it he says: "The men are in splendid spirits. All commanders are full of confidence." This part of the source was written before the Somme, when Haig wouldn't have known the outcome of the first day, and the men were in good spirits as they were with the friends. This is because Lord Kitchener thought of getting pals battalions to get more men in the war and it worked. General Henry Rawlinson also suggested that men would be more willing to join up if they could serve with people they already knew, also Lord Kitchener said that: 'The war would be decided by the last million men that Britain will throw into battle.'(www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwone/pals) So this had to be done quickly as Britain didn't really have a million men 'throw' until Kitchener's idea came about, and it was a very big success. Source H praises General Haig by saying: "Had Haig not had the courage to shoulder the main burden of the struggle in the Somme battles of 1916, French resistance would have crumbled. ...read more.

Conclusion

wouldn't want to tell his prime minister that he was doing a bad job of the battle and that he was basically a failure. Overall I think that Haig didn't care about the lives of his men mainly because in another part of source B he says: "Very successful attack this morning. All went like clockwork." I know he is lying because on the first day of the Somme there were 60,000 casualties and this is the highest amount of casualties ever to happen in one day of a battle. Haig was able to lie because of D.O.R.A (Defence of Realm Act). Also Haig made the soldiers carry 66lb over no man's land: "Which made it difficult to get out of a trench, impossible to move much quicker than a slow walk or to rise or lay down quickly" (source H, The First World War. Nigel Kelly) This suggests to me that Haig didn't bother looking at how the men were going to get across or to even look at them, because if he did he would have noticed they were carrying too much weight. ...read more.

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