Biography of General Douglas Haig

Topics: World War I, Battle of the Somme, Battle of Passchendaele Pages: 2 (522 words) Published: December 30, 2013

General Douglas Haig

General Haig was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 19, 1861. He was the 11th child; his dad was a whiskey distiller. He graduated from the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. When he first joined the war efforts, he started off as an officer. Then he worked his way up and successfully became the commander of the British 1st Army by 1918. He retired in 1921, and then he died of a heart attack in London on Jan. 28, 1928.

Despite his amazing reputation, he was human. During World War 1 general Haig had several failures and some were more deadly than the others. One of the worst ones was when he sent a lot of troops to an unsuccessful offensive on the Somme River in July–November 1916, which lead to 420,000 British casualties. The Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles that happened in World War 1 and it was the bloodiest war that happened. His strategy of attrition (“kill more Germans”) also resulted in enormous numbers of British casualties.

Yet another flawed plan had been hatched by General Haig in an attempt to defeat the Germans on the French and Belgian Flanders in 1917. This attack was also known as the Third Battle of Ypres. It was a significant attack and a rather large one for it was estimated that 4.5 million shells were fired from 3,000 guns from the British side. This attack resulted in huge amounts of casualties for the British. Haig’s original plan for this attack was to push across the Gheluvelt Plateau, take the village of Passchendaele, and then break through to open country. But his attack was not successful and the heavy rain that happened generally slowed the attack down. The thick mud in the trenches clogged up rifles and immobilised tanks. Also the fact that the drainage systems there were mainly destroyed due to the bombing that took place there made everything worse. It was believed that the third Ypres offensive was mixed with his personal feelings.

General Haig wanted to achieve a British...
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