BATTLE OF THE SOMME ANISH RAO, TYLER MONTGOMERY, PRESLEY KNOX THESIS Due to the large death toll, and minimal gains, the Battle of the Somme was essentially a battle of attrition which served to do little else but destroy Germany’s men-- moving Germans back to the Hindenburg Line and leading to their eventual defeat. THE BATTLE BATTLE BACKGROUND • Started on July 1st 1916, at 7:30 a.m. (Cowley). • Fought on both sides of the River Somme in France • Commanding the French troops was Commander in Chief Joffre • The British troops were commanded by Generals Haig and Rawlinson • “Ended” Nov. 18th • First use of tanks in combat REASONS FOR WHY THE BATTLE HAPPENED AS IT DID • Initially supposed to be a primarily French battle, turned into primarily British battle • German Army Chief of Staff von Falkenhayn promised to “…bleed France white…” leading to a diversion of nearly all troops to protect Verdun, leading to more British forces • Ended up with 48 French divisions, 51 British divisions, and 50 German divisions • The Artillery strikes, which were meant to be key, were stopped early on the North, British, Flank, leaving them open to German fire. France was experienced, and sustained fire, losing less people • 58,000 British and, 2000 French troops dead on day 1 EFFECTS OF THE BATTLE DEATH • Britain lost approximately 420,000 troops • Germany lost a controversial 465,000 troops • The French lost approximately 200,000 troops • One of the largest battles of WW1 • Haig and Rawlinson have been criticised for not gaining land that they were meant to, and a nearindifferent waste of human life TACTICS • Britain continued to go on the offensive, justifying it by saying that the only reason that the Germans retreated was due to their heavy losses • France changed into a defensive position • Germany retreated to Bapaume, after attacks from British, and were later driven back to the Hindenberg line Works Cited "Cowley, Robert, and Parker Geoffrey. "Battle of the Somme." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2015. Duffy, Michael. "The Battle of The Somme." First World War.com. N.p., 22 Aug. 2009. Web. 10 Jan. 2015 "The Battle of the Somme." The Battle of the Somme. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2015. "The Battle of the Somme, 1916." The Battle of the Somme. N.p., 23 Apr. 2014. Web. 11 Jan. 2015. Wilde, Robert. "The Battle of the Somme 1916." European History. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2015.