Haig to Blame Essay

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H.W How far does General Haig deserve his reputation as the butcher of the Somme? 14/2/13 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 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? General Haig’s title of ‘the butcher of the Somme’ originated after World War 1. Due to the large number of casualties Britain suffered from the war. The people of Britain wanted someone to blame. Blaming Haig was a coping mechanism, trying to deal with their losses. Haig gained the title due to the indescribable amount of casualties and deaths that took place. One could say that Haig deserves the title because of the huge loss of life, his bad planning and repetition of bad tactics and the fact that he was completely out of touch with his soldiers. Some say he doesn’t because he was arguably the best the British had, no one knew how to fight in trench warfare and he pushed what was arguably the world's most powerful army off of French soil.
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