Was general haig a donkey leading lions

The attack intensified for the next four months until there was a danger that Verdun would fall and the Germans would break through the French lines. The Third Battle of Ypres, better known as Paschendaele, began at No one denies that the British Expeditionary Force BEF had a bloody learning curve, or that generals made mistakes that had catastrophic consequences.

The self-imposed delay gave the Turks the chance to recover and bring in reinforcements of their own. In a surprise attack, massed artillery opened up in a brief but devastating bombardment, targeting German gun batteries and other key positions. In World War Two, armoured vehicles were used for this purpose, but the tanks of Great War vintage were simply not up to the job.

He now issued his famous order of the day: Later, Strachan, in reviewing Aspects of the British experience of the First World War edited by Michael Howard, observed that "In the study of the First World War in particular, the divide between professionals and amateurs has never been firmly fixed".

Meanwhile in Germany it was being reported that the stalemate on the Western Front had been broken and that the war was as good as won.

Amiens demonstrated the extent of the military revolution that occurred on the Western Front between and Townshend lived out the rest of the war as a prisoner in relative comfort. The very lions had lost their manes.

With the French still unwilling to commit troops as long as Paris remained under threat, Haig again appealed to General Pershing for support but he continued to insist that the Americans would only fight as an independent army under American command and it was only under intense political pressure and faced with the prospect that the Allies might lose the war before America could become fully engaged that he at last yielded and some American formations were released to stiffen the Allied lines.

Britain and France thought they could take advantage of a weakened enemy. In Februarythe Germans attacked the French fortress of Verdun. They died suffering from the beastly attitudes of the public towards our father.

Indeed so rapid had been the German advance that Paris now came under bombardment. But the Germans soon emerged from their trenches and the advancing British troops were to become easy prey to the devastating fire of their machine guns.

To conduct a battle of attrition where the British lost more men than the enemy is hardly good generalship! By it had expanded enormously, taking in a mass of inexperienced civilian volunteers. Haig knew, as indeed did Ludendorff, that the key to victory was the town of Amiens, a major railway junction and supply depot where the British and French Armies met.

Many recruits to the army put on weight as a result of good food and pay. This battle had such a huge impact on Britain because Britain had never fought in a war like this before. The trouble was it took only one heavy bombardment or one attack on a heavily defended position and a whole street or village lost its young men.

The British soon began to experiment with new tactics and weapons, although it took until to develop successful methods that combined artillery and infantry attacks. The attack failed to achieve any of its objectives, and more than 11, British soldiers were killed or wounded — many of them barely out of their own trenches.

They were incompetent and unimaginative. The Allies had long planned a major offensive on the Western Front in the Somme area of Flanders but the German assault on the French fortress town of Verdun in February had increased its urgency and the Somme offensive would now have to be brought forward as a desperately required diversionary attack to relieve the pressure on the hard pushed French.

General Foch was determined to take advantage of the disarray in German ranks and he ordered an immediate counter-attack advancing from the town of Amiens.The question that most people argue was General Haig a ‘Butcher of the Somme’ Was he a ‘Donkey leading lions.

Did General Haig Deserve the Title “butcher of the Somme”?

Or finally, was he a ‘War Hero’ A man put under and enormous amount of pressure who which stayed strong and helped win the war?/5(1). Apr 23,  · A major mistake at 3rd Ypres was Haig's appointment of Gough, instead of Plumer, as the general in command of the first stage of the battle.

However Haig was not a Donkey, defining the term as a stupid, uncaring man who used his men as pawns, regardless of whether they lived or died. "Lions led by donkeys" is a phrase popularly used to describe the British infantry of the First World War and to blame the generals who led them. The contention is that the brave soldiers (lions) were sent to their deaths by incompetent and indifferent leaders (donkeys).


The Western Front: Lions Led by Donkeys?

Sir General Haig was in charge of the British at the time. People think that Haig should be remembered as the “butcher of the Somme” because he sent thousands of British soldiers to their deaths. Some people thought that Haig was a donkey leading lions. 1 Lions Led By Donkeys? This is an article by Professor Peter Simkin, challenging the idea that Great War generals were incompetent.

2 Lions Led By Donkeys? This is a similar article to the one above and is by Dr Gary Sheffield, another leading WW1 historian. Mar 10,  · The generals. Douglas Haig was 'brilliant to the top of his Army boots'.

Douglas Haig – a summary

David Lloyd George's view sums up the attitude of many people towards Haig .

Was general haig a donkey leading lions
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