Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme is also known as the Somme Offensive. This was one of the battles during the World War I, fought between French and British empires against the German Empire. The Battle of the Somme took place on both sides of the River Somme. It lasted from 1 July until 18 November 1916. This was one of the deadliest battles in human history and in the World War I. More than 1.000.000 people were wounded or killed. Many of the French divisions were intended for the Somme, but they were diverted to the Battle of Verdun (21 February 1916). 

The first day of the battle was 1 July. The German forces were seriously defeated. They were fighting with the French Sixth Army on the north and with the British Fourth Army from Maricourt. The first day was also one of the worst for the British Army. They lost 60.000 soldiers. Most of them were killed on the front between Gommecourt and Albert-Bapaume. 

The Battle of the Somme is also known for the air power and use of tanks. This was the first time when tanks were used. British and French forces penetrate 9.7km (6 miles) into the German-occupied territory, making this offensive one of the most successful since the Battle of the Marne (1914). French and British armies were 3 miles from Bapaume and they failed to capture Peronne, because German forces maintained their defense during winter. 

The strength of the British and French forces was: 11 French and 13 British divisions (1 July); 51 British and 48 French divisions (July-November). They lost 623.907 soldiers. The German Empire had at their disposal 10 ½ divisions (1 July) and 50 divisions (July-November). They lost between 237.000 and 500.000 soldiers.

 

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