Does Haig deserve is bad reputation?
Haig was born in Edinburgh on the 19th June 1861 into a wealthy family owning a whiskey business. He studied at Oxford University, and in 1884 Haig joined the Royal Military Academy where he served as a cavalry officer for nine years in India. Haig was also Britain’s commander-in-chief during the battle of the Somme. Haig received both positive and negative reviews on his role as a commander-in-chief. Although a larger population saw Haig as a negative character and believed him to be the ‘butcher’ of WW1, some others do believe that he was the reason Britain were victorious. In the essay I will be discussing the different views of Haig that people have. The reason I believe Haig should be remembered in a negative way is because he was the ‘butcher’ of the battle. Firstly, he was not a clever man and he didn’t deserve to be so high up in the war. It was only because of his family name. Secondly, he knew his plan wasn’t working, but he didn’t think about changing his mind – therefore over 60,000 people died in the Battle of The Somme – only on the first day! John Keegan, a military historian says, “He was continually thinking of his own position”, this shows that he only though of him self and he was extremely arrogant and self-centred. Haig claims that he was under a lot of pressure during the war, but why should anyone feel sympathy for him when he caused the deaths of many innocent men, only wanting to fight for their country? As well as this, Haig never bothered to visit the front line, so how was he going to learn from his mistakes? Whilst his troops were living in the cold, muddy trenches gathering diseases such as trench foot and shell shock and spreading lice all over eachothers bodies, with only rations of food, Haig was in his country house dining with only the best cuisine. This portrays the characteristic of Haig being an uncaring man. Many people remember Haig in a bad way as he didn’t care about those who actually wanted to enlist and help save their country, and he was a bad communicator which led to misinformation being spread, as well as being selfish and arrogant. On the other hand, many people believe that General Haig