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The Battle of The Somme. Denny High History Department. The Big Push 1916. Plan was for a British and French attack at the River Somme. This would make a gap in the German line and give the allies an advantage. The French were struggling at Verdun. Date was decided as 1 July 1916.
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The Battle of The Somme Denny High History Department
The Big Push 1916 • Plan was for a British and French attack at the River Somme. • This would make a gap in the German line and give the allies an advantage. • The French were struggling at Verdun. • Date was decided as 1 July 1916
General Haig’s Plan • General Haig was in charge of the Battle. • He planned for a week long bombardment along the front line. • British spotter planes would supply him with information about German troops
The shells would destroy the German trenches and barbed wire. • British troops could walk across no – mans land and take over German trenches
The First day • On Saturday 1st July at 7.30 am, the bombardment stopped. • British troops went ‘over the top’. • The men walked over no-man’s land carrying 30kg packs
The reality • The German’s had stayed in bunkers during the bombardment. • The German soldiers moved back into the trenches as soon as the shells stopped. • Barbed wire just got more tangled. • British soldiers were shot down by machine gun fire before they could get near the trenches.
The results By the end of the first day: • 20,000 British soldiers had been killed. • 40,000 had been injured. • A Canadian regiment lost 684 out of 752 men in half an hour.
The results By the end of the first day: • There was no major breakthrough like the General’s had planned
What happened next? • The battle went on for another 4 months. • Tanks were used for the first time, but were not used properly.
What happened next? • Nearly 1 million men were either killed or injured by the end of the battle. • People at home supported the war less when their families and friend were killed or injured.