How far does General Haig deserve to be known as ‘The Butcher of the Somme’ ? The Battle of the Somme was the most dearly-won conflict in footings of casualties every in the history of British Military. A decisive discovery was needed by the Alliess after 2 old ages of deadlock on the Western Front nevertheless after the first twenty-four hours of contending at the Somme. it became really clear that the heavy weapon barrage had fail to smash German defense mechanisms and barbed wire and so there were 60000 casualties on the 1/7/1916. General Haig had the authorization to halt the conflict ; nevertheless he didn’t ensuing in immense losingss over the following 4 months at the Somme. He prolonged the conflict unnecessarily when failure became obvious and therefore deserves his name as ‘butcher of the Somme. ’ Some historiographers believe he doesn’t merit this name because he was merely making his occupation as a general and decease is an inevitable portion of war and loss of work forces is a effect of any determination made by Haig. There had been stalemate on the western forepart for 2 old ages and the Germans were still on Gallic dirt. An onslaught was needed in an effort to force the Germans out of France and convey the war to a stopping point. Haig had the right purposes in seeking to make this and this is one of the grounds he launched such a big conflict.
The Gallic were under considerable force per unit area at Verdun and so one of the grounds was to attract German soldiers and guns north to the Somme from Verdun. hence alleviating the force per unit area. If Haig had called off the offense at the beginning of July he would hold thrown away this advantage. In one article it states how ‘the merely existent accomplishment of the Anglo-French ground forcess on 1 July 1916 was to alleviate force per unit area on Verdun. ’ ( DSP ) This shows how the conflict did draw German soldiers north and it made the difference in that the Germans did non capture the metropolis of Verdun. It can be argued besides that the Battle of Somme broke German morale and cardinal foot and experient officers were lost at the Somme excessively. The Germans suffered about 500000 casualties in entire and it did do a important part to have oning down Germany’s ability to contend as the odds were going more favorable towards the Allies. One beginning from the German official history of the war says ‘The heavy loss of life affected Germany much more to a great extent than the Alliess.
There was a awful decease axial rotation of the work forces fully-trained in peace clip and the finest soldiers. the replacing of whom was impossible’ ( DSP ) This shows how the conflict was dearly-won for the Germans and that it had a large impact in that German morale increased and besides many soldiers had been lost. Haig’s program was to accomplish a decisive discovery and so work it with calvery. A war of abrasion was non the program and after it did turn into this kind of war. Haig attempted a discovery through the usage of armored combat vehicles for the first clip in September 1916 and this surprised the Germans and did do additions. It besides boosted British morale significantly after the heavy losingss. One beginning states how’ there was a steady grinding gaining control of district and a devastation of enemy forces’ when armored combat vehicles were foremost introduced proposing that they came really near to interrupting the deadlock nevertheless it was the conditions conditions that meant the conflict had to be called off by Haig.
However. I believe there is more grounds for Haig meriting the name as ‘the Butcher of the Somme’ which outweighs why he doesn’t. In entire there were 419654 British casualties and coevalss of immature work forces wiped out. Haig had the power to forestall the immense loss but didn’t and prolonged an unneeded conflict. The chief ground I believe in immense loss of life was unqualified planning and hapless tactics from the beginning. Haig overestimated the ability of the heavy weapon to destruct the German defense mechanisms. The Germans had stretched barbed wire like a set of over 30 meters which was impossible to perforate and German dugouts were deep resistance and fortified with concrete. The multitudes of shells the British had been provided were frequently of hapless quality. therefore non powerful plenty to destruct the German trenches. Furthermore. it was really predictable when the Alliess would assail as the heavy weapon barrage all of a sudden ceased meaning to the Germans that an onslaught was at hand.
There had been no developments yet of tactics such as the crawl bombardment and after the barrage. there was adequate clip for the Germans to come out of their dug outs and put up the machine guns. Shells had failed to perforate the barbed wire and frequently merely made it more in a tangle than earlier and so the Alliess were funnelled to where there was a spread. However. they were besides ordered to walk across no man’s land with unloaded rifles and they became sitting marks for German artillerymans. There were about 57000 casualties on the first twenty-four hours as a consequence. This beginning states’ 100s of dead were strong out like wreckage washed up to a high H2O grade. Quite as many died on the enemy wire as on the land. like fish caught in the net. ’ This shows how many people had been killed. ordered to their deceases by Haig.