Kitchener returned to London 3 Dec and at a meeting with Haig that day, told him that he was to recommend to Asquith that Haig replace French. John French had presided over the B. Germany did not have an America to come to its assistance.
This may have made Rawlinson reluctant to stand up to Haig thereafter.
Joffre was not pleased and called another conference 11 July to urge a British attack on Loos. In late and early the Germans moved troops from Russia to the Western Front and began preparing for their own great offensive against a British army that had been so badly mauled it was compelled to reduce the number of battalions in a division from 13 to Britain was no longer an imperial power, and the old Edwardian certainties had crumbled.
Haig was a Victorian gentleman Field marshal haig hero or butcher standards and a view of life that few now share. The cavalry, of course, would carry the day.
Relations between Allies are rarely those of complete trust. Haig was very much aware of the strengths of the enemy, the formidable Imperial German Army and as a result adopted controversial and extremely agressive tactics against them.
The British and the French had squandered millions of men in futile offenses. He had obtained every qualification, gained every experience and served in every appointment requisite for the General Command.
Kitchener met with Haig first and then with French. Even if successes were made and the Germans driven back in places their massively superior defensive positions would have been intact and they would have repelled the Allies on open ground, all of that would have resulted in even higher casualties.
However, there may have been no terrain along the entire plus miles of the Western Front less suited to tank warfare than the wet, low-lying ground of Flanders. Haig wanted to delay until 15 August, to allow for more training and more artillery to be available.
With Napoleon, for example, we think imagination. After the war, Haig became something of an awkward figure for the British government. The man had a thing for horses, which is understandable in one who had been a cavalry officer during the infancy of the internal combustion engine.
If his strictures on the French were excessive, they were nevertheless milder than what Alanbrooke had to say in his diaries about the Americans in World War II. Lloyd George and Haig, unfortunately, were chalk and cheese.
The two corps were supposed to meet at Le Cateau but I Corps under Haig were stopped at Landreciesleaving a large gap between the two corps. His inarticulacy could be mistaken for callousness; his devoted care after the war for those who had served in his Army was even interpreted as guilt.
In his view he had done what was necessary to win the war. Armed neutrality was the best they achieved. Haig was impressed and immediately ordered a thousand more. Strategically, Haig got it right. This enables the reader to understand what manner of man he was; to appreciate also the work he did for the care of ex-soldiers.
Haig had wanted a reserve ofmen, but Haldane settled for a more realisticFrench and Haig would have preferred to renew the attack at Aubers Ridge. At the end of the war, after all, the army he commanded—and had almost ruined—was, if not victorious, then plainly on the winning side.
Subsequent relations between the two men were not to be so cordial. This was just in time, as it later turned out that Petain at Verdun was warning the French government that the "game was up" unless the British attacked.
Attrition is never an inspired strategy and is usually the refuge of a commander who cannot come up with anything better. Haig attended a Cabinet meeting in London 15 April where the politicians were more concerned with the political crisis over the introduction of conscription, which could bring down the government and Haig recorded that Asquith attended the meeting dressed for golf and clearly keen to get away for the weekend.
French also communicated with Conservative leaders and to David Lloyd George who now became Minister of Munitions in the new coalition government. So he felt contempt for the politicians, and they for him. We are, naturally, not intrigued by unsuccessful generals any more than we like to read about ballplayers who hit.- Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig: War hero or butcher of the Somme.
Many historians see the Somme as one of, if not the most, significant events of the war. The devastating casualties and deaths of the war left thousands without their loved ones, a whole generation was lost at the Somme.
May 18, · One of the greatest debates for almost a century now has involved the conduct of the British Commander-in-Chief during the Great War, Field Marshal Sir. Douglas Haig. Many commentators have referred to Haig as a 'butcher' who sent hundreds of thousands of men unnecessarily to their deaths.
Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig: War hero or butcher of the Somme? Many historians see the Somme as one of, if not the most, significant events of the war. The devastating casualties and deaths of the war left thousands without their loved ones, a whole generation was lost at the Somme.
Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, chief of staff of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and architect of the battle, evidently agreed. On the day after the debacle, stating that the enemy “has undoubtedly been shaken and has few reserves in hand,” he discussed with subordinates methods for continuing the offensive.
When Field-Marshal Earl Haig died in it was estimated that at least one million people watched the funeral procession pass through the streets of London.
Douglas Haig, Britain’s First World War commander-in-chief from December to the end of the war, is remembered as the archetypal ‘donkey’ .Download