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Using the sources and your own knowledge, explain if you feel Haig deserved the reputation of the 'butcher of the Somme.

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Using the sources and your own knowledge, explain if you feel Haig deserved the reputation of the 'butcher of the Somme In the run up to the war, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig was appointed the Director of Military Training. In an effort to create a reserve standard army which could double up as a 'home front' defence force, plus a fighting unit for use abroad, he managed to achieve this by pushing for legislation that lead to the creation of the TA (Territory Army) and the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) which were to be later used in the war effort in the 'war to end all wars'. Haig is most famously renowned for his involvement in the "hundreds of dead" soldiers "strung out like wreckage" in the thickened barbed wire of the failed attack of the Somme, after a relentless artillery barrage on a fifteen mile stretch of front to the West. Continuing on from this, he has so forth earned the sceptically based nickname "the butcher of the Somme" as he sent so many brave, 'lions' to their death never to see "Blighty" again. ...read more.


His apparent lack of emotion leads me to how he may deserve the label of being "the butcher of the Somme". This reveals when he says "the nation must be taught to bear losses." This heartless attitude bears resemblance to the rule of Bloody Mary as Queen of England when she persecuted Protestants in an attempt to bring England back to the Roman Catholic faith. He is also inferred to be a butcher as he did not stop the men from going over the top when he saw that his particular plan of action was not working in its current state Even though the Somme was a terrible disaster, it served in a positive light to be a learning curve for the British Battalions/Sections/Corps/and generals. With the benefit of hindsight, it showed the Allies that their was a serious, inadmissible problem in their ranks because how such a mass scale massacre of men could happen after such a well planned offensive from high up the ranks to Haig himself is a clerical atrocity. ...read more.


Then as a direct result of the defeat at the Somme, the troops became "combat hardened" and a basic "amateur army had learnt its trade" in the most brutal circumstances. This serves to prove my belief that Haig doesn't deserve being called "the Butcher of the Somme". In conclusion, I say that I have proved beyond doubt and assumption that Haig doesn't deserve being labelled "the Butcher of the Somme". This is because even though he was in charge, and so forth at the forefront of the British "Dig for Victory" war effort, he was not at complete fault. 19,240 soldiers died on the first day and in subsequent days the death toll rose to 150,000 men in the Somme which Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig is usually remembered for, however I believe he has just been searched out as a person to blame; a scapegoat for the whole situation of the horrific loss of life in the foreign fields of the Somme. ...read more.

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