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Modern History

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Submitted By sheridandenley
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Modern history
Evaluate the effectiveness of British leadership in developing strategies and tactics to break the stalemate on the western front.
Traditional historic views have always painted a picture of a pompous, out of touch and arrogant Sir Douglas Haig, Commander in Chief of the British Military forces. Over the years revisionist historians have moved to change this perspective putting forward new arguments that show him in a more positive light. This presentation will discuss those differing views, using the battle of the Somme and Paschaendale to support my findings.
Out of all the british general Sir Douglas Haig produced the most amount of controversy. Some Traditional views of Haig were that he was unaware of the demands of traditional warfare, he was out of touch of the battle front, and he led his army from his command post in Britain. It was seen that Haig thought of airplanes and tanks as only accessories to man and horse and that he deemed extreme loss of lives as a necessity of war showing a sort of disregard for a soldier’s life. Many people in history and historians themselves have not attempted to hide their distain for Haig. British Prime Minister David Lloyd George was a major example of this he thought that he was egotistic and complacent to human losses. D. winter said that rank was governed by patronage rather than skill. Jay Murray Winter, a history professor at Yale said in his book the experiences of WW1, ‘the rigidity of the British plan was the source of its failure’. As opposed to the revisionist view which included that by the end of the war Britain had the most mechanised army in the world. That Haig visited base camps hospitals. That he had a massive administrative job and he ensured that his men had the right tools for the job. John Buchan said ‘He was patient, sober, temperate and unshakeable’. His methods were not very liked...

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