Jainica Patel Essay

Submitted By jainicapatel
Words: 644
Pages: 3

General Douglas Haig.
In history, there have been many good and many bad generals during wars. Most generals were seen as being good, however some were bad. Haig was one of them.
During (and after) WW1, many people have criticised him. Most of the criticisms were fair, and not many disagreed. He even earned the nickname "Butcher of the Somme" for constantly sending troops, especially on the western front into extreme victims. Haig was not a coward; in fact he was exactly the opposite. This was not a good thing. He was rarely defensive or passive and too often offensive, sending many men forward into battles that sometimes even he knew they wouldn't win. Many people were forced into an almost certain death like this.
Another thing is that Haig would often use cavalry to charge around the trench and make an attack. He usually knew that the enemy would be armed with machine guns and other automatic weapons. The cavalry stood little chance against machine guns. Many soldiers (and horses) died like this. What makes it worse it that the horses required a lot of looking after, feeding and cleaning, which wasted a lot of their time and was not worth it just for it to charge into its almost certain death. Haig himself had never fought in a war/battle, so had little knowledge of what he was sending his troops into. He knew about most of the dangers, but he did not know about the fear of being on a battlefield. Additional criticism is that he expected men to be able to cut through or climb over barbed wires. This was a mistake, and led to many losses and a big waste of time.
Haig would also give orders to use massive bombardments thinking that they would destroy the enemy trenches making it easier for the soldiers to capture them. This did not go to plan and were almost useless, as the German trenches were too well defended, and very deep as they were defending, so had more time to dig the trenches.
Not everyone thought Haig was bad, some even praised him. John Pershing, the general of The Armies of the United States said that Haig was "the man who won the war". Another person that defended Haig was John Terraine, who published a biography of Haig, called "The Educated Soldier" in 1963. In this biography, he claimed that Haig was a "Great Captain". He also claimed that Haig did "the best he could for the