Deemed assessment of the Great Conflict career of Field Marshal Douglas Haig. Douglas Haig was designated as commander of the BEF’s 1st Armed service Corps at the outbreak of World War One in 1914 with Sir John France as Leader in Chief of the United kingdom Army. Right at the end of 1915 it became apparent that Sir John France was ill-suited to the function and Douglas Haig replaced him while Commander-in-Chief.
Haig became one of the most controversial figures in army history with tag-lines such as the “butcher in the Somme” and an “incompetent leader” becoming the most linked to him. His tough and decisive command style with apparent very little compassion towards the huge amounts of United kingdom deaths during World Battle One manufactured him one of the most debated person in history with varying opinions of his leadership style. It is generally believed that Haig was unwilling to take new ideas but follow his classic, military experience with reluctance to hear new ideas and suggestions.
Major Desmond Morton who also served among Haig’s adjutants said “He (Haig) disliked being told any kind of new info, however irrefutable, which militated against his preconceived concepts or values. ” This reliable resource that gives a tip to the leadership of Haig goes on to say that John Charteris was being a sycophant to Haig and although he was an”incredibly bad” head of intelligence, Haig favoured him because he was conservative with the truth and “always hidden bad news, or put it in an agreeable light. This is backed up by Basic Sir Wayne Marshall-Cornwall who said that “One of the problems of Haig’s nature was that he reliable too totally some of his immediate subordinates”.
This is maintained the History Learning Site who says that “Haig had very little time for new military ideas” and “was rich in the ways that he knew-conventional tactics”. His history like a cavalry commander enforces this quote of Haig staying with what this individual knew finest and an inability to hear new concepts or react to a changing situation-essential features of a cavalry commander. Even more criticism to Haig’s lack of ability to listen to new ideas has by Liddell Hart if he states that Haig “failed” in his poor “receptivity of ideas”.
Yet , some people keep the view that Haig and the other generals in The Wonderful War had been receptive to new ideas and performed change strategies. The LABELLISE BASSE CONSOMMATION History site says that “it can be not true, like a think, that British Officers and soldiers simply stared uncomprehendingly with the barbed line and trenches”, “in reality, the European Front was a hotbed of innovation since the United kingdom and their allies and opponents experimented with new approaches”. Whilst not directly talking about Haig, this kind of does signify although Haig may not have been the most fresh leader, despite this view it would not impact on the experimenting of recent ideas that took place in the Army.
Robert Hone would agree with this evaluation of Haig when he wrote “the fact is that British strategies developed noticeably during the war”. The disastrous first time of the Battle of the Somme resulted in billions of15506 analysis and blame placed on the event with mixed interpretations. With 19, 240 troops being murdered on the initially day only it was one of the costly fights in the good warfare. The look and executing of the challenge of Somme by Discipline Marshal Haig has also been put through criticism and evaluation.
While Commander in Chief in the British Military, Haig is liable for the welfare and basic safety of all British Soldiers which has generally led to the vast critique of Haig regardless of Haig’s direct actions. A Struggle of the Somme timeline compiled by gommecourt. company. uk says that on the 23rd January 1916 whilst preparing for the preliminary episodes on a 20, 000 yard front for the Somme to commence on 20th The spring, General Paul Jaques Cesaire Joffre, Commander in Primary of the French Army recommended to Haig “wearing down attacks before the main joint offensive starting on 20th April as well as the other in-may. ” Nevertheless , the source procedes say that “Haig rejects the plan”. While this may not be an incredibly surprising offer it does present a stressing situation.
Dennis Wheatley who also served throughout the Great Battle wrote that “He (Haig) had a grounded dislike in the French and was not a second rate standard. It presents an extremely having to worry possibility that Haig’s personal feelings and attitudes would have led to poor decisions as well as the loss of a large number of innocent lives. The rejection of the People from france plan is likewise a further sort of both his decisive leadership and his inability to listen to guidance and recommendations.
This also shows that Haig’s planning of attacks happen to be of an really dictatorial characteristics with a good sense that his traditions of leadership should be withheld regardless of any interventions. Later on in this timeline, Haig responses to Joffre again in 10th Apr 1916 to again reject another of his suggestions and on similar day, Haig received a revised strategy from Rawlinson suggesting a “long cannon perpetration rather than Haig’s recommended hurricane bombardment”.
Communication during Haig’s organizing of the Challenge of the Somme has also been being doubted after “GHQ writes to Rawlinson that “it was not clear whether his strike or regarding the Second Army at Messines would start first” “. Both marketing and sales communications and Haig’s decisions had been disputed through the timeline of events, setting up a picture of the dictatorial, exclusive ruler whom wanted to program the British attacks on his own, using classic methods and without any assistance, information or perhaps ideas. PW Turner and RH Haigh wrote which the “planning with the Somme campaign was ham-fisted and clumsy.
The mistake for the failure of all of the tactical planning need to fall upon Haig. ” They keep the view that the failure in planning for the Somme was not due to marketing communications or inappropriate decisions but of nationwide and personal pleasure and that Haig and his officers “must have some spectacular win to demonstrate how right they were”. The historians conclude that “Haig guaranteed victory and failed”. This kind of account holds the view that Haig was fulfilling his role of winning the war. Having been a traditional innovator in the sense that he was presented an order (to earn the war) and having been to finish that process at what ever cost.
Matn Gilbert gave a somewhat more good view towards the plan that Haig drew up. Gilbert believed that Haig produced a logical intend to “wear out the enemy and exhaust his reserves” and then prepare for a “decisive harm made with the purpose of piercing the enemy lines”. Gilbert the goes on to explain how Haig elaborated and made it extremely clear it turned out to be a “decisive account” similar to his leadership.
Haig’s strategy went on to spell out that “once the Germans had been worn down and used up their reserves-but not until then-a “mass of troops” would be thrown in “at several points where the Enemy offers show him self to be weak” with the certain objective “to break through and get victory” “. Gilbert’s perspective of Haig’s planning features an optimistic plan by Haig with clear and rational objectives. Norman Stone will abide by Gilbert that Haig’s program was rational but points out that Haig’s information and intelligence in the Somme was flawed. Stone explains how “Haig nonetheless imagined which the German series could be breached and cavalry could dump through the distance, but it might have been poured more effectively elsewhere”.
Rock simply points out that the renforcement of the The german language line in 1914 along ridges “allowed their weapons a greater advantage” and offered them the main advantage of “earth less likely to turn into mud”. Stone concludes that “the many Haig can do would be to take all those ridges. Although the Brittish conflict industry was rapidly broadening to features able to make thousands of pistols and an incredible number of shells capable of launch a bombardment “Haig did not trust his men’s capacity, and Hereford depended on bashing bombardment”. Rock points out that he believed this was most likely the error in the planning with the Somme.
Following the catastrophic first day of the battle, inquiries were being mentioned why to keep with the fight, why should Haig risk another 20, 1000 British lives? Martin Gilbert says that “the Germans knew which the British will not give up”. It was area of the British soul and would not honour the 20, 000 already murdered to simply stop. It also didn’t comply with Haig’s determination to fulfil his task of winning the war.
Concerns regarding the preparing of the fight also arose- why was the wire not cut? So why were the Germans still alive after such large bombardment? Was it a great British inability of a German born success and who will need to ultimately be blamed to get the deaths of so many innocent soldiers? Some people just like Desmond Morton believe that figures such as Ruben Carteris who was head of intelligence was “incredibly bad” and sycophant nature of his marriage with Haig led to completely wrong predictions that formed Haig’s plans.
The overestimated outcomes of the English bombardment simply by British officers is extremely very clear by Martin Gilbert’s information of what British soldiers had to take and the actual were planning on. They transported ” a rifle with fixed bayonet, between 170 and 220 rounds of small hands, two grenades, a waterproof cape(although it was a lovely summers day), two sandbags, a metallic helmet, two gas head gear, a pair of google against rip gas, an initial aid discipline dressing and iodine, water-proof groundsheet, filled water bottle, haversack, clutter tin, hand towel, shaving kit, extra socks, message publication, uneaten ration, extra mozzarella cheese, one preserved and one particular iron bout.
In addition 40% would bring shovels and 10% could carry picks and one particular battalion was handed a tin of grey paint every. This ended in about sixty-six pounds of kit. Historian Basic Edmonds wrote “the pounds of this tools made it “difficult t get out of a trench, impossible to move much more rapidly than a slow walk as well as to rise and lie down quickly” Historian Peter Liddle will abide by this bottom line adding ” thousands of men offering and so bulky and slow-moving a target will crumple towards the ground quickly enough but would not climb at all, never mind quickly” Furthermore, a prepared stun approach was used to explode mines before German trenches two moments before the attack but this kind of resulted in craters being formed allowing the Germans to occupy these kinds of craters, set up machine firearms and deliver devastating fire upon the British Army.
The overestimation of the achievement of the bombardment by Haig resulted in the false anticipations of British soldiers to simply walk across no-mans land and create first the end of the Great Warfare. This is obvious in Martin Gilbert’s huge of issued equipment-40% of men taken a spade obviously intended for digging ditches, 2 sandbags each to shield their trenches, rations and groundsheets to be able to stop over night during their very long advance. If the British generals had effectively estimated the effects if the bombardment, British troops would not have become over the top and 20, 500 lives might have been spared.
Privately, I believe the original failure of the battle from the Somme was down to the leadership and intelligence from the British officers. Soldiers dependable them for the correct data that would result in the overall achievement of the battle-in reality false predictions led to the slaughter of 1000s of innocent lives. Haig’s extension of the challenge led to the monumental and historical launch of the reservoir and the ultimate victory over the Germans. The look of the offence in Passchendaele was looked at by Stone to have “made sense” that Haig wanted to advance in Flanders.
Natural stone explains the fact that German placement was good with elevation, the Messines ridge and could fire in Ypres from your side. In addition, it allowed the British to “deal with” the boat base for Zeebrugge”. Natural stone believed that the British military services was quite strong with “millions of shells and extensive experience with the type of bombardment which may loosen the defence”. The condition of the normal water table by Passchendaele led to near particular considerable amounts of mud whenever it rained or was churned up by layer. Although final success occurred following the surge of the Messines ridge on 7th Summer the initial success “lured” the generals “into disaster” Tragedy arose once “Haig plonked away the advantage”.
Natural stone says that “there was an extraordinary period before the following British attack…. during which the German defences were strengthened” and allowed the Germans to install “pill boxes” by which “heavy machine-guns were placed”. Therefore , it might be clear that the initial planning of Passchendaele was comprehensive and proved a huge achievement but the resulting actions by Haig resulted in a catastrophic German recurring as a direct consequence in the leadership of Haig. The 21st March 1918 saw a large A language like german bombardment beginning at 5: 40 am and held up until 9: 40 evening.
It triggered a million covers being terminated and a British retreat within the old Somme battlefield for the French town of Amiens. Later back in when German reserves were disrupted, Grettle Stone identifies how Rawlinson, Monash and Currie were required to persuade Haig “to certainly not persist while using attack further than a few days”. J Rickard wrote that during the preparing of the Battle of Amiens, “Haig had directed General Rawlinson, to get ready for a great attack for the salient”.
This individual goes on to make clear that “Rawlinson developed an idea fro an army tank battle. Rawlinson had a multi-national army with American, Australian, Canadian and British divisions”. Interestingly, “Haig was also given power over the French First Army”. However , “Haig designed a second harm further absolutely nothing, using the Third Army. The goal of this assault known as the battle of Bapaume, was to push the Germans back to the queue of the somme.
This harm began n 21 August…. the British advance required the Germans to retreat to the Somme. The fight of Amiens gives one of times when Haig’s leadership proved to be successful. Although Haig used the same ways of leadership when he did with the Somme and Passchendaele, the decisive, stubborn approach was needed right here to drive the Germans backside at a time if the German defence was at its weakest, an ideal conditions for the leadership of Haig. The Nationwide Archives identify how “the final German born assault which usually started in the Spring of 1918 incredibly nearly prevailed.
The final German assault, which culminated in the Spring of 1918, very nearly been successful. American makes were essential in having the line however it was the United kingdom who had taken the lion’s share of territory and prisoners, certainly in part because of Haig’s nonetheless inspiring leadership”. However , inquiries have now been asked whether or not Haig almost settled for any compromise together with the Germans. Chip Allen had written for the Daily Telegraph that”Haig didn’t realise just how weak A language like german forces were towards the end and planned to settle for a compromise, according to Dr J G Harris, mature lecturer in War Research at the Royal Military Schools Sandhurst.
Dr Harris explained: “He desired to offer the Germans very, extremely, easy ceasefire terms in late 1918. “That could have left Germany having its armed forces, which include its artillery, and its comarcal gains in Eastern Europe intact. ” The end of World War One upon 11th November 1818 was a result of many factors that every came together. The arrival of fresh troops from America in the summer of 1918 provided the sibling forces an extremely large advantage. History online explains just how ” The German leader Erich Ludendorff (right) was obviously a brilliant military commander together won important victories above Russia in 1917 that led to the Russian drawback from the warfare.
In 1918 he announced that if Australia was to succeed the warfare then the allies had to be defeated on the Western Front ahead of the arrival of yankee troops. ” The United kingdom Naval Blockade led to meals shortages in Germany and subsequent protests on the roads of Berlin. October 1918 saw the resignation of German leader Ludendorff and a nautico mutiny. Kaiser Wilhelm II then abdicated on November 8th 1918 and a great armistice was signed in November eleventh 1918. The controversial leadership of Discipline Marshal Haig throughout the Great War is usually subject to a wide variety of views and opinions by simply different historians, making an educated assessment on his leadership is quite challenging.
However , I do assume that the famous catastrophic initial day in the Somme was down to poor intelligence, estimations and overestimation. Men were sent to their particular deaths in appalling conditions whilst I actually do not think that Haig was solely at fault, I do think that his distinctive leadership style was not suited to the planning with the Somme as commander in chief this individual does have general responsibility pertaining to the safety and wellbeing of all men in the Army. Nevertheless , his management style installed the circumstances with the final season of the wonderful war.
1918 saw circumstances requiring decisive, quick and dictatorial actions at a time when ever German defences were poor and quick advancements would have to be made. Haig played a really important role in the final 12 months which in the end led to of that ilk victory along with the help of the new American military. In Conclusion, In my opinion that Field Marshal Haig had an incredibly unique management style that just fitted the ultimate phases from the war. The shortcoming to listen to new ideas and dictatorial design during the Challenges of Somme and Passchendaele I believe led to the deaths of hundreds and hundreds of innocent soldiers. Poor cleverness also written for the huge disaster in the first day time of the Somme.
Whilst Haig has a responsibility to take responsibility forthe deaths of Uk soldiers I certainly believe that a number of elements contribute to both successes and failures with the Great Conflict and no one person or factor may take overall responsibility.