In a note written during the First World War, British General Douglas Haig reflected on the meaning of the heroic death of his soldiers, citing a speech made by the Moslem Emperor Baber (in 1527) before sending his troops into battle:
“The most High God has been propitious to us—that if we fall in the field, we die the death of martyrs; if we survive, we rise victorious the avengers of the cause of God.”
This statement, Haig said, conveyed the “root matter of the present war.” The ideology of this British general, it is clear, was identical to the ideology of contemporary Islamic radicals.
Haig gave credit to the “splendid officers” who led soldiers forward to attack again and again. For many of these young men it meant “certain death” and “all must have known that before they started.”
What is the difference between young men who die for Allah, and young men who died for England during the First World War? The quantity of martyrs.
Summarizing British casualties in his report of August 22, 1919, Haig noted that British casualties were “no larger than to be expected.” British casualties—killed, wounded, missing and prisoners—were “approximately three million” (3,076,388).
What was the First World War?
The greatest martyrdom operation in human history.