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Was Haig the "Butcher of the Somme"?

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Introduction

14th November 2002. Was Haig the "Butcher of the Somme"? Many people have regarded General Haig as the Butcher of the Somme. Does he really reserve this name? To decide this it is necessary to consider what happened at the battle of the Somme and to what extent it can be blamed on Haig. The Battle of the Somme was intended to relieve pressure on the French at Verdun. The commander of the British troops at the time of the Battle of the Somme was field Marshall Haig. He thought that the battle would be easy to win. Haig had a very shallow opinion of the German's. He thought that they were useless "black" people and that they didn't know how to fight shat his army would surly win. ...read more.

Middle

The great battle began on the 1st July, after week of heavy bombardment. The battle caused a lot of suffering and pain to many people. Germans had been warned that England were going to attack because it states in source 5, "Several large mines were placed under German positions. One was blown up ten minutes before Zero hour which warned the Germans to expect an attack." Haig's theory was very well thought out but he did not think about the procedures carefully enough. The theory did not work as well as it could have. Haig did want to cut the wire, which would have meant giving out an earlier warning to cut it. ...read more.

Conclusion

The plan did not work because Haig did not know about the enemy and the enemy lines, He did not know about the opposition and their tactics and plans. He also did not realise how the Germans would hide or what their trenches would be like. Haig had no idea. The artillery that had been designed was hidden by the masses of cloud so that the pilot could not see anything below. Some people have called Haig "the butcher of the Somme" In my opinion I feel he does not deserve this because he tried his best to work at keeping everything under control and making his plan work to the best it could. Even thought many people died he tried to save the millions left at home. Haig showed how he determined he was to keep on going and keep his head up. He was NOT the "butcher of the war." ...read more.

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