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Does General Haig Deserve to Be Remembered as ‘the Butcher of the Somme’?

  • Date Submitted: 03/29/2012 02:10 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.2 
  • Words: 2649
  • Essay Grade: 5,00 /5 (1 Graders)
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Does General Haig Deserve To Be Remembered As ‘The Butcher Of The Somme’?
On the 28th of July 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia as revenge for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and several other things, but the assassination was the trigger. By the 4th of August all the major European powers were at war, the Triple Entente; France, Britain and Russia and the Triple Alliance; Germany, Austria and Italy. The war on the western front had reached stalemate in November 1914 and trenches stretched hundreds of miles across east France. Generals worked hard on many new strategies to break the deadlock. One of these generals was the British General Haig. In 1916 Haig wanted to perform an attack on the Germans which would defeat them once and for all. He planned a seven day shell bombardment on the German trenches. Then send infantry to capture the remains of their trenches. And finally send a charge of cavalry through those trenches to the free land on the other side. Of course, this proved to be easier said than done. It may have been an imaginative plan but the Prime Minister at the time, David Lloyd George, when on to say in 1935 that ‘He was incapable of planning vast campaigns on the scale demanded on so immense a battlefield.’ Implying this plan of Haig’s was naïve verging on stupid. Lloyd George’s quote however was based on the common knowledge of the time: that the plan had failed. But should Haig have foreseen the devastation his attack would cause or was this just hidden by his arrogance?
So what did happen? Well, the Germans were expecting an attack, therefore were as prepared as they could be. They put up extra barbed wire and dug deep shelters beneath their trenches. When the British guns started firing the Germans simply went into their shelters and when they stopped, they quickly went up to their machine gun posts. Where all they had to do was point their guns at the rows of approaching soldiers. If they were still walking the British...


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  1. Does General Haig Deserve To Be Remembered As ‘The Butcher Of The Somme’?
    • Oct 18, 2012 - Evaluator: (banto123)
    • This piece of writing is an excellent example of a good way to write an essay. You have evaluated the sources properly and I think that the essay is written with full detailed information.I think it's probably worth at least an A/A* Well Done :)