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What kind of leader was Haig?

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  • Category: Leader

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Interpretation – A view from somebody’s point of view that may not be necessary be true. The battle of the Somme occurred on the 1th of July 1916, with the English and French army fighting against the German. English’s army’s leader, Haig, was considered to be a donkey, meaning to be a bad general. The historian John Laffin claims that Haig was an awful leader; he says that “Haig really thought he was doing what the people wanted him to do” which makes us think that he was being a good general. These facts may not be true as it was take nearly a 100 years after the war so the facts can be muddled up and he wasn’t there to witness it, he’s just saying from his point of view, but because Haig was deluded that he was doing the right thing and that it would work made him think he would win the war, but it didn’t happen. For this reason, Haig was a donkey. Source F, is a comment from the two surviving soldiers from the war. They explain that it wasn’t Haig’s fault and that they have seen it with their own eyes and thought it was working so they got really excited, “We were excited. We thought nothing could survive that artillery bombardment.”

This suggests that Haig was a good leader and the soldiers had trust and faith in him, if he was a donkey the soldiers wouldn’t have listened. Source A says the Haig live “almost 30 miles away behind the trenches” it goes on to say that he never went any closer. This shows that Haig had never experienced trench warfare. This lack of experience means that he was not able to make good decisions on how to fight the war. The evidence comes from a Veteran of the trenches. As a result he may be unhappy that many of his friends had died for little or no gain. It would have been valuable to historian who wanted to find out what WW1 veterans thought about Haig. Source E shows us a picture with a caption saying “A spontaneous welcome from the crowd at Victoria: Sir Douglas Haig’s car leaving the station. Although the caption is saying Haig is welcomed, it might have been false, the caption might have been made up to make Haig look like he is being honoured. There is no proof that they are saying it and the picture might have been zoomed to make it seem there is a bigger crowd then there actually is. If people were booing him it would show that he is a bad donkey, but we don’t know since there is no proof.

Source C which is a letter tells us that Haig said that the amount of death in a war could not be helped. Haig’s strategies were not good. He was so full of his plans. He even thought the bombardment of shells would destroy the barbed wire, when it only lifted it making it more tangled. He also didn’t check and ordered is soldiers to WALK on no man’s land. The evidence is typed up and shows no actual proof Haig wrote it. This shows how Haig was delusional which made the soldiers think they were going to win. Source D which is a comment from a British soldier.

He says that “I don’t know who told Haig that the artillery bombardment would smash the wire to pieces making it possible to walk through. This shows that even his own soldiers had doubt and thus he was a donkey. Although he is speaking against Haig there is no proof that he wasn’t lying. Because he was speaking against Haig, it shows that Haig was a donkey. Based on these points which most of them say Haig was a donkey, I truly think that Haig was a donkey, who thought that all of his plans would work, he was too optimistic about these things. He never had any experience in trench warfare as he lived 30 miles away from it and most of the things saying Haig was a good leader had no evidence to support their claims.

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