• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11

Was Haig the butcher of the Somme?

Extracts from this document...


Question 3 Was Haig the butcher of the Somme? In 1915 the war didn't make any progress, each side had made hundreds of attacks and thousands of soldiers had been killed. The British thought about how their countries soldiers were being led into battle, so in 1915 December the 10th a new commander of the British forces was appointed 54 year old man named Field Marshall Haig. He had a good successful career. He had been in the boar war, where the British had been poorly equipped. As Haig wasn't so used to the new age of fighting. He had some difficulty adjusting to it. With each side in trenches and people not used to trench warfare, no one knew had to cope with them, or win a war like this. So all the others went back on the idea of designing battle plans with trenches. They were going to fight a war of attrition and wear the enemy out. February 1916 Germany set out for another attack. They sent soldiers to attack the French forts in and around the town of Verdun, they sent thousands again and again. ...read more.


From what source 3 shows it makes out that Haig showed so much ignorance for the mistakes and the unexpected loss of soldiers that were made on the first day of battle. If there were at least 60,000 British dead and many German prisoners were taken and 1 Canadian battalion lost, 700 out of 850 men, then where is the progress in that, as stated in source 3, Haig attacked, the first day on the 1st of July 1916, ''Very successful attack this morning... All went like clockwork...The battle is going very well for us already, the Germans are surrendering freely. The enemy is so short of men that I am collecting them from all parts of the line. Our troops are in wonderful spirits and full of confidence.'' This shows the ignorance of Haig in the fact of death, losing and the suffering of the soldiers. How can you rely on Haig's suggestions and views on the war, when he wasn't even on the front line. The more reliable sources, are the sources that come from the soldiers. Which are like the sources, 5+6, The letter in source 7 describes how a captain's friend had to write a letter to the captain's sister, which described his death, which he states to be a quick and painless death. ...read more.


Livesey's book is about the war and this may look like Livesey is only viewing Haig for his topics and of how he felt about what he did. Each book dates, 1989 and the other 1991, these years are very close so they may have used the same books. Neither of them would have fought in the war. These sources give an impression that the books were meant for adult reading so the audience would have been the same. Like from Livesey's source, ''Perhaps his greatest failing was his constant often-misplaced optimism...'' And Warner's source is similar in language. The thoughts and views of Haigs titled depends on the opinions of who's reading. Depending if the person is rich or poor. The only information we get is from Liveseys book, which is about battles, death, blood and murder of the troops. Warner's book is about his family's sympathy. Together they are both balanced views. The fact is that there is no answer to ''Was Haig the butcher of the Somme'' because it depends on who is reading it, what your own personal issues are, experiences. People's opinions on what the people in command should have done. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. General Haig - Butcher or Hero?

    The Battle of Cambrai was notable for the success with which the British employed tanks. On November 20, 1917, about 400 British tanks, supported by infantry moved forward into the German lines, achieving an advance of 8 kilometres. In a sweepingly successful start to the battle, 12 miles of the

  2. Field Marshall Haig: 'The Butcher of the Somme?'

    It shows that Generals are weak, that they are able to make plans but not to for see them. It is to be funny, though it is something which is very serious and is an embarrassing problem for General's. It is good for showing the reality of the war, though it is not said on front line.

  1. Was General Haig a donkey or a great commander?

    However, some people hotly debate this: In 1921 an experienced Gunner Officer observed that the infantry often failed to capture the enemy artillery in bite and hold operations, even when they were undefended, because they could not advance further than their objectives.

  2. Explain how well Haigs background and military experience had prepared him for command of ...

    Between 1906 and 1909 he served as Director of Military Training and assisted Viscount Haldane (Secretary for War 1905-12) with the reform of the army. After a three-year interlude in India (1909-11) he returned in March 1912 to take up command at Aldershot, HQ of the British Army, and this was the post he occupied when war broke out.

  1. General Haig

    It is still very useful though as it is written for a GCSE Modern History review book, written by a historian which gives a sense of trust and factual evidence towards Keegan's interpretations. Source L is an extract from General Haig's Special Order Of The Day which was issued to every member in the British Armed Forces and written.

  2. Was Field Marshall Haig the Butcher of the Somme

    even knew you were gone or made a fuss because it was a normal part of the day to the soldiers. Politicians and members of the government even debated the way Haig run the war and questioned whether Haig was doing more harm than good.

  1. General Haig doesn't care about his soldiers.

    He makes out in source B that everything, " went like clock work". Surely no man can consider a first day where 57,000 people have died as going like clock work. He says in source A about "men's" lives which may mean that he feels that the ordinary "men" i.e.

  2. The Defensive Features of Rochester Castle in 1215

    As you can see in the picture bellow (the doorway, fore-building and keep), the two doors which are very close together would make it easier said than done to turn around the tree trunk/ battering ram to get through the door to the keep without getting killed or even injured in any way.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work