Are the generals of ww1 donkeys?

Essay by ftucker June 2014

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Downloaded 1 times


After the major conflict of WW1, the quality of the generals has been questioned and defended by historians. Some think they were stubborn, uncaring and sent their troops into certain death to gain minimal land - supporting the view that they were donkeys leading lions. However other historians argue that, yes mistakes were made, but there had never been- such a war before. Arguing that they eventually learnt from their mistakes and there was no one better to take their place. Ultimately it can be argued that, generals made huge mistakes throughout the war.

Generals can be seen as stubborn since they were unable to compromise their naïve, outdated and foolish tactics. For example the use of the cavalry charges in ww1 could have been effective if generals had not sent them up hill- (high wood), and across mud and barbed wire with shells going off in front of them, medieval horses never dealt with these circumstances.

If the horses had been given more light armour; and they were used with a light fire arm as well as their classic sword, they would make a useful stealth force but they weren't.

Generals can be seen as foolish since they sent their troops across no man's land walking and, giving the enemy half an hour to prepare for an attack; which will obviously happen, if you pound the enemy with faulty shells for one week. This is basically why one of the biggest and most well-known battles of ww1 had such a high casualty rate. Field marshal Douglas Haig received much of the blame for this mass slaughter; the British Army suffered 420,000 casualties (nearly 60,000 on the first day). This was just in an effort to relieve the...