Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig

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Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, KT, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCIE, ADC (19 June 1861 – 29 January 1928) was a British soldier and senior commander during World War I. He commanded the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from 1915 to the end of the War. Most notably he was commander during the Battle of the Somme, the Third Battle of Ypres and the Hundred Days Offensive which led to the German surrender in 1918.

Although a popular commander during the immediate post-war years, with his funeral becoming a day of national mourning, Haig has since the 1960s become an object of criticism for his leadership during the First World War. Alan Clark's book The Donkeys (1961) led to the popularisation of the controversial phrase 'lions led by donkeys' which was used to describe British generalship. Clark attributed this remark to a German general, but admitted he lied about the phrase before his death.[2] Academic historians and scholarship, since the 1980s, and many veterans, however, have continued to praise Haig's leadership.[3]


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