Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig
He was charge of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), from 1915, to the end of the First World War. Most notably, he was commander during the
A popular commander during the immediate post-war years, his funeral became a day of national
Later, Haig became an object of criticism. After his death, he was increasingly criticised for issuing orders which led to a lot of casualties of British troops, earning him the nickname 'Butcher of the Somme'. Haig's critics included the wartime
Alan Clark's book The Donkeys (1961) popularised the controversial phrase 'lions led by donkeys', used to describe the British Army leadership. Clark attributed this remark to a German general but, before his death, admitted he lied about the phrase.
All the same, some veterans, and academic historians have continued to praise Haig's leadership.