Haig was perfectly willing to accept innovations on the battlefield, including: He gave the go-ahead for Henry Rawlinson to plan and prepare the Amiens Offensive, which broke the back of the German Army in Augustand Haig commanded the Hundred Days Offensive, which was a highly successful piece of generalship. Haig's primary fault as a general is that he learned the wrong lesson from the First Battle of Ypres In that battle, the Germans were attacking British positions and outnumbered the defenderswith more artillery.
War Office[ edit ] The Boer War had exposed Britain's lack of a general staff and modern reserve army. In the new Liberal Government DecemberRichard HaldaneSecretary of State for Warimplemented the Esher recommendations accepted in principle by the outgoing Conservative government. Although both men later claimed that the reforms had been to prepare Britain for continental war, they did not create a continental-sized army and it would be truer to say that they created a small professional army within a budget, with conscription politically impossible despite Lord Roberts' campaigning.
Haig was intolerant of what he regarded as old-fashioned opinion and not good at negotiating with strangers.
Haig had wanted a reserve ofmen, but Haldane settled for a more realisticAs an intimate of Haldane Haig was able to ensure high priority for cavalry, less for artillery, contrary to the advice of Lord Roberts now retired as Commander-in-Chief whose views were no longer very welcome because his campaign for conscription had made life hard for Haldane.
Haig's records of his time supervising artillery exercises show little interest in technical matters aim, range, accuracy etc.
He supervised publication of "Field Service Regulations", which was later very useful in expanding the BEF in WW1, although it still stressed the importance of cavalry charging with sword and lance as well as fighting dismounted.
At this time he was also completing a separate work, "Cavalry Studies" on which topic Haig's admiring biographer James Marshall-Cornwall later wrote that he was "not … among the prophets" and devoting much time to cavalry exercises.
Haig, who had been knighted for his work at the War Office, was promoted to lieutenant-general in November A plan he envisaged for mobilising the Indian army to send to Europe in the event of war there was vetoed by Viceroy Lord Hardingein the event an Indian Corps would serve on the Western Front early in the conflict, and Indian troops were also used in comparatively small formations the Middle East.
At dinner afterwards Haig abandoned his prepared text, and although he wrote that his remarks were "well received" Charteris recorded that they were "unintelligible and unbearably dull" and that the visiting dignitaries fell asleep. Haig's poor public speaking skills aside, the manoeuvres were thought to have shown the reformed army efficient.
Haig stressed that the army's duty was to keep the peace and urged his officers not to dabble in politics. Sir John French was forced to resign as CIGS, after having made the error of putting in writing a promise that officers would not be required to coerce Ulster; Haig respected Hubert Gough's principled stand but felt French had allowed himself to be used as a political tool by H.
In a letter to Haldane 4 AugustHaig predicted that the war would last for months if not years; Haig wanted Haldane to return to the War Office Asquith had been holding the job since the resignation of Seeley during the Curragh Affair — it was given to Kitchener and delay sending the BEF to France until the Territorial Army had been mobilised and incorporated.
There were no other contingency plans — Haig and Kitchener proposed that the BEF would be better positioned to counter-attack in Amiens. Sir John French suggested landing at Antwerpwhich was vetoed by Winston Churchill as the Royal Navy could not guarantee safe passage.
A critical biographer writes that Haig was "more clear-sighted than many of his colleagues". Haig was so angry at this claim that he asked Cabinet Secretary Maurice Hankey to correct French's "inaccuracies". However Haig also rewrote his diary from this period, possibly to show himself in a better light and French in a poor one.
The original manuscript diary for early August does not survive but there is no positive evidence that it was destroyed; and it has been pointed out that it is just as likely that the extant typed version was prepared from dictation or notes now lost.
Haig predicted that the war would last several years and that an army of a million men, trained by officers and NCOs withdrawn from the BEF, would be needed. He later claimed that these doubts had gone back to the Boer War but there appears to have been an element of later embellishment about this; Haig who had criticised Kitchener, Roberts and others had in fact praised French during the Boer War and had welcomed his appointment as CIGS in Monro commanding 2nd DivisionBrigadier-General J.Douglas Haig () was a top British military leader during World War I.
A graduate of the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, Haig fought in the Sudan War and the South African War. Named. Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig commanded the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from to Instead, he claimed to have sought decisive victory in campaigns where mistaken leadership, bad weather, or adverse tactical conditions prevented it and saw, even in unsuccessful attacks, the gradual erosion of German fighting power.
Published: Tue, 06 Jun The issue of Douglas Haig’s role as a general on the Western Front, during the Battle of the Somme in , has been thoroughly questioned by many historians to date. Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, KT, GCB, OM, "Sir Douglas is regarded with affection in the army, who thought him too willing to praise Haig that "subsequent study of the war has led me to think a good deal better of Haig than I did at the time.
It is absolutely certain there was no one who could have taken his place.". Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, KT, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCIE (/ h eɪ ɡ /; 19 June – 29 January ) was a senior officer of the British Army.
During the First World War he commanded the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Western Front from late until the end of the war. 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.