Haig Statue Essay

830 Words Feb 14th, 2012 4 Pages
Does Field Marshall Haig deserve a statue in Whitehall?

A statue of Field Marshall Haig was crafted in 1936; a total of eighteen years after the ‘Great War’ had ended. This caused controversy with people across Britain, as some believed that his ‘leadership skills’ were lacking and that his ‘crucial decisions’ were not the right ones. But others say that although there were huge losses, these were the necessary decisions needed to win such an aggressive war. I will assess both arguments of Historians.

Firstly, there is evidence to say that Haig was a great leader and commander and therefore does deserve to have a commemorative statue be built in his honour. Some Historians believe that although Haig’s military plans resulted in huge
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Haig was extremely ‘shrewd’ and ‘ambitious’ and that throughout the war, paired with his controversial decisions showed he had great self-confidence. But consequently this led to his one of his ‘greatest failures’ and he was too determined and too optimistic. Due to these characteristics, he continually believed that sending as many troops charging at the enemy would work. He displayed these properties also in the Battle of the Somme, but on a ‘larger scale.’ Haig was extremely religious, and on his belief that ‘God had chosen him to fulfil the duty’, he was also quite ‘arrogant’ – and this proved show his inability to recognize ‘defeat.’

At wartime, reports coming from the front line and the trenches were most probably biased, and this lead to General Haig’s false belief in success – accordingly he continued to send troops over the top, in flight against the enemy, and due to this, Haig became disliked by the general British Public. For example, written in December 1916 (unaware of the next year of war). Haig wrote with pleasure, “ A considerable proportion of the German Soldiers are now practically beaten men, ready to surrender if they could” and that they were ‘thoroughly tired of war.’ And he believed that the Germans had more casualties, and that this was an advantage, but over time, it showed it wasn’t.

Evidence shows that Haig’s negligence was exceeded as he never went to the trenches, and modern day Historians complain that he didn’t know what he was

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