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ⓘ Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig. Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig KT GCB OM GCVO KCIE ADC was a British Army general in World War I. He was the senior comm ..




Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig
                                     

ⓘ Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig

Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig KT GCB OM GCVO KCIE ADC was a British Army general in World War I.

He was the senior commander of the British forces in France from 1915 until the end of the war. Most notably, he led them during the Battle of the Somme, the Third Battle of Ypres Passchendaele, the Spring Offensive and the final Hundred Days Offensive.

Historians have often argued over whether Haig was a good general. In the years after the war, he was popular. After his death, some historians and politicians wrote books criticising Haig. They argued he made mistakes that led to a lot of casualties among British troops, especially at the Somme and Passchendaele; he has been nicknamed Butcher Haig or the Butcher of the Somme. David Lloyd George, the Prime Minister during the later years of the war, also did not agree with Haig. One of the best known books criticising Haig was Alan Clarks book The Donkeys 1961. This is known as the lions led by donkeys view: the idea that Britain had great soldiers but bad generals.

All the same, some veterans, and academic historians have argued that Haig was a great general. For example, John Bourne notes that Haig helped the army use new weapons and technology. John Terraine argues that while the British Army lost a lot of men, this is not surprising given the size of the fighting, and other countries lost far more. Likewise, Gordon Corrigan argues that as a percentage of the population, Britain lost half as many people in the war as France and Germany.