Haig, Douglas


Haig, Douglas
(1861–1928)
   British military leader who became commander-in-chief of all British forces on the Western Front in 1915 and collaborated closely with Marshal Ferdinand Foch, the Generalissimo of Allied Armies in France, until the Allied victory of 1918. Haig joined the army in 1885 and served with distinction as a cavalry officer in the Sudan in 1898 and in the Second Boer War, 1899–1902. Thereafter, he served in India but between 1906 and 1909 implemented reforms in the War Office under Richard Haldane. With the outbreak of war in 1914, Haig initially commanded a corps of the British Expeditionary Force before succeeding General John French at the head the British army in 1915. Haig was a determined yet unimaginative commander considered by Prime Minister David Lloyd George to be responsible for heavy British losses at the Battle of the Somme and the Third Battle of Ypres.
   FURTHER READING:
    Sixsmith, E.K.G. Douglas Haig. London: Weidenfled and Nicolson, 1976;
    Winter, Denis. Haig ’ s Command: A Reassessment. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military Classics, 2004.
   CARL CAVANAGH HODGE

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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