In February 1916, the Germans wanted to take control of a French town called Verdun to wear down the morale and strength of the French soldiers. They were determined to "bleed the French white". After a battle that lasted for 5 months, 700,000 French soldiers were dead and were desperate for relief from the British army. Sir Douglas Haig therefore led a major attack on the Germans by the River Somme, this battle thus was called, the Battle of Somme. The battle started on the 1st of July 1916 and lasted for 4 months. In this trench warfare, it was mainly the British versus the Germans and it was the bloodiest battle in World War 1. Not only did a lot of British soldiers die but Germans and French as well, this earned Haig with the title 'the Butcher of the Somme'. A lot of people at that time thought that Haig was a heartless, idiotic savage beast; but historians tried to look at things in a different perspective and realized, maybe Haig wasn't a butcher after all since the outcomes were beneficial towards to British army.
Firstly, Haig has responsibility on the Battle's objectives. The Battle of Somme, which they called The Big Push's aim was to draw the Germans away from Verdun and release some pressure on the French. Using 7 days and nights, 3000 guns and 3 million shells, they wanted to break through the German lines by heavily bombing their trenches and enable the French to carry the war into Germany. Through this, Haig also wanted to strengthen the morale of the French soldiers if the British succeeded. The French needed the British's help and their aim was to obliterate the German's trenches entirely. Haig had a difficult task as trench warfare was a new kind of fighting but he was confident nothing will survive in the German trenches. As we can see, there was nothing wrong with Haig's starting point and it was obviously for the good of Britain. Haig had once said, 'In the course of struggle, losses are bound to be heavy on both sides, for in this the price of victory is paid.