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The Bloody and Tragic Battle of the Somme

The Bloody and Tragic Battle of the Somme

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The Bloody and Tragic Battle of the Somme

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  1. The Bloody and Tragic Battle of the Somme

  2. The First Day of Battle • The 3 major players in this battle were France, Britain and Germany • British General: Sir Douglas Haig (nickname was the Butcher of the Somme) • French General: Joffre • German General: Von Falkenhayn • This battle started unofficially on June 24th, 1916 when Haig strategized to have an 8 day bombardment on German lines to weaken the field • This strategy failed tremendously because the shells were too weak to penetrate German bunkers • *Look at Map of first day to create

  3. The First Day of Battle • The Battle of the Somme officially began on July 1, 1916, with 27 divisions making up over 750,000 men and 80% were British troops. • The failed bombardment and Heig’s ineptitude to new modern warfare led to the highest number of casualties in one day of battle in British history • British casualties mounted to over 58,000, of those 20,000 were fatalities • German casualties were over 10,000 to 12,000 on this day • Sir Douglas Haig had his men fight in marching style and they got torn to pieces by artillery and machine gun fire. The average soldier carried 60 lbs of supplies in the “No Man’s Zone”

  4. The Bloody Battle Continues • The July 14th Night Attack • The British were able to gain an advantage by taking over the Mametz Woods and onward to take a strategic zone known as High Woods (heavily guarded by the Germans) • The British took High Woods and its nickname was “Ghastly by day, Ghostly by night the rottenest place on the Somme

  5. The Tanks of WWI • The tank was used during the battle of Flers-Courcelette to try and break the stalemate that existed in the Somme • 32 Tanks in total will be used during this September battle • The British were finally able to gain the High Woods and continued to push the German line • The tanks were highly unreliable and broke down constantly because of the destruction around the “No Man’s Zone”

  6. Was it all worth it? • The Allies were able to advance a grand total of 7 miles during the 5 months of battle • Total Casualties for the Allies was well over 624,000 (over 420,000 were British) • The German casualties were over 680,000 • In all this battle had over 1 million casualties and neither side really gained control of the war