WWI Battle of the Somme

Adrian De Los Santos

Battle of the Somme

Battle of the Somme took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of the River Somme in France. It was one of the bloodiest battles fought in WWI.

Battle Information

The Battle of the Somme started on July 1st 1918. The main reason for the battle was to take pressure off the French army who were under heavy attack at Verdun. It was hoped that the battle would would force troops to withdraw from the German side from Verdun.

General Douglas Haig was in charge of the battle for the Franco-Brit side. He claimed that the artillery from the attack would destroy the Germans trench system allowing them to kill defenders, and allowing the British soldiers to walk into empty enemy positions.

Other generals in charge during the battle.

Great Britain

  • Henry Rawlinson
  • Hubert Gough

  • Ferdinand Foch
  • Emile Fayolle
  • Joseph Alfred Michler

  • Crown prince Rupprecht of Bavaria
  • Max von Gallowitz
  • Fritz von Below

Although the affects of the battle were a disaster for the British they did win the battle, but none of the objectives of the battles were met. The idea that the Germans would withdraw troops from Verdun was a loss as the Germans had available reserves. At the end of the battle the British captures a narrow 20 mile strip of land penetrating as deep as 7 miles deep into enemy lines.

Anecdote: This video shows three men and a woman who fought in the war and they tell what they encountered it first hand in the Battle of the Somme. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPT1MKOP8TQ

Many people fought in the battle as many as 2,500,000 men fought for Great Britain and 1,500,000 men fought for the Germans. Casualties were claimed in the battle. 423,000 British, 201,000 French lives were lost, all together 623,000 lives were lost, and as much as 60,000 lives were lost on the first day for the British army. As for Germany they lost 500,000 men.

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Tanks were first used in this battle during the war.

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Map of where the battle took place in France.

Battle of the Somme tour information.