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Study source A. Does it prove that Haig did not care about the lives of his man?

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Introduction

History Coursework Study source A. Does it prove that Haig did not care about the lives of his man? Source A is an article published in national newspaper by Haig month before the offensive had started (June 1916). This source paints Haig as very cold hearted man. From his writing we can get an impression that he does not care about life of his soldiers, as he says that nation "must be taught to bear losses". This quote as well as the whole writing suggests that death was really natural to him and life had no real value. Form Source B it is quite hard to see if Haig cared about life of his man or not. Both paragraphs in source B are written by Haig, and are his diary entries. The first paragraph is an extract written a day before the attack (30th June 1916).In this diary entry Haig seems really optimistic and ready. ...read more.

Middle

Haig says there that the attack was very successful and that it went "like clockwork" which means that it had went according to plan. We know that this is not true as 200,000 men were lost during the first morning of the attack. Here is also hard to say if he cares about the life of his man. He says that his troops are "in wonderful spirits and full of confidence" which means that he must care about them as he knows this sort of stuff. Than here is a fact that he did not go to see them himself, which could also mean that he was not interested enough to go to trenches and see how his man are doing. We know that he did not check this himself as if he did he would not write such a nonsense. He would write about the loss of lives and barely any land gained. ...read more.

Conclusion

This could explain Haig's mistake of carrying on with the war to some people but other will say like John Lathin that Haig had never "dirtied his boots" which means that the general never actually went to the trenches to check the situation personally. I think that Haig took his job very seriously but had little experience it that kind of war. He might come across as cold hearted person but I think that he had to teach himself to be this way as all the lives of his man are under his control and this is a huge responsibility. I think that if he had gone to the trenches himself he might had changed his plan, but at the same time, not being inside the trenches meant that he could take a look and control the entire trenches . I personally think that he was trying to do the best that he could, but it was hard without any experience in that kind of "new" war. ...read more.

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