The Battle Of the Somme Brian C., Scott M., Andrew C., Andrew T., Mike O., Adam B.
THE BATTLE SO FAR (for dummies) [and minorities]
The Battle of the Somme • Initiation of Conflict: July 1, 1916 • Combatants: The British Empire (UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa), France versus the German Empire • Commanding Officers: Douglas Haig (British Empire), Ferdinand Foch (France) versus Max von Gallwitz, Fritz von Below (Germany)
Which Side Initiated the Battle? The Allies • The battle was an attempt to prevent casualties at the battle of Verdun by staging diversionary offensives across the Somme river area. Military Purpose
Allied Generals • Douglas Haig • Henry Rawlinson • Ferdinand Foch
German Generals • Fritz von Below • Max von Gallwitz
The Battles of the Somme Understand that the “Battle of the Somme” is a military campaign rather than an isolated event. It is comprised of a series of isolated conflicts along a 95 mile front.
Allied Preparation • Allied artillery bombarded German defenses along the river for ten days.
Allied Preparation • The soil in the area lent itself to the construction of minefields.
Plans for the First Day • The Allies wanted to create an opening that could be exploited by cavalry forces moving North towards Arras. • A main attack was to be carried out by forces under Gen. Rawlinson. A diversionary attack followed by cavalry charged would be handled by other British divisions. • French forces would act independently of the British forces, supporting and shoring up holes in the lines.
The First Day • Date: July 1, 1916 • Location: Somme, Picardy, France • Official Name: The Battle of Albert • Combatants: The British Empire (United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Newfoundland, India), France versus the German Empire • Commanding Officers: Douglas Haig (British Empire), Henry Rawlinson (British Empire), Ferdinand Foch (France) versus Fritz von Below (German Empire)
How Long Did The Battle Last? • The Battle began on July 1st 1916 • It didn’t end until today, November 18th 1916. • That’s a whopping four and a half months.
The Somme looks to be one of the bloodiest battles in human history. By “avoiding casualties” at Verdun, the allied brass doomed more than 600,000 allied soldiers.
Was Anything Worthwhile achieved? • The most ground taken by the Allies was a mere 5 miles (8 kilometers) from their original position. • There were roughly 2 Allied casualties per inch of ground taken. (That’s just the Allies. German casualties pushes this figure up to 3½ per inch) • If you’re talking about just deaths, there were 0.942/inch. • In every 1½ minutes of the battle’s 4½ month duration, 1.52 people died.
Bibliography • http://www.ramsdale.org/somme.htm • http://www.worldwar1.com/mapsomme.htm • http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/WF7.SOMME.GIF