General Haig a Butcher not War Hero Essay

General Haig a Butcher not War Hero Essay

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Sir Douglas Haig was born on the 19th June 1861. The Field Marshal was very highly ranked in the duration of The Great War. Haig was a British soldier and a senior Commander of The British Expeditionary Force from the year of 1915. General Haig is notorious for commanding the Battle Of The Somme and also renowned for the third battle of Ypres and various other victories leading to The Triple Entente’s victory of WW1. After the war, Haig was made an Earl and also received gratified thanks from both Houses of Parliament. So, If General Haig was such a renowned role model and congratulated for aiding greatly to the victory of the cold war, why on earth did some people refer to him as a ‘Butcher’? During the early stages of the war, it was classed as ‘Stale Mate’ - hence the beginning of the trenches. WW1 was revolved around Static Warfare. This resulted in many deaths and injuries gaining little land each time. People believe that the countless death tolls from battles is mainly down to Sir Douglas Haig thus creating the name ’Butcher’. But what is the truth? Where the deaths just an unfortunate aspect of the war or could the high numbers have been less?

Many historians and common wealth citizens believe General Haig saw the soldiers as pawns, metaphorically speaking, in his own route to personal glory. Haig allegedly had no pity for the high death count and devoted his care only in winning the war to make himself a ’hero’. This is evident in The Battle Of The Somme. The battle initially began on the 1st of July with a five day bombardment of the enemy trenches. General Haig believed it would jeopardise the Germans giving the British and French divisions an advantage when the soldiers went ‘over the top’. What Haig had not count...


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... potent reason for me believing this is Haig was well aware of the merciless deaths in both the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Neuve Chappelle which were occurring and the failing tactics yet did nothing to stop this. The General stubbornly stuck to his plan so if they won the battle, he could claim it was under his lead they were successful thus helping him on his way to his own personal Glory. General Haig also blamed Sir John French for the poor reserve and lack of ammo whereas he was in lead of the battle and should have considered these aspects before he allowed his men to fight in the battles. This emphasises the point he saw the soldiers not as men, but as pawns which held less significance than himself and his pride. I also believe the power which was given to him would of not been possible if he had a lack of useful connections to people with power.

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