Letter: Haig reappraised

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is a pity that Jane Carter (letter, 10 March) has to spoil an admirable point and a moving family anecdote by going on to perpetuate the myths and ignorance that continue to surround the First World War.

Lord Haig did not send 'millions' to their deaths. Total British Empire deaths, covering all campaigns and including those in which Haig was not involved, totalled 908,000. The 10 million with no known grave mentioned by Professor Carter is clearly ludicrous given the fact that Britain mobilised just over eight million men in the course of the war.

Appalling though the figures are, British casualty rates were, if anything, less than those of other major combatants. As a general, Haig was no better or worse than the majority of his contemporaries, and it is by those standards that he should be judged.

Yours faithfully,

GRAEME MITCHELL

Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

12 March

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