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was haig butcher of the somme

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Introduction

Important Facts * Western front raged across 30 km. * Lasted from 1st July to the middle November 1916 * Largest battle Britain had ever fought (numbers and casualties) * Britain volunteer army had been recruited 2 years before it was finally unleashed (after much training) *It broke stalemate that had lasted 2 years * Idealism finally became grim reality of war on the western front. Britain Britain were insufficient and had little territory until.. 1914- hoped to mobilise quickly to help France 1915- volunteers after kitcheners call 1916 -when they believed they could play a leading role on the western front. British Aim The aim of the British attack was to break through the German lines and defeat the German army. It was also hoped that this attack would help the French army which had been under a strong German attack at Verdun. Stale mate .... * Summer 1916 all methods of breaking stalemate had failed * 1915- Collapse of the Gallipoli expedition German attempts to use poisonous gas...... * 1916- Stalemate was broken * Britain promised those who joined together could serve together. Idea-to gain more recruitment Led to devastation in villages and towns from casualty lists. General Sir Douglas Haig's * Took command of BEF in 1915 * French and British were supposed to contribute to the attack evenly. * However after the battle at Verdun it became a primarily British battle with assistance from the French. ...read more.

Middle

This is proven from the quote "not a man to change his mind". This portrays him as an unapproachable man or maybe pointless to approach him as if he won't acknowledge what you are really saying as what he says must always be correct. However this could also be said to be a positive point about him as it makes him determined and shows he really knows what he's doing and even a good leader. On the other hand, he could know what he was doing was wrong, but continue anyway because he doesn't what to be proven wrong, as he was entirely obstinate. He was also just sitting in his little chalet constructing his plan when he wasn't even going to the battle himself. This is best summed up by the quote from blackadder himself "yet another giant effort to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin". This shows that they don't think that he cares about the soldiers but just wants to win no matter what. However to lighten the atmosphere Lieutenant George is very na�ve of this but he probably wouldn't be in real life, but as Blackadder is suppose to be a comedy they have to release tension. In conclusion Blackadder gives the impression that Haig is naive of the consequences of anything and that he doesn't care about who dies in the process of his victory. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is often said his methods were wrong, however 'attrition was the method all sides used' and therefore could not also be used by him if he were to achieve British aims, that is, to break stalemate. Furthermore there seems to be no logical alternative method. However as it is documented in Blackadder, not only had he a 'ghastly plan', where he already knew that many would die, neither did he care about any of his soldiers and probably didn't even think of an alternative plan, as he was too stubborn to ever change his mind. The fact that deaths were fitted into his plan and were not tried to be avoided could suggest the inhumanity of a butcher. Churchill and Lansdowne are both very important, respected people so if they suggest he was a butcher, which they do, it is probably true. They believed that the plan was faulty. However I believe that he knew his plan would lead to a mass death rate but Haig, being very insensitive and focusing on his aim to win, didn't care. He could also be called a Butcher because he tricked his soldiers into a false sense of security with no idea that they were being fitted in Haig's plan to die and that Haig didn't think there was a high chance of them surviving. I believe that British people would have obviously desired victory but not at any means necessary, so therefore they wouldn't have wanted so many lives to be taken. So by killing all those people just for victory is very butcher like. ...read more.

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