‘Haig Deserves to Be Known as the ‘Butcher of the Somme’. Using the Sources and Your Own Knowledge, How Far Do You Agree with This Statement? Essay
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‘Haig deserves to be known as the ‘Butcher of the Somme’. Using the sources and your own knowledge, how far do you agree with this statement?
In this essay I will discuss whether General Douglas Haig deserves to be remembered as 'the butcher of the Somme'. I will be using the sources provided and my own research to discuss how foolproof the claims of Haig being the butcher of the Somme really are. I will also analyse how reliable the sources are to determine my conclusion on the topic.
General Haig is named as the ‘butcher of the Somme’ because he sent thousands of men to their deaths during the battle of the Somme as part of the First World War. Due to the huge number of deaths Britain suffered from the war and which most were suffered in the battle of the Somme. The people of Britain needed someone to blame. Haig was seen as unnecessarily ordering men to run into No man’s land while the Germans shot at the allies like fish in a barrel.
Supporting the statement that General Douglas Haig is ‘the butcher of the Somme’
Many of General Haig’s own men were against him because of his tactics and underestimation of weaponry. The main reasons for the soldiers being against Haig are the fact that he constantly sent them over the top even though he knew that the Germans were ready with their machine guns and that he lived in comfort while the soldiers battled it out. The evidence is a letter, written by Lieutenant J. A. Raws of the 23rd battalion addressing his family before his death:
“We are lousy, stinking, ragged, unshaven, and sleepless. My tunic is rotten with other men’s blood and partly splattered with a friend’s brains. It is horrible, but why should you people at home know? The horror was indescribable... i want to tell you so that it may be on record, that i honestly believe that a Goldie(a mate) and many others were murdered through the