The Battle of the Somme - The 12 Battles of the Somme (1 July - 18 November, 1916) - CWGC


1916: The Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme, and especially its calamitous opening day, has come to be regarded by many as symbolic of the wastefulness and tragedy of British First World combat experience. Recorded photographically, A ration party of the Royal Irish Rifles resting in a communication trench early in the battlethe devastated landscapes and appalling battlefield conditions in which much of the later winter fighting took place have become seminal images of the horrific nature of Western Front trench warfare. The great contrast between effective achievement and casualties incurred has steeped the campaign in controversy. Conceived in part as an attempt to distract German attention from the French at Verdun, the British effort on the Somme resulted in losses in manpower on a scale unimaginable in 1914. The British failure to breach the German lines on 1 July 1916 inevitably led to the strategy of attrition. A vital aspect of this change in the nature of waging war was the pledging of an alliance and the pursuit of victory by means of the deliberate trading of losses.

The First Day



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