Did General Haig Deserve the Title “butcher of the Somme”?
Did General Haig Deserve the Title “Butcher of The Somme”?General Haig was a British Commander, and Senior Officer of The British Army, on the Western Front for World War I, including The Battle of The Somme which was fought from July to November in 1916. The number of casualties that his war strategy caused has made him a very provocative figure of History. The question that most people argue was General Haig a ‘Butcher of the Somme’ Was he a ‘Donkey leading lions. Or finally, was he a ‘War Hero’ A man put under and enormous amount of pressure who which stayed strong and helped win the war? My views and answers to these questions will be revealed throughout the duration of this essay.In source A which was written by Haig , he contemplated the deaths of thousands by saying that people should expect the high death rate. He believed that the deaths didn’t have a meaning and people should just live with the consequences and that people should also prepare for all of the deaths. This makes it look like he’s the butcher of Somme.Source c tells us that hundreds of dead people had been washed up to the high water mark. This also makes us think what people are doing to these bodies to make them even to get into the water.
Also there is a chance that he wasn’t actually the Butcher of Somme . source A had been written before the battle had happened so he might not of expected the death rates to be as high. He could also just have been not very worried about the deaths because the Battle of the Somme might’ve been the deciding factor in whether we won or lost WW1. Lots of people perceived Haig as being a donkey, in which he would lead the soldiers by him with the knowledge of a donkey. He lacked skill and the knowledge to efficiently win the war without a huge death rate. In source c Coppard says “Any tommy could have told them that shell fire lifts the wire up and down often in a worst tangle than before .” This quote suggests that the soldiers were aware that Haig’s plan wasn’t going to work yet they still had to go along with it. This information we have portrays Haig’s actions in the Battle of The Somme and the consequences were a result of foolishness. However this source could possibly be inaccurate. Source D written by David Lloyd George says “Million men who would rather die than call themselves cowards.” This quote shows the soldiers were pressured by Haig to fight showing Haig was most likely a donkey.