With almost 20, British men killed in a single day, mentions of the Battle of the Somme still evoke visions of horror — yet it was the basis of victory Into the open: By Nigel Steel 5: As the British soldiers climbed out of their front line, the German machine guns opened up and stopped the attack dead.
He later wrote to his mother in what he felt might be his last ever letter.
Pity, when one gets a Blighty one too, after so long. Well darling, I am still cheerful of getting home. If not you will receive this letter which they surely will send to know I died for my country and home like a man.
I am laying writing this on the Somme Battle. It is some battle too, I can tell you. The noise of the shells and guns worry the life out of anyone. Remember me to all the girls. Dear Alice, Ada and Tina. Tell them I died the death of a soldier and man. All for a good cause.
Yet as his letter shows, he did not regard his death as a waste. He believed the war to be just and he remained philosophical about the consequences for him. To most people today, the Battle of the Somme appears unremittingly futile.
No other moment comes so close to defining the popular understanding of Britain has no clear foundation myth linked to the war.
There is no Gallipoli as for Australia and New Zealand, or Vimy Ridge for Canada; just the Somme, throbbing in the side of the nation like an unhealed wound. They shared common values and wanted to defend these against the growing threat that appeared to be coming out of Germany.
They trained hard and, with some interlopers accepted from outside the county — from Accrington in Lancashire and as far away as Durham — they began the long march that by summer led them to the Somme. Despite a week-long bombardment, the German defenders scythed them down.
In less than an hour, the pals suffered around 1, casualties. As news filtered home, families, factories and sports clubs felt bereft. This remains the received vision of July 1, The scale of the disaster overshadows and obscures any deeper understanding of the day.
Yet it was not all like this. On the southern end of the British line, the 30th Division also went over the top. It too was populated by northern pals, from Manchester and Liverpool.
Supported by stronger and more effective artillery, including the better-supplied French guns to their right, and propelled by more imaginative tactics, the Lancastrians surged steadily forward from Maricourt and successfully took their objective of Montauban.
Although achieved at considerable cost, the capture of the positions along this southern edge of the battle was the first time in the war that planned objectives had been taken and held in a major offensive.
Nothing provides a greater contrast in the history of the war than the abject failure in the north at Serre and the stirring achievements in the south at Montauban.
Few know about the successes there. July 1 is remembered solely as an unmitigated disaster. Yet for historians it represents the beginning of a process of growth and development that reaches through to the end of the war and German defeat.
Key lessons were learnt by front-line soldiers and their generals in how to use new weapons such as the Lewis gun, trench mortar, grenade and even the impressive but still limited tank. A tank at La Motte en Santerre Artillery was employed to ever greater effect with new fuses on the shells and as a creeping barrage to offer closer support to advancing infantry.
Soldiers began to fight in smaller units, with riflemen working closely with men using the new weapons.The Battle of the Somme (French: Bataille de la Somme; German: Schlacht an der Somme), also known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire.
- The Battle of Somme The battle of the Somme took place in the North- East of France on the 1st of July Before the battle of the Somme started there was a lot to prepare such as getting the troops signed up in Reasons Why the Battle of the Somme is Regarded as Such a military Tradgedy Introduction ===== The battle of the Somme was a battle that took place in .
At a.m., the British launch a massive offensive against German forces in the Somme River region of France. During the preceding week, , Allied shells had pounded German positions near.
Jul 02, · To most people today, the Battle of the Somme appears unremittingly futile. Even more than Passchendaele and Gallipoli, in Britain it seems to represent the nadir of the First World War. Nov 12, · Watch video · The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was one of the largest battles of the First World War.
Hence, on July 1, , the British army attacked north of the Somme with.