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Haig, Douglas Haig, 1st Earl

Douglas Haig Haig, 1st Earl, 1861–1928, British field marshal. He saw active service in Sudan (1898) and in the South African War (1899–1902) and upon the outbreak of World War I (1914) was given command of the 1st Army Corps in France. In Dec., 1915, he became commander in chief of the British expeditionary force. Under pressure from the French commander, Joseph Joffre, he undertook the battle of the Somme (July–Nov., 1916), which resulted in very heavy casualties and little territorial gain. The British prime minister, David Lloyd George, constantly antagonistic to Haig and unreceptive to his requests from the field, exacerbated the situation by putting the British troops under the orders of the French commander in 1917. Haig thus conducted the Passchendaele campaign (July–Nov., 1917; see Ypres, battles of) under orders from Gen. Robert Nivelle, while the French army was being reorganized after a mutiny. Haig was under continual French pressure to take over more of the front, and until the joint command of himself and Gen. Ferdinand Foch was instituted (1918), the strategy and conduct of the war were tragically mismanaged. Haig has been much criticized for the staggering casualties sustained. He was made an earl (1919) and devoted the remainder of his life to organizing the British Legion and raising funds for disabled ex-servicemen.

See his private papers, ed. by R. Blake (1952); biography by D. Cooper (2 vol., 1935–36); G. S. Duncan, Douglas Haig as I Knew Him (1967); D. Winter Haig's Command (1991); J. P. Harris, Douglas Haig and the First World War (2008).

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"Haig, Douglas Haig, 1st Earl." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Haig, Douglas Haig, 1st Earl." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/haig-douglas-haig-1st-earl

"Haig, Douglas Haig, 1st Earl." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/haig-douglas-haig-1st-earl

Haig, Sir Douglas, 1st Earl Haig

Haig, Sir Douglas, 1st Earl Haig (1861–1928). Soldier. Before 1914 Haig was recognized as one of the outstanding soldiers of his generation. In December 1915 he replaced Sir John French as commander-in-chief of the British armies in France. He fought two of the most costly and controversial battles in British history, the Somme (1916) and third Ypres (Passchendaele, 1917), because he was convinced that the German army would run out of soldiers if he continued to attack. His reputation never recovered from the casualties his own army suffered and these battles have overshadowed the far more successful campaign he waged between August and November 1918 which finally broke the German army's resistance. Haig remains a figure of great controversy. Despite attempts by some historians to portray him as an ‘educated soldier’, his popular image remains that of a callous butcher. In reality, he was a man of limited professional ability, sustained by a deep religious faith.

David French

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"Haig, Sir Douglas, 1st Earl Haig." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Haig, Sir Douglas, 1st Earl Haig." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/haig-sir-douglas-1st-earl-haig

"Haig, Sir Douglas, 1st Earl Haig." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved September 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/haig-sir-douglas-1st-earl-haig