Secondly General Douglas Haig had been forcefully given the position in the battle of Somme with an army of newbies and he was under extreme pressure from his leader Lord Kitchener. Lord Kitchener was highly respected and he was a great believer in attrition; this is the process of grinding the enemies down through constant attacks. General Douglas Haig had to listen to the tactics of Lord Kitchener because if he did not then he may court marshalled. This meant that General Douglas Haig could not edit the tactics so it was like he was Lord Kitchener’s puppet as Lord Kitchener was making all the vital decisions. This shows us that it was not General Douglas Haig fault as the decisions of going over the top slowly in waves was Lord Kitchener’s idea so that means General Douglas Haig cannot be blamed for the loses and he does not deserve the reputation of being the “Butcher of the Somme”.
Furthermore it was in this battle when the allies learnt to defeat the Germans and a new tactic was invented (The creeping Barrage” and the tanks came into use. A creeping barrage is an artillery barrage that slowly "creeps" up the field of battle towards the enemy lines followed by troops. The primary usage of the creeping barrage is to create cover for the soon-to-be advancing soldiers rather than kill enemy troops. It was first used under the command of General Douglas Haig; it was his clever wits which meant this tactic turned the battle around. Also the tanks were used under General Douglas Haig command and they completely bamboozled the Germans. This shows that General Douglas Haig used good initiative and tactics to turn a horrible error into one of the most important and greatest victories.
On the other hand he led men to slaughter with his obsolete tactics. This was the worst day in British war history. He said that after the artillery bombing all Germans should be dead and therefore he said “You don’t even need your rifles” but he was wrong. His poor reconnaissance did not show the fact that Germans had deep trenches and were protected so they faced minimal damage. As the soldiers walked in a neat line the machine gunners did not even have to aim, it was need less slaughter. These tactics were again used in the Battle of Passchendaele showing that General Douglas Haig did not change and deserves the reputation. This shows that he being foolish and not using his sources to full potential led him to make decisions which killed tons of men on the first day.
General Douglas Haig was also blamed for being an inflexible commander. He stuck to the plans even though he had realised they were not working. He sent wave after wave of men to their deaths. His caring for reputation had led over 100,000 men to their deaths. He did not change his battle plan until he was ordered to by Lord Kitchener but by then over 120,000 men were dead. Others believe that his inflexibility was Lord Kitchener’s plan of attrition and he could not help it but there is not sufficient evidence to support that. This is why he deserves his reputation of being “Butcher of the Somme” because his inflexibility and him caring too much for his reputation led him to lead lots of men to deaths.
In conclusion he was not the “Butcher of the Somme” because he led the allied forces to victory under pressure. The most important fact is that it was in this battle when the allies learnt to fight the Germans and this was vital because this worked throughout the World War. Key facts were General Douglas Haig was always under pressure from Lord Kitchener and it was not his plan to grind the enemy down. His faults of being selfish and using bad tactics are minor against his positive and this is why General Douglas Haig does not deserve his reputation of being the “Butcher of the Somme”