Battle of Somme

Tayonna Thomas

Basic info

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The battle of Somme was a battle that was apart of World War l. The French and British empires fought against the German empire, taking place in France on both sides of the Somme river. This battle took place between July first and November 18th in 1916. And was one of the biggest battles fought during World war l. This event may also be known as 'The Somme Offensive'.


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Why was the battle fought?

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For a long time The French were severely losing battles at Verdun to the east Paris. To relieve the French, the allied High Command decided to attack Germany's men to the north of Verdun which would make Germany move some of their men away from the Verdun battlefield so the French would not be overwhelmed.


Ironically the head of the French army, General Foch believed that this battle would do little against the Germans, but the army's political masters ensured that their plan would succeed.


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What Happened During the Battle?

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The battle at the Somme started with a week long artillery bombardment of the German lines. 1,738,000 shells were fired at the Germans. The logic behind this was so that the artillery guns would destroy the German dugouts and barbed wire placed in front of the trenches. The dugouts were used to move men to safety during bombardments then when it stopped the men in hiding could ambush the British and French.


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Aftermath

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The Battle of the Somme was one of the costliest battles of World War I. Yet no side really won but the British and French did gain some ground since the goal of the battle was to make a breakthrough against the German lines and take pressure off of the french who were fighting at Verdun.


The original Allied estimate was 485,000 British and French casualties and 630,000 German. A German officer wrote,

"Somme. The whole history of the world cannot contain a more ghastly word."

- Friedrich Steinbrecher


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Sources

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"Battle of the Somme." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016. <http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/battle-of-the-somme>.


PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016. <http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/maps/maps_somme.html>.


"The Battle of the Somme - History Learning Site." History Learning Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016. <http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/world-war-one/battles-of-world-war-one/the-battle-of-the-somme/>.


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