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a battle of the somme


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10. Thanks

9. Families

8. Map

7. Timeline

6. Timeline

5. Why did it fail?

4. What happened?

3. What was it?

2. Index

1. welcome



The 1916 Somme offensive was one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the First World War (1914-18). The opening day of the attack, 1 July 1916, saw the British Army sustain 57,000 casualties, the bloodiest day in its history. The campaign finally ended in mid-November after an agonising five-month struggle that failed to secure a breakthrough.

Battle of the Somme

so what happened?

To weaken the German defences, the Allied forces fired shells from artillery guns. The shelling, called a bombardment, went on for a whole week. When it had finished, the British and French soldiers came out of their trenches and headed towards the German lines. They weren't expecting much of a fight because everyone thought that the shells would have killed the German soldiers. But there was a problem. When the shelling started the Germans hid in special shelters called dug-outs. They waited underground for a week and when the shelling finished they came out and fired machine guns at the advancing Allied troops. The British troops were caught in no man's land and couldn't hide from the German bullets. Many soldiers lost their lives. Overall 120000 men where sent over and 20000 died (this was just day one!) 60000 men ran out first. They had to walk to the first trench then wait at the second for further orders

To relieve the pressure, the British led by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig launched their long-planned offensive at the Somme. It was planned as the battle that would defeat Germany and end the war..

The British Army’s biggest mistake was to overestimate the damage its artillery would do during the initial seven-day bombardment.

In situations where men went into battle and it transpired that German machine gun positions had been missed, you would ideally have an artillery liaison officer on hand to call back artillery fire and take out the enemy machine gun post.

One reason the somme failed was the Germans did not keep their troops in forward positions, but rather in the second and third lines, with deep dugouts.

Alot of these issuses where caused by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig

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what where the reasons this plan failed?

Step 3

1916 July 1 - Battle of the Somme begins. French troops advance, but British forces suffer almost 20,000 men dead in one day

July 23 - British and Commonwealth attack on key Guillemont-Pozieres area begins. Australians finally capture Pozieres two days later.

September 3 - Renewed British attack in northern section of Somme battlefield. September 15 - Tanks used in battle for first time in history.

key dates

July 14 - Renewed British assault along shorter front line. South African troops begin important attack on Delville Wood.

November 18 - End of Somme offensive.1917March 16 - Germans withdraw from the Somme to the Hindenburg Line

September 26 - Joint Franco-British offensive. Thiepval finally taken. October 7 - Rain delays further Allied advances, leading to a renewed war of attrition.

November 11 - Armistice.

1918 March 21 - Beginning of new German offensive which is to lead to renewed fighting on the Somme. August 8 - Allied counter-offensive, later referred to as the "Black day of the German Army".

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This is where the battle of the somme took place!

Did you know...In terms of weight of load carried, this has been, and still is on occasion, the subject of debate. The British Official History estimates that the total load (clothing, equipment, weapon etc) of the troops assaulting in the July 1916 Somme offensive carried in Battle Order some 66 lbs.

Did you know... all messages that soldiers sent would be checked and certain sections and phrases (like where you were or a going) would be covered up incase the where intercepted

Another thing soldiers would often do with each other was swap watches this was incase one died the other could send his watch back to their families. You were often seen as quite lucky to recive a piece of memrobilia back from loved ones as it was unlikely that one or both would survive

Most soldiers would often send regular letters and messages to their loved ones. And, while sometimes it was just to say they were okay, letters where used quite alot for last goodbyes. This was very much the case for the battle of the somme with their being over 1 million deaths

what was done for soldiers families?

THANK YOUby o.t.