The Battle of the Somme
Uploaded by Dan*elle on Oct 26, 2004
The Battle of the Somme started in 1916 following the battle at Ypres in 1915. After it went on over a long period of time, it was to become one of the most famous battles of the First World War. It was a protracted engagement, which resulted in appalling carnage. The Battle of the Somme is proclaimed to be such a great battle because of the certain strategies and the specific objectives used, the tragic results of the battle, and the consequences of the battle concerning the many conflicting powers.
The Battle of the Somme began to support Belgium after Germany attempted an invasion on them. Many strategies and objectives were conceived and used to defeat the German forces at the Somme. As the battle began on July 1st, 1916, it was planned as a joint French and British operation, this included Canada as they fought along side Britain. The British saw their opportunity to be the saviors of the moment, as Germany invaded Belgium when they were declared neutral, which was known as the Schlieffen Plan. The French Commander in Chief, Joseph Joffre, who intended it to be a battle of attrition, devised this plan of attack. The aim of the offence was to drain the German forces of reserves, however territorial gain was the second aim. This plan was soon approved by the British Commander in Chief, Sir Douglas Haig. One element of the agreed plan was to have an offence of primarily French troops, although after the attack on Verdun at the beginning of 1916, in which the Germans took many French casualties, Haig and Joffre were forced to compose the offensive troops of predominantly British soldiers instead. This resulted in Haig receiving responsibility of the operation, which would be used at the Somme, and authority to formulate his own plan.
With help from General Rawlingson, Haig came up with a strategy of an eight-day preliminary bombardment of the German lines, beginning on June 24th. He believed this would conquer their original aim of destroying German forces, letting the attacking British troops virtually walk across “no mans land” and take charge of the German front lines, as the German soldiers would be to exhausted to put up a fight. The attack was commenced upon a thirty-kilometre front with the Somme...