Was Haig a Butcher or War Winner

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( The conflict of the Sommes was a ill-famed event that occurred in the clip frame of World War I. between France and England on one side. while on the other side. Germany. The aim of this conflict for the English side is excessively re-conquer/ seize the Gallic town of Verdun. a fastness of France against Germany. Besides. the English soldiers were ordered to eliminate as much German soldiers as possible. in order to finally derive the vantage point of the conflict.

The English soldiers were lead by General Douglas Haig. and as a General. he devised a tactic that he thought would guarantee triumph for England and France. However. it was because of this program that Haig became one of the chief focal point of contention for the last few 100 years… _ The Battle of Sommes began in 1916. and Haig. along with his ground forces rushed to the frontline to rapidly put to death the program.

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He sent the heavy weapon force to pelt the enemy trenches for 8 yearss directly. in hope of badly damaging the enemy trenches and in hope of being able to cut the barbed wires for the pes soldiers to interrupt through. However. things did non travel as he planned. as the German soldiers had somehow got a appreciation of the state of affairs and had fortified their trenches with concrete and doing certain that defence system can non be bypassed. Failing to perforate the enemy’s defence. Haig ordered the pes soldiers to process in front and fight on.

The war continued on. and finally. it ended with Haig wining in capturing Verdun and drove the Germans off Gallic dirt. However. there were heavy war casualties. and from so on. General Douglas Haig was either regarded as a winning war victor by some or a ruthless meatman by others… ( After the war was over. and even until now. Haig was regarded by many of the English ( and planetary ) society as being a ruthless soldier butcher. as he sent more than a million of lives to their tragic death through one individual program.

These people who think negatively of Haig would fall into the ‘Butcher’ group. which includes: • Family members. relations. even girlfriends of the soldiers that Haig had leaded into tragic terminals. These people would. after happening out the people they relish had died in conflict because of Haig. will decidedly sorrow. And so that certain event would probably to light a flicker of hatred and bitterness. and decidedly would go forth a profound consequence in their heads ; and this motivates them to nickname Haig as being a meatman.

• Newspaper newsmans. These people work under the payment and order of the Government. and evidently. they follow and report up what was said by the Government and leaders- which tend to be rather negative. Common civilians. when cognizing nil of the result of the conflict. would be ‘informed’ in a negative manner through reading these studies. and would surely swear what was told. therefore sing Haig as a meatman. without cognizing the full inside informations of the existent conflict. and as such blinded from the positive facts.

• The other Generals. Many of the Generals and leaders have ageless wrangles with General Haig and hated him even before the Battle of the Somme even occurred. These people. for illustration General Lloyd George. might hold used their governments and opprobriums to pull strings the other soldiers and civilians into believing about Haig negatively. • Ex-soldiers who partook in the existent conflict of the Sommes. With the vantage of really partaking in the warfare experience. these soldiers have a right head to believe. as such they realised the stupidity and questioned Haig’s maneuver for being so annoying and dull.

After the conflict had ended and after witnessing the many deceases taking topographic point. these soldiers might believe of him as unable to take. thick-headed. and inexperient. and as such regarded him as a meatman of the Sommes. These people who fall into the Butcher group tended to believe negatively of Haig. reviewed on the errors and deadly defects he had made within the Battle of the Sommes. instead than revise the positive points about him. one of which would be really winning the war.

Largely. these people have certain events affecting Haig that triggered their hatred for him. and the defects Haig had made in the war came coinciding plenty for the people to see him negatively. So what did he make incorrect for people to see him as a meatman and a simple-minded sap? Even though no 1 could deny that Haig finally did his occupation in capturing Verdun. the war casualties were highly heavy. and more than one million soldiers have died in less than a few hebdomads. in which more than 400 000 were English soldiers.

Technically. all the defects made in the conflict that had lead to so many deceases were originated from one thing- Haig’s original maneuver. First. Haig had devised a program that did non came into consequence. and were said to be “ham-fisted and clumsy” by P. W. Turner and R. H. Haig. two authors who wrote a book called “Not for Glory” in 1969. more than 40 old ages after the event really occurred. Then. his made error was that he ordered the heavy weapons to pelt the barbed wires. despite the expressed fact known to ANY Tommy that alternatively of being cut. the wires would acquire tangled up even worse than earlier.

After the barrage had miserably failed. he made an even worse error by doing the pes soldiers walk through No Man’s Land. transporting 60 lbs bags of public-service corporations. This. alternatively of supplying them all the stuffs they needed. merely slowed them down. doing them worthless walking marks for the Germans to hit down. Therefore. even when England finally won the conflict. and many of Germany’s best work forces were killed. far more of England’s best work forces were shot down. which cancels out the winning consequence.

His program was said to miss delicacy. the component of surprise. and the program was excessively predictable. therefore finally lead many work forces to their terminals. and therefore made him into a soldier meatman. harmonizing to many people. Out of the many people who regarded him as the ‘Butcher of the Sommes’ . some were celebrated for composing books and paperss explicating their province of head about Haig. In these paperss. these people have described Haig as being really atrocious. inexperienced. and pointed out explicitly his stupidity.

However. even though some authors might state the truth. many of the others were biased. and as such were relentless to remain on the negative side. For illustration. George Coppard. a machine artilleryman who participated in the conflict of the Sommes. wrote in his book ‘With a Machine Gun to Cambrai’ : _”Had they studied the black denseness of it through their powerful field glassess? Who told them that heavy weapon fire would lb such wire to pieces. doing it impossible to acquire through? Any Tommy could hold told them that shell fire lifts wire up and drops it ain. frequently in a worse tangle than earlier.

This quotation mark made by George was depicting the ‘black density’ within Haig’s mind upon be aftering the onslaught. and therefore commented on his stupidity and thick-headedness for utilizing shell fire to seek and ‘cut’ the barbed wires ( which miserably failed ) . Even though the quotation mark was written in 1969. about more than 40 old ages after the war had ended. because George was an experient soldier he had shown the full inside informations of the conflict. as such demoing explicitly Haig’s deficiency of warfare experience.

Besides. George merely wrote this book to inform the people of the event from a soldier’s position through his ain memories. and as such he was non told by anyone to compose negatively about Haig. and was non biased. Another piece of composing that gained infamy through composing negatively about General Haig and turn toing him as the meatman of the Sommes was the book ‘Butchers and Bunglers of World War One’ written by the military historiographer John Laffin in 1988. Within the book. he wrote: _”Haig was every bit obstinate as a donkey and every bit unreflective as a donkey…He knew he had no opportunity of a discovery yet still sent work forces to their deceases.

This quotation mark made by John Laffin compared Haig to a donkey- a animal that was said to embody stupidity. Throughout Laffin’s work. he described Haig negatively and commented smartly on his defect. However. this beginning is extremely biased and undependable. for certain grounds. First. the quotation mark was written in 1988- 70 old ages after the war ended. and as such. Laffin was non even born when the conflict took topographic point. so he ne’er really partook in the conflict of the Sommes. hence would non cognize every individual item about the conflict. but instead. what was told.

Because he was so uninformed that clearly about the conflict. Laffin might hold used his ain creativeness and ‘made-up’ some original thoughts about Haig to do his book more complete. as such some of the information he wrote might be wrong. Besides. Laffin’s parents died in World War I. and perchance the Sommes. therefore that motivated Laffin to believe of Haig as a meatman. as he might hold leaded his parents to their deceases. This certain event had ignited the flicker of vindictive hatred within Laffin. so he became colored and bombarded Haig through his book. Even when such a huge bulk of people regarded Haig as a meatman. many people so and still hold regarded him as an existent war victor. and alternatively of merely manipulated by hatred and looked at merely his defects. these people revised the conflict and saw through his good points.

These people were dubbed as falling in the ‘War Winner’ group. and this group consisted of: • The Gallic. After Haig won the conflict of the Sommes and saved the Gallic town of Verdun ( and finally saved France from an invasion ) . the Gallic were everlastingly thankful of Haig or his workss to France. and out of alleviation and joy. they dubbed him as a true war victor. without looking at the heavy war casualties. However. this might be because out of the million died. the sum of Gallic soldiers died took merely a mere 10 % . and so that did non make much of a profound consequence on the Gallic every bit much as the English. • The household members and relations of Haig. Family members. such as married woman. and childs. of General Douglas Haig. evidently must back up their hubby and fathers’ side.

Over old ages. they tried to make everything to recover the authorization he one time had and tried to evade the idea of him being a meatman from everyone. yet non much advancement have been made. These people look at the conflict positively. and commented on the good workss he had demonstrated by engaging authors to publicize the thought. • Writers. Some authors at that clip were hired by the Haig household to published books depicting and noticing on the good workss General Haig had demonstrated in the Sommes.

Some did non hold with the thought. nevertheless. they had to make it reluctantly due to the high payment the Haig household had compromised. The people on the ‘War Winner’ side. alternatively of persistently noticing on the defects Haig had made. take to notice more on the good workss he had demonstrated. First. though giving many lives. Haig had succeeded anyhow in winning the conflict and prehending Verdun. Haig besides managed to capture 70 square stat mis of enemy district. and drove the Germans off Gallic dirt. therefore succeeded in prosecuting the set aims.

Haig besides took long plenty in the conflict. leting the Gallic to re-assemble their military personnels and ground forcess. Furthermore. the conflict of the Sommes had worked in hiking the Triple Allies’ morale. while shattering Germany’s spirit of opposition through Haig’s army’s bravery. Besides. Haig did a great title in aiming and killing off Germany’s best work forces. giving the Allies’ a strong vantage point. Finally. no 1 can reason that the Sommes was merely another war scenario. and heavy war casualties are to be expected nonetheless…

After the Sommes ended. the contention about Haig either being a butcher/ war victor started to go a het argument. Because the people who thought that Haig was a meatman published docudramas showing their points of positions. the positive side besides published many different books showing their feelings as good. The author Duff Cooper had wrote a book about General Haig with his household name being the rubric in 1936. He was straight sked and persuaded by the Haig household to make so. and he wrote: “Greatness of character is something different from illustriousness of head or of intellect. In moral stature. Haig was a elephantine. It possibly easy to happen in history a adult male more superb. yet it would be difficult to happen a better adult male. ” This quotation mark written by Duff supported Haig in a reasonably impersonal manner. in quietly acknowledging that Haig was evidently non the best or most superb war general in history. However. he wrote that General Haig had an astonishing character. and was decidedly a really good adult male. therefore positively back uping him.

Even though this book was written and published in 1936. merely 8 old ages after the war ended. doing it look a tad more dependable. it could be extremely biased. First. the most of import contributing point for it being biased is that Duff Cooper was asked by the household of General Haig to compose this book. and therefore he had to compose harmonizing to whatever their point of positions were. and because they were Haig’s relations. their points were positively biased.

Besides. the intent in composing this book is to inform the people the positive workss he had made in the conflict to seek to evade the thoughts of the ‘Butcher of the Sommes’ . In order for that to go on. Duff Cooper most probably had to be every bit inflated as possible. therefore doing him really biased. in a positive manner. Another author. Vyvyen Brendon. published a book in 2000. There was a subdivision of the Sommes. and evidently. she had incorporated Haig in it. She wrote: “…and that the Gallic ground forces would hold collapsed without heavy British battle.

Since there was no wonder-weapon which could accomplish triumph there was no alternate but to have on the enemy down. Heavy casualties. harmonizing to Gary Sheffield. were inevitable. ” Vyvyen Brendon. in her book. has described the battle of Haig and his ground forces into conflict as a approval to the French- as it was necessary and critical that the English military personnels ( and Haig ) took portion in the conflict. She besides said that heavy casualties were inevitable. which would be rather true. However. there were certain things about her that could do this beginning undependable.

First. Vyvyen wrote this book in the twelvemonth 2000. and that was about 80 old ages since the conflict of the Sommes ended. so merely like John Laffin. she would non hold any thought what the event was like aside from what she was told. as she did non be at the clip to happen out. Besides. she lacked originality. as the beginning mentioned quoted the plants of Gary Sheffield. and he might besides be biased. Therefore. the lucidity of her book was vexing and non really graphic. However. for bing in such a late clip. she would’ve had more information. as now there are tools that can give her more entree to groundss to analyze and do any opinions.

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Was Haig a Butcher or War Winner. (2017, Sep 14). Retrieved from


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