Haig As A Leader Essay

2384 words - 10 pages

Haig As a Leader I think Haig was a bad leader who made many critical mistakes
during the battle of Passchendaele. From looking at the sources I can
see many bad views of Haig as a war leader, although some good views
can also be detected. In source A it is evident that Haig always
ensured that his army was well equipped by asking the War Cabinet for
more ammunition. I also know that Haig was one of the first generals
to pay attention to aerial intelligence, this was very good for
Britain as it put them at an advantage over many countries. Also from
my studies I have found out that Haig had always managed to hold enemy
advances back. It is also know that Haig had good leadership qualities
being strong willed and often ruthless. Haig was also committed when
attacking by always going out in all out attack. The reputation of
Haig and the fact that his chain of command was very much under his
control was also a factor that can be said to make Haig a good war
leader. All these reasons and the fact that Haig was also very
religious to some made Haig a good war leader. This is because he was
willing to sacrifice the lives of his men and himself for the cause in
which he believed in. however there are many factors that may make
Haig a bad war leader. For example source b, an extract from an
account of the battle of Passchendaele published in 1931 and written
by General Gough. This is a primary source as general Gough was a
British general during the battle. The source tells of how Haig
ignored the advice from others, including knowledgeable commanders.
The source says ' I informed the commander in chief that success was
not possible, or would be too costly, under such conditions, and
advised that the attack should now be abandoned'. This extract from
the source shows that Haig not only didn't take people's advice but
also was misinformed about the conditions of Passchendaele. From prior
knowledge I can support the theory that Haig had little knowledge of
the conditions his forces were involved in. I know this as although
Haig had total control over his chain of command, many of the
Intelligence officers were too scared were scared to tell him the
truth when they were being defeated. I also have knowledge from the
videos and books that not all the generals followed Haig's
instructions. For example General Elliot refused to attack in poor
weather conditions

In source D an extract from the diary of an important New Zealand
Officer whose men fought in the battle, criticism is strong towards
Haig. The source says, "My opinion is that the generals who direct
these battle do not know of the conditions, mud, cold, rain and lack
of shelter for the men". This extract from source D is from a reliable

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