Why Was The Battle Of The Somme Such a Disaster Fo

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Tuesday 13th December Why was the Battle of the Somme such a disaster for the British Army? On July 1st 1916, a battle commenced that made the bloodiest day inn British military history. 60,000 British men died on the first day of fighting, with a third of them perishing in the first hour. The aim of this essay is to examine factors of the battle and decide which one contributed the most to the failure of the battle. The plan for the Battle of the Somme was to assemble a huge new army of soldiers. The men and supplies would be stockpiled in the reserve trenches. German trenches would be bombarded solidly for 7 days. The British fired over 1,500,000 shells at the German lines, which should have destroyed the German dug-outs (which were 9 metres deep), tear up their barbed wire and kill most of the Germans. Also 10 mines would be dug under the German strong points. They would explode 2 minutes before the attack. The British army would cross ‘No Man’s Land’ walking and take over the German trenches. They would set the mines to blow up at 7.28 am. Germans would shell British trenches and the British soldiers would be ready for the attack. The aim of this battle was to ease pressure the Germans had put on the nearby village of Verdun, using the battle as a distraction. They relied heavily on the ‘New Army’ – the civilian recruits brought in by Lord Kitchener’s advertising campaign. These thousands upon thousands of men had absolutely no battle experience and insufficient training. At 7:30 am on the 1st of July, the British began a massive attack against German forces. During the previous week, 250,000 Allied shells had hit German ranks and 100,000 British soldiers poured out of their trenches and into ‘No Man's Land’, expecting to find the way cleared for them. However, scores of heavy German machine guns had survived the artillery assault and the infantry were

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