"Haig was an uncaring generalwho sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason"

Authors Avatar

“Haig was an uncaring general who sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no good reason”

How far do these sources support these views

Source A tells us that Haig did not care about his men and is willing to sacrifice lives in order to win. The source itself was written by Haig in June 1916, a month before the battle of the Somme, and was intended to be seen by the general public.

“ The nation must be taught to bear losses”

This makes it look like Haig doesn’t care about his mens’ well being and seems to be telling people to “toughen up” and “live with it”. Personally, I don’t think Haig meant it to sound like that. I think he meant for it to explain that in war, men do die no matter how precautious you are.

“No amount of skill on the part of the higher commanders, no training, however good, on the part of the officers and men, will enable victories to be won without the sacrifice of men’s lives. The nation must be prepared to see heavy casualty lists.”

This sentence seems to tell us that Haig was ready to let people die in their thousands, if not millions, in order to win the war and also tells us that Haig believed that it was the only way to win. I feel that the purpose of the source was to explain to the public that the only way to win is to sacrifice lives. He is being realistic but harsh.this source leads uus to believe that Haig was a butcher, even though he was being realistic when he wrote it.

Source B was written by Haig in his journal during July 1916. The first extract was written the day before the attack on the Somme began and the second extract was written the day the attack started. It was not meant for public eyes.

“The men are in splendid spirits”

This sentence tells us that the higher commanders were in good spirits and he had been informed that the men in the trenches themselves were also very confident.

“Several have said that they have never before been so instructed and informed of the nature of the operation before them.”

This sentence tells us what some of the commanding officers have told him. We must remember that the commanding officers weren’t in the trenches and could be saying good things just to get in Haig’s good books.

“Very Successful attack this morning. All went like clockwork. The battle is going very well for us and already the Germans are surrendering freely. The enemy is so short of men that he is collecting them from all parts of the line. Our troops are in wonderful spirits and full of confidence.”

Join now!

This proves that Haig was informed that they had a successful start to the battle and that his men were confident of victory. As we already know, this wasn’t the case. The battle was actually going very badly (over 100,000 men had died on that first day alone) and I doubt that there was much confidence. This also proves that Haig was being misinformed on the progress of the battle. This source proves that Haig was misinformed about how the battle was going and couldn’t really be blamed for what had happened.

Source C is from an interview ...

This is a preview of the whole essay