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Battle of the Somme. Where in the World is…. This battle took place at the River Somme, in Northern France. The battle commenced at 7:20 am, July 1, 1916 ... Ten minutes earlier than General Haig intended A mine accidentally went off early ..whoops

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where in the world is
Where in the World is…
  • This battle took place at the River Somme, in Northern France.
  • The battle commenced at 7:20 am, July 1, 1916 ... Ten minutes earlier than General Haig intended
  • A mine accidentally went off early ..whoops
  • Lasted five months (July 1, 1916 – November 18, 1916)
the players
The Players

Offensive : Britain & France (which includes Canadian troops, and the Newfoundland Regiment)

Leaders of the offensive : Douglas Haig & Joseph Joffre

Defensive : Germans

Leaders of the defensive : Paul von Hindenburg & Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff.

FUN FACT : Hindenburg was the last German leader before Adolf Hitler took over. (Warning: this is not relevant to WWI)

general haig
General Haig
  • Commander in chief of the British Expeditionary Force for the Battle of the Somme
  • Instructed by France to create a diversion from Verdun, a battle that commenced in February 1916
  • Was greatly criticized when he refused to use modern war tactics
  • As a result, 600,000 Allied troops died
the newfoundland regiment
The Newfoundland Regiment
  • Newfoundland was not apart of Canada in 1916, so the people of Newfoundland started their own regiment.
  • Fought for Britain in this battle
  • Suffered 91% casualties
  • Every officer was killed or hurt
  • To say the very least, this was embarrassing for the regiment
techniques
Techniques
  • Sent 11 division lines to the German’s front.
  • Only about 3-4 units made it to the trenches
  • Planned to bomb german’s treches
  • Allies bombs failed to explode
infantry
Infantry
  • Regular infantry 54,335
  • Machine gun companies 1,080
  • Pioneer battalions 1,020
  • Royal engineers 450
  • Trench 350
  • Artillary 170
  • Royal medical corps. 60
  • Royal flying corps 5
what went wrong
What Went Wrong?
  • Allie’s shells were too weak to penetrate German bunkers
  • Allies attacked in broad daylight… not one of Haig’s brightest ideas
  • Troops were carrying over 60 Kg of gear
  • Haig used traditional tactics (the old school march) – the Germans used machine guns
the numbers
The Numbers

Team Triple Alliance

  • 57,500 British casualties on the first day
  • 20,000 Canadians died (counted in the British casualties number)
  • 420,000 British casualties
  • 195,000 French casualties

Team Triple Entente

  • 650,000 German casualties
what was accomplished
What Was Accomplished?

It’s hard to say whether anything was accomplished by the first Battle of the Somme. Technically, the Triple Entente won but only because their number of casualties was a tiny bit less than the Germans. If you think of all the soldiers that died and all the small amount of land that was gained, it was barely an accomplishment.

before action
Before Action

…I, that on my familiar hill

Saw with uncomprehending eyes

A hundred of thy sunsets spill

Their fresh and sanguine sacrifice,

Ere the sun swings his noonday sword

Must say good-bye to all of this;-

By all delights that I shall miss,

Help me to die, O Lord.

This was the last poem of William Noel Hodgson, written before entering the Battle of the Somme

slide12
I've tramped South England up and down Down Dorset way, down Devon way, Through every little ancient town Down Dorset way, down Devon way. I mind the old stone churches there, The taverns round the market square, The cobbled streets, the garden flowers, The sundials telling peaceful hours Down Dorset way, down Devon way.

The Meadowlands are green and fair Down Somerset and Sussex way, The clover scent is in the air Down Somerset and Sussex way. I mind the deep-thatched homesteads there The noble downlands, clean and bare. The sheepfolds and the cattle byres, The blue wood-smoke from shepherd's fires Down Dorset way, down Devon way.  

The Meadowlands are green and fair Down Somerset and Sussex way, The clover scent is in the air Down Somerset and Sussex way. I mind the deep-thatched homesteads there The noble downlands, clean and bare. The sheepfolds and the cattle byres, The blue wood-smoke from shepherd's fires Down Dorset way, down Devon way.

By Leslie Coulson.

From an Outpost