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100 year anniversary , The Somme

This is a discussion on 100 year anniversary , The Somme within the Military History forums, part of the Armed Services category; 1 July 1916 under pressure to relieve their French allies at Verdun the British launched the disastrous Somme campaign. On the first day they attacked ...


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Old July 1st, 2016, 08:35 AM   #1
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100 year anniversary , The Somme

1 July 1916 under pressure to relieve their French allies at Verdun the British launched the disastrous Somme campaign. On the first day they attacked along a 14 mile front with 27 divisions totaling 750,000 men. Under the expectation that a week long artillary barrage had subdued the German forces, which were 100 to 300 yards away, the British marched in waves with weapons in parade position. For confused reasons, the British didn't go over the top until 20 minutes after the barrage had ceased and moved to German rear lines. In this interval the German gunners dug them selves out of their deep bunkers and set up their machine guns. The British were mowed down and only neared the German trenches at a couple of points. By 16:30 when the attach was called off they had suffered 57,470 casualties. It didn't end on July 1st. The campaign continued until the fall when combined British and German casualties would number 1.5 million.

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Old July 1st, 2016, 09:50 AM   #2
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http://www.history.com/news/history-...e-somme?cmpid=

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Old July 1st, 2016, 10:20 AM   #3
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Old July 7th, 2016, 03:15 PM   #4
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Read a book years ago by John Keegan called, "The Face of Battle". In it he analyses three key battles in history of which the Somme was one. He described how the British lost over 50,000 troops in the first 30 minutes of the initial attack!

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Old July 7th, 2016, 05:46 PM   #5
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There were a few French involved as well and the British. The French 6th Army was involved.

And the Battle of the Somme was not designed to relieve pressure on the French at Verdun. The Somme offensive was planned long before the Germans attacked Verdun, back in December 1915. The need to reinforce Verdun required much of the planned French contribution to the Somme offensive to be transferred away from the Somme offensive.

The reason the Somme offensive was continued as long as it did, was because in a battle of attrition, it was believed that German could not maintain two such meat-grinders at the same time, Verdun and the Somme.

While costly in allied lives, the attrition of German troops, especially the well trained pre-war regulars and reservist, did take a toll of the effectiveness of the Imperial German Army.

The Germans would not attempt another major offensive in the west until 1918, after it had dealt with the Russians.

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Old July 7th, 2016, 05:48 PM   #6
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Read a book years ago by John Keegan called, "The Face of Battle". In it he analyses three key battles in history of which the Somme was one. He described how the British lost over 50,000 troops in the first 30 minutes of the initial attack!
First day....57,000 casualties.

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Old July 8th, 2016, 03:25 AM   #7
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Sometimes I wonder if they teach World War One history in high schools these days. Tom from MN

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Old July 8th, 2016, 05:33 AM   #8
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Whole regiments from smaller areas such as Newfoundland and Ulster were wiped out in a minute, suffering up to 90% casualty rates.

Saw a documentary that showed that many zones of the attack had tunnels dug from the allied side right up to the German lines and the ones where the commanders used the discretion given them to plant explosives (and in one case a giant automated flamethrower) were able to attack and occupy the German trenches with very few casualties, whereas the majority of commanders decided not to use the tunnels for anything and therefore suffered the huge losses the Somme is famous for. The documentary said this was the result of total confidence in the preceding artillery bombardments whereas the Germans were so deeply dug in that they were unaffected by them.

More about the giant flamethrower: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livens...lame_Projector

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Old July 9th, 2016, 12:14 AM   #9
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Read a book years ago by John Keegan called, "The Face of Battle". In it he analyses three key battles in history of which the Somme was one. He described how the British lost over 50,000 troops in the first 30 minutes of the initial attack!
Anything John Keegan is worth reading to a military historian be they the degreed or armchair variety (I am the later). His breakdown of the Battle of the Somme is incredible.

ďThe Price of AdmiraltyĒ is another John Keegan book well worth the read.

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Old July 9th, 2016, 06:19 AM   #10
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Sometimes I wonder if they teach World War One history in high schools these days. Tom from MN

I know what you mean Tom.
I often wonder if they teach ANY factual history in high schools these days.

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Old July 10th, 2016, 01:16 PM   #11
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I finished high school 10years ago and WW1, WW2, and Vietnam were not talked about at all. Mostly the the roaring 20s, the Great Depression, the Cold War, and the culture revolution of the 60s. The wars during these times were not discussed at all. People should be more aware of the horrors of war and the heroes who fought in them because s lot of men died died for are freedom during these times on a scale no one could imagine.

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Old July 10th, 2016, 01:41 PM   #12
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First World War took out the cream of British manhood.

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Old July 10th, 2016, 02:02 PM   #13
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Sometimes I wonder if they teach World War One history in high schools these days. Tom from MN
I don't believe they teach anything resembling history in most schools at all anymore. If it happened more than 5 years ago it doesn't matter. The average American attention span is only about 5 minutes. They have almost totally forgotten about the hillary e-mail scandal already.

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Old July 10th, 2016, 03:27 PM   #14
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First World War took out the cream of British manhood.
Most of the other countries involved got it worse.

The UK deaths (military) ran around 2% of the total population.

For some of the other countries involved:

Serbia: 10%
Romania: 4.4%
Ottoman Empire: 3.6%
France: 3.5%
Germany: 3.1%
Austrian-Hungary: 2.9%
Russia: 1.3%
USA: 0.12%

(All of these only account for military deaths and do not include civilian deaths due to collateral action, civilian deaths due to crimes against humanity, and civilian deaths due to war-time shortages, i.e., famines etc, both during and after the war.)

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Old July 11th, 2016, 10:41 AM   #15
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(All of these only account for military deaths and do not include civilian deaths due to collateral action, civilian deaths due to crimes against humanity, and civilian deaths due to war-time shortages, i.e., famines etc, both during and after the war.)
And another 25 Million due to the spanish flu https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic
which certainly was the result of famines and the weakened organisms.
Wolf

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