The history of the battle of somme

Hubert Gough on the still untouched flank of the main offensive. The Royal Flying Corps, the air army of the British Army, lost aircraft and aircrew were killed. British soldiers on the other hand were at a huge disadvantage and simply were not trained nor prepared for life on the battlefield.

Moreover the soldiers sent to fight on the battlefield were newly recruited volunteers and not trained military personnel. They bombarded the Germans constantly for eight straight days with 3, guns. Falkenhayn expected the relief offensive to fall south of Arras against the Sixth Army and be destroyed.

The German offensive at Verdun was intended to threaten the capture of the city and induce the French to fight an attrition battle, in which German advantages of terrain and firepower would cause the French disproportionate casualties. Later in the war the Germans developed several light tanks, but they were no match for the British heavy tanks.

The French also demanded that the British push up the attack at the Somme from August 1st to July 1st in hopes that German forces would be diverted from Verdun to the Somme.

Battle of the somme combatants

At Thiepval, the 36th Ulster Division seized the Schwaben Redoubt but was forced to withdraw because of lack of progress to its left and right. The Allies lost around 89, men per mile of territory gained. The bulk of the army was made up of volunteers of the Territorial Force and Lord Kitchener 's New Army , which had begun forming in August The Artillery Bombardment A seven-day preliminary bombardment began on 24 June in an attempt to cut the barbed wire in front of the German lines and destroy trench defences and artillery. The Battle of Fromelles had inflicted some losses on the German defenders but gained no ground and deflected few German troops bound for the Somme. The British attack had been brutally repulsed. Falkenhayn expected the relief offensive to fall south of Arras against the Sixth Army and be destroyed. To relieve the French, the Allied High Command decided to attack the Germans to the north of Verdun therefore requiring the Germans to move some of their men away from the Verdun battlefield, thus relieving the French. Listen to a recorded reading of this page: Your browser does not support the audio element. To maintain discipline the British divisions had been ordered to walk slowly towards the German lines, this allowed the Germans ample time to reach their defensive positions. Field artillery fired a creeping barrage and the attacking waves pushed up close behind it in no man's land, leaving them only a short distance to cross when the barrage lifted from the German front trench. It was intended to show that the 'Big Push' had been a success and that British soldiers were well supplied and cared for.

Communication trenches ran back to the reserve line, renamed the second line, which was as well-built and wired as the first line. By the end of the day, 20, British and Irish men and boys would never again see home, and a further 40, would lie maimed and injured.

battle of the somme casualties

Battle losses and consequences By the end of the battle, in Novemberthe British had lost , the French lost nearlymen and the GermansGerman overestimation of the cost of Verdun to the French contributed to the concentration of German infantry and guns on the north bank of the Somme.

He saw the military success of the battle as all-important.

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5 Things You Need To Know About The Battle Of The Somme