Some People Have the View That British Generals Like Haig Were Incompetent Leaders. How Far Does the Sources Support or Contradict This Interpretation?

2367 Words Jan 2nd, 2013 10 Pages
Some people have the view that British generals like Haig were incompetent leaders.
How far does the sources support or contradict this interpretation?

Some people have the view that British generals such as Haig were useless leaders. Famous sources like ‘O What a lovely War’, ‘Blackadder’ and ‘The Trench’ support this. However from the 1980s many military historians have challenged this interpretation and states that under Haigs leadership, Britain and her allies won the war from encouraging new weapons and military tactics. After Haigs death in 1918, historians blamed him for needless laughter of nearly 750,000 British soldiers on the Western Front and biographers pilloned him for his overconfidence, insensitivity and logical
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Another source which supports the interpretation that British generals were incompetent is source B1. John Laffin worked as a tour guide in Australia. His parents both served witht he Australians in Gallipoli and France as nursing cops. Even though he didn’t have a history degree, he was a military historian who earned his living taking people on battlefield tours. He researched the war from the soldier’s viewpoint and wrote a successful history book titled “British Butchers and Bunglers of World War One” – a very emotive polemic title - which released to the public in 2003. The book aims to expose the guilt of ‘uncaring and stupid’ generals. The passage from the book says that Haig and other stupid generals must be blamed for ‘wilful blunders and wicked butchery’ and that there can never be forgiveness for their ‘sheer incompetence’. This source lacks reliability as it has been written in confidence with other sources he has researched online. Laffin only presents one side of the argument and doesn’t discuss the situation in Verdun. The passage of the book was written in 2003 – 80 years later from World War 1. However, his job as a tour guide in battlefields gives him an advantage over other historians. This source is supported by other historians (B8 an B1) and soldiers (B2). This interpretation is contradicted by sources like (B14).
David Lloyd George (B4) also supports the interpretation that British generals
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