Field Marshal Haig: “Hero or Butcher of the Somme”

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Field Marshal Haig: “Hero or Butcher of the Somme” I consider the field marshal as a butcher and a hero for numerous reasons. While the insinuation of Haig as a butcher ignores many positives that he possessed, the implication of him being a hero also neglects negatives that the field marshal obtains. Although the winning of the war had come at the sacrifice of a vast number of soldiers, we must not forget that the general had achieved his primary objective even if it had been accomplished in the most gruesome ways. This essay will examine reasons which voice out opinions that support both arguments as well as my own. One explanation of Haig being described as a butcher is the ineffectiveness as well as the inadequacy of his plans and…show more content…
In addition “by the end of 1918, the British army was the only army that maintained its morale and hadn’t been hit by mutiny (like the French) or military defeat (like the Germans). This illustrates Haig as an inspirational leader as the soldiers had managed to maintain their morale through the war and no soldier had betrayed their country. In source 19 it is written “although generals made mistakes, the army had expanded very quickly and they also learnt very quickly. Haig and his generals may not have been the team that the British army has ever produced but they were pretty good, and did their best.” This proves that Haig, although was not the best of leaders, was still hardworking and continually tried hard to achieve victory. Although he was a good leader source 22 still contradicts source 19 with its description of the British being “Lion led by Donkeys”. This implies that the British generals were clueless and did not know what they were doing. Source 20 disagrees with this as it writes how “at the end of the war Haig and the others were heroes. The view of them as “donkeys” only appeared later.”This implies that their primary reaction towards Haig differed only after the war when his tactics had come under scrutiny. To conclude I believe field marshal Haig was a pretty good General as he accomplished his objective of winning the war. But the title of hero is still something the field marshal deserves as the method he used to try and achieve

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