|Douglas, 1st Earl Haig,|
|19 June 1861 – 29 January 1928|
|Place of birth||Edinburgh|
|Place of death||London|
|Years of service||1884-1920|
|Rank||Field Marshal (1917)|
Second Boer War,
First World War
Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, KT, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCIE, ADC (June 19, 1861 – January 29, 1928) was a British soldier and senior commander (Field Marshal) during World War I. Events 1179 - The Norwegian Battle of Kalvskinnet outside Nidaros. Year 1861 ( MDCCCLXI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 904 - Sergius III comes out of retirement to take over the papacy from the deposed Antipope Christopher. Year 1928 ( MCMXXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Edinburgh ( ˈɛdɪnb(ərə Dùn Èideann) is the Capital of Scotland and is its second largest city after Glasgow. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. Year 1884 ( MDCCCLXXXIV) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year Year 1920 ( MCMXX) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display 1920 of the Gregorian calendar Please see " Field Marshal " for other countries which use this rank Field Marshal is the highest military rank of the United Kingdom Year 1917 ( MCMXVII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year The Mahdist War was a Colonial war of the late 19th century It was fought between the Mahdist Sudanese and the Egyptian and later British See also First Boer War,, South African Wars (1879-1915 The Second Boer War ( Dutch: Tweede Boerenoorlog, Afrikaans: World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (formerly The Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath) is a British Order of chivalry founded by George The Royal Victorian Order (RVO is a Dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry in the Commonwealth realms Created by Queen Victoria The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire is an order of Chivalry founded by Victoria in 1878 The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (formerly The Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath) is a British Order of chivalry founded by George The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (formerly The Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath) is a British Order of chivalry founded by George The Royal Victorian Order (RVO is a Dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry in the Commonwealth realms Created by Queen Victoria The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an Order of chivalry associated with Scotland. The Order of Merit is a British and Commonwealth Order bestowed by the Monarch. Please see " Field Marshal " for other countries which use this rank Field Marshal is the highest military rank of the United Kingdom The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an Order of chivalry associated with Scotland. The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (formerly The Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath) is a British Order of chivalry founded by George The Order of Merit is a British and Commonwealth Order bestowed by the Monarch. The Royal Victorian Order (RVO is a Dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry in the Commonwealth realms Created by Queen Victoria The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire is an order of Chivalry founded by Victoria in 1878 An aide-de-camp ( French for camp assistant) is a personal assistant secretary or Adjutant to a person of high rank usually a senior military officer Events 1179 - The Norwegian Battle of Kalvskinnet outside Nidaros. Year 1861 ( MDCCCLXI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 904 - Sergius III comes out of retirement to take over the papacy from the deposed Antipope Christopher. Year 1928 ( MCMXXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located For other meanings see Field Marshal (disambiguation Field marshal is a military officer rank World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All He commanded the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from 1915 to the end of the War. The British Expeditionary Force ( BEF) was the British army sent to the Western Front in France and Belgium on the outbreak of Most notably he was commander during the Battle of the Somme, the 3rd Battle of Ypres and the series of victories leading to the German surrender in 1918. The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, fought from July to November 1916 was among the largest battles of the First World War "Passchendaele" redirects here For the 2008 film by that name see Passchendaele (film The 1917 Battle of Passchendaele, also known as
Haig was born in Edinburgh, the son of John Haig, who was head of the family's successful Haig & Haig whisky distillery. Edinburgh ( ˈɛdɪnb(ərə Dùn Èideann) is the Capital of Scotland and is its second largest city after Glasgow. Whisky (uisge-beatha or whiskey (uisce beatha or fuisce) refers to a broad category of Alcoholic beverages that are distilled from fermented Haig attended Clifton College and unusually for a British officer at that time attended university, studying at Brasenose College, Oxford 1880-1883. Clifton College is a Coeducational public school in Clifton Bristol, England. A university is an institution of Higher education and Research, which grants Academic degrees in a variety of subjects Brasenose College, originally Brazen Nose College (in full The King's Hall and College of Brasenose, often referred to by the abbreviation BNC He left without a degree, which was not uncommon for "gentleman" undergraduates and perhaps also as he would otherwise have been too old to enrol for officer training in the Royal Military College in Sandhurst in 1883, from which he graduated the following year. The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst ( RMAS) commonly known simply as Sandhurst, is the British Army officer initial training centre
He was then granted a special nomination to the British Military Staff College, despite being colour-blind. Color blindness, a Color vision deficiency is the inability to perceive differences between some of the Colors that others can distinguish He was commissioned into the 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars the following year and promoted to lieutenant shortly afterwards
Haig first saw overseas service in India, in 1887, where he was appointed as the regiment's adjutant in 1888, giving Haig his first administrative experience. The 7th Queen's Own Hussars was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first formed in 1690 Lieutenant (abbreviated Lt or Lieut) is a Military, Naval, Paramilitary, Fire service, Emergency medical services India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country Adjutant is a military rank or appointment In some armies it is an officer who assists a more senior officer while in other armies it is a rank which normally corresponds
He saw his first active service in Kitchener's Omdurman Campaign in 1898, where he was attached to the cavalry forces of the Egyptian Army, acting as Chief of Staff to brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Robert George Broadwood. Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener 1st Earl Kitchener, KG, KP, GCB, OM At the Battle of Omdurman ( 2 September 1898) an army commanded by the British General Sir Horatio Kitchener defeated the army of Abdullah The Cavalry (from French cavalerie) is the second oldest of the Combat Arms, and as Soldiers or Warriors who fought mounted on The Egyptian Army is the largest service branch within the Egyptian military establishment. Lieutenant Colonel ( Lieutenant-Colonel in English from the French grade 's spelling is a rank of Commissioned officer in the armies Lieutenant-General Robert George Broadwood, CB (1862 – June 21 1917) was a Cavalry officer in the British Army, attaining
He served in the Boer War in further administrative positions with the cavalry, acting first as the Deputy Assistant Adjutant General in 1899. See also First Boer War,, South African Wars (1879-1915 The Second Boer War ( Dutch: Tweede Boerenoorlog, Afrikaans: Haig was employed briefly as Chief Staff Officer to Major-General John French during the Colesburg operations, then as Assistant Adjutant General of the Cavalry Division. Major General or Major-General is a Military rank used in many countries Field Marshal John Denton Pinkstone French 1st Earl of Ypres KP, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCMG, ADC, PC ( He was mentioned in despatches four times. Mentioned in Despatches (MID is a Military award for gallantry or otherwise commendable service His service in South Africa gained him prominence and the attention of French and Kitchener, both of whom would have important roles in World War I. The Republic of South Africa (also known by other official names) is a country located at the southern tip of the continent of Africa World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All
In 1901, he became the commanding officer of the 17th Lancers, which he commanded until 1903. The 17th Lancers (Duke of Cambridge's Own was a cavalry regiment of the British Army, most famous for its participation in the Charge of the Light Brigade He was appointed Aide-de-Camp to King Edward VII in 1902, remaining in this position until 1904. An aide-de-camp ( French for camp assistant) is a personal assistant secretary or Adjutant to a person of high rank usually a senior military officer After leaving the 17th Lancers, Haig returned to India after Lord Kitchener was appointed Commander-in-Chief, India, and became Inspector-General of Cavalry. The British Commander-in-Chief in India (or Commander-in-Chief of India) was the chief military commander for the British administration In a civilian or military administration an Inspector General is a high ranking official charged with the mission to inspect and report on some bodies in their field of competency Haig's war service had earned him belated but rapid promotion: having been a captain until the relatively advanced age of thirty-eight, within five years in 1904 he had become the youngest major-general in the British Army at that time. Major General or Major-General is a Military rank used in many countries The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces.
The following year, Haig married Hon. Dorothy Vivian, a daughter of Hugh Vivian, 3rd Baron Vivian and lady-in-waiting at the court of King Edward VII; they would have four children - Alexandra (born 1907), Victoria (born 1908), George (born 1918), and Irene (born 1919). George Alexander Eugene Douglas Haig 2nd Earl Haig OBE RSA DL (born 15 March 1918) styled Viscount Dawick before 1928 Irene Astor Baroness Astor of Hever ( 7 October 1919 -2001 was the widow of Gavin Astor 2nd Baron Astor of Hever.
Haig returned to Britain in 1906 as the Director of Military Training on the General Staff at the War Office. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom from 1 January 1801 until 12 April 1927 The War Office was a former department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1963 when During this time, Haig assisted Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane in his reforms of the British Army, which was intended to prepare the army for a future European war. The position of Secretary of State for War, commonly called War Secretary, was a British Cabinet -level position first applied to Henry Dundas Richard Burdon Sanderson Haldane 1st Viscount Haldane, KT, OM, PC, FRS, FSA ( 30 July 1856 - 19 August The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. An army (from Latin Armata "act of arming" via Old French armée) in the broadest sense is the land-based Armed forces He took up the post of Director of Staff Duties in the War Office in 1907. The War Office was a former department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1963 when A second return to India came in 1909, when he was appointed as Chief of the Indian General Staff. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country He was appointed GOC Aldershot from 1912 to 1914 and Aide-de-Camp to King George V in 1914. General Officer Commanding ( GOC) is the usual title given in the armies of Commonwealth (and some other nations to a General officer who holds a command Aldershot is a town in the English County of Hampshire, located on heathland about 60 km (37 miles southwest of London.
In the Army Manoeuvres of 1912 he was decisively beaten by Sir James Grierson despite having the odds in his favour. The Army Manoeuvres of 1912 was the last exercise of its kind conducted by the British army before the outbreak of the First World War Lieutenant General Sir James Moncrieff Grierson KCB, CMG, CVO, ADC ( 27 January 1859 – 17 August Grierson died of natural causes before having a chance to command in the First World War.
Upon the outbreak of war in August 1914, Haig helped organise the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), commanded by Field Marshal John French. Field Marshal John Denton Pinkstone French 1st Earl of Ypres KP, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCMG, ADC, PC ( As planned, Haig's Aldershot command was formed into I Corps, giving him command of half of the BEF. The I Corps was a military formation, specifically a field corps headquarters of the British Army
Tensions quickly exploded between Haig and French. Haig and Lord Kitchener, who was now Secretary of State for War, clashed with French over the positioning of the BEF. The position of Secretary of State for War, commonly called War Secretary, was a British Cabinet -level position first applied to Henry Dundas French argued to the war council that it should be positioned in Belgium, where he had confidence in the country's many fortresses, while Haig and Kitchener proposed that the BEF would be better positioned to counter-attack in Amiens, stating that the BEF would have to abandon its positions in Belgium once the poorly-equipped Belgian Army collapsed, forcing the BEF into retreat with the loss of much of its supplies. In the Politics of the United Kingdom, the Cabinet is a formal body composed of the most senior government ministers chosen by the Prime Minister The Kingdom of Belgium is a Country in northwest Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters as well as those Amiens (amjɛ̃ is a city and commune in northern France, 120 km north of Paris. The Land Component (French Composante Terre, Dutch Landcomponent) formerly the Belgian Army, is the land-based service of the Belgian During a royal inspection of Aldershot, Haig had told King George V that he had "grave doubts" about French's military competence.
The BEF landed in France on 14 August and advanced into Belgium, where John French intended to meet General Lanrezac's French Fifth Army at Charleroi. Events 1183 - Taira no Munemori and the Taira clan take the young Emperor Antoku and the three sacred treasures Charles Lanrezac ( July 31, 1852 - January 18, 1925) was a distinguished General of the French army at the outbreak of The Fifth Army (Ve Armée was a famous fighting force that participated in World War I. Charleroi (Tchålerwè is the largest city and municipality of Wallonia, located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. During the advance the BEF experienced their first encounter with the Germans at Mons on 23 August. For the ancient Roman campaign see Battle of Mons Algidus. The Battle of Mons was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force Events 79 - Mount Vesuvius begins stirring on the feast day of Vulcan the Roman god of fire The Germans were bloodied in the battle but the BEF began a withdrawal after Lanzerac ordered his army into retreat exposing the BEF's right flank.
The retreats of I and II Corps had to be conducted separately because of the Mormal Forest. The Forêt de Mormal ( Forest of Mormal) is a forest in France near the Franco-Belgian border Both corps were supposed to meet at Le Cateau but I Corps under Haig got no further than Landrecies, leaving a large gap between the two corps. Le Cateau-Cambrésis is a commune in northern France, in the Nord département. Landrecies is a commune of the Nord département, in France. Landrecies is the hometown of former Tour de France Haig's reactions to his corps' skirmish with German forces at Landrecies led to him sending an exaggerated report to John French, causing French to panic. The following day 26 August, Horace Smith-Dorrien's II Corps had to make a stand in the Battle of Le Cateau unsupported by Haig. Events 1071 - Battle of Manzikert: The Seljuk Turks defeat the Byzantine Army at Manzikert. General Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien GCB, GCMG, DSO, ADC ( 26 May 1858 – 12 August The British II Corps was formed in both World War I and World War II. The Battle of Le Cateau occurred on 26 August 1914, after the British, French and Belgians retreated from the Battle of This battle further delayed Germany's advance. The French commander Joseph Joffre had ordered his forces to retreat to the Marne on 25 August, compelling the BEF to undertake a lengthy and arduous withdrawal to conform to the French movements. Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre (12 January 1852 - 3 January 1931 was a French General who was Commander-in-Chief of the French Army between Marne is a department in north-eastern France named after the Marne River which flows through the department Events 1248 - The Dutch city of Ommen receives city rights and fortification rights from Otto III the Sir John French's faltering belief in the competence of his Allies caused further indecision and led to him deciding to pull the BEF out of the war by withdrawing south of the Seine. The Seine (sɛn in French) is a slow flowing major River and commercial waterway within the regions of Île-de-France and Haute-Normandie Lord Kitchener intervened on 1 September, making a visit to dissuade French and order him to continue cooperation with Joffre's forces. Events 462 - Possible start of first Byzantine indiction cycle. The stand to defend Paris began on 5 September, in the Battle of the Marne. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city Events 1590 - Alexander Farnese 's army forces Henry IV of France to raise the siege of Paris. The First Battle of the Marne (also known as the Miracle of the Marne) was a World War I battle fought from 5 September to 12 September 1914 The BEF weren't able to participate in the battle until 9 September. Events 1000 - Battle of Svolder, Viking Age. 1379 - Treaty of Neuberg, splitting the Austrian The battle ended the following day; the German advance was defeated, prompting them to initiate a withdrawal to the Aisne that signified the abandonment of the Schlieffen Plan. Aisne (ɛn is a department in the northern part of France named after the Aisne River. For the French counter-plan see Plan XVII The Schlieffen Plan was the German General Staff 's early 20th century overall strategic
Following defensive successes at Battle of Mons and Ypres (1st Battle of Ypres), Haig was promoted to full General and in December 1914 the I Corps was expanded into the British First Army of which Haig received command. For the ancient Roman campaign see Battle of Mons Algidus. The Battle of Mons was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force Ypres ( French, generally used in English French ipʁ English ˈiːprə Ieper (official name in Dutch, pronounced /ˈiːpər/ or Ypern
In December 1915, Haig replaced French as Commander-in-Chief of the BEF, with French returning to Britain. A commander-in-chief is the Commander of a nation's Military forces or significant element of those forces Haig had been intriguing for the removal of French as commander of the BEF and had told King George V that French was "a source of great weakness to the army and no one had confidence in him any more".
From 1 July to 18 November 1916, he directed the British portion of a major Anglo-French offensive, the British offensive at the Somme. "July 1st" redirects here For the Ayumi Hamasaki song see H (song. Events 326 - The old St Peter's Basilica is consecrated 1302 - Pope Boniface VIII issues the Papal bull The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, fought from July to November 1916 was among the largest battles of the First World War The time and place of the battle had been forced upon Haig by the French, who needed to relieve the pressure on the French Army at Verdun. The French insistence on Haig continuing the offensive on the Somme continued throughout the duration of the battle, even after the French went on the offensive at Verdun in October 1916. The forces under his command sustained around 420,000 casualties pushing the German front line back 12km (7 miles) and also inflicting casualties on the German Army it could ill-afford. Haig's tactics in these battles were considered controversial by many, including the then Secretary of State for War Lloyd George, who felt that he incurred unnecessarily large casualties for little tactical gain. David Lloyd George 1st Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor OM, PC (17 January 1863 &ndash 26 March 1945 was a British Statesman and the only At this stage Lloyd George was not able to intervene in strategy, as the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Sir William Robertson, had been given direct right of access to the Cabinet, so as to bypass Lloyd George's predecessor Kitchener. Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS was the title of the professional commander of the British Army from 1908 until 1964 Field Marshal Sir William Robert Robertson 1st Baronet, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, DSO ( 29 January 1860 – Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener 1st Earl Kitchener, KG, KP, GCB, OM
On 1 January 1917, Haig was made a field marshal. New Year See also New Year The Ancient Romans began their consular year on January 1st since 153 BC Year 1917 ( MCMXVII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year For other meanings see Field Marshal (disambiguation Field marshal is a military officer rank The King (George V) wrote him a handwritten note ending: "I hope you will look upon this as a New Year's gift from myself and the country".  However, Lloyd George, who had become Prime Minister in December 1916, infuriated Haig and Robertson by placing Britain's forces under the command of the new French Commander-in-Chief Robert Nivelle at a stormy conference at Calais. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the political leader of the United Kingdom Robert Georges Nivelle (15 October 1856 &ndash 22 March 1924 was a French artillery officer who served in the Boxer Rebellion, and the First World War. The failure of the Nivelle Offensive in April 1917 (which Haig had been required to support with a British offensive by Allenby's Third Army at Arras), and subsequent French mutiny and political crisis, discredited Lloyd George's plans for Anglo-French co-operation for the time being.
The second half of 1917 saw Haig conduct another major offensive at Passchendaele (3rd Battle of Ypres); Haig had hoped to break through and liberate the North Sea coast of Belgium from which German U-Boats were operating but, like the Somme Offensive the previous year, Passchendaele saw huge casualties for very little territorial gain, although arguably inflicting losses on the Germans which contributed to their ultimate defeat. "Passchendaele" redirects here For the 2008 film by that name see Passchendaele (film The 1917 Battle of Passchendaele, also known as "Passchendaele" redirects here For the 2008 film by that name see Passchendaele (film The 1917 Battle of Passchendaele, also known as (When he asked the Canadian Corps commander Arthur Currie to capture Passchendaele Ridge during the final month of the battle, Currie flatly replied "It's suicidal. Sir Arthur William Currie GCMG, KCB ( December 5, 1875 &ndash November 30, 1933) was a Canadian General I will not waste 16,000 good soldiers on such a hopeless objective". ; the casualties were almost exactly in line with Currie's prediction. ) Although Lloyd George was unhappy about Haig's operations, it was still considered unthinkable for politicians to overrule the generals' professional monopoly over strategy.
The final months of 1917 also saw a tank breakthrough at Cambrai, whose gains (after the church bells had been rung in England in celebration) were retaken within days by the Germans using their new stosstruppen tactics. The Stormtroopers (in German Stoßtruppen, shock troops) were specialist military troops which were formed in the last years of World War I as the German The uninspiring results on the Western Front in 1917 were thrown into unwelcome contrast by Allenby's capture of Jerusalem in December 1917, a propaganda coup from a campaign which Haig and Robertson had regarded as a waste of resources (Allenby had in fact been sent out to the Middle East after his failure at Arras earlier in the year). By the end of 1917 Lloyd George felt able to begin to assert his authority over the generals. Haig was required to dismiss his Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Lancelot Kiggell (who had allegedly broken down in tears and asked "Did we really send men to fight in this?" on seeing the mud at Passchendaele) and his intelligence chief, Brigadier-General Charteris, whose overly-optimistic estimates of German losses had been a source of inspiration during Haig's offensives. Robertson had arrived at Haig's Headquarters with orders (signed by the Secretary of State for War) for these officers' dismissal in his pocket in case Haig refused to do as he was asked. Early in 1918 Robertson was himself forced to resign over his reluctance to accept that the newly set-up Supreme Allied War Council at Versailles should have power to dictate to the British CIGS (Lloyd George had also secured the resignation of the other service chief, First Sea Lord Admiral Jellicoe). The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service. Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe 1st Earl Jellicoe, GCB, OM, GCVO ( 5 December 1859 &ndash 20 November Haig's predecessor Sir John French was invited to give the Cabinet a "second opinion" of Haig's strategy, although in the event he had few positive suggestions to make and seemed to the Cabinet Secretary Maurice Hankey to be full of "hatred, envy and malice". The Cabinet Minister Jan Christiaan Smuts was sent to France to take discreet soundings among the Army Commanders to see whether any of them were willing to replace Haig - none of them were. Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts, OM, CH, PC, ED, KC, FRS (24 May 1870 &ndash 11 September 1950 was a prominent Lloyd George was later to be accused (in the famous Maurice Debate in the House of Commons) of hoarding troops in the UK at this time to make it harder for Haig to launch major offensives, thus allegedly contributing to the debacle of March 1918.
In 1918, Germany, her Western Front armies reinforced to a strength of almost 200 divisions by the release of troops from the Eastern Front, launched major offensives in the west, enjoying great initial success, albeit with greater superiority of men and guns than Haig had ever had for his own offensives. The first of these, Michael on 21 March 1918, almost destroyed Gough's Fifth Army, and threatened to split the British forces apart from the French Armies; Haig, whose own reserves had been massed in the north because of the danger of a German breakthrough reaching the Channel Ports through which his armies were supplied, accused the French Commander-in-Chief, Pétain, of being "in a blue funk" as he threatened to retreat on Paris, and was at last forced to accept the appointment of a Frenchman, Ferdinand Foch as Allied Generalissimo (Supreme Commander), with power to commit reserves of all nationalities wherever he saw fit. Events 630 - Byzantine emperor Heraclius restores the True Cross to Jerusalem. Year 1918 ( MCMXVIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain (24 April 1856 – 23 July 1951 generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain ( Maréchal Pétain) Ferdinand Foch OM GCB (2 October 1851 – 20 March 1929 was a French soldier military theorist and writer credited with possessing "the most original During the second German offensive, Georgette in Flanders, Haig issued his famous order that his men must carry on fighting "With Our Backs to the Wall and believing in the Justice of our Cause". Ironically these two German offensives swept over the very ground (the Somme and Passchendaele respectively) which Haig's own offensives had gained at such cost in previous years. A third major German offensive against the French on the Aisne in May overwhelmed a British corps which had been sent there to refit after Michael.
By the summer the German offensives were losing momentum, and in July and August the Germans were defeated, by Franco-American forces at the Second Battle of the Marne, and by Rawlinson's British/Australian/Canadian Fourth Army at Amiens. The Second Battle of the Marne, or Battle of Reims ( July 15 to August 5, 1918) was the last major German offensive on the Western Front The Battle of Amiens, which began on 8 August 1918 was the opening phase of the Allied offensive later known as the Hundred Days Offensive that ultimately led The latter victory, at which tanks were extensively used, was described by Ludendorff as "The Black Day of the German Army" after the mass surrenders of German troops which were seen. Haig's forces had much success between then and the end of the war, storming the Hindenburg Line in October and advancing into Belgium, almost as far as Brussels. The Hindenburg Line (also known as the Siegfried Line) was a vast system of defences in northeastern France during World War I. There is some dispute over how much direct operational control Haig maintained at this time, Tim Travers in particular arguing that he allowed his Army Commanders (Plumer, Byng, Horne, Birdwood and Rawlinson) a very free hand, whilst at the same time Ferdinand Foch, whose role had initially been confined to advice and deployment of reserves, was exerting ever-greater influence over strategy. Ferdinand Foch OM GCB (2 October 1851 – 20 March 1929 was a French soldier military theorist and writer credited with possessing "the most original However, the forces under Haig's command achieved impressive results: whereas the French, American and Belgian armies combined captured 196,700 prisoners-of-war and 3,775 German guns between July 18 and the end of the war, Haig's forces, with a smaller army than the French, engaged the main mass of the German Army and captured 188,700 prisoners and 2,840 guns - around half of these British prisoners were captured by cavalry. Events 390 BC - Roman - Gaulish Wars Battle of the Allia - a Roman army is defeated by raiding Gauls, The military historian, Gary Sheffield, called this, the so-called Hundred Days' Offensive 'by far the greatest military victory in British history'. Professor Gary Sheffield is an English Academic and Military historian. 
After the war, Haig was created 1st Earl Haig (with a subsidiary viscountcy and a subsidiary barony) and received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament and a grant of £100,000 (1919). Earl Haig is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1919 for Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig. Baron is a specific Title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin (liber The Pound Sterling ( symbol £; ISO code: GBP) subdivided into 100 pence (singular penny) is the Currency
From July 1919 to January 1921, Haig was Commander-in-Chief of the Home Forces in Great Britain. See also Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain (Breatainn Mhòr Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Graet Breetain is the larger of the two main islands After ceasing active service, he devoted the rest of his life to the welfare of ex-servicemen, travelling throughout the British Empire to promote their interests. The British Empire was the largest empire in history and for over a century was the foremost global power. He was instrumental in setting up the Haig Fund for the financial assistance of ex-servicemen and the Haig Homes charity to ensure they were properly housed; both continue to provide help many years after they were created. The Haig Fund (more properly the Earl Haig Fund) is a charity set up in 1921 by Field Marshal Douglas Haig 1st Earl Haig to assist ex-servicemen Haig Homes is a charity founded in 1928 to provide housing for ex-servicemen in the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands. He was involved in the creation of the Royal British Legion, which he was president of until his death and was chairman of the United Services Fund from 1921 until his death.
He maintained ties with the British Army after his retirement; he was honorary colonel of the 17th/21st Lancers (having been honorary colonel of the 17th Lancers from 1912), Royal Horse Guards, The London Scottish and the King's Own Scottish Borderers. The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. Colonel ( RP ˈkɜnəl GA ˈkɜrnəl is a Military rank of a Commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every country The 17th/21st Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Army from 1922 to 1993. The Royal Horse Guards ( RHG) was a cavalry regiment of the British Army, part of the Household Cavalry. The King's Own Scottish Borderers was an Infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Scottish Division. He was also Lord Rector and, eventually, Lord Chancellor of the University of St Andrews. The word rector ("ruler" from the Latin regere and Rector meaning "Teacher" In Latin has a number of different meanings but all of them indicate an academic The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor is a senior and important functionary in the Government of the United Kingdom. The University of St Andrews is the oldest University in Scotland and third oldest in the English-speaking world, having been founded between
Haig died, aged 66, on 29 January 1928 and was given a state funeral on 3 February. Events 904 - Sergius III comes out of retirement to take over the papacy from the deposed Antipope Christopher. Year 1928 ( MCMXXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony held to honour Heads of state or other important people of national significance Events 1112 - Ramon Berenguer III of Barcelona and Douce I of Provence marry uniting the fortunes of those two states  "Great crowds lined the streets . . . come to do honour to the chief who had sent thousands to the last sacrifice when duty called for it, but whom his war-worn soldiers loved as their truest advocate and friend. " The gun-carriage that carried the Unknown Warrior to his grave and, in active service, had borne the gun that fired the first British shot in World War I took the Field Marshal's body from St Columba's Church, Pont Street, London, where it had been lying in state, to Westminster Abbey. The British tomb of The Unknown Warrior holds an unidentified British soldier killed on a European battlefield during World War I. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, which is almost always referred to by its original name of Westminster Abbey, is a large mainly Gothic church Three royal princes followed the gun-carriage and the pall-bearers included two Marshals of France (Foch and Pétain). The Marshal of France (Maréchal de France and pl Maréchaux de France is a military distinction in contemporary France, not a Military rank. Ferdinand Foch OM GCB (2 October 1851 – 20 March 1929 was a French soldier military theorist and writer credited with possessing "the most original Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain (24 April 1856 – 23 July 1951 generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain ( Maréchal Pétain)  The cortege was accompanied by five guards of honour at the slow march, with reversed arms and muffled drums: two officers and fifty other ranks from each branch of the British armed forces (Royal Navy, the Irish Guards, and the Royal Air Force); 50 men of the 1st French Army Corps; and 16 men from the Belgian Regiment of Grenadiers.  After the service at the Abbey, the procession re-formed to escort the body to Waterloo Station for the journey to Edinburgh where it lay in state for three days at St Giles Cathedral. Edinburgh ( ˈɛdɪnb(ərə Dùn Èideann) is the Capital of Scotland and is its second largest city after Glasgow. A prominent feature of the Edinburgh skyline St Giles' Cathedral or the High Kirk of Edinburgh is a Church of Scotland place of worship decorating the  He was buried at Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish borders, his grave marked by a simple standard Commonwealth War Graves Commission white headstone. Dryburgh Abbey, near Dryburgh on the banks of the River Tweed, Scotland, was nominally founded on 10 November (Martinmas 1150 in an agreement The Commonwealth War Graves Commission ( CWGC) is a joint governmental organisation responsible for marking and maintaining the graves of members of the Commonwealth
After the war Haig was often criticised for issuing orders which led to excessive casualties of British troops under his command, particularly on the Western Front, earning him the nickname "Butcher of the Somme". See Western Front (disambiguation for other meanings Western Front was a term used during the First and Second World A nickname is a Name of an entity or thing that is not its Proper name. Haig's critics include many younger officers who served in the First World War, making the criticism that they "fail[ed] to understand" the actual combat conditions of the war ring hollow - Haig himself never actually visited the main front though in his dispatches he described the appalling conditions of the Somme accurately.  The military historian Basil Liddell Hart, who served as an officer in nearly all of the British Western Front offensives during the war, accuses Haig of ignoring reality in his 1918 offensive. Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart ( 31 October 1895 &ndash 29 January 1970) usually known before his knighthood as
The assault on Haig's reputation began with the memoirs of the politicians. Winston Churchill, whose "World Crisis" was written during Haig's lifetime (and whose own record as a war strategist in 1915 perhaps left something to be desired), likened him to a surgeon who had to act dispassionately for the long-term good of the patient, no matter how messy were the short-term means, although in another passage he accused him of blocking enemy machine-gun fire with "the breasts of brave men".
Lloyd George pulled fewer punches in his War Memoirs, published in 1936 when Haig was dead and Lloyd George no longer a major political player. In Chapter 89 he poured scorn on Haig's recently-published diaries (clearly "carefully-edited" by Duff Cooper), and described Haig as "intellectually and temperamentally unequal to his task", and "second-rate" (compared to Foch - p2014) although "above the average for his profession - perhaps more in industry than intelligence". He attributed his own "distrust of his capacity to fill such an immense position" to Haig's lack of clear grasp even of the Western Front (likening him to "the blind King of Bohemia at Crecy"), let alone the needs of other fronts, and his inability, given his preference for being surrounded by courteous "gentlemen", to select good advisers. John the Blind ( Luxembourgish: Jang de Blannen; German: Johann der Blinde von Luxemburg He also criticised Haig for lacking the personal magnetism of a great commander, for his intrigues against his predecessor Sir John French, his willingness to scapegoat Hubert Gough for the defeat of March 1918, and his claims to have subsequently accepted the appointment of Foch as Allied Generalissimo, a move to which Lloyd George claimed Haig in fact to have been opposed. On another occasion he is said to have described Haig as "brilliant - to the top of his boots". Lloyd George's biographer John Grigg (2002) attributes his vitriol to a guilty conscience that he had not intervened to put a stop to the Passchendaele Offensive.
Today, after decades in which Haig's name has been blackened in popular culture (see below), many still regard Haig as an inept commander who exhibited callous disregard for the lives of his soldiers, repeatedly ordering tens of thousands of them to supposedly useless deaths during battles such as Passchendaele. "Passchendaele" redirects here For the 2008 film by that name see Passchendaele (film The 1917 Battle of Passchendaele, also known as As recently as 1998 a major tabloid newspaper celebrated the anniversary of the Armistice by calling for the demolition of Haig's statue on Whitehall. Writers who make such blanket charges are often those of a populist bent; e. g. , John Laffin ("British Butchers and Bunglers of World War One") and John Mosier ("The Myth of the Great War"). Norman Stone describes Haig as the greatest of Scottish generals, since he killed the highest numbers of English soldiers at any front in history, perhaps a slightly facetious point as Scotland in fact suffered one of the highest proportionate losses of any Allied nation (Niall Ferguson - "The Pity of War"). Norman Stone ( 1941 — is a British academic who was born in Glasgow, Scotland on March 8 1941. Niall Ferguson (b April 18, 1964 in Glasgow, Scotland) is a British Historian.
Paul Fussell, in "The Great War and Modern Memory," writes that "although one doesn't want to be too hard on Haig . Paul Fussell (born March 22, 1924, Pasadena California, USA is a cultural and literary Historian, and professor emeritus of English literature . . who has been well calumniated already . . . it must be said that it now appears was that one thing the war was testing was the usefulness of the earnest Scottish character in a situation demanding the military equivalent of wit and invention. Haig had none. He was stubborn, self-righteous, inflexible, intolerant -- especially of the French -- and quite humourless . . . Indeed, one powerful legacy of Haig's performance is the conviction among the imaginative and intelligent today of the unredeemable defectiveness of all civil and military leaders. Haig could be said to have established the paradigm. "
Others gave him much praise. General of the Armies of the United States John Pershing remarked that Haig was "the man who won the war". General of the Armies (or in its full title General of the Armies of the United States) is the highest possible rank in the United States Army John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, GCB ( September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948) was an officer in the United States Army Brian Bond, in his 2002 book The Unquiet Western Front: Britain's Role in Literature and History, says: "Perhaps, however, it is a mark of a civilized, liberal society that it hugs and cherishes its defeats, dwells obsessively on the worst combat conditions and on casualties and cannot forgive Field Marshal Haig for being victorious. "
The most ardent of Haig's defenders was the military historian John Terraine, who published a biography of Haig (The Educated Soldier) in 1963, in which he claimed Haig was a "Great Captain" of the calibre of the Duke of Marlborough or the Duke of Wellington. John Alfred Terraine ( January 15, 1921 &ndash December 28, 2003) though not an academic historian was a leading British Military historian Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, KP, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS ( c Terraine, taking his cue from Haig's own "Final Despatch" of 1918, also argued that Haig pursued the only possible strategy given the situation the armies were in; that of attrition which wore down the German army and delivered the coup de grâce of 1918. Gary Sheffield has claimed that although Terraine's arguments about Haig have been much attacked over forty years, Terraine's thesis "has yet to be demolished". Professor Gary Sheffield is an English Academic and Military historian. 
Haig's defenders also argue that the British and Dominion forces under his command were adaptive users of new tactics and weapons during the war and that some of Haig's critics - who remain obsessed with the tank and the machine gun - fail to understand that throughout World War I, battles were dominated by artillery and the struggle to coordinate infantry and artillery attacks. His critics would respond that Haig failed to appreciate even the critical science of artillery or supporting arms, and that he was "unimaginative". The results of the battles of 1915 and 1916 - Loos and the early stages of the Somme - do indicate some truth to this criticism - that even the most basic support of infantry was typically lacking, either in volume or method of deployment. But there is some debate as to whether this is Haig's fault entirely, or whether he is blamed for the mistakes of his subordinates. Scholars such as Tim Travers (The Killing Ground; "How the War was Won") make detailed critiques of the British forces' speed of adapting new technology and techniques of warfare.
A more balanced view of Haig has been recently proffered by Australian historian Les Carlyon - that while Haig was slow to adapt to the correct use of artillery in sufficient quantities to support infantry attacks, and was generally sceptical that the science of such doctrine had much place in military theory, he was fully supportive of excellent corps and field commanders such as Herbert Plumer, Arthur Currie and John Monash, who seem to best grasp and exercise these concepts especially later in the war. Les Carlyon is an Australian writer who was born in northern Victoria in 1942. Field Marshal Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer 1st Viscount Plumer, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE ( 13 March 1857 &ndash Sir Arthur William Currie GCMG, KCB ( December 5, 1875 &ndash November 30, 1933) was a Canadian General General Sir John Monash GCMG, KCB, VD ( 27 June 1865 – 8 October 1931) was an Australian Carlyon also points out that there is a case to answer for his support of more dubious commanders such as Ian Hamilton, Aylmer Hunter-Weston, and Hubert Gough. General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton GCB GCMG DSO TD (16 January 1853 &mdash 12 October 1947 was a general in the British Lieutenant General Sir Aylmer Gould Hunter-Weston KCB DSO GStJ (23 September 1864 &ndash 18 March 1940 was a British General Sir Hubert de la Poer Gough, GCB, GCMG, KCVO (12 August 1870 &ndash 1963 was a British World War I general who
Haig is sometimes criticised for his faith in cavalry. In fact cavalry were still used on the Western Front on occasion, even at High Wood during the Battle of the Somme as mounted infantry to add quick reinforcements when needed. More importantly, it should be borne in mind that even the tanks of 1918 were restricted to walking speed (and were mechanically unreliable, and overcame their crews with fumes - almost all those used at Amiens were out of action within forty-eight hours), and that cavalry were extensively used during the months of pursuit which followed. An after-dinner speech which Haig made to a gathering of cavalry officers in the 1920s, in which he remarked that the British Army would find as much use for "the well-bred horse" as for technology in the future, has been a particular source of mirth (Correlli Barnett described it as "fatuous" in his coffee-table book "Famous Land Battles") - yet even allowing for humorous exaggeration, Haig should perhaps not be faulted too hard for relying on his own experience in 1918 rather than failing to foresee the results which tanks would achieve in the 1940s. Correlli Douglas Barnett CBE (born June 28 1927) is an English Military historian, who has also written extensively on the United Kingdom
Along with John Terraine and Gary Sheffield, historians such as Richard Holmes, and Gordon Corrigan are sympathetic towards Haig, Gordon Corrigan in particular arguing that if Haig had really been the blinkered uncaring incompetent of popular legend then he would not have delivered victory. Brigadier Edward Richard Holmes CBE TD JP (born March 29 1946) known as Richard Holmes, is a British soldier Major Gordon Corrigan MBE (born 1942 is a British soldier and historian Major Gordon Corrigan MBE (born 1942 is a British soldier and historian They point out that he faced enormous problems, notably the inexperienced New Armies, the lack of effective battlefield communication (radios then being too large for the battlefield but telephone wires impossible to lay under artillery barrage, so that senior generals had little choice but to command from chateaux miles behind the front lines), the lack of a decisive arm, the application of new technology and political interference.
Historians favourable to Haig also argue, as did British generals such as Sir William Robertson and Haig at the time, that the Western Front (where a defeat for either side would have exposed either Paris or the Ruhr to occupation) was the decisive theatre of war, where the Germans deployed roughly two-thirds of their army - between 150 and 200 divisions - in well-developed positions, and argue that Lloyd George's schemes to engage the Germans on other fronts such as Palestine and Italy did little to bring Germany nearer defeat. Field Marshal Sir William Robert Robertson 1st Baronet, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, DSO ( 29 January 1860 –
Modern historians also make the point that mass warfare between Western Armies in World War I (and indeed World War II, in which the most serious land fighting was done by the Soviets rather than the Western Allies) invariably led to huge casualties and that if there was an easy, cheap way to break the trench stalemate, no-one else found it on either side. The only occasion during WWII when Britain took a leading role in breaking the Axis armies in a major area of operations was the breakout from Normandy, which was roughly half the length and involved roughly half as many divisions as the Somme in 1916; on a unit-for-unit basis casualty rates in Normandy were proportionately higher than the battles of World War One.
Haig was played by Sir John Mills in Richard Attenborough's 1969 film, Oh! What a Lovely War, in which he is portrayed as being indifferent to the fate of the troops under his command, his goal being to wear the Germans down even at the cost of enormous losses and to prevail since the Allies will have the last 10,000 men left. Sir John Mills CBE (born Lewis Ernest Watts Mills; 22 February 1908 &ndash 23 April 2005) was an English Richard Samuel Attenborough Baron Attenborough Oh! What a Lovely War is Stage musical and 1969 Musical film.
Haig's tactics were also a running joke on the 1989 BBC comedy series Blackadder Goes Forth, where Stephen Fry's role as General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett, nicknamed 'Insanity' Melchett, with his vast moustache and callous disregard for the lives of his men is a popular caricature of British leadership, with elements of Haig and Lord Kitchener, although his personality is most like that of Sir Edmund 'The Bull' Allenby, without the latter's ability. Blackadder is the generic name that encompasses four series of an acclaimed BBC One historical sitcom, along with several one-off instalments Stephen John Fry (born 24 August 1957 is an English Humorist, Writer, Wit, Actor, Novelist, filmmaker Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener 1st Earl Kitchener, KG, KP, GCB, OM Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby 1st Viscount Allenby GCB GCMG GCVO ( April 23 1861 - May 14 1936 Field Marshal Haig, played by Geoffrey Palmer, makes an appearance in the final episode, shown setting up toy soldiers on a battle map and then pushing them over, before sweeping them up with a dustpan and brush and throwing them in the bin. Geoffrey Dyson Palmer, OBE (born 4 June 1927 is an English Actor, known for his role as Lionel Hardcastle in the television series As Time In the series, he is portrayed as a complete idiot, whose previous military experience is (supposedly) confined to fighting natives armed with fruit, and whom Blackadder had once saved from being castrated by a tribesman. His battle plans include 'climbing out of the trench and walking very slowly towards the enemy'. Despite using this plan, Haig cannot understand why the men always seem depressed.
Haig was one of the chief inspirations for the character of Herbert Curzon in C. S. Forester's novel The General, a sharp satire of the mentality of old-school British officers in the Great War. C S Forester 's book The General is a short novel about an ordinary British Army officer in the Great War, or World War I.
|Commander of the British First Army|
Sir John French
|Commander of the British Expeditionary Force|
1915 – 1918
|End of World War I|
The Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair
|Rector of the University of St Andrews|
1916 – 1919
Sir J. M. Barrie
The Lord Balfour of Burleigh
|Chancellor of the University of St Andrews|
1922 – 1928
The Viscount Haldane
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation||Earl Haig|
1919 – 1928