Does General Douglas Haig deserve his reputation of being the Butcher of the Somme?

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Does General Douglas Haig deserve his reputation of being the “Butcher of the Somme”?

General Douglas Haig does not deserve the reputation of the “Butcher of the Somme”. He was unaware of situations in the battle field until last minute; his head was Lord Kitchener was a believer in attrition. He developed new tactics and it was in this battle when the Allies realised how to defeat the Germans using Tanks and the Creeping Barrage. On the other hand he got 60,000 men killed on the 1st day but as general Haig said “It was more important to kill the enemy than lose allies”.

General Haig was situated in Paris, France during the battle of Somme and this meant he was very far away and the only means of communication was pigeons. The distance between Paris and Somme is 150km and because of had meant the commands were slow and delayed; because of this General Douglas could not command the battalions to stop going over the top. The commanders in the battalions, sometimes gave false information because they did not want to get demoted therefore General Douglas Haig made false decisions. An evidence of this would be when a false flare was reported by General  of the  led to General Douglas Haig to call on his reserves which ended up dying. This shows that General Haig was not the “Butcher of the Somme” because the communication problems and selfish commanders led General Douglas Haig to make false decisions which earned him his reputation.

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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 ...

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