General Haig's Background and Military Experience Essay

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General Haig's Background and Military Experience

General Haig is one of the most important men in world war history, made famous for his tactics of the battle of the Somme, where thousands of soldiers died, apparently needlessly. In this question, I will be looking into Haig's life, and how it shaped him into the army leader in 1915.

[IMAGE]Text Box: Haig at private school in 1887. He is at the extreme left of the back row. Haig was born in 1862, the youngest of eleven children, to a rich family that had made their money out of whiskey. His father died when Douglas Haig was in his teens, so his mother played a crucial role in his upbringing. The death of his father and being the youngest of
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This was an élite part of the army, offering the best future prospects. It also suited his background and his enthusiasm for horses, but was largely divorced from the technological advances of the day. His duties with the Hussars took him to India for long periods between 1887 and 1895. From him joining the Hussars we can see again his love for horses, and the fact that he joined a branch for future prospects. He had obviously made a name for himself at Sandhurst and joined an appropriate part of the army. Perhaps most importantly from this, is the fact that the division had little to do with new technology. Haig was labelled the butcher of the Somme after his antiquated ideas and tactics lead to the deaths of thousands. This information suggests that this is where he started his military career, and that he was taught many of the tactics he used in the First World War.

He fought his first battle in Sudan. The first battle was bound to influence the young Haig and it was in fact the last battle with a full-scale cavalry attack. Again Haig had learnt tactics and a love of cavalry attacks due to his early experience with the army. It is beginning to show how his early time in the army made such a lasting effect on Haig.

The South African Boer War lasted from 1898 to 1902, and Haig was involved in it from 1899 as a Staff Officer. It was in South Africa that

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